The Loadout for May 18th, 2010: New Games to Attack Your Week With

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Welcome to the Loadout. Our philosophy is that the working week is a recurring boss battle that you’ll need the proper weapons to take down. The supplies at hand won’t always be pretty but you might just be able to hold out until the weekend. Green means add it to your arsenal, yellow leaves it up to your discretion and red means back away slowly. With that, let’s see what we’ve got this week.

The Game: Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands

Specifications: That Prince of Persia guy you’ve been seeing in movie commercials and posters? Jerry Bruckheimer didn’t just dream him up. Turns out he’s got a long history in video games. This latest release harkens back to the well-loved trilogy that started in 2003 with the Sands of Time game.

Ideal Usage Scenario: You’re really not getting the unique mix of swordplay, acrobatics, puzzle-solving and chrono-manipulation that Prince of Persia games give you from any other games. Worried that it’s just another opportunistic piece of crapware trying to dupe unknowing movie goers? Don’t be. It’s far better than it has any right to be. Check the review posting later today for specifics.

The Game: Alan Wake

Specifications: The long-brewing psychological thriller focuses on a frustrated writer battling to save his wife from a shadowy evil in the Pacific Northwest.

Ideal Usage Scenario: Most of the pre-release reviews (including ours) came down very positively on the Remedy-developed horror title. I’m personally putting it on my short list for Game of the Year. If you’re the kind of person who loves a good scare–whether from books, movies or TV shows–then you should definitely pick up Alan Wake.

The Game: Red Dead Redemption

Specifications: Not only is Rockstar Games’ first Western one of the biggest high-profile games out this month, it’s also simultaneously one of the year’s 800-lb. gorillas and a huge gamble. The story of John Marston, a former bandito forced to hunt down his old bank-robbing buddies, takes players into a wide-open vision of the Old West.

Ideal Usage Scenario: If you can quote Sam Peckinpah’s The Wild Bunch at will and own a poncho like the one on Clint Eastwood’s Man With No Name in The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, you’ve probably made your decision already. Judging from what we’ve already seen, RDR will be one of the year’s must-buy games. If you’re on the fence, we’ll be working on an in-depth review that should post later this week.

The Game: Split/Second

Specifications: Disney’s Black Rock Studios new action racer takes place within a reality TV show so think Death Race 2000 meets NASCAR. Speeding through a city rigged with explosives that players can set off at any time, Split/Second players can use those blasts to create new paths and edge out opposing drivers.

Ideal Usage Scenario: Fans of crazy, over-the-top racing games like Burnout have been left wanting over the last few years. (Last year’s Need For Speed: Shift was good, but was more of a simulation-style game and didn’t let you blow stuff up.) If you love plowing through city streets at 150 mph with plumes of smoke billowing overhead (and really, who doesn’t?), then you should introduce Split/Second to your wallet.

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