Shippin' Out April 24-30: Darkspore

Maxis action role-playing game and IL-2 Sturmovik: Cliffs of Dover headline light week at retail as Outland makes downloadable debut.

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After a week that saw the debuts of Portal 2, Mortal Kombat, and SOCOM 4: US Navy SEALs, a comparatively light release schedule might give gamers a chance to actually play their latest acquisitions.

"They look like good, strong hands. Don't they?"

The biggest release of the week is Electronic Arts' Darkspore for the PC, the latest effort from the publisher's Maxis development studio. Inspired partly by the creature creator feature of the developer's previous title, Spore, Darkspore lets players assemble a stable of creatures with complementary super powers and use them to plow through a sci-fi action role-playing game. As in other games in the genre, boss battles, loot collection, and co-op also factor into the final product.

PC gamers will get another notable new release alongside Darkspore in Ubisoft's latest flight sim, IL-2 Sturmovik: Cliffs of Dover. Already released in Europe, the World War II dogfighter lets players get behind the controls of more than a dozen aircraft designed to replicate those from the period. However, interested parties may be cautioned to read up on the game before making a purchase, as the game has been the subject of some critical scorn.

On the downloadable front, Ubisoft's Outland makes its debut on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. The publisher has previously said Outland was inspired by "epic adventures such as the Prince of Persia series" and Treasure's vertically scrolling arcade shooter Ikaruga. In Ikaruga, players could swap the color of their ship between black and white at will; each color could absorb bullets of the same shade, allowing skilled players to weave their way through otherwise impenetrable barrages of enemy fire. Outland brings the same mechanic to a side-scrolling action game, with blue and red enemies representing the forces of light and dark.

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, APRIL 25
Airport Mania: First Flight--DS--Lemon Games

TUESDAY, APRIL 26
Man vs. Wild--X360, PS3, Wii--Crave
Remington Super Slam Hunting: Alaska--WII--Jack of All Games
Darkspore--PC--Electronic Arts
Assassin's Creed: Ultimate Collection--PC--Encore Software, Inc.
Brothers in Arms: Complete Collection--PC--Encore Software, Inc.
IL-2 Sturmovik: Cliffs of Dover--PC--Ubisoft
Outland--PS3--Ubisoft
ZEN Pinball: Sorcerer's Lair--PS3--Zen Studios

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 27
Outland--X360--Ubisoft
Nin2-Jump--X360--Cave
Trouble Witches Neo!--X360--SNK Playmore

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