Is it E3 already? Not quite. On June 1, the media hubbub surrounding the Electronic Entertainment Expo will kick off in Los Angeles with a day of conferences from Microsoft (10:30 a.m.), Electronic Arts (2 p.m.), and Ubisoft (a 5 p.m. event hosted by The Soup's Joel McHale). On Tuesday June 2--the day the E3 doors open to attendees--it's the turn of Nintendo (9 a.m.) and Sony (11 a.m.) followed by Konami at 3 p.m. on June 3. GameSpot will be covering all six events with live blogs and (in many cases) streaming video feeds and will be broadcasting live and podcasting from the show floor at the Los Angeles Convention Center throughout the week.
With so much attention being laser-focused on the lead-up to E3, the previous week is a bit light on the releases side. The heaviest hitter by far is Infamous, the PlayStation 3 exclusive from publisher Sony Computer Entertainment America and developer Sucker Punch (Sly Cooper). The open-world action adventure chronicles the story of Cole, an average-joe-turned-electricity-wielding mutant who must grapple with the responsibility of doing good and the sheer enjoyment of being evil. That choice, of course, will be left to the player to make, as the game's open-world nature allows gamers to either save the fictional Empire City's denizens or whimsically wreak wanton carnage. Either way, GameSpot's reviewers were impressed, giving the game a 9.0/10.
Fans of the Steampunk sci-fi subgenre are the target audience for Damnation, from British publisher Codemasters and new developer Blue Omega. The Annapolis, Maryland-based studio won Epic Games' Make Something Unreal competition with the prototype of the shooter, which imagines what it would be like if the American Civil War extended well into the 20th Century. Players play as Hamilton Rourke, leader of a group of rebels fighting against a powerful industrialist who commands an army of mercenaries equipped with technology well ahead of its time. The game ships Tuesday for the PC, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360.
For those who want to walk off hours of game time on the couch, Nintendo is releasing Personal Trainer: Walking. Already available in Japan, the $49.99 DS game comes bundled with two pedometers, which count steps and wirelessly sync to the DS, where the data is analyzed. It then presents statistics about "life rhythm" patterns, such as when the most active and sedentary moments of a player's day are. The pedometers can also be attached to a family pet to monitor its activity levels.
Also shipping this week is Up!, THQ's adaptation of the already well-reviewed computer-animated Disney/Pixar film due out on Friday. Set for release on the Wii, Mac, PC, DS, PSP, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360, the game will offer an interactive version of the film, which follows a 78-year-old retiree and his young companion as they balloon down to a lost wilderness in the highlands of South America. There, they encounter a talking dog and a gangly flightless prehistoric bird, who join them in their adventures.
[UPDATE] Last but not least, a press release from the PR agency handling Rock Band Unplugged created some confusion about the game's release date. Though listed by GameStop as arriving on June 9, the first PSP outing of the billion-dollar rhythm franchise shipped to stores today--or their back rooms, anyway. Harmonix has confirmed that the title--which features 41 tracks from five decades as well as downloadable content--won't actually go on sale until two weeks from Tuesday.
For further details on the week's games, visit GameSpot's New Release page. Downloadable games on the PlayStation Store, Xbox Live Marketplace, and the Wii Shop Channel will be revealed later this week. Release dates are based on retailer listings and are subject to change.
MAY 25, 2009
Memorial Day (National US holiday)
MAY 26, 2009
Crimson Gem Saga--PSP--Role-Playing--Atlus Co.
Cross Edge--PS3--Role-Playing NIS--America
Damnation--PC, PS3, 360--Action--Codemasters
Jake Hunter Detective Story: Memories of the Past--DS--Puzzle--Aksys Games
The Munchables--WII--Action--Namco Bandai Games
Personal Trainer: Walking--DS--Puzzle--Nintendo
Secret Agent Clank--PS2--Action--SCEA
Sherlock Holmes vs. Jack the Ripper--PC--Adventure--Focus Home Interactive
Space Camp--DS, WII--Action--Activision
Up!-Wii, Mac, PC, DS, PSP, PS2, PS3, 360--Adventure--THQ
MAY 27, 2009
Imagine Boutique Owner--DS--Simulation--Ubisoft
MAY 28, 2009
Crazy Chicken: Atlantis Quest--DS--Action--MumboJumbo
Crazy Chicken: Star Karts--DS--Driving--MumboJumbo
Crazy Chicken: Pharaoh's Treasure--DS--Puzzle--MumboJumbo
Johnny Bravo: Date-O-Rama!--DS--Action--MumboJumbo
MAY 30, 2009
DragonSky--PC--Role-Playing--Aeria Games & Entertainment
Trash Panic--PS3--Puzzle--Sony Online Entertainment
Wallace & Gromit Episode 2: The Last Resort--X360--Adventure--Telltale Games