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This news item is certified Tomb Raider free.

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Image credit: Eurogamer

EG's trusty Simpsons calendar informs us that it's Independence Day today, but fortunately nobody's planning to subject us to Will Smith uploading computer viruses to aliens, or a bloody Mel Gibson planting his flag in Jason Isaacs' chest. In fact, here in the UK our TV schedules are almost blank on the subject - although we might check out "And Now the Screaming Starts" around midnight, if Bo Selecta hasn't driven us to suicide. Thank God we've got games to play, eh?

And there are some mighty promising games out this week, particularly for fans of PC expansion packs. Starting with WarCraft III: The Frozen Throne, then, which offers a chillier outlook on hero-based real-time strategising, and RPG boosters Morrowind: Bloodmoon and Neverwinter Nights: Shadows of Undrentide, both of which are reportedly excellent. However, those looking for something a bit less cerebral and a bit more manly could do worse than to don waistcoats and seek out Codemasters' World Championship Snooker 2003, also allegedly out today on the PC - although we're seeing doubt cast on that now by various "delayed" listings that swore blind it would ship in under 24 hours just yesterday evening.

But our various sources are adamant LucasArts' RTX Red Rock is out today on PS2, and although it's a relative unknown (honestly, how do they expect us to deal with new franchises!?), we're more interested in it than not. Or would be, if Viewtiful Joe hadn't landed on our doormat this morning [almost three paragraphs before you mentioned it, not bad -Ed].

Surely the game that most of you have been waiting for since our write-up last week though is EyeToy: Play, the "family" game that everybody secretly wants. Whether it's the lure of wax-on, wax-off gameplay or the prospect of accidentally kicking your mate's expensive television, this one is going to be interesting to watch. We expect it'll sell pretty well, because it's a new and relatively innovative idea - like a backwards lightgun or something - but only time will tell if Sony's massive investment has paid off to any great extent. Expect to see four hundred derivatives announced by E3 2004 if anybody buys it.

Sadly though, this week is twinged with sadness as Acclaim has once again belched into life. Although we did our best to ignore their pigeon-mutilating Wimbledon stunt, or whatever the hell it was they did to promote yonks-old Virtua Tennis 2, it'd take a KY wrestling promo with Victoria Silvstedt naked in our office to get us interested in Speed Kings, SX Superstar and Summer Heat Beach Volleyball. The latter of which, by the way, seemed to fall over in the heat of our office, crashing more often than Martin's computer.

A much better idea would be to catch up with Midtown Madness 3 (sorry about the review delay, but we got a bit distracted playing it...), any goddamn extreme sports game ever or Sega's underrated Beach Spikers. Next week looks crap anyway, so you might as well buy something.

  • Chariots of War (PC)
  • Darkened Skye (PC)
  • Disney Princesses (GBA)
  • EyeToy: Play (PS2)
  • Mega Man Battle Network 3 Red/Blue (GBA)
  • Morrowind: Bloodmoon (PC)
  • Motocross Mania 2 (PSX)
  • Neverwinter Nights: Shadows of Undrentide (PC)
  • Perfect Ace! Pro Tournament Tennis (PS2, PC)
  • RTX Red Rock (PS2)
  • Speed Kings (PS2, Xbox, Cube)
  • Summer Heat Beach Volleyball (PS2)
  • SX Superstar (PS2, Xbox, Cube)
  • Tomb Raider: Angel of Darkness (PS2, PC)
  • WarCraft III: The Frozen Throne (PC)
  • World Championship Snooker 2003 (PC)

Disclaimer: All of the above release data is verified against four online stores (Amazon, GAME, Gameplay and Play) as well as our latest release schedules and, where available, publisher extranets. If it's wrong, then quite honestly it really is someone else's fault, and by the time you hit Enter we'll already be riding over your soon-to-be corpse with a monster truck called Steady Eddy, screaming obscenities that would make your mother spontaneously combust. Or, we might just make you play Tomb Raider.

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