Shippin' Out April 17-23: Portal 2, Mortal Kombat, SOCOM 4

Plentiful new release slate led by puzzle, fighting, and shooting games; Conduit 2, Xbox Live Arcade Triple Pack, Final Fantasy IV: Complete Collection also out.

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It's a busy week at retail, as a slew of high-profile new releases make their debut on Tuesday, including Valve's long-awaited puzzle game and Warner Bros.' fighter reboot.

Leading the pack this week is Valve Software's Portal 2. The game follows the events of the first Portal, which saw gamers taking on the role of a human lab rat, Chell, who used a portal gun to create interdimensional openings on ceilings, walls, and floors in an effort to escape the Aperture Science labs. Along the way, players were guided through the diabolical tests by the deceptively sincere, yet altogether sadistic, artificial intelligence known as GLaDOS.

Portal 2 puzzles retail this week.
Portal 2 puzzles retail this week.

The game will feature a single-player campaign billed as being twice as long as the original's, but the real focus is on the new multiplayer cooperative mode. The co-op mode will tell a parallel story to the single-player adventure and last roughly as long. In it, players will take control of two robots, named simply Blue and Orange, and work together to tackle their own set of portal-related problems.

Also debuting this Tuesday will be NetherRealm's gruesome fighter reboot Mortal Kombat. The game's roster will be a throwback of sorts, full of fighters pulled from the first three games in the series. There is one particularly notable exception, as the PlayStation 3 version will feature God of War protagonist Kratos as a playable character.

Gamers looking to pick up a new contemporary shooter can grab SOCOM 4: U.S. Navy SEALs this week for the PlayStation 3. The game is set in Southeast Asia after a revolution endangers a vital shipping lane similar to the Strait of Malacca. Players assume the role of the commander of a five-man squad of NATO commandos dispatched to prevent international trade from being disrupted. Their mission will last only six days, a time limit that Sony says will add urgency to the campaign.

As is a staple for the series, SOCOM 4 will have an extensive multiplayer component, allowing for teams of players to shoot it out in 32-player matches. Terrain types will include a hostile jungle and half-ruined cities.

Mortal Kombat brutalizes the PS3 and Xbox 360 on Tuesday.
Mortal Kombat brutalizes the PS3 and Xbox 360 on Tuesday.

Wii owners wishing to continue their effort through the Conduit universe can grab the often delayed Conduit 2 this week. The single-player mode of Conduit 2 will pick up the original game's alien invasion storyline, with Sega promising dynamic environments, player customization options, and giant boss enemies. As for multiplayer, Sega will introduce new co-op modes for online play, or offline with up to four players sharing a split-screen. The publisher is also promising "increased multiplayer security" for the game, in light of the cheating that undermined the online play of the original game.

On-the-go Final Fantasy fans can pick up Final Fantasy IV: The Complete Collection on Tuesday. This set includes Final Fantasy IV--with revamped visuals to take advantage of the PSP's widescreen format--as well as its epilogue, Final Fantasy IV: The After Years. The episodic series of downloadable titles was originally released in 2009 on the Wii; this will mark the first time it has been available as part of a retail product.

Gamers looking to bundle up this week can pick up the Xbox Live Arcade Triple Pack, which contains Limbo, Trials HD, and Splosion Man, as well as 160 MS points, and a 48-hour Xbox Live Gold card.

Another bundle out this week is the Prince of Persia Classic Trilogy Pack HD for the PS3, which includes Sands of Time, Warrior Within, and Two Thrones.

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.

TUESDAY, APRIL 19
Arcana Heart 3--PS3--Aksys Games
Assassin's Creed: Ultimate Collection--PC--Encore Software Inc.
Brothers in Arms: Complete Collection--PC--Encore Software Inc.
Conduit 2--Wii--Sega
Final Fantasy IV: The Complete Collection--PSP--Square Enix
Majesty 2 Collection--PC--Paradox Interactive
Mortal Kombat--PS3, X360--Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Portal 2--X360, PS3, PC, Mac--Valve Software
Prince of Persia: Classic Trilogy HD--PS3--Ubisoft
SOCOM 4: U.S. Navy SEALs--PS3--SCEA
Triple Pack: Xbox Live Arcade Compilation--X360--Microsoft Game Studios

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