Quite a chunky line-up for the end of June which has traditionally been a bit of a dead week. School's practically out for summer so it's no coincidence the Harry Potter marketing machine is in full swing with Order of the Phoenix out on all formats. We haven't played much of it yet but expect it'll tick all the right boxes for anyone who isn't a muggle.
Standing proud among the fodder is the Wii version of what has to be one of the greatest videogames ever created, Resident Evil 4. And if that doesn't take your fancy then 360 owners have five releases which may tempt: The Darkness and Call of Juarez easily being the most interesting of the bunch. Indeed, PS3 owners also get the chance to play Starbreeze's macabre mafia shooter, but don't get too excited as both versions look near identical.
PC gamers get OverLord, Ghost Recon 2 and Lost Planet and there's even a couple of decent titles on handheld with More Brain Training and Hot Brain attempting to see off the early onset of senile dementia. Which is nice. So to sum up: something for everyone.
The complete list of games released in the UK this week ( 29/06/07):
- Call of Juarez , 360, Ubisoft
- Driver Parallel Lines, PC/Wii, Ubisoft
- G1 Jockey, Wii, Koei
- Harlem Globe Trotters World Tour, DS, Zoo Digital
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix , DS/PC/PS3/PSP/PS2/Wii/360, EA
- Hot Brain, PSP, Midway
- Impossible Mission , Wii/DS/PS2/PSP, System 3
- International Cricket Captain 2007, PC/PS2/PSP, Empire
- Lost Planet, PC, Capcom
- More Brain Training from Dr Kawashima: How Old is Your Brain, DS, Nintendo
- Overlord, PC/360, Codemasters
- Puzzle League, DS, DS, Nintendo
- Resident Evil 4, Wii, Nintendo
- Tenchu Z, 360, Microsoft
- The Darkness (PS3/360)
- The Sims 2 Deluxe, PC, EA
- TouchMaster, DS, Midway
- Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter 2, PC, Ubisoft
- Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Vegas, PSP, Ubisoft
- Vampire Rain, 360, Microsoft
The Darkness (PS3/360)
StarBreeze's last title, The Chronicles of Riddick on Xbox, was a brilliant fusion of visual finesse and robust, clever gameplay. This looks like it might be every bit as special. You play Jackie Estacado, a mafia hitman infested with a strange supernatural curse known only as The Darkness. Well, we call it a curse but in videogame terms it's pretty bloody exciting, allowing you to cannibalise the corpses of enemies and turn them into controllable and violent imps known as Darklings.
The game's chock full of comic-book excess and from the preview code we've seen appears to have some interesting gameplay dynamics and there's a solid first-person engine to back it all up. Aiming is delightfully accessible with dual-weilding working particularly well. It's looks bloody, exhilarating and innovative, let's just hope it lives up to the hype. Look out for the review early next week.
Resident Evil 4 (Wii)
If you're expecting a fresh Resident Evil 4 or even one with some additional content then you may be disappointed. The rest of us will luxuriate in playing through Capcom's masterpiece yet again, but this time with brilliantly integrated Remote controls. With the Nunchuck in your left hand (for movement and dodging) and the Remote in the right (for aiming) this feels extraordinarily comfortable and responsive.