Features

The Week Ahead - 15/06/07

Feature: It's going to get Dirty...

We're not oblivious to reader comments and over the last few weeks we've been aware that our PC coverage has been a bit weak. But there's a pretty good reason for this: apart from STALKER a few months back PC releases have been practically non-existent. At least celebrate the fact Codemasters took the decision to release Colin McRae DIRT on PC as well as Xbox 360.

Other than that this week is not a classic. There's Mortal Kombat: Armageddon on Wii to think about, obviously sporting a new motion controlled way to pummel your opponents.

Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer is released on most formats (except PC obviously) but it's probably going to be average at best. So another dry week for PS3 owners who must be wondering if that £425 was worth it.

Only the interesting Sega Presents Touch Darts provides some glimmer of innovation elsewhere, with the DS encouraging creative games month after month. Still, if you like driving games then your summer's already sown up with Forza 2 and Colin McRae: DIRT so it's not all bad.

The complete list of games released in the UK this week (15/06/07):

  • Colin McRae: Dirt, PC/Xbox 360, Codemasters
  • Dave Mirra BMX Challenge, PSP, Oxygen
  • Disney Friends, DS, Disney
  • Dragon Ball Z: Shin Budokai 2, PSP, Atari
  • Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, PS2/PS3/Xbox 360/DS/Wii, Take-2
  • Legend of the Dragon, PSP/PS2/Wii, The Game Factory
  • Mortal Kombat: Armageddon, Wii, Midway
  • Sega Presents Touch Darts, DS, Sega
  • SOCOM Fireteam Bravo 2, PSP, Sony
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Colin McRae: DIRT (Xbox 360)

Hot on the exhaust fumes of Forza 2 comes this superb mix of off-road racing and adrenaline soaked carnage. From the code we've played to date it's much more immediate than Forza 2 and while it doesn't contain the wealth of tracks and vehicles it's still a pretty compendious package. Races are based on US C.O.R.R (Championship Off-Road Racing) events and see you scrambling around in anything from Super Buggies to Pro 4 Trucks over tabletop jumps, moguls and extreme drop-offs. There are more traditional rally vehicles of course including the Mitsubishi Evo, the Subaru Impreza and McRae's own prototype R4. Handling is much improved from previous McRae titles with the effect of four wheel drive having particular impact on differing ground surfaces. In short you can really throw the cars around with exhilarating abandon. With events including Rally, Hill Climb, Rally Raid, Rally Cross and Crossover we think this is a worthy alternative to the more clinical charms of Forza Motorsport 2.

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Mortal Kombat: Armageddon (Wii)

Only because there's not much else out we thought we'd give you a quick preview of the first Wii interpretation of what was once the most controversial game on the market. In fairness, this is pretty decent with all the grisly combat moves adequately mapped to the Wiimote and nunchuck controller and there's even some freedom when it comes to delivering the trademark finishing moves. While there's no getting away from the fact that this is essentially a rehash of all the Mortal Kombat games released since Deadly Alliance back in 2002 over 60 playable characters and a completely bizarre but somehow compelling kart racing section make this fun in a mesmerising kind of way. Nothing to get excited about, but if you're into splashes of crimson and digitised squeals of pain then this will fill some kind of gap in your psyche.

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