Kicking things off, Enslaved: Odyssey to the West (Xbox 360, PS3) looks like a proper pulp action-adventure, maybe Fallout meets The Terminator by way of H. Rider Haggard? Reasons to pay attention: It’s by Ninja Theory, the folks responsible for 2007’s remarkable Heavenly Sword. Andy “Gollum” Serkis directed the game and did motion-capture for the game’s protagonist, Monkey. And Alex Garland, author of The Beach and screenwriter for the films 28 Days Later, Sunshine, and Never Let Me Go, wrote the story. ETA: Tuesday.
Castlevania: Lord of Shadows (Xbox 360, PS3) constitutes Konami’s second attempt to reboot their gothic whip-slinging platformer in 3D. This time they’re sharing design credits with MercurySteam, probably best known for Clive Barker’s Jericho, an action-horror game that squared mediocre with critics. Lords of Shadows has considerably higher marks out of the gate, even if some say it cribs appreciably from games like God of War or Devil May Cry–probably not a bad thing. ETA: Tuesday.
Hoops fans get NBA 2K11 (PC, Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, PS2, PSP) if they’re so inclined, with Michael Jordan splashed on the cover (no, it’s not his fourth “coming out of retirement” preamble). The 2011 update adds historic teams, improved dribbling and shot control, all new tunes, PlayStation Move support, and a bunch of nostalgic Michael Jordan miscellany, including the option to play any of 10 “legendary” games from his career. ETA: Tuesday.
If you’re on the go, Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light looks like Square Enix’s attempt to pull off a straightforward fantasy roleplaying game. No esoteric funny stuff, just basic commands like “attack,” “item,” “cure,” and a simple story about a 14-year-old asked to save a princess who’s been kidnapped by a witch. If that sounds oversimple, it probably is–consider Final Fantasy XIV and grab this for the kids. ETA: Tuesday.
Also out this week: FIFA Soccer 2011 (Wii), Pokemon Ranger: Guardian Signs (Nintendo DS), Hollywood Square (Wii), Sports Collection (Nintendo DS), Who Wants to Be a Millionaire (Wii), Little Pet Shop 3: Biggest Stars (Nintendo DS), Ben 10: Ultimate Alien (PS3, Wii, PS2, PSP, Nintendo DS), Def Jam Rapstar (PS3), Freddi Fish ABC Under the Sea (Nintendo DS), Petz Fantasy: Sunshine Magic (Nintendo DS), Logic Machines (Nintendo DS), I Love Puppies (Nintendo DS), Vampire Moon: The Mystery of the Hidden Sun (Nintendo DS), Rapala Pro Bass Fishing 2010 Bundle (Xbox 360, PS3, Wii), Jewels of Tropical Lost Island (Nintendo DS), Haunted House (Wii), John Daly’s Prostroke Golf (PS3), Oops! Prank Party (Wii), Jewel Master: Cradle of Athena (Nintendo DS), Rock Blast (Nintendo DS), NBA Jam (Wii), Way of the Samurai Plus (PS3).