Weekly video game releases: 'Alpha Protocol', 'Backbreaker', 'Sims 3: Ambitions'

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The Independent Tech

Among upcoming video game releases: Alpha Protocol takes themes from the Bond and Bourne films and brings them to PC, 360 and PS3; Backbreaker targets realistic tackling as its unique approach to American Football; The Sims 3 receives a new batch of additional content in the form of the career-focused Ambitions pack.

Alpha Protocol (Windows PC, 360, PS3)
Release: North America, June 1. Europe, May 28.
An action-packed globe-trotting modern spy story set in the action-packed mold of the Bourne and Bond films or the 24 TV series, combined with the conversational choices and character development of role-playing games. Its significance comes from the developers' rich heritage and their marquee project, Fallout: New Vegas, due later in 2010. Many UK retailers appear determined to sell the PC version at under £18 (€21) so those within the EU may like to consider sourcing their copy from the island nation's export-friendly web shops.
Price: €54.99 / $49.99 (PC), €69.99 / $59.99 (360, PS3)

Backbreaker Football (PS3 360)
Release: North America, June 1. Europe, June 25.
The tech behind Backbreaker is the same that helped power animation in Grand Theft Auto IV, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, and Red Dead Revolver. Instead of integrating it into other companies' games, here NaturalMotion make their own  debut with an American Football game, aiming for a crunching realism when it comes to those thumping tackles.
Price: $49.99 / €39.99

Sims 3: Ambitions (Mac PC)
Release: North America, June 1. Europe, June 4.
A substantial expansion for one of Electronic Arts' best sellers in 2009, Ambitions allows greater insight into the careers of the game's virtual people. Those directed career choices can then be brought to bear on each Sim's home neighborhood in their various capacities as architects, stylists, inventors, private investigators, or even ghost hunters for example. The Anniversary Edition comes with a book that looks back on The Sims' development and some design history.
Price: $39.99 / €39.99
Anniversary Edition: €44.99

Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker (PSP)
Release: North America, June 8. Europe, June 17.
Hideo Kojima, mastermind behind the Metal Gear Solid series that's as silly as it is serious has come up with a multiplayer spin on the series. Up to four PSP owners can take part in the same game, sneaking about in this prequel that's set during the delicate nuclear tension of the 1970s. Peace Walker is also bundled with selected new PSPs, and Japanese manufacturer HORI are busy producing an official accessory set that includes a protective PSP pouch, dog tags, and a code to unlock an extra character. There's also a promotional free to play web game, " Piece Walker".
Price: $39.99 / €39.99
Accessory Set: $24.99 / €24.99
PSP bundle: $199.99

Green Day: Rock Band (360 PS3 Wii)
Release: June 8
No previous Rock Band games are required for this special version of the Rock Band party game (but some of the special instrument-shaped controllers would help). 47 tracks from six of the American pop-punk trio's albums are on the disc to play and sing through with friends, including all of 2004's American Idiot, and most of 1994's breakthrough album Dookie and 2009's recent effort 21st Century Breakdown. The 'Plus' version includes those six remaining 21st Century Breakdown tracks.
Price: $59.99 / €59.99 (360 PS3), €49.99 / €39.99 (Wii)
Green Day Plus: $69.99 (360 PS3)

Super Mario Galaxy 2 (Wii)
Release: Europe, June 11. North America, released May 23.
An earlier North American release treats European consumers to a wealth of critical praise for SMG2. Though once again Mario sets off to rescue Princess Peach from the horrible Bowser, almost everything about this appears to feel fresh: "A megaton explosion of ideas" (Wired), "by far the tastiest audiovisual treat on Wii" (Eurogamer), "huge, brilliant, and gorgeous" (The Escapist), and a game in which the gimmicks never run out (Edge). Giant Bomb noted its "consistently inventive level design", and Games Radar appreciated the simple, understandable controls. According to review aggregators Metacritic and Game Rankings, SMG2 is now the best-reviewed Wii game ever.
Price: €49.99 / $49.99