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What's New? (New releases roundup)

That man begins.

Relating new game releases to current affairs is often difficult, but this week was something of a gift. Not only, on this week of Medal of Honor's European Assault, has Tony Blair been busy tackling Europe on the subject of the UK's "rebate" - surely the international equivalent of signing on for dole cheques whilst working at Costcutters - but apparently we've even got basking sharks fleeing, nay, deserting England in favour of Scotland where they hope to find different, er, European salt.

Speaking of European assaults, I'm currently being beaten OW! in ACK! the EE! face OOF! with YOW! a copy of the game. Cheers Kristan!

But what's it like? It's like a Medal of Honor game with no save points. You run around World War II (which is grey and brown and loud), picking and choosing your objectives for once, and if you get boshed too much by the Boche it's back to the start. Sounds a bit like Frontline, really. There's no online multiplayer, which, as somebody who's already got a few proven online first-person shooters on the shelf, isn't much of an issue. And, you know, you get to be one of those Yanks who saved our bacon.

Speaking of the Yank army, we're also told that Conspiracy: Weapons of Mass Destruction is due out this week. Not that we've seen any evidence of it.

Elsewhere pickings are slim, although there's plenty of joke potential. "Hellforces" saw me standing upright in a crowded room and bellowing "Hell Faucets: Taps of Evil!" as if it were both funny and intelligent, while The Bard's Tale (is it really out on the PC this week? [YES! - Ed]) is destined to prompt comments such as, "It's not far enough away from Bard's Ass". And if you think that's vulgar, just see what the Bard himself has to say - this is a main character with less class than European football's Lennart "There are companies who could make use of a sweaty, lovely looking girl" Johansson.

For reference, I have no idea what Conspiracy or Hellforces are like, but Bard's Tale is a comedy role-playing game that tends toward mocking generic convention and then striding purposefully in that direction looking at and like the nearest tit. X2 Gold, meanwhile, another one on the list, is presumably some form of X2 bundle, but could also be Spandau Ballet with reverb.

All of which increasingly detestable witterings leaves us with Juiced and Batman Begins. The former, as you may have read elsewhere on the site this morning, is the Vegas losing streak of racers; forcing you to bet your wife in order to make up for having bet your kids in order to get back on the road to re... well, just the road, in this case.

Batman Begins is quite the opposite. It's been rather accurately pegged as Batman For Dummies (surely "Batman For Beginners"?) already, which is a point I'll be expounding upon later. Basically, it's really, really basic. Everything you need to do is pointed out for you by a grey circle or square icon, the combat and game mechanics are simplistic and the design follows the blueprint of the film pretty closely. And yet it's really inoffensive; the sort of game you can happily finish in a few hours and think, "Yep, that was all right wasn't it?" It lacks moments of true inspiration, but it's certainly not the insipid mess that was Catwoman last summer. Best Batman game ever?

Finally, if you happen to be reading this across the pond, you might be interested to learn that Bomberman DS should be gracing the shelves of your nearest GameStop or whatever they're called. Rob's been playing it, so let's turn to him. Rob? Summarise Bomberman DS in four words.

"Make things go boom."

Ha! A quote!

  • PAL Releases
  • Batman Begins (PS2, Xbox, Cube, GBA)
  • Conspiracy: Weapons of Mass Destruction (PS2, PC)
  • Deep Sea Tycoon 2 (PC)
  • Dragon Ball Z: Advanced Adventures (GBA)
  • Hellforces (PC)
  • Juiced (PS2, Xbox, PC)
  • Medal of Honor: European Assault (PS2, Xbox, Cube)
  • Space Rangers (PC)
  • The Bard's Tale (PC)
  • X2 Gold (PC)
  • Key US Releases
  • Arc the Lad: End of Darkness (PS2)
  • Bomberman DS (DS)