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Tuesday, September 16, 2008 Shipping Announcements

by Rainier on Sept. 16, 2008 @ 5:13 a.m. PDT

Another day, another batch of games shipped to stores. Instead of giving them all their own posts, we grouped them, and so far there are announcements for:

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed (NDS/PSP/PS2/Wii/PS3/X360)

Available now on the Xbox 360, Wii, NDS, PS3, PS2 and PSP, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed completely re-imagines the scope and scale of the Force and casts players as Darth Vader’s “Secret Apprentice,” unveiling new revelations about the Star Wars galaxy seen through the eyes of this mysterious new character, who is armed with unprecedented powers.

“The development teams here at LucasArts, at Krome Studios, and at n-Space, Inc., have put a tremendous amount of effort into creating this all-new Star Wars story and innovative technology,” said LucasArts’ President Darrell Rodriguez. “I am extremely proud of what Executive Producer Haden Blackman and his team have been able to accomplish in The Force Unleashed, and can’t wait to hear what fans think of it when they’ve played through the game.”

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed is not only LucasArts’ first internally developed title for Xbox 360 and PS3, but also represents the first in-game collaboration of talents and technology between LucasArts and sister company Industrial Light & Magic. The end result is a game authentic to the world in which it is set, unique in its presentation and unforgettable as a Star Wars experience.

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed also breaks new ground on these consoles by taking full advantage of newly developed technologies experienced for the first time together: Digital Molecular Matter, by Pixelux Entertainment, and euphoria by NaturalMotion Ltd. These technologies imbue objects and enemies with the ability to react with incredible realism, bringing depth and richness to the Star Wars galaxy that is unprecedented for a video game, and showcasing the unique blend of storytelling, technology and interactive entertainment that is the hallmark of LucasArts.

Crysis Warhead (PC)

Containing a new single player campaign featuring Crytek’s trademark open-ended gameplay and stunning visuals along with Crysis Wars, the exciting new multiplayer suite for the Crysis universe, Crysis Warhead is a tremendous value at only $29.99 and does not require the original Crysis to play.

“The launch of Crysis Warhead marks a significant milestone for the entire Crytek family,” said Cevat Yerli, CEO and President of Crytek. “The team at Crytek Hungary has delivered a dynamic and intense single player experience more than worthy of the Crysis franchise, while the multiplayer team in Frankfurt has revisited and extended multiplayer in the Crysis universe with Crysis Wars. They are both great representations of our studio’s core values of technical excellence, craftsmanship and quality.”

“Crytek is a world-class partner and quickly becoming one of the most formidable independent developers in the industry,” said David DeMartini, Senior Vice President and General Manager of EA Partners. “Crysis was one of the best games of last year and we are thrilled to have the opportunity to bring Crysis Warhead, a game that actually improves upon Crysis’ core experience, to the largest possible audience on a global stage.”

Crysis Warhead takes place alongside the events of last year’s critical hit, with players experiencing the explosive battles against waves of challenging enemies on the other side of the island through the eyes and nanosuit of the bold and aggressive Sergeant “Psycho” Sykes. Crysis Wars features 21 maps and three diverse multiplayer modes, including InstantAction, frenetic deathmatch enhanced by the power of the nanosuit, PowerStruggle, a hardcore team-based mode and introducing TeamInstantAction, a mix of fast-paced action in a team-based environment. Both are built on Crytek’s award-winning CryENGINE 2, optimized now to deliver the high-fidelity graphics Crytek is known for with an improvement in performance across a wide range of PCs.

Crysis Warhead has been rated ‘M’ for Mature by the ESRB and ‘16+’ by PEGI.

The Witcher: Enhanced Edition (PC)

"We have really listened to what the fans wanted and have their best interests at heart. The Witcher: Enhanced Edition has given us the opportunity to put their feedback into action as well as offer something totally new with exclusive content," said Adam Kicinski, CEO of CD Projekt RED. "The Witcher: Enhanced Edition is truly an experience you won't want to miss, packed with gameplay improvements and additional physical value. We believe that it is definitely the ideal game for fans of PC role-playing."

Technical enhancements include faster loading times with improved combat responsiveness and precision. The enhanced version will feature two new adventures in the world of The Witcher offering hours of new content, as well as more than 200 new animation sequences, greater NPC (non-playable character) variety, an easier-to-use inventory and much more. Moreover, following feedback from fans, the English script has been re-worked, while extensive amounts of the voice-over has been re-recorded for the English and German versions -- all to deliver an even more immersive and involving story experience. All of the enhancements will be available as a free download to existing game owners via the game's official website, www.thewitcher.com.

The deluxe package will also include:

  • Multilanguage The Witcher: Enhanced Edition, a reworking of the best PC RPG of 2007;
  • DVD bonus disc including the D'jinni Adventure Editor and two brand new adventures created by CD Projekt RED:
    • the D'jinni Adventure Editor: allows players to create or modify their own adventures in the world of The Witcher;
    • "The Price of Neutrality": the adventure tells the story of Geralt coming back to Kaer Morhen and finding a mysterious camp near the stronghold (featuring 3 new quests);
    • "Side Effects": the first ever release of this new adventure which focuses on Geralt's close friend, Dandelion, and his troubles in Vizima Hidden List City (featuring 5 new quests);
  • Remastered "Making Of" DVD with never-before-seen bonus material;
  • The Witcher Official Soundtrack CD;
  • CD of original music inspired by The Witcher;
  • Instruction manual available on disc and a physical game guide;
  • Short story by Andrzej Sapkowski featuring new monster artwork;
  • A map for exploration throughout The Witcher's world.

Based on the universe created by best-selling Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski, The Witcher puts players in the role of Geralt, a professional monster slayer who exists on the fringes of a complex society in a fantasy universe. Taken as a child, mutated, and trained in the arcane ways of the witchers, Geralt is a reluctant hero, who nonetheless finds himself all too frequently in the heat of battles that are not his own. In this world there is no right or wrong, only decisions and consequences.

The Witcher: Enhanced Edition, developed by CD Projekt RED, is rated M for Mature and is available for the suggested retail price of $39.99.

PURE (PS3/X360/PC)

Developed by Black Rock Studio, Disney Interactive Studios’ award-winning development studio in Brighton, England, PURE delivers heart-pounding racing experiences unique to the genre by taking players over the edge with massive jumps and spectacular airborne tricks. PURE is set in seven real locations all over the globe and features more than 35 multiple-route tracks and 70 unbelievable tricks.

“Black Rock Studio has delivered a game that goes beyond the off-road genre,” said Craig Relyea, senior vice president of global marketing, Disney Interactive Studios. “With vertigo-inducing jumps, off-the-wall tricks and stunning graphics that make the scenic locations truly awe-inspiring, PURE has created a unique category that will thrill a wide audience.”

PURE was selected as the Best Racing Game of E3 2008 by the Game Critics Awards, the most prestigious awards for the annual E3 Media & Business Summit.

“At Black Rock Studio, we’re big fans of both arcade racing games and action sports so this seemed like the perfect combination,” said Jason Avent, Game Director, Black Rock Studio. “PURE is a game that should excite players and we’re looking forward to seeing their responses.”

PURE features 16-player contests, against either A.I. opponents in single-player or other players via online multiplayer. The single-player modes of PURE are Race (trick-based races to the finish line), Freestyle (points-based) or Sprint (short intense tracks). Online mode features the same modes plus Freeride, which lets players roam freely and face-off online with their friends to see who can pull the biggest trick, combo, or fastest lap.

PURE will be available for the PS3, and Xbox 360 for $59.99, while the PC version will be available for $49.99.

Dragon Quest IV: Chapters of the Chosen (NDS)

Dragon Quest IV: Chapters of the Chosen invites you, the chosen one, to save a world threatened by sinister intentions. Introducing a unique, chapter- based storyline and a cast of memorable characters to accompany you on a perilous journey, this highly anticipated remake brings a classic adventure into the palm of your hand.

This special rendition of the fourth installment in the Dragon Quest series mixes traditional RPG gameplay with all the portability and accessibility that a hand-held system has to offer. Complete with the trademark Dragon Quest world, character design and musical score that have captivated generations of fans, Dragon Quest IV: Chapters of the Chosen invites you -- whether you are a long-time fan or newcomer to the role-playing genre -- to step into the hero's shoes and embark on an unforgettable adventure.

A prestigious army captain, an adventurous princess seeking to test her skills beyond the palace walls, a humble merchant aspiring to open his own shop, and two sisters who wish to avenge their father's death ... These seemingly unrelated individuals will soon cross paths when fate brings them together alongside you, the hero. Dive into this extraordinary adventure, and discover an epic tale told through the experiences and emotions of characters from all walks of life.

Features

  • Embark on a journey to explore the land, seas and skies of the Dragon Quest universe in this grand entry from the Zenithia Trilogy. Soon to follow are Dragon Quest V: Hand of the Heavenly Bride and Dragon Quest VI: Realms of Reverie, never before released in North America
  • Indulge in the colorful Dragon Quest world created by Yuji Horii, combined with the charming characters and monsters designed by Akira Toriyama and memorable soundtrack from famed composer Koichi Sugiyama to create an unforgettable gaming experience
  • Experience the world of Dragon Quest through the perspectives of multiple characters with a unique, chapter-driven storyline
  • Journey through a beautifully rendered 3D world, with dynamic dual- screen presentation and newly animated monsters
  • Enjoy an all-new English translation that incorporates 13 known dialects from around the globe, bringing the diverse world and characters of Dragon Quest to life
  • Unravel the ancient mystery behind a cursed kingdom by expanding your town via Chance Encounter mode, available through local wireless connection

Dragon Quest IV: Chapters of the Chosen, rated E10+ for Everyone 10 and older, will be available at North American retailers for $39.99 (USD).

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