Among upcoming video game releases: Troubled author Alan Wake finds more than he bargained for in the dark town of Bright Falls, gunslinger John Marston roams the Wild West in Red Dead Redemption, and Split Second gets the jump on May's two other racing games. Don't forget that Super Mario Galaxy 2 is all set to burst onto store shelves.

Alan Wake (360)
Release date: North America, May 18. Europe, May 14.
A thriller set in a sleepy lakeside town whose inhabitants hide an ominous secret, Alan Wake is the reclusive fiction writer searching for his missing wife as a creepy novel comes to life before his eyes. Though not quite perfect it's certainly been very well received, with 9/10s from C&VG, Destructoid and IGN among others.
Price: €59.99 / $59.99

Red Dead Redemption (360, PS3)
Release date: North America, May 18. Europe May 21.
Not just Grand Theft Auto with horses and cowboys, there are plenty of diversions to distract ex-outlaw John Marston on his mission to protect his family from his old gang leader. There's also an online multiplayer allowing up to eight pals to posse up and roam the old American landscape, on the hunt for wildlife and lowlife.
Price: $59.99 / €59.99

Split Second (360, PS3) - aka Split Second: Velocity in Europe
Release date: North America, May 18. Europe, May 21.
Bombastic Hollywood budgets combine with spectacular motorsports in Split Second, producing a near-future racing tournament in which roadside objects (from oil drums to monumental buildings) are rigged to explode. A free three-lap demo of the game's Airport Terminal level is available via Xbox Live and the PlayStation Store.
Price: $59.99 / €59.99 (360 PS3), $39.99 / €49.99 (PC)

ModNation Racers (PS3, PSP)
Release date: North America, May 25. Europe, May 21.
Mario Kart Wii for the PlayStation 3? It very well could be. With a Track Studio allowing players to conjure up courses before hurtling round them with friends and rivals, ModNation's been positively recieved, picking up 9/10s from IGN and The Sixth Axis, and 8/10s from IGN UK, Edge and VideoGamer.
Price: $59.99 / €69.99 (PS3), $29.99 / €29.99 (PSP)

Super Mario Galaxy 2 (Wii)
Release date: North America May 23. Europe, June 11.
It should really be called Super Mario Galaxy to the power of 2, as it's really just more of the same with some extra features - but 2007's Super Mario Galaxy was so accomplished there's nothing to worry about here.
Price: $49.99 / €49.99

Blur (360, PS3, Win PC)
Release date: North America, May 25. Europe, May 28.
UK-based Bizarre Creations combines the power-ups of Wipeout with the stylish driving of their own Project Gotham Racing series, boasting a bevy of licensed vehicles for this arcade-style racer. A preview taste of the multiplayer mode is available for Xbox 360 owners with online access.
Price: €69.99 / $59.99 (360, PS3), €59.99 / $39.99 (PC)

No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle (Wii)
Release date: Europe, May 28. North America, already released Jan 26.
The lightsaber-brandishing loudmouth, Travis Touchdown, returns for another equally satirical and lewd lampooning of violent videogames in No More Heroes 2. Find within more weapons, moves, characters, and enemies built on the same frantic, off-the-wall humor as in the first game. The North American release got 4/5 from Giant Bomb, A- from 1UP, 8.5 from GameSpot.
Price: $29.99 / €39.99