Shippin' Out Nov. 9-15: Wrath of the Lich King

Retail shelves brace for impact, as headliners join Call of Duty: World at War, Mirror's Edge, WWE SmackDown vs. Raw, PES, Star Wars The Clone Wars, and more.

MMOG gamers take notice: The 800-pound gorilla is rumbling forth from its corner. In a year full of legitimate challengers, Blizzard Entertainment this week returns with World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King, the second expansion to its 11-million-player-strong massively multiplayer online game.

Wrath of the Lich King has big shoes to fill, considering its predecessor, The Burning Crusade, set PC sales records with its 2.4-million-units-in-24-hours debut in January 2007. However, it isn't likely to be hampered much by those aforementioned challengers: Funcom's Age of Conan and Mythic's Warhammer Online. In publisher Activision Blizzard's post-earnings conference call last week, Blizzard president Mike Morhaime said that 68 percent of WOW's defectors to the former, as well as 48 percent of the latter, had already renewed their subscriptions to Azeroth.

Blizzard may be tying up the PC charts, but console gamers will be forced to make some serious and difficult decisions to avoid extravagant credit card bills. Topping the list for many will be Activision's Call of Duty: World at War on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii, DS, and PC. Activision employs a dual-studio setup on the Call of Duty franchise, so while COD4 creators Infinity Ward plug away at the 2009 installment in the franchise, Spider-Man handlers Treyarch have been given command of World at War. Rather than maintaining the modern-day setting seen in COD4, Treyarch has returned to the Axis and Allies conflict of the 1940s.

EA's march toward all-new properties continues this week with Mirror's Edge on the Xbox 360, PS3, and PC. Undoubtedly hoping to continue building on the tone of quality set by Dead Space and Spore before it, Mirror's Edge is a first-person action adventure in which players assume the role of renegade courier Faith as she scales the city in an effort to evade law-enforcement personnel.

THQ may be going through a time of substantial transition, but that isn't likely to impact the annual release schedule of its bread-and-butter wrestling franchise. WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2009 enters its yearly title bout this week on the Xbox 360 PS3, PS2, PSP, Wii, and DS, bringing with it a number of incremental enhancements such as the return of tag-team play, locally or online, as well as streamlined load times. As for real sporting entertainment, Konami's Pro Evolution Soccer 2009 also takes to the pitch this week, arriving for the Xbox 360, PS3, PS2, and PSP.

Microsoft's gaming console sees a pair of titles coming only to its platform, one being exclusive in perpetuity and the other partial to this week alone. Breaking its prolonged absence, Rare's Banjo-Kazooie duo kicks the tires on Nuts & Bolts, a vehicle-based open-world platformer. With EALA arming Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3's war dolphins on the PC earlier this month, the Xbox 360 real-time strategy title wages its hallucinogenic take on the Cold War this week.

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed put up big numbers for LucasArts in September, and the publisher is undoubtedly hoping the Force will be equally as strong with Star Wars The Clone Wars: Lightsaber Duels and Jedi Alliance for the Wii and DS, respectively. The Wii also sees EA's FaceBreaker K.O. Party and Namco Bandai's Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World added to its library this week, while the DS takes on Tecmo Bowl: Kickoff.

Nintendo's online storefront will also see a pair of downloadable games. Gameloft will be stimulating Wii gamers' gray matter with Brain Challenge (1,000 Wii points, $10), and Virtual Toys serves up its cooking game Yummy Yummy Cooking Jam (1,000 Wii points, $10). Microsoft had not yet revealed its weekly Wednesday release as of press time. However, Capcom did say last week that one new addition to XBLA this week would be a Street Fighter-themed table for Pinball FX.

Though the XBLA edition of Capcom's Age of Booty was all sails ahead last month, the PlayStation Network version hit an unexpected sandbar as it was leaving port. Today, Capcom revealed that it has once again hoisted the anchor on the strategy game, saying the PSN edition will arrive this Thursday.

This week's new releases are listed below (list taken from retailer information--actual dates may vary).

NOVEMBER 9, 2008
WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2009 (X360, PS3, PS2, PSP, Wii, DS)

NOVEMBER 10, 2008
Avatar - The Last Airbender: Into the Inferno (DS)
Brain Challenge (WiiWare)
Call of Duty: World at War Final Fronts (PS2)
Mega Man 3 (Wii VC)
MLB Superstars (Wii)
Pony Friends: Mini Breeds Edition (DS)
Populous DS (DS)
Yummy Yummy Cooking Jam (WiiWare)

NOVEMBER 11, 2008
Amazing Adventures The Forgotten Ruins (DS)
Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts (X360)
Big League Sports (Wii)
Block Party (Wii)
Call of Duty: World at War (X360, PS3, Wii, DS, PC)
Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 (X360)
Eternal Poison (PS2)
FaceBreaker K.O. Party (Wii)
Fantasy Aquarium (Wii)
Guinness World Records: The Videogame (Wii, DS)
Hasbro Family Game Night (Wii, PS2)
History Civil War: Secret Missions (PC)
Imagine Party Babyz (Wii)
Luxor 3 (Wii)
Luxor: Quest for the Afterlife (PC)
Mirror's Edge (X360, PS3, PC)
Monkey Mischief: Party Time (Wii)
Mortimer Beckett and the Secrets of Spooky Manor (Wii)
My Stop Smoking Coach with Allen Carr (DS)
National Geographic Panda (DS)
Pet Pals: Animal Doctor (Wii)
Pro Evolution Soccer 2009 (X360, PS3, PS2, PSP)
Rock Revolution (Wii)
Sacred 2: Fallen Angel (PC)
Sally's Salon (DS)
Secret Service (PC)
Six Flags Fun Park (DS)
Star Wars The Clone Wars: Jedi Alliance (DS)
Star Wars The Clone Wars: Lightsaber Duels (Wii)
Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World (Wii)
Tecmo Bowl: Kickoff (DS)
Testament of Sin (PC)

NOVEMBER 12, 2008
Super Street Fighter II Turbo Pinball FX (XBLA)

NOVEMBER 13, 2008
Candace Kane's Candy Factory (Wii)
Street Fighter II: Special Champion Edition (Wii)
World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King (PC, Mac)

NOVEMBER 14, 2008
futureU: The Prep Game for SAT (DS)
Hello Kitty Daily (DS)
TrackMania DS (DS)

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Discussion

51 comments
buffdaddy69
buffdaddy69

Hmm...i think its time to bust my rouge out of retirment quicker then Hulk Hogan at an upcoming wrestlemania.

langrisser2005
langrisser2005

World at War for meeeeeeee! I suppose i dont mind the WWII setting done with the COD4 format, least you know its high quality! But i'm hoping now they'll end with the WW2 and move on with Modern or Futuristic settings, Battlefield 2142 was a cool game, I'm sure the COD series can do something as good or better!

Beagle_san
Beagle_san

"In a year full of legitimate challengers..." Now there's a load of crock. AC was a woefully unprepared Beta test upon release. Far too many review sites, Gamespot included, rated it based upon potential not upon actual existing performance of product. One legitimate contender does not a "year full" make. WAR was the sole legit challenger to WoW this year, yet so far, it is only a partial challenge, only in the area of PvP, (where it indeed does well, when serve balance and population are all in line) absurd claims by developers notwithstanding. As I've said before, it's ridiculous for AC and WAR to have the same rating. For those who say that WoW didn't have PvP fully implemented upon its release, quite true. However, WAR knew where the bar had been set by WoW, and makes absurd claims that about the PvE elements of WAR. I see the usual population of of WoW bashers is out in force. Sorry boys and girls, but WoW remains # 1 for a very good reason, and WotLK will likely continue that dominance.

Diernes
Diernes

Dont be stupid, its time people take responsibility for thier own actions. games do not ruin lives, weak people ruin their own. as for WOTLK .. *yawn*

Slick_Racer
Slick_Racer

"I wonder how many lives WOTLK will ruin this year? Only time will tell." Everyone who allows a game to ruin their life deserves it. It's their own fault, not the game's.

Lostboy1224
Lostboy1224

I wonder how many lives WOTLK will ruin this year? Only time will tell.

finaleve
finaleve

sieg6529 > WTH are you talking about? What game isn't a rehash these days? Metal Gear Solid 4, Resistance 2, Gears of War 2, Fable 2, Guitar Hero World Tour, Rock Band 2, Call of Duty World at War...all rehashes. What makes WofLK any different? WotLK, maybe CoD:WaT, and Mirror's Edge are looking good...

Sins-of-Mosin
Sins-of-Mosin

I have two friends who will be getting the WoW expansion at midnight. Myself, I'm sticking with CoD5, B&K: Nuts and Bolts, and the WWE game.

Chimpman_Z
Chimpman_Z

Am I the only person excited about Eternal Poison? What? Age of Booty?! Huh huh, the article said "booty" huh huh...

RawTechnique
RawTechnique

Cmon Gamespot... why do you have to continue the lies about the Mirror's Edge PC release date??? EA screwed over PC gamers and it was delayed back to January 2009 so they can get cash from the console sales. Get your damn facts straight!

da_chub
da_chub

Now this is what is sad, there are some good Wii games mixed in there, but everyone over looks them because most of this weeks releases are shovelware. Come on Devs....My stop smoking coach and Monkey mischief, i feel bad for anyone who buys these games.

96windsor
96windsor

i hope i can pull myself away from WWE smackdown vs. raw 09 long enough to try out wrath of the lich king. i heard that warcraft is awful fun. ZOMG! national geographic panda!! sorry arthas! i'll have better things to do

sieg6529
sieg6529

I think WotLK is not going to be so huge as BC, because there are so many other great games available now that aren't a rehash of old material.

wilyry
wilyry

WOTL is going to bring the servers down to their knees. I remember when BC came out, took awhile to get back up and running smoothly. Maybe give it a week or two.

CamiKitten
CamiKitten

LoL @ Pony Friendz. And LoL at WoW -__-, cause I'm almost guessing the expansion is as useless and repetitive as teh rest of the game.

TehUndeadHorror
TehUndeadHorror

"its way better snowboarding then playing shaun white or ssx" Woah... I so totally thought you said s e x...

GrimGravy
GrimGravy

dude parmjit awesome glade you have such a great life why dont you go blog about it or something and put more about yourself on the internet so we can continue not to give two $h@Ts about your life

Ghost777
Ghost777

parmjit you are definitely welcome to your opinion and it is great you get outside. But you would get your point across better if you also went to school. Grammar and spelling do not seem to be strong suits for you. As for WoW I do agree people spend too much time playing games of its ilk. As long as it isn't destructive so be it. That is their decision.

-Twilight-
-Twilight-

Parmjit, if your life was at all that exciting, you wouldn't feel validated by posting about it on GameSpot.

parmjit
parmjit

man i hate warcraft $H!T its so g ay how ppl sit at home on the computer and jus play for the whole day i always go outside with my friends and i come bak and chill to videogames i dont waste my time on warcraft games should b only played for a little while but not the whole day if you ask me society is getting soft ppl are fatter (65%) and they are losers who dont want 2 get fresh air anyone who reads this jus go outside or go snowboarding like me in the winter time its way better snowboarding then playing shaun white or ssx the world isnt as tough as it used to be because of all those lames who have no life and play warcraft

ctg867
ctg867

World at War and Mirror's Edge are both on my list for early next year catch up. Other then that, this week is empty. *Ignores the life sucking, time wasting obsession, not game, that is World of Warcraft*

Pete5506
Pete5506

Call of Duty and Mirrors Edge

mikewalsh69
mikewalsh69

@aBathingApe: did you miss how FIFA was a 2:1 ratio for the PS3??? @the_real_VIP: thanks for backing me up.

glitchgeeman
glitchgeeman

Man, Fall season is always a beast for gamers. Mirror's Edge and Tales of Symphonia 2 are the top ones on my list though if I could, there'd be at least 6 or 7 games on that list I'd like to buy.

the_real_VIP
the_real_VIP

@ aBathingApe: Did you missed EA Q4 fiscal report?

bnazty23
bnazty23

For me most of the great games in 08 are out already so its all good but, I am looking forward to Mirrors Edge!

Chief_Kuuni
Chief_Kuuni

lots of good games out and coming out, really good time of year, loving every bit of it

Bytor60150
Bytor60150

Woot! Bring on The Lich King!! Between that, Gears2 and BK:N&B I'll be set for this holiday. I'll be picking up Fallout 3 probably next month, and no Fable2 here. The first was ok, the second looks like more of the same. I'll pass.

aBathingApe_
aBathingApe_

mikewalsh: did you miss how Madden sold more copies on the 360?

mikewalsh69
mikewalsh69

@charlie - EA made most of their profit in the last quarter from the PS3. Anyways, I'm happy with how EA are improving themselves by releasing all of these amazing titles. Since I (and I'm guessing alot of ther people) have too little money for all of these games, the rental shop will be a good friend of mine in the coming months.

jazilla
jazilla

i say Wrath sells 10 bazillion copies. That's right: 10 Bazillion.

Zanthia561
Zanthia561

i dont think they will have a stronger showing then BC. I know this cause 3 malls that r nearest to me r not opening up at midnight due to the malls owners not wanting ppl in the mall after hours and if ur like me i have to work so wont be able to pick it up till my days off bummer!

kono11
kono11

games week!epic!

Druners21
Druners21

How dare they mention an awesome game like Dead Space on the same line as the crud of gaming that is Spore.

Raisuke
Raisuke

Board meeting at Capcom: "Ok, people are getting restless waiting for Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo HD Remix and Street Fighter 4. We need to do something before we lose there attention." "We could re-release and balance 3rd Strike for XBLA/PSN. Or maybe appease the rumors that MvC2 is coming to XBLA/PSN with netplay". "NO!!! We're going to make a PINBALL game!!!! BALLS OF FURY!!!" "I have no willpower or sense of logical judgement in decision making. I agree with you."

Rebelyell7
Rebelyell7

wow charlie, that has got to be the biggest example of extreme fanboyism I've seen in a while anyways, even tho I won't be pickin up any of these this week, I will be in the near future

tjoeb123
tjoeb123

Should also mention that Banjo-Kazooie XBLA is also out this week for those who pre-ordered Nuts & Bolts.

Marder-I
Marder-I

Eternal Poison for me!!! cheers Tom

CharlieFubar
CharlieFubar

i wish companies like EA would stop wasting thier time developing for ps3... just stick to xbox and pc so you can flesh out better quality in your games. I mean the two supperior platforms constitute like 80+% of sales anyway... And you'd prolly make that up if your game got better reviews. Its win win for everyone... except sony, but who cares.

wiifan001
wiifan001

Call of Duty calls out to me!