Video game releases: 'Black Ops - Escalation,' 'Motorstorm: Apocalypse,' 'Thor'

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The Independent Tech

A new map pack for Call of Duty: Black Ops, a North American release for Motorstorm: Apocalypse, and a video game tie-in for late April movie Thor are all among upcoming video game releases.

Call of Duty: Black Ops Escalation Pack (360 via download)
Worldwide: May 3, Mature / 18+ / D (18), 1200 points ($15 / €14 / £10 / ¥1,800)

Five maps for the online multiplayer are included in Black Ops' second content pack. Four are competitive - Zoo, Hotel, Convoy and Stockpile. The fifth is a co-operative zombie mode map made in homage to horror director George Romero.

MotorStorm: Apocalypse (PS3)
North America: May 3, Teen, $59
Japan, Europe: C (15) / 16+, less than ¥5,980 / €60 / £50

Third PS3 game in the MotorStorm racing series and the first to take to an urban environment, with a variety of new vehicles to grapple with amidst the rubble of a crumbling coastal city. Already released in Europe and Japan after delays due to the recent Japanese earthquakes.

Thor: God of Thunder (360 3DS DS PS3 Wii)
North America: May 3, Everyone 10+ - Teen, $35-$59
Europe: April 29, 12+ to 16+, €40-€65 / £29-£49

Hammer-wielding Norse god Thor has to deal with frost giants, trolls, and his mischevious brother Loki. Stars of the Thor movie Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston, lend their voices to the game.

Virtua Tennis 4 (360 PS3 Wii)
North America: May 10, $39-$49
Europe: April 29, 3+, €50-€65 / £39-£49

Gonzalez, Wozniacki and del Potro are among the new stars joining established pros such as Nadal, Federer, Williams and Sharapova. A four season career mode is augmented by character creation and publicity management. Supports the optional use of Kinect, Move and WiiMotion Plus.

Brink (360 PC PS3)
North America: May 10, Teen, $59
Europe: May 13, 16+, €49-€69 / £35-£49
Japan: May 26, D (17), ¥6,474

Generating and maintaining a considerable buzz since early showings in 2009, Brink mixes frantic team-based shooting ( Team Fortress 2) with free-flowing parkour ( Mirror's Edge).

Lego Pirates of the Caribbean (360 3DS DS PC PS3 PSP Wii)
North America: May 10, Everyone 10+, $29-$49
Europe: May 12, 7+, €19-€59
UK: May 13, 7+, £34-£49

Collecting four Pirates of the Carribean films in one game, including late May's On Stranger Tides. Jack Sparrow's Lego-like form will be joined by more than 70 major and minor characters from the quadrilogy.