AU Shippin' Out October 18-22: Fallout: New Vegas

The apocalypse has never been so glamorous.

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The Q4 rush is well and truly under way this week, with a flurry of new releases. Highlights of the week include Fallout: New Vegas, Pro Evolution Soccer 2011, Vanquish, and EA Sports MMA.

Fallout: New Vegas is seen by many fans as a return to the series' roots because it was developed by Obsidian Entertainment, a studio manned by numerous original Fallout devs. New Vegas is being powered by the Gamebryo engine that Fallout 3 was built on, so many elements of the game should feel familiar to postapocalyptic veterans. One interesting aspect that Obsidian has added to the game is called Hardcore mode. Essentially, it sees the game take a much more realistic approach, forcing the player to take things like food, sleep, and more into account in order to keep your character combat-ready. Hardcore mode won't be for everyone, but it's sure to appeal to the dedicated Fallout fans out there. It's also worth celebrating the fact that Fallout: New Vegas made it through the Australian Classification Board without a scratch, earning itself an MA 15+ rating for strong violence, drug references, and themes.

Vanquish, on the other hand, has a very different take on the future, depicting a war between American soldiers and Russian space robots in an unorthodox take on the classic America vs. Russia formula. As has become synonymous with games developed by Platinum Games, Vanquish has a slightly crazy streak to it and stars a group of macho, cigarette-smoking US soldiers who are fighting the Russian robots for control of a solar space station. Unlike many third-person shooters these days, Vanquish is strictly a single-player affair only.

Shooters aside, we've also got two big sports games taking to the field this week, with EA Sports MMA and Pro Evolution Soccer 11. Aligning with several mixed-martial-arts promoters, the biggest of which is Strikeforce, EA Sports intends to oust THQ's UFC Undisputed as the combat sports champion of the video game arena. Pro Evolution Soccer 2011 will be released two weeks behind its competition, FIFA Soccer 11, and according to the critics, sees a return to form that the franchise was known for. Both EA Sports MMA and Pro Evolution Soccer 2011 are going up against larger and more established competitors, so competition will be fierce for consumers' dollars this Christmas.

To find out what else is out this week, check out the list below:

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October 19, 2010
Castlevania: Lords of Shadow (PS3, 360)
Pro Evolution Soccer 2011 (PS3, 360, PC)
Borderlands: Game of the Year Edition (PS3, 360, PC)

October 20, 2010
DJ Hero 2 (PS3, 360, Wii)

October 21, 2010
Fallout: New Vegas (PS3, 360, PC)
International Cricket 2010 (PS3, 360)
EA Sports MMA (PS3, 360)
Vanquish (PS3, 360)
Professor Layton and the Lost Future (DS)

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