The crucial holiday sales quarter kicked off last week with the launch of Rage and Dark Souls, but the biggest titles of the frenzied buying period are still to come. This week offers some prime picks of its own with Forza 4, Dead Rising 2: Off the Record, and Ace Combat: Assault Horizon.
Forza Motorsport 4 is at the front of the pack this week. Turn 10's Forza series is a touchstone of simulation racing on the Xbox 360, and it has been a full two years since Forza 3. Kinect support is a first for the franchise as well, with Forza 4 offering in-race head tracking, voice-controlled menus, and a virtual showroom feature allowing a close-up look at two dozen of the 500-plus cars in the game.
Microsoft and Turn 10 are also introducing a $30 season pass that will net players access to six downloadable content packs slated to hit between the game's release and April 2012. A demo is now available via Xbox Live.
Gamers who are in the mood for more zombie-slaying action this fall are in luck because Capcom is set to deliver just that. Dead Rising 2: Off the Record for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 marks the return of fan-favorite Frank West. Arguably the most famous wartime photographer in games, Frank is heading to Chuck Greene's turf to provide a different perspective on the events of the ill-fated Fortune City.
Story-infused dogfighting is back this week with Ace Combat: Assault Horizon, but it's not all about jets this time. Helicopters are a new addition that look to offer a fresh spin on Namco Bandai's aerial action series on the Xbox 360 and PS3.
Billed as a living storybook, the Kinect-powered Once Upon a Monster sees players engaging in a series of minigames to help a lovable group of monsters solve their problems. Much like the show, the Sesame Street characters are sure to impart a few life lessons along the way as well.
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.
MONDAY, OCTOBER 10
Red Dead Redemption: Game of the Year Edition--X360, PS3--Rockstar Games
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 11
Ace Combat: Assault Horizon--X360, PS3--Namco Bandai Games
Dead Rising 2: Off the Record--X360, PS3, PC--Capcom
Dragon Age II: Mark of the Assassin--X360, PS3, PC--Electronic Arts
Forza Motorsport 4--X360--Microsoft Game Studios
Gabrielle's Ghostly Groove--3DS--Natsume
Go Vacation--Wii--Namco Bandai Games
Hulk Hogan's Main Event--X360--Majesco Games
Imagine Fashion Designer--3DS--Ubisoft
Kinectimals: Now with Bears--X360--Microsoft Game Studios
Marvel Super Hero Squad: Infinity Gauntlet--3DS--THQ
Michael Phelps: Push the Limit--X360--505 Games
Rune Factory: Tides of Destiny--PS3, Wii--Natsume
Sesame Street: Once Upon a Monster--X360--Warner Bros. Interactive
Sideway: New York--PS3--Sony Online Entertainment
Wipeout 2--X360, PS3, Wii, 3DS, DS--Activision Blizzard
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 12
1001 Touch Games--DS--Maximum Family Games
Blackwell Deception--PC--Wadjet Eye Games
Crimson Alliance: Vengeance Pack--X360--Certain Affinity
Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet: Shadow Hunters--X360--Fuelcell Games
Orcs Must Die--PC--Robot Entertainment
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 13
Batman: Arkham Asylum--Mac--Feral Interactive
Might & Magic: Heroes VI--PC--Ubisoft
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 14
Rugby Challenge--PC--Sidhe Interactive