Video game releases: 'L.A. Noire', 'The Witcher 2'

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The Independent Tech

1940s crime thriller L.A. Noire and eastern European swashbuckling adventure The Witcher 2 are shaping up to be two of the biggest games of the next few weeks and, potentially, of the year.

L.A. Noire (360 PS3)
North America: May 17, Mature, $59
Europe: May 20, 18+, £45 / €59
Japan: July 7, Z (18+), ¥7,770

Another sure blockbuster from the Rockstar stable ( Grand Theft Auto, Red Dead Redemption) and noted for its characters' tremendously lifelike faces, L.A. Noire is lighter on gunplay and with an emphasis on investigating crime in 1940s America.
http://www.rockstargames.com/lanoire

The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings (PC)
Worldwide: May 17, Mature / 18+
Premium Edition, $49 / €49 / £35
Collector's Edition, $129 / €99 / £89

Expect an engrossing, detailed romp through medieval eastern Europe from this promising sequel. Graphically impressive, carefully crafted, and with combat balanced by brain-teasing moral choices, preview material indicates this could be one of 2011's finest.
http://www.thewitcher.com

Dead or Alive: Dimensions (3DS)
Japan: May 19, C (15+), ¥6,090
Europe & UK: May 20, 16+, £39 / €45
North America: May 24, Teen, $39

The first Nintendo outing for Dead or Alive's fighting franchise. Featuring 25 characters, dozens of unlockable costumes, and a few surprises from other Team Ninja games ( Ninja Gaiden, Metroid: Other M).
http://teamninja-studio.com/doadimensions

DiRT 3 (360 PC PS3)
North America: May 24, Teen, $49-$59 / $299 with RC car
Europe & UK: May 24, 12+, £29-£49 / €39-€69

Building on the impressive Dirt 2, this third iteration introduces Ken Block's freestyle Gymkhana event alongside gorgeous on- and off-road rallying in Europe, Africa and North America.
http://www.codemasters.co.uk/games/?gameid=3239

Sims 3: Generations (Mac PC)
North America: May 31, Teen, $39
Europe: June 2, 12+, €39
UK: June 3, 12+, £29

Expanding upon Sims 3 - which is required in order to enjoy this add-on - Generations corrals some of the best ideas from The Sims 2's extra content packs, introducing pivotal events for Sim children, teens, young adults, parents, and grandparents.
http://www.thesims3.com/game/ep4

Hunted: The Demon's Forge (360 PC PS3)
North America: May 31, Mature, $49-$59
Europe & UK: June 3, 18+, £35-£49 / €49-€59
Japan: June 23, C (15+), ¥7,980

Looking set to beat competitors Dungeon Siege III and Lord of the Rings: War in the North to market, Hunted presents itself as a medieval mix between Gears of War's gnarled graphics and Lara Croft's latest two-player adventure.
http://www.huntedthegame.com

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