Though traditionally the most active time of the year, the holiday release schedule has had a blink-and-it's-gone quality about it this year, thanks to an overabundance of big-name defections into 2010. With December descending upon the game industry, only a handful of high-profile releases remain.
Director James Cameron's sci-fi epic Avatar won't open in theaters until December 18, but Ubisoft's game tie-in makes planetfall on Tuesday. Available for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii, DS, and PC, James Cameron's Avatar: The Game supplements the film with a new story set on the far-off planet of Pandora. And like the film, Ubisoft's third-person shooter has been developed using stereoscopic 3D technology. However, gamers without the required 3D equipment will be able to play the game in standard display.
Action gamers can also pick up Bethesda Softworks' Rogue Warrior on the Xbox 360, PS3, or PC this week. Initially announced in 2006, the game underwent a complete overhaul in 2008 when Aliens vs. Predator developer Rebellion took the reins. A story-driven first-person shooter, Rogue Warrior features the voice acting of The Wrestler's Mickey Rourke and tells the story of a US Navy SEAL team sent to North Korea, where their attempt to sabotage an ICBM program uncovers a greater conspiracy tracing back to Russia.
MX vs. ATV Untamed stumbled upon its release in 2007, and THQ opted to sideline the off-road racer in 2008 in favor of 2XL's Baja: Edge of Control. In 2009, the franchise returns, as Rainbow Studios releases MX vs. ATV Reflex for the Xbox 360, PS3, PSP, and DS. Beyond its overhauled driving engine, the game features deformable tracks, new environments, and a slew of thumbstick-controlled aerial acrobatics.
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 the Wii Shop Channel will be revealed later this week. Release dates are based on retailer listings and are subject to change.
NOVEMBER 30, 2009
Copter Crisis--WII--Digital Leisure
Empire Deluxe--DS--Graffiti Entertainment
Martial Arts: Capoeira Fighters--PS2, PSP--Graffiti Entertainment
Reader Rabbit Kindergarten--WII, DS--Nintendo
Strike Force Red Cell--X360, PC--Graffiti Entertainment
Yoga for Wii--WII--Dreamcatcher
DECEMBER 1, 2009
7 Wonders II--DS--Avanquest Software
Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel--WII, DS--Majesco Games
Hair Salon--DS--505 Games
James Cameron's Avatar: The Game--X360, PS3, WII, DS, PC--Ubisoft
The Lord of the Rings Online: Siege of Mirkwood--PC--Turbine Inc.
Might and Magic: Clash of Heroes--DS--Ubisoft
MX vs. ATV Reflex--X360, PS3, PSP, DS--THQ
Rec Room Games--WII--Destineer
Rogue Warrior--X360, PS3, PC--Bethesda Softworks
The Seventh Dragon--PC, MAC--Vector
th!nk Logic Trainer--WII, DS--Conspiracy Entertainment
th!nk Logic Trainer: Kids--DS--Conspiracy Entertainment
DECEMBER 2, 2009
No new releases announced.
DECEMBER 3, 2009
Dreamer: Zoo Keeper--DS--Dreamcatcher
Safecracker: The Ultimate Puzzle Adventure--DS--Dreamcatcher
DECEMBER 4, 2009
Zombie Driver--PC--EXOR Studios