DeathSpank, Alien Breed, Serious Sam sequels saturate XBLA

Xbox Live Update: Microsoft offers array of pre-GameFeast appetizers for downloadable game service as Tomb Raider: Anniversary and Call of Duty: World at War join Games on Demand lineup.

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The first course of the Xbox 360 Game Feast doesn't officially arrive until the September 29 release of Hydrophobia for Xbox Live Arcade, but Microsoft is giving gamers a chance to ruin their appetites this week with a trio of new downloadable sequels.

DeathSpank: Thongs of Virtue leads the Xbox Live charge Wednesday, as the second Hothead Games title featuring the titular hero arrives a scant two months after the original. Selling for 1,200 Microsoft points ($15), Thongs of Virtue was actually completed before the original DeathSpank was released, with Secret of Monkey Island creator Ron Gilbert contributing both titles before leaving Hothead in April. The development team focused on adding variety to the original game's formula and added more bosses, a new character for use in cooperative play, and a wealth of new environments.

DeathSpank reloads on Live Arcade.
DeathSpank reloads on Live Arcade.

Team 17's third-person shooter Alien Breed 2: Assault also arrives tomorrow. Inspired by the original Amiga shooter Alien Breed, the Worms developer has been making spiritual successors starting with last year's Alien Breed: Evolution and continuing with June's launch of Alien Breed: Impact on the PC. For Assault, the studio is splitting the game into a single-player campaign and a Survivor mode playable alone or cooperatively, both locally and online. Alien Breed 2: Assault will sell for 800 Microsoft points ($10).

The third sequel added to Live Arcade this week is the Croteam first-person shooter remake Serious Sam HD: The Second Encounter. Originally released in 2002, The Second Encounter introduced a sniper rifle, a flamethrower, and a chainsaw to Sam's arsenal; five more enemy types; a trio of new bosses; and three diverse regions to explore/blow up. The game also packed in a co-op mode for four players to fight through a dozen levels and a handful of multiplayer Versus modes. When it hits Xbox Live, The Second Encounter will sell for 1,200 Microsoft points ($15).

This week's slate of Xbox Live additions isn't limited to stand-alone Arcade games. The Games on Demand library will grow with the addition of Eidos' Tomb Raider: Anniversary and Activision's Call of Duty: World at War. While the 2007 remake of the original Tomb Raider received retail releases on a number of systems, it was only available for the Xbox 360 as episodic downloadable content for Tomb Raider: Legend. World at War is the most recent installment in the popular first-person shooter series developed by Treyarch, the studio behind the upcoming Call of Duty: Black Ops.

Finally, this week sees the release of the Liars and Cheats downloadable content pack for Red Dead Redemption. Selling for 800 Microsoft points ($10), the pack adds goods for the title's single- and multiplayer components. The content brings new multiplayer horse races with mounted combat, an attack-and-defend multiplayer mode called Stronghold, 15 new multiplayer characters, and multiplayer versions of Liars Dice and poker. The Liars and Cheats Pack also adds the explosive rifle, which can be used in both single-player and multiplayer.

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