New Releases: May 17th – 23rd

Your wallet is going to hate you this week. A cavalcade of stellar titles on offer, we’ve got Mods, explosions and cowboys, not to mention some new Farsi frolics. Needless to say, it’s going to be a busy time on the fun farm this week. Remember: you don’t need both kidneys to lead a full and happy life.

Split/Second: Velocity

Release date: May 21st
Platforms: PS3 / 360
Publisher: Disney Interactive Studios
Developer: Black Rock Studio

Synopsis: One part Burnout, one part The Running Man, Split/Second: Velocity allows speed freaks to tear around combustible environments for the thrill of the chase and the chance to win a reality show by converting the opposition into hot metal fireballs. Kind of like setting fire to the Big Brother house with everyone inside and then running out screaming “You’re next Davina!” in triumph. Stop smiling. You’re just as bad as I am.

Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands

Release date: May 21st
Platforms: PS3 / 360 / PSP
Publisher: Ubisoft
Developer: Ubisoft (Montreal, Quebec, Singapore, Casablanca)

Synopsis: An immediate reversal from the Prince’s most recent graphical transformation, The Forgotten Sands returns to the series’ roots both aesthetically and from a gameplay perspective. Gone is the lush, colourful watercolour-esque presentation – not to mention the helpful hand of Elika –  the acrobatic, time-flipping antics of the original royal rumbler back in its place.

The Forgotten Sands is not just a return to a popular formula of the past, however, as from a broader PoP canon standpoint, the game’s story takes place between the end of the Sands of Time and the start of The Warrior Within. We’re therefore hopeful that it goes someway to explain why the roguish, affable Prince of the first game turned into a glowering misfit of broodiness in the second. As long as it’s less combat and more exploration based, we’ll be happy.

ModNation Racers

Release date: May 21st
Platform: PS3 / PSP
Publisher: SCE
Developer: United Front Games

Synopsis: We’ve talking about it ad nauseam. We’ve reviewed it, we’ve made some awesome levels with it, we’ve even interviewed the developers about it (though that’s still coming). Now it’s time for everyone with a creative bone in their body to enjoy it.

First unveiled at E3 2009, ModNation Racers was greeted by some with one cagey cocked eyebrow. Sure, the concept was strong – who wouldn’t want to construct kart tracks in the same spirit as how we all created platform levels with LittleBigPlanet? But then the questions started. Just how powerful and intuitive would the building tools be? What will the handling be like? What about lag and load times? And would we take to our hearts the quirky Mod characters like we did a certain bouncing burlap icon like we did with Sackboy?

We’re convinced, but will you be? The proof is in the pudding, and the ingredients hit our shelves on Friday.  Read our full review here.

Red Dead Redemption

Release date: May 21st
Platform: PS3 / 360
Publisher: Rockstar Games
Developer: Rockstar San Diego

Synopsis: A spiritual successor to 2004’s Red Dead Revolver, Red Dead Redemption seemingly has more in common with Rockstar’s other headline grabbing franchise, Grand Theft Auto. Though built on the same engine and sporting some shared themes (violence, sandbox action adventure, character driven plot and a tight script), Red Dead Redemption promises to be more than a simple Rio Grande Theft Ohio with cowboys for inner-city thugs.

The shooting system for example has been given a thorough overhaul, with the Dead Eye bullet-time mechanic allowing players to pick off surly banditos at will. Plagued with a troubled (and expensive) development cycle, early reviews suggest the title is an instant classic. One thing’s for sure: Rockstar know how to make big and brash gaming experiences, and this looks to be the start of something wonderful.

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Please note: while every attempt is made to get both the dates accurate and every applicable game included, we are not infallible and mistakes will be made. Feel free to mention any omissions or corrections in the comments below. We’ll endeavour to correct the above and even thank you personally. We’re good like that. Finally, all dates are the official EU dates. Actual release dates in your country may vary to the dates shown above.