The Week In Games [Updated]

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.


    Video no longer available, Boo

    What a big week, I'm really keen on Red Dead, can't wait for it after listening to the podcast. And look, it's Mod Nation!

    Did you get to play Red Dead too David? If so, how many hours did you get ingame?

    LoL the link for should you care for Red Dead Redemption has "This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by Take 2 Games." on it.

    Its so funny how little Take 2 and 2K even give a crap about their customers anymore.

    I'm not sure which I'll end up completing first, Red Dead Redemption or Alan Wake, but this is a fantastic week for gaming! Woo hoo!

    And your RDR video link has already been taken down. :)

      Darn it!

      Either way - that description of the video...

      If Red Dead hadn't have sold me by now or if I hadn't even heard of the game til i read this article.... that description of the video would have sold me!

      Better than GTA? I hope so... Better than GTA IV? Most probably.

      I would love to see GTA have a break and Rockstar work on games like this. Not Western and just sandbox, but expanding with genres and themes and eras. I can just tell L.A. Noire is gonna be just as sweet, but probably not as fun as RDR.

    Red Dead Redemption all the way...y'all!

    Btw David, your above 'Hmm' link has been removed by Take 2. What was it about?

    Red Dead and Alan Wake for me. Been looking forward to this week for aaaages, now I'm going to have to use my willpower to play through Alan Wake before I touch RDR. You can do it Tom!

    How much of RDR have you played hours wise David?

    Pretty big week. I'll be getting Alan Wake and Red Dead Redemption. I'll pick up Split/Second down the road and I will give POP: The Forgotten Sands and ModNation Racers a look.

    Really looking forward to Alan Wake and Red Dead Redemption. Also looking at possibly getting Split/Second when it comes down in price - played the demo and thought it was ok.

    Also David - that youtube link for Red Dead has been taken down due to copyright claims.

    Excellent! I've got a roster day this Friday too. Looking forward to putting a few hours into Red Dead, I just hope my web pre-order arrives on time.

    No home console based lovin' for me this week. As I'm of to the UK for 3 months. I'm waiting/hoping for Wario Ware DIY to make a minigame journal of my travels. Is it coming out or not?

      Best of luck on your travels! Are you headed there for work or a holiday?

        Much mooted return to origin trip to seek out my Italian heritage... and check out the rest of the continent too. No work... long service leave (has it been that long already?)

    I've been hanging out for Split Second, the demo's great, but now I'm getting more excited about Red Dead.. it looks awesome. Rekon I'll be buying a couple of games this week! Hooray!

    GRRRRRrrr. So many good choices this week, no money for games!!! Damn the 360 and ps3 exclusives. I remember back when men were men and PC games were released first!

    But, hooray for ps3 and Mod Nation!! Looking forward to it. But I've decided to pick up Skate 3 today instead. I'm a week behind here.

    Man, it sucks not having a job. :(

    If I did I'd be getting Red Dead, Alan Wake and PoP.

    I would have got RDR first day, but my shitbox of a car decided to die a few days ago. But it’s ok, this just means I’ll just give them time to iron out the issues that will undoubtedly pop up on the PS3 version.

    with the exception of the karate game, this week is full of joy!

    out of curiosity i downloaded the split/second demo on live over the weekend and quite enjoed the single level teaser. It's basically Burnout + explosions - boost. I won't be buying it till it goes on special though.

    RDR and alan wake are 2 games i have been waiting for and will be very excited to try and get my hands on soon (waits for goose to announce possible comps) lol

    I have become suprisingly excited for Alan Wake, so I will be gettin that at some point along with Mod Nation Racers and later on Split Second.

    Really not sold on Red Dead...

    Need Red Dead ... Longest anyone has had to wait for anything ever...

      That's a very bold claim.....

      what about when moses waited 40 years for red dead to come out?

        Bold but true - see I'm still waiting :)

        Did Moses think it was worth the wait?

          got 1000 gamerscore in just under 12 hours
          (moses owned an xbox woooooo)

            as i recall Moses parted the red sea and led the jews to their homeland just to kill time while waiting for red dead redemption.

    Are there reviews for Red Dead yet?
    I know there is normally an "embargo" anyone know when that is lifted?

      So far, I know of four: OPM gave it 10/10, Game Informer a 9.75, Games TM a 9 and X360 Magazine a 9.

      The guys over at have been keeping tabs (there's also some scans of the GI and Games TM reviews - the Games TM review is a much better read):

        Cheers for the heads up - great way to waste some time at work and resume the eternal wait :)

    Modnation Racers for me... Then I'll no doubt cave and go and get Red Dead as well...

    Crap, didn't know ModNation was out this week too!!! Going to have to hide that news from the missus, so i can keep the xbox to myself for Red Dead :)

      Modnats is a PS3 exclusive, so you'll be fine ;)

        Woops i meant TV, not xbox :P lol

        Sorry, that was that comment was posted BC (Before Caffine), so you'll have to forgive me :P

    Wow, what a week to pick up a brand new TV to enjoy these games on!!!!

    I think I will be picking up Mod Nation Racers to play with the wife. Red Dead for when she goes to bed and I will pick up Skate 3 for getting amped for the snowboard season!

    Ahhhh dammit, Red Dead and PoP... RDR it is :)

    Can you confirm the release date for Split/Second hasn't been pushed back to 3/6/10?

    ok... I've gone over the details and ranked the purchased based on reasons...

    1) Red Dead Redemption - I'm claiming that it will be superior to GTA IV in everyway, but it won't review as good because it's not GTA.

    2) Alan Wake - Buying for the cool looking Collector's Edition, need to get my 360 back online also

    3) Prince Of Persia : The Forgotten Sands - Really want a continuation of the 2008 reboot, but after a dev diary here and there, the game does look impressive... also will need to buy because I'm not talented enough to win one!

    4) Modnation Racers - This will be bought, but at the moment with the above games coming out, I don't feel I'll have the time and effort to put in the hours into the track editor. So will pick up my pre-order character pack, then pick it up later down the track!

    5) Split/Second : Velocity - First of all, why did they need to add "Velocity" into the name? it was fine as it was. Played the demo and it didn't hold my attention, get the feeling the races will end up the same all the time, when the route changer mechanics, it wasn't fast enough either

    6) All Star Karate - I'm behind in these franchise, I've yet to pick up All Star Cheerleader, so it's a no buy for me... :p

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