Gold Rush 3/13: Condemned, Dynasty Warriors 5 Empires

Sega's maniac-whacking PC port joins Koei's reworked medieval actioner for the Xbox 360 and PS2 at the factory

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Condemned: Criminal Origins
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Today, Sega took a unique approached to letting journalists know that the PC version of its popular Xbox 360 game Condemned: Criminal Originshad gone gold. Numerous GameSpot editors received large heavy packages from the company. Inside were two-foot lengths of steel pipe covered in fake blood, with the title of the game crudely scratched into the sides.

Far from being a veiled threat to would-be negative reviewers, the unique tchotchkes were a nod to Condemned's brutal brand of gameplay. As outlined in the full review of the Xbox 360 version, it pits players against a seamy underworld overrun by homicidal maniacs. Gameplay consists of beating back opponents with a stick--and a variety of other blunt objects--with impacts punctuated by what GameSpot editors voted the best sound effects of 2005. The game is rated M for Mature and is due in stores April 11 for the price of $39.99.

If you prefer fighting off hordes of Chinese warriors, Koei announced that Dynasty Warriors 5 Empires has gone gold for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 2. The game is the first in the publisher's long-running series to be released for Microsoft's next-generation console in the US. However, it has been a regular fixture on the release calendar for Sony's current-generation machine, most recently in the form of the Dynasty Warriors 5: Xtreme Legends expansion pack.

What sets apart Dynasty Warriors 5 Empires from Dynasty Warriors 5: Xtreme Legends or, for that matter, plain old Dynasty Warriors 5? According to Koei, the game adds a number of features, including two-player co-op modes, new items, more than 200 playable characters, and 75 different policies to dictate everything from how the government runs to how its battles are fought. The game also includes an encyclopedia full of information on ancient China for those fascinated by the Dynasty Warriors setting.

The Xbox 360 version of Dynasty Warriors 5 Empires will support high-definition graphics in 720p resolution and will retail for $39.99. The PlayStation 2 version will sell for just $29.99. Both versions are rated T for Teen.

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