This week's release list is slight but bright, and headlined by the most eagerly anticipated of all first person shooters - Free Radical's monkey-packed launch title follow-up, TimeSplitters 2, which appears on both PS2 and Xbox (with a Cube version still to come). We thought a lot of this on first impressions, and you certainly won't be disappointed if you risk avoiding our review and plough some hard-earned into it this morning.
Other prominent titles are spread quite evenly across the various console formats and PC platform. Thoughtful gamers can pick up CDV's Cossacks: Back to War, a standalone expansion which includes more than 85 wars to fight and thousands of units to command, or go for RollerCoaster Tycoon 2, the sequel to Chris Sawyer's magnificent theme park 'em up. RollerCoaster Tycoon 2 doesn't exactly clamber the evolutionary ladder, but it does take a sensible horizontal leap, and should please fans of the original.
But not everyone wants to organise units and tend to the needs of the whinging, theme park-going public. Instead, you could opt for this week's other first person shooter of note; No One Lives Forever 2: A Spy in H.A.R.M's Way. The original NOLF was a surprisingly amusing and enjoyable first person shooter with a fun narrative in the Austin Powers sense of the secret agent yarn. The sequel takes a leap forward graphically and aims much higher with the storyline and design, although despite the popularity of a teaser demo, it might be an idea to wait and see how the game sustains itself.
Heavy-hitters are no stranger to Xbox, and none strike harder than Rage's long-awaited Rocky. Easily their best game in a long time, Rocky boasts a strong single player game which takes you along the course of the five films, and you can unlock virtually any fighter from any of the films, and even pit Rocky I-V against another variation on himself. This one is getting a lot of press attention and critical acclaim, and if you're a fan of the wordless wonder's cinematic adventures then weaving your own sports training montage on Xbox is probably a good plan.
Mopping things up this week on the Cube is Take-Two's Smuggler's Run 2: Warzones, an enhanced version of the generally excellent PS2 game, and the Infogrames-published Sega Soccer Slam, which is supposedly due out today, although we've heard reports that the PS2 and Xbox versions (out last week) were tricky to locate. If you spot it, do let us know.
Finally, Kelly Slater's Pro Surfer (Kelly being a bloke, disappointingly) appears on PS2, Cube, Xbox and GBA. This one has garnered varying degrees of critical acclaim, so you might want to wait - we'll bring you our thoughts on the Cube version of the game very soon. We're not sure if Activision is bundling the demo of Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4 with the PS2 version of the game as they did in the States, but as they haven't made a big deal of it, one would imagine the answer is no.
New Releases - PS2Kelly Slater's Pro SurferNHL 2003Riding SpiritsTimeSplitters 2CubeKelly Slater's Pro SurferSega Soccer SlamSmuggler's Run 2: WarzonesXboxDeathrowKelly Slater's Pro SurferRockyTimeSplitters 2PCArchangel Barbie As Rapunzel Battle of Britain - Xplosiv Cossacks: Back to WarEmergency 2: The Ultimate Fight For Life Motocross Madness 2 - Xplosiv No One Lives Forever 2 - A Spy in H.A.R.M's Way Pro Train 2 Pusher RollerCoaster Tycoon 2 Starlancer - Xplosiv WarCraft III Collector's EditionGBABlack Belt ChallengeKelly Slater's Pro SurferMega Man Battle Network 2 Penny Racers Who Wants to be a Millionaire AdvancePSX Firebugs Related Feature - UK Release Date List