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Xbox Live Update: Star Raiders blasts off tomorrow

Microsoft's online platform gets Atari reboot game and Gatling Gears on Wednesday; Games on Demand welcomes new Operation Flashpoint, Dirt 2, Velvet Assassin, Vanquish.

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This week, Microsoft loads up its virtual marketplace with new content ranging from an Atari revival title to SouthPeak's stealth action game.

NASA is planning to launch STS-134 on May 16, but gamers themselves can blast off tomorrow via Star Raiders (800 MS points, or $10) on the Xbox Live Arcade, according to a tweet from Microsoft's director of Xbox Live programming Larry "Major Nelson" Hryb.

Besides having upgraded graphics, the new Star Raiders will have an all-new, episodic storyline. In terms of gameplay, it will retain many elements from the original, including galactic tactical maps and space warps, but it will add new elements, such as customizable spaceships and "radical battle transformations."

Star Raiders comes back to life tomorrow on XBLA.
Star Raiders comes back to life tomorrow on XBLA.

Also debuting on the Xbox Live Arcade tomorrow will be Gatling Gears (1,200 MS points, or $15), a twin-stick shooter set in the steampunk sci-fi Mistbound universe. In the game, players will dodge sinkholes, fight off walker units, and battle against clans in an effort to defeat an evil corporation.

Switching to the Games on Demand page, four new titles are available to download today, the first of which is military first-person shooter Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising ($20). Also available now in the hub is Codemasters' off-road racing game Dirt 2 ($30).

The last two Games on Demand entries out today are SouthPeak's stealth action game Velvet Assassin ($20) and Sega's sci-fi third-person shooter Vanquish ($40).

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