Leading the pack this week is Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. The stealth action game follows the long-knifed Ezio as he once again hunts down the Templars seeking vengeance, but this entry has a twist. Instead of fighting alone, Ezio's adventures in Brotherhood will allow him to recruit an army of killers to fight alongside him.
Further, Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood will feature a multiplayer component, a first for the popular series. In this game mode, players will receive contracts for the heads of other players. They must sneak around the multiplayer environments and kill their opponents before they fall by the knife to another player.
Also hitting shelves this week is Electronic Arts' Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit. Revisiting the premise of the original 1998 Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit, this year's installment in the series allows players to play as--or race from--the long arm of the law. The Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC versions of the game also feature "Autolog," an overarching social network that links players' experiences to those of friends, tracking accomplishments, sharing photos, and recommending events to try.
Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit was developed for the Xbox 360, PS3, and PC by Criterion Games, with a Wii version on the way from Exient. Criterion is best known for the Burnout series of games, the last of which--Burnout Paradise--debuted to critical acclaim in January 2008.
While NBA Elite 11 has been officially canned, NBA Jam is due out on the PS3 and Xbox 360 this week priced at $50. The arcade basketball title will drive the lane for high-definition consoles on November 15 at the same price point as the Wii version. The game was originally set to be included exclusively with copies of NBA Elite before that title was canceled.
When NBA Jam ships, players will be able to take part in the game's Remix Tour and Classic Campaign but will have only limited access to the game's online multiplayer component. According to EA Sports, players choosing to take their skills online will initially have only one avenue in which to do so. Players can jump into the classic two-vs.-two online mode on day one but will have to wait until December for a content update that will bring a host of new features.
For the health-minded gamer, EA releases EA Sports Active 2.0 this week. Developed at Vancouver-based EA Canada, the title will support the Kinect and will also feature a nine-week, three-phase program to help motivate players to carry through their fitness regimen. The company will also be releasing new mini-program workouts as downloadable add-ons and will have new virtual trainers. The game's release will be accompanied by the launch of an online hub that will let players upload and share their workout data. The site will also feature fitness tips, forums around certain workouts, and a messaging system that will let players interact.
The first chapter of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows hits theaters on Friday, but gamers can pick up the game based on the film this Tuesday. EA's Bright Light studio developed the game, and according to production head Jonathan Bunney, Deathly Hallows will be "darker and more action oriented" than previous installments in the series. Notably, the protective walls of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry have been left behind, as Potter and his cohorts face off against Voldemort's nefarious hordes in the lead up to the young magician's final face-off with the rogue magician.
The studio emphasized the perilous situation that Potter finds himself in on his quest to find and destroy Voldemort's Horcruxes, and players will battle the likes of Death Eaters and snatchers. Also on hand will be various other creatures from previous installments in the series that Potter must use his magic to vanquish.
Those hankering for aerial action can pick up Activision's Apache: Air Assault this week. The game was developed by Russian studio Gaijin Entertainment, whose most recent release was 2009's aerial combat title IL-2 Sturmovik: Birds of Prey. The title promises players several variations of Apache attack helicopters and 16 multistage single-player missions throughout volatile regions of Africa, the Middle East, and Central America.
Apache: Air Assault has two options of play for virtual pilots. Arcade mode is designed to introduce players to the game's controls. In addition to the introductory level, the game features a Realistic mode, where "realism and precision" are the core focus.
In addition to the single-player experience, the title includes a cooperative component where two players team up as pilot and copilot and fly through a combat experience together. Further, the game supports online multiplayer in the form of Team Deathmatch, Ground Attack, Capture the LZ, and Ground Strike.
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 this week. Release dates are based on retailer listings and are subject to change.
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 14
Dood's Big Adventure--Wii--THQ
Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Mini-Land Mayhem--DS--Nintendo
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 15
NBA Jam--X360, PS3--EA Sports
The Sims 3--Wii--Electronic Arts
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 16
3D Ultra MiniGolf Adventures 2--PS3--Konami
Apache: Air Assault--X360, PS3--Activision
Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood--X360, PS3--Ubisoft
Barbie: Groom and Glam Pups--DS, Wii--THQ
Create--X360, PS3, PC, Wii--Electronic Arts
EA Sports Active 2.0--X360, PS3--EA Sports
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1--PS3, X360, PC, Wii, DS--Electronic Arts
Hello Kitty Seasons--Wii--Zoo Games
iCarly 2:iJoin The Click--DS, Wii--Activision
Jillian Michaels Fitness Ultimatum 2011--Wii--D3
Man vs. Wild--PC, PSP--Crave
Marvel Super Hero Squad: The Infinity Gauntlet--Wii, DS, PS3, X360--THQ
Mechanic Master 2--DS--Crave
Namco Museum Megamix--Wii--Namco Bandai Games America
Naruto Shippuden: Naruto vs. Sasuke--DS, Wii--Tomy Corporation
NatGeo Quiz! Wild Life--Wii, PS3--D3
Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit--X360, PS3, PC--Electronic Arts
Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors--DS--Aksys Games
Pac-Man Party--Wii--Namco Bandai Games America
Pro Evolution Soccer 2011--Wii--Konami
Sesame Street: Elmo's A-to-Zoo Adventure--Wii--Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Shawn Johnson Gymnastics--Wii--Zoo Games
Sonic Colors--DS, Wii--Sega
Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon--Wii--Ubisoft
Winter Sports 2010: The Great Tournament--PS3, X360--Zoo Games
Wizards of Waverly Place: Spellbound--DS--Disney Interactive
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 18
Deca Sports Freedom--X360--Hudson Entertainment
Game Party: In Motion--X360--Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Zumba Fitness: Join the Party--X360--Majesco Games
Zumba Fitness--PS3, Wii--Majesco Games