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Wednesday, March 4, 2009 Shipping Announcements

by Rainier on March 4, 2009 @ 5:10 a.m. PST

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:

Watchmen: The End is Nigh (PS3/X360/PC)

Watchmen: The End is Nigh is a prequel to the upcoming Warner Bros. Pictures’ Watchmen film, which opens in theatres nationwide on March 6, 2009, which takes place over a decade before the film’s main story, delving into the partnership of urban vigilantes Rorschach and Nite Owl before the hero-banning Keene Act. Developed by Deadline Games A/S, Watchmen: The End is Nigh is a hardcore mature action brawler featuring bloody visceral combat in settings which are reminiscent of the film.

Patrick Wilson and Jackie Earle Haley, stars of the upcoming Watchmen film, also lend their voices to the respective roles of Nite Owl and Rorschach in Watchmen: The End is Nigh. Both Rorschach and Nite Owl are playable characters and each features distinct combat abilities, as well as a collection of his own unique finishing moves—such as Rorschach’s Rage and the technical prowess of Nite Owl’s Owlsuit.

“Watchmen: The End is Nigh is a unique downloadable game, providing players with a solid, gripping action experience inspired by what is portrayed in the Watchmen film,” said Samantha Ryan, Senior Vice President, Production and Development, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. “The game’s stylized graphics were created to match the look and feel of the film, and offer an interactive environment in which gamers can experience more back-story about the Watchmen universe.”

Watchmen: The End is Nigh features a split screen co-op multiplayer option in addition to a single-player experience with an A.I. partner. Staying true to the tone of the film on which it’s based, Watchmen: The End is Nigh features stunning graphics in moody settings. Players can take on as many as twenty enemies at the same time in bloody, street-fighting gameplay action. The game contains six distinct chapters, built around events referenced in the film, allowing for hours of intense gameplay.

Opening nationwide on March 6, 2009, Watchmen is a complex, multi-layered mystery adventure. Watchmen is set in an alternate 1985 America in which costumed superheroes are part of the fabric of everyday society, and the Doomsday Clock—which charts the USA’s tension with the Soviet Union—moves closer to midnight. When one of his former colleagues is murdered, the outlawed but no less determined masked vigilante Rorschach uncovers a wide-ranging and disturbing conspiracy with catastrophic consequences for the future.

Watchmen: The End is Nigh, launches today on Xbox LIVE Arcade, PC via download and on March 5, 2009 on the PlayStation Network.

SBK: Superbike World Championship (PS3/X360/PC)

Available on store shelves now, “SBK: Superbike World Championship®” features fully licensed tracks, riders, parts, accessories and motorcycles all rendered with incredible visual fidelity.

In development by the Milestone, makers of renowned motorcycle racing titles, “SBK: Superbike World Championship” offers something for both arcade and simulation-focused players. SBK's fast-paced arcade mode allows casual players to jump straight in and challenge the WSBK official teams and riders in a range of weather conditions and on some of the most famous tracks around the world - including Phillip Island (Australia), Monza (Italy), Donington Park (UK) and for the first time in the series, Miller Motorsports Park (Salt Lake City, USA). Players may also jump online to enjoy eight-player races on all the game's professional circuits and tracks.

For the true motorsports enthusiast, the SBK official videogame offers unparalleled realism in the modeling and the handling of the bikes. Players will be able to tune and set up their bike in a myriad of ways, including suspension, gearing, tires and braking. All these tuning settings will need to be optimized as the player progresses through each race event and as the conditions change from race-to-race throughout the championship series.

We Ski & Snowboard (Wii)

Intense winter fun returns to living rooms everywhere with all-new features, two huge mountains and the inclusion of high-performance snowboarding. Coupled with a highly intuitive control scheme, this enhanced snow sports experience is sure to delight amateurs and pros alike.

“We Ski & Snowboard provides responsive controls and immersive environments of the original and enhances them to a whole new level by combining the added thrill of snowboarding,“ said Todd Thorson, director of marketing and public relations for Namco Bandai Games America Inc. “Providing two new mountains to explore, this exciting new experience offers all the exhilaration of these beloved snow activities without the risk of bitter cold and broken bones.”

We Ski & Snowboard supplies aspiring hotdoggers with a host of challenging environments to test their skills, from the snow blanketed vistas and sprawling canyons of beautiful Mt. Angrio to the intense rails and huge half-pipe of the Jamboree Snow Resort trick park. Once again the addition of the Wii Balance Board™ brings the winter experience to an all new level of fun and realism, whereas up to four players can share the thrill of superior snowboard and ski functionality using the Wii Remote™ and Nunchuk controllers.

Activities galore await courageous players as they brave the extreme slopes; from moguls and slaloms, search and rescue to delivery missions, there’s plenty to do and see while racing through the trails. Relaxing rides on the gondola or dizzying heli-drops award a dazzling spectacle as the breathtaking panorama unfolds and offers-up opportunities to slice down severe precipices at breakneck speeds. Add custom characters or player Mii’s™, and the mountain is truly yours to conquer.

We Ski & Snowboard, rated “E” for everyone, carries a suggested retail price of $39.99.

Empire: Total War (PC)

Empire: Total War is set in the 18th century, a turbulent era that is the most requested by Total War's loyal fan base and a period alive with global conflict, revolutionary fervour and technological advances. With themes such as the Industrial Revolution, America's struggle for independence, the race to control Eastern trade routes and the globalisation of war on land and sea, Empire: Total War promises to be amongst the richest and most dynamic PC RTS games of all time.

The game is set in the years 1700 to the early 1800's, a turbulent age of gunpowder, revolution, discovery and Empire Building. This period has all the ingredients for a great Total War title: fascinating changes in warfare and its technology, a large number of competing factions hungry for power, and gloriously exciting and colourful battles. This is a time when an old world is being swept away at a tremendous rate by the juggernaut of the industrial age. Revolutionary ideas are in the air, and at least one monarch meets a bloody end!

Along with the revolutionary introduction of Naval Combat, Empire: Total War will see further enhancements to the Total War series signature 3D battles and turn based campaign map. Real time battles will pose new challenges with the addition of cannon and musket, challenging players to master new formations and tactics as a result of the increasing role of gunpowder within warfare.

Empire: Total War contains a revolutionised Total War campaign spanning 3 continents and featuring new, enhanced systems for Trade, Diplomacy, Missions and Espionage. There will be an all-new fully animated campaign map with all buildings and upgrades visible. The campaign will also feature a huge cast of historical figures including Peter The Great, Malborough and Charles XII of Sweden. The game will include 10 playable factions including Britain, Prussia, France, Spain, America and the massive Ottoman Empire.

Enhanced auto management, revolutionized UI, improved advice system and tutorials all combine to introduce new players to the concepts of Total War, quickly and easily. Empire: Total War will boast a full re-write of the AI with a wider range of strategies and tactics, providing a formidable opponent on land, sea and on the campaign map.

New Real-Time 3D Naval Warfare takes Total War's unparalleled battle action to the high seas with players commanding single ships or vast fleets. These will be the most exciting and realistic sea battles ever seen in a PC game. They will feature a realistic sailing model, cannon and musket fire, boarding actions, fully destructible sails, rigging and hulls and a full range of weather effects to influence battles. These will play out on stunning, ultra-realistic seascapes, as cannons and muskets blaze away, cutting through the smoke and fog to splinter, pierce and shatter hulls, sails and masts, laying waste to crew members and sending them to Davy Jones' Locker.

Empire: Total War's revolutionised graphics engine will be put to work on land battles that will feature heavy artillery in the form of cannons, mortar and early rocket launchers, with bouncing cannonballs slicing through drifting gunsmoke to tear up lines of infantry. Bagpipes, drummers, flautists and trumpeters will fill the air with play out over the crack of musket fire, the boom of artillery and the thunderous charge of cavalry. Generals will bark out orders to their regiments as the player orchestrates the battle utilizing formations, unit abilities and drills. Weapons will jam and misfire, cannons will seize up and explode as the field of conflict becomes strewn with the bodies of wounded and dying men, lacerated and dismembered by pike, bayonet and shot.

A brand new multiplayer component will include player rankings, leagues and ladders and completely new gameplay modes.

The minimum system specifications are:

  • Operating System: Windows XP 32(SP2), Windows Vista 32 OS.
  • Processor: 2.4 GHz Single Core Intel or AMD equivalent processor.
  • System Memory: 1GB RAM (XP) 2GB RAM (Vista).
  • Graphics Card: 256MB DirectX 9.0c compatible video card (shader 2.0 or higher).
  • Sound Card: Directx9.0c compatible sound card.
  • Windows compatible mouse & keyboard.
  • 15 GB free uncompressed hard drive space.

Empire: Total War, developed by The Creative Assembly's Horsham studio, is scheduled for release on March 3, 2009 (March 4th in Europe).

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