Shippin' Out May 29-June 2: Half-Life 2: Episode One, Hitman: Blood Money

Valve brings its famous franchise into episodic territory, and Agent 47 looks to add to his greatest hits in a holiday-shortened week of releases.


The summer movie season kicked off in a big way with the Memorial Day weekend opening of X-Men III: The Last Stand (which racked up almost $123 million over the four-day stretch). While the holiday may have shortened this week's release calendar a bit, there's still a small slate of new titles scheduled to hit shelves and hold gamers' collective attention span heading into the summer season of blockbuster movies.

The biggest release of the week has to be the long-anticipated Half-Life 2: Episode One, one of the first experiments in episodic content using a top-tier franchise. As the title suggests, Episode One is the first in a series of add-on packs for Valve's first-person shooter. It expands the series' focus beyond Gordon Freeman and features a more prominent role for the character of Alyx. The game will be available both in a boxed retail version and in a digitally distributed form over Valve Software's Steam service.

The next noteworthy title on offer this week is Eidos' Hitman: Blood Money. Developed by Io Interactive (Hitman, Freedom Fighters), Blood Money puts a new series of contract killings in front of the merciless Agent 47. For those interested but unsure about dropping the money to secure Agent 47's services, demos of the Xbox 360 and PC versions of the game are readily available. Xbox 360 owners take note: Blood Money is the last 360 game set for retail release before it enters a GameCube-like state of hibernation for the month, with THQ's MotoGP 2006 being the only new release planned for June.

It's also a big week for Orbital Media, developer of the critically acclaimed Game Boy Advance title Racing Gears Advance. The company is continuing its support of the GBA with Juka and the Monophonic Menace, but it's also supporting the DS, with versions of Scurge: Hive releasing this week for both of Nintendo's portable formats.

This week's new releases are listed below (list taken from retailer information--actual dates may vary).

May 30, 2006
Hitman: Blood Money (PC, Xbox, Xbox 360, PS2)
Stacked (PC)
Soldier Elite (PC)
Miss Spider Harvest Time Flop and Fly (DS)

May 31, 2006
Puzzle Challenge: Crosswords & More (PS2, PSP)
Stacked (PS2, Xbox)
Backyard Baseball 2007 (GBA)

June 1, 2006
Half-Life 2: Episode One (PC)
Surrender? Nuts! (PC)
IHRA Sportsmen Edition (PC)
Scurge: Hive (DS, GBA)
Juka and the Monophonic Menace (GBA)

June 2, 2006
City Life (PC)

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Avatar image for megaunit

I dont know if im the only one but I saw some videos of Bloodmoney for 360, im not sure if they are using the xbox version of the game to show as the 360 version but the graphics dont look anything near as the other past games that have come out for xbox360.

Avatar image for linegrinds

not an impressive list

Avatar image for NeoJedi

Half-Life 2 baby! Yeah!

Avatar image for tuff_gong92

Both great games!

Avatar image for SavoyPrime

Nothing of interest for me this week.

Avatar image for pwnr

Wow. I never really thought things got released that often. Too bad that I have to wait until I get a new computer to get Half-Life 2: Episode 1.

Avatar image for billigloo

still no okami

Avatar image for xenomorph77

Okay, new info about Scurge: Hive, and Juka: the game is done, but they are having some trouble with the distribution side. The game will not be released in June or even July. One of the Orbital Media folks posted on their message board that they will have a press announcement about the release date in a few weeks.

Avatar image for xenomorph77

I've been waiting for Scurge: Hive for too long. I'm hoping that it does get released, but I doubt that it will be released Thursday. There has been no new information concerning the game since February when Orbital Media announced that it would be released sometime in May or June. Even their employees have stopped visiting their own message board.

Avatar image for Oilers99

Boo. Orbital isn't shipping their games this week after all.

Avatar image for comthitnuong

its the bloooood money

Avatar image for billysea

Miss Spider Harvest Time Flop and Fly (DS) "Flop" and Fly?

Avatar image for SilvanNL

Cant wait for the next halflife :)

Avatar image for revil2

I'm gonna rent Hitman and stick to watching movies on my 360 this summer. I can't wait till August... Dead Rising. :)

Avatar image for alishareef

What ?!! Nothing for the Gamecube ?? Why has the Gamecube gone into hibernation ??

Avatar image for alberto2045

yeah man finally

Avatar image for eljono

cmon 360 wtf i havce a system and no games wow moto gp.... hitman wow....15 hours of gameplay worthy of a rent..too bad i dont rent games...i need a gamefly account

Avatar image for kambion313

pass on hitman hooray on halflife

Avatar image for ZeroGravX

HL2:E1 tomorrow! Can't wait! Can't wait!!!

Avatar image for paradyme777

Still not sure but might pick up Hitman in a coming week or two.

Avatar image for mini-attacks

for people who absolutely need gaming every waking minute (and have a ps2 but not a psp), remember: 6/6/06=Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories for PS2. and whenever an angry, adolescent gamer says something like "NO GAMES FOR THE GAMECUBE , ANOTHER PROOF THAT NINTENDO SUX," an angel loses its wings.

Avatar image for Lovegreen

Go hitman! :-D

Avatar image for esmarsu

It looks interesting! Let

Avatar image for chrisdojo

half life rox.

Avatar image for thatguytony

If the Hitman demo is any indication of the whole games quality I'll definitely be picking it up.

Avatar image for automaticsnake

I hope HL2: Episode 1 is good.

Avatar image for faizali86

no more games for a month for 360? bad news im getting hl:ep 1 and hbm for sure.

Avatar image for EvanO_O

Half life 2 episode 1 and Blood Money are gonna rule.

Avatar image for jakeboudville

so many great games for me to get this week

Avatar image for gt4freak1985

man do i want halflife 2 episode one, i had to go back and replay hl2 after i got my 7800gt oc. i beat it on a ati radeon 9200 256m pci in dx8. Its a whole new game in dx9 and now with hdr its a nerds wet dream!

Avatar image for NightRain

Getting none of these but I would pick up HL2: Ep1 if I had HL2. :(

Avatar image for Sweendrix

I'm sure that Oblivion can hold me over it is literally endless, endlessly awesome! GC like state of hibernation...pretty funny.

Avatar image for decebal

Blood money for pc rulez

Avatar image for Oilers99

Let's hope Orbital's games actually ship.

Avatar image for LordGamer0001

hitman looks like a good one.

Avatar image for Poltergeist13

The demo was pretty good (Hitman: BM). It's definately a training mission, but it appears you'll have alot of options on how to go about the missions. I'm stoked.

Avatar image for acamike

No more 360 games for a long time.... bummer...

Avatar image for WarVengeance

mehh so-so games nothing worth purchasing except maybe half life 2 ep 1 maybe

Avatar image for xoverkillx

Hmm I'm going to rent hitman

Avatar image for i_love_my_ds

so starts the summer video-game drought.......

Avatar image for DS_fan_atic

I don't need a 'new' GCN game every month, the system has plenty of great games as it is. Besides the DS has no sign of slowing down.

Avatar image for Dakotacs

Very nice. Ep1 is so close...

Avatar image for jasonmacrillo

I dont care,, only 6 months to wii :)

Avatar image for ghostadv

I sure took Orbital Media long enough to release Scurge

Avatar image for rynmls

finish the review for hitman so that i can know if i'll buy it...

Avatar image for xbox_gamer1

Nothing I will pick up from these weeks.

Avatar image for blackIceJoe

nice line up I for one know I have to try Hitman: Blood Money for the 360.

Avatar image for moocow21

"GameCube-like state of hibernation" ROFL, i thought the same thing latinchemist. Anyways, can't wait for Episode One. I think I already have it preloaded & I'm planning on getting it the day it comes out.

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