Are you sick of games that feel more like rollercoaster rides than videogames? Of games that move at the pace of some Hollywood action flick and don't let you catch your breath? I'm sick of them.
It's heartening to see a developer realise that pacing isn't about hurtling at breakneck speed through a series of ever-increasingly explosions. Sometimes we find ourselves better immersed in a virtual world when we're given a moment to look around and to take our time.
That's the vibe I get from Red Dead Redemption. Sure, it's got plenty of shoot-outs and saloon brawls, and its fair share of train-side chase sequences and horse-back set-pieces. But it's also got plenty of downtime, if you choose to enjoy it.
The thrill of successfully assaulting that bandit-held fort is much greater if you spent the previous night sleeping under the stars before watching the sun rise over the desert bluffs.
Red Dead is my highlight this week, but there's plenty of really good stuff elsewhere. How are you planning on coping with five worthwhile purchases this week?
UPDATE: THQ has confirmed that Split/Second has had to make an unscheduled pitstop and won't be out this week. Expect it first week of June.
New releases for the w/c May 17:
Alan Wake (360) What Is It? Suspense-filled third-person shooter from the makers of Max Payne and exclusive to the Xbox 360. Should You Care? This is survival horror where combat is central to the enjoyment rather than being an unwanted chore.
All Star Karate (Wii) What Is It? The Karate Kid turned into a series of waggle-based mini-games. Should You Care? Well, you can catch flies...
ModNation Racers (PS3, PSP) What Is It? Kart racing action where you can create your own racer, kart and tracks. Should You Care? If you found LittleBigPlanet's creation tools intimidating, this is far better suited to the novice designer.
Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands (360, PS3, PSP, Wii, DS) What Is It? Ubisoft rewinds time to 2003 when the Sands of Time came. And makes a sequel. Should You Care? Just pretend the three intervening PoP games never existed.
Red Dead Redemption (360, PS3) What Is It? Rockstar's tried-and-true sandbox gameplay heads to the wild west. Should You Care? Hmm. (Youtube has taken down video some player made of Marston lassoing and hog-tying a nun before leaving her on the train tracks to get splattered.)
Split/Second: Velocity (360, PS3) What Is It? Arcade racing action where you can destroy the environment, taking out opponents and opening up new routes. Should You Care? For those who demand some spectacle with their powersliding.