Guess what? Halo 3 is out the week after this and publishers are running scared. Imagine releasing a game in the same window - it wouldn't really stand a chance. Like a cartoon wrestler Halo 3 is slamming onto the release schedule canvas, sending shockwaves outwards and throwing everything else onto the ropes.
So this week, while it looks like an abundant line-up, there's nothing really enticing apart from the PC-exclusive World in Conflict. In terms of trends it's interesting to see so many titles coming out on the DS, and the likes of MySims, Drawn to Life and Glory Days 2 make the PSP look a bit weak and pathetic.
But really, if there's one story this week, it's wait until next week.
The complete list of games released in the UK this week (21/09/07):
- Brunswick Bowling, PSP/Wii/PS2, 505 Games
- Cake Mania, DS, Majesco
- Drawn to Life, DS, THQ
- Glory Days 2, DS, Ghostlight
- My New Best Friends: Cats & Dogs, DS, Eidos
- MySims, DS/Wii, EA
- New York Times Crosswords, DS, Eidos
- NHL 08, 360/PS2/PC, EA
- Orochi Warriors, PS3/360, Koei
- SingStar: Rock Ballads, PS2, Sony
- Tank Battles, DS, Midas
- Warhawk, PS3, Sony
World In Conflict (PC)
To call World in Conflict a traditional RTS would be an insult to the developer, Massive Entertainment. Previously responsible for the award winning Ground Control titles, it has overhauled the format dispensing with the usually tiresome base-building and resource gathering elements and going instead for a streamlined approach focusing on action.
Players now take the role of an officer of minor importance in charge of a small number of units rather than the entire army. This focussed approach gets players involved in the thick of exhilarating skirmishes rather than viewing the conflict from afar like a dispassionate general, or at least that's the theory. With nuke strikes, four main roles to choose from (Infantry, Air, Armor and Support) and a clever points system powering all your decisions World In Conflict is a prime candidate for strategy game of the year.
This may be a multiplayer only game but it's the best reason yet to own a PS3. Modelled on Digital Illusions' Battlefield series Warhawk offers gamers huge arenas to play around in, experiment with weapons and generally blow things up.
So far it appears well balanced and the ability to go from foot, to ground vehicle to the titular acrobatic Warhawk gives the game great depth and breadth. With up to 32 players over Team Deathmatch, Territories and Capture the Flag modes games are immediately fun and offer the kind of battles capable of sucking hours from your day without warning. It's been available for download for a couple of weeks but now's your chance to get a hard copy in the shops.
MySims is already dividing opinion; between those who think it's a pale shadow of the glorious Animal Crossing and those who believe it offers more focus and variety than Nintendo's cute life sim. In the end it's probably going to come down to a matter of taste but there's no denying it mimics many of that games best features.
MySims offers more goal-oriented tasks, indeed your primary goal is to revitalise a dilapidated town by motivating the townspeople and bring business back to the region, yet something feels missing. Perhaps it's the fact money is too easy to acquire or that the mini-games get tedious too quickly. MySims is also aimed at the younger end of the market so this will partially account for its ease.
New York Times Crosswords (DS)
We should put in a little mention for this gem. With superb handwriting recognition software, over 1000 crosswords across Puzzle Me Quick!, Puzzle Week or Challenge modes and a brilliant wireless cooperative feature we think this is the best 'traditional' puzzle package on DS since Picross. And it's only £20.