The Week Ahead - 09/11/07 UK Releases
This could be considered a bit of a holding week as Assassins Creed (16/11/07) and Mass Effect (23/11/07) are just around the corner. However, as exciting as those two prospects are you'll surely be tempted to try out Infinity Ward's excellent Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, which simply crackles with explosions and excitement.<br>
Notably PS3 is beginning to see a fair few releases: Ratchet & Clank Future, Dynasty Warriors: Gundam and Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga are all decent but they're hardly the kind of games you'd play £299 for the privilege of playing. Meanwhile, the exclusive Lair is possibly the worst advertisement for Sony's console and controller to date.
The complete list of games released in the UK this week (09/11/07):
>Ben 10: Protector of Earth, PS2/DS, D3 Publisher
>Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, PC/PS3/360/DS, Activision
>Catz 2, DS, Ubisoft
>Deal or No Deal, PC/DS, Focus Multimedia
>Dynasty Warriors: Gundam, 360/PS3, Namco Bandai
>EA Playground, DS, Wii, EA
>Endless Ocean, Wii, Nintendo
>Fashion Designer Style Icon, DS, 505 Games
>Gears of War, PC, Microsoft
>Hamsterz 2, DS, Ubisoft
>High School Musical: Sing It!, PS2/DS, Disney
>Lair, PS3, Sony
>Lego Star Wars: The Compete Saga, DS/PS3/Wii/360, LucasArts
>NASCAR 08: Chase for the Cup, 360, EA
>Nicktoons: Attack of the Toybots, Wii, THQ
>Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction, PS3, Sony
>rFactor, PC, Image Space Incorporated
>The Sims 2: Teen Style, PC, EA
>Star Assault, PC, Kalypso
>The Simpsons, PSP, EA
>Tony Hawk's Proving Ground, Wii, Activision
>WWE Smackdown vs. Raw 2008, DS/PS2/PS3/PSP/Wii/360, THQ
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (PC/360/PS3/DS)
Freed from the shackles of a WWII setting the latest Call of Duty title isn't just the best looking FPS currently available but has enough gizmos and gadgets to put a James Bond movie to shame. From entering war zones in a Black Hawk chopper to donning a Ghillie suit and taking down enemies with a powerful sniper rifle Modern Warfare is also the most diverse and dramatic Call of Duty title to date.
While the single-player mission only weighs in at around six hours it's a stunning and captivating experience with some of the best soft shadowing, texture streaming and physics-based effects to grace any system. Then there's the multiplayer modes which allows players to customise their warriors to the nth degree with weapons, equipment and features from the new 'perk' system. "We want the game to play out like an entire series of 24," say Infinity Ward. Blatant marketing hype, of course, but in actuality not too far off the mark.
Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction (PS3)
As the title suggests Tools of Destruction is focussed on extravagant weapons and cool gadgets. Ten times the size of previous Ratchet & Clank outings players can now take to the air and explore the stunning environments with the aid of the vertiginous Robo-Wings, now fully manoeuvrable via the SixAxis controller. Other devices include the Gelanator, a gooey bridge building device, and the Groovinator, a weapon able to compel enemies to dance to 70s hits. If Tools of Destruction looks a cut above the competition there's good reason: it's from Resistance: Fall of Man developer, Insomniac Games, and represents the first ever second generation title to grace PS3.
Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga (PS3/360/DS/Wii)
The cute expressions, the tinkling sound when you use the Force to build objects, the delightful hidden bonuses in every nook and cranny: these are the things we love about the Lego Star Wars games, and more. Here for the first time is the full Star Wars saga done in the inimitable Danish brick style. For fact fans that mean 36 Story Mode levels including new characters, hidden bricks, power-ups and bonus stages. These include a totally revamped pod racer section from Episode I and the brand new high speed pursuit of bounty hunter Zam Wessell from Episode II. It's designed for pre-teens but if this collection can't raise smile in even the most cynical older gamer then nothing will.
Another PS3 exclusive that disappoints. Lair was meant to be a system seller but all Sony has on its hands is a system smeller. Early signs were positive and Factor 5's work on the Star Wars: Rogue Squadron games for GameCube should have given it a head start on this kind of flight combat game. However, it's the SixAxis control that lets the whole experience down leaving you with the distinct feeling that developers are going to avoid implementing motion control so wholeheartedly in the future. While the score and visuals are sumptuous bashing into rocks and caves soon gets irksome. The game is so bad retailers are already bundling it with PS3s.
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