Even with dreadful April sales figures prompting analysts to second-guess the state of the industry, pretty much everyone expects May to be a huge month at retail. That's because of release slates like next week's, which features a handful of long-awaited and heavily hyped games all launching on the same day.
Perhaps the biggest release is Rockstar San Diego's Red Dead Redemption for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, releasing May 18. The Western-themed third-person shooter has been on gamers' wish lists for years, as it was initially unveiled in the very first PlayStation 3 footage reel from Sony's 2005 Electronic Entertainment Expo press conference, almost five years ago.
Interestingly, Red Dead Redemption isn't even the longest-awaited game coming out that day. Remedy Entertainment's Alan Wake was revealed 12 days earlier, with the Finnish developer announcing its psychological action thriller for "next-generation consoles and PCs." Unfortunately for PC and PS3 gamers, the intervening five years saw Alan Wake become an Xbox 360 exclusive. GameSpot's review of Alan Wake is already online.
The wait for Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands has been considerably shorter. While many assumed Ubisoft would time an entry in the franchise to the debut of the series' feature film adaptation later this month, the publisher didn't confirm that the multiplatform game was in the works until late last year. The Forgotten Sands draws its inspiration not from the cel-shaded 2008 revamp, but from the Sands of Time trilogy that debuted in 2003 on the previous generation of consoles.
For those not interested in that weighty trio of new releases, there are still a number of notable new options on shelves next week. Disney Interactive's arcade-style racer Split/Second tears up the track with plenty of player-triggered mayhem, while Shrek Forever After provides an interactive take on the green ogre's final chapter, and the Blue Dragon role-playing game series continues with a new DS installment. On the downloadable front, Dragon Age: Origins gets another dose of DLC in the form of the Darkspawn Chronicles, with gamers playing through an alternate-reality version of the main game's climax.
For further details on the week's games, visit GameSpot's New Releases page. The full list of downloadable games on the PlayStation Store, Xbox Live Marketplace, and Wii Shop Channel will be revealed later in the week. Release dates are based on retailer listings and are subject to change.
MONDAY, MAY 17
Bit.Trip Runner--WII--Aksys Games
Looksley's Line Up--DS--Nintendo
TUESDAY, MAY 18
Alan Wake--X360--Microsoft Game Studios
Attack of the Movies 3D--WII, X360--Majesco Games
Blue Dragon: Awakened Shadow--DS--D3
Dragon Age: Origins - Darkspawn Chronicles--X360, PS3, PC--Electronic Arts
EVE Online: Tyrannis--PC--CCP
Fantasy Earth Zero--PC--Square Enix
Gundemonium Recollection--PS3--Rockin' Android
Imagine: Animal Doctor Care Center--DS--Ubisoft
Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands--PS3, X360, Wii, PSP, DS--Ubisoft
Red Dead Redemption--X360, PS3--Rockstar Games
Runaway: A Twist of Fate--PC--Focus Home Interactive
Shrek Forever After--PS3, X360, Wii, PC, DS--Activision
Split/Second--X360, PS3, PC--Disney Interactive
Trauma Team--WII--Atlus Co.
WEDNESDAY, MAY 19
Sword of the Stars: Complete Collection--PC--Paradox Interactive