None of this week’s new releases looks particularly good. Last year, gamers got “Grand Theft Auto IV,” one of the year’s biggest titles, in April. This year? Nothing much. This week’s best bet is a free map pack for a game that came out two months ago.
“F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin” (rated M, $60 for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, $50 for PC): As far as downloadable multiplayer maps go, it’s hard to beat this week’s “Toy Soldiers,” a free pack of three maps for Monolith’s supernatural shooter. As the name would imply, “Toy Soldiers” plays “Honey, I shrunk the Special Ops guy.” You and your mini-wingmen will do battle inside a pinball machine, a hospital lab and a sandbox. Sweet. It reminds me of “Lost Planet’s” 8-bit style map, “Lost Technology.”
“Outrun Online Arcade” (rated E, $10 Xbox Live Arcade game): Sega’s arcade classic racing title gets the hi-def treatment as well as online gameplay.
“NHL 09” (rated E, $60 for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, $20 for PC): With the Sharks having already lost in the just-begun NHL playoffs, maybe it’s time to seek some solace (or at least avenge Thursday’s defeat) in the virtual world. “NHL 09” is up there with the greatest sports titles ever made, so if you’re looking for a way to cool down on this toasty weekend, there you go.
“PixelJunk Eden” (rated E, $10 PlayStation Network download for PS3): The platform-jumping/puzzle game gets an add-on this week called “PixelJunk Eden Encore.” It’s five new levels for $6.
“Valkyria Chronicles” (rated T, $60 on PS3): Three $5 add-ons are available from the PlayStation Network store. One nets you an extra-hard difficultly level, while the other two, Edy’s Mission and Selveria’s Mission, add new chapters to the strategy role-playing game’s story.
What I’ll be playing this weekend: I’ll be playing “Killzone 2” (rated M, $60 for PS3) for an upcoming column. I’ve gotta get in a league “Culdcept Saga” (rated T, $20 for Xbox 360) match, and I might catch up with some old friends with a shooter to be named later.