Video game releases: 'Portal 2' and 'Mortal Kombat' expose alternate dimensions
Wednesday 13 April 2011
Portal 2's space-warping puzzles, online co-operative play, and elaborate marketing make it a must-play title;
Mortal Kombat's method of persuasion is just as immediate and hard-hitting. Meanwhile,
SOCOM: Special Forces and
Operation Flashpoint: Red River are heading for conflict with a same-day release in Europe; in North America
Red River targets a later date.
Mortal Kombat (360 PS3)
North America: April 19, Mature, $59 / $99 KE / $149 TE
Europe: April 21, 18+, €69 / €89 KE / €149 UE
UK: April 21, 18+, £45 / £69 KE
Twenty-six warriors from multiple dimensions assemble for Mortal Kombat's reboot, determined to uphold the series' reputation for gore and violence. The Kollector's Edition includes a statue, art book, and extra content codes; the Tournament Edition (aka Ultimate Edition) is contained within a working arcade-style controller.
Portal 2 (360 Mac PC PS3)
North America: April 19, E10+, $49-$59
Europe: April 21, 12+, €49-€69 / £35-£49
Japan: April 19, A (all), ¥6,090-¥7,140
Levels of expectation and excitement ride high for Portal 2's mind-bending puzzles and clever humor; hype is considered justified by virtue of the first Portal's success. Made by the company behind Left 4 Dead and Half-Life 2, the PS3 version includes a download code for the full PC game; PC, Mac and PS3 owners will be able to play together.
SOCOM 4 aka SOCOM: Special Forces (PS3)
North America: April 19, Mature, $59
Europe: April 20, 16+, €69
UK: April 22, 16+, £49
Japan: April 21, ¥5,980
Zipper Interactive applies lessons learned from the 256-player MAG to the 32-player squad-based online multiplayer for this, its seventh game in the Navy Seals action series. The open beta, downloadable from the PlayStation Store, runs until April 19.
Tales of Monkey Island (PC)
Europe: April 21, €39 (Premium), €45 (Collectors Ed.)
UK: April 8, 12+, £29 (Premium) £49 (Collectors Ed.)
Guybrush Threepwood returns in a bid to outwit pirate nemesis LeChuck. Tales' five episodes have been available as digital downloads since 2009 - these special editions present them on disc with bonus items such as the CE's drinks coaster, map, and coin.
Operation Flashpoint: Red River (360 PC PS3)
UK: April 21, £49 (360 PS3) £35 (PC)
Europe: April 21, €69 (360 PS3) €49 (PC)
North America: June 7, $59 (360 PS3) $49
It's back to real-world settings for the OFP franchise, this time dropping teams of four into a near-future Tajikistan. With revolutionaries inciting a civil war, both Chinese and American forces move in. Distinctively for a console-based military shooter, cooperative multiplayer is focal.
Section 8: Prejudice (360, others to follow)
Xbox 360: April 20 via Xbox Live Arcade, 1200 MS Points ($15 / €14 / £10)
PC: May 4, price TBA
PlayStation 3: "summer 2011" (before September)
Looking even better than 2009's under-appreciated Section 8, Prejudice offers a direct route towards heavily armored, jet-pack fueled futuristic combat. There are tanks and mechs to commandeer, and side-quests ("Dynamic Combat Missions") can activate during online matches for added variation.
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