April 18 - April 22
With everyone apparently obsessed with the impending launch of Portal 2 this week, it can be easy to forget the humble beginnings from which this game comes. The Orange Box, still arguably the most densely packed collection for the price to come down the pipe in years, was headlined by Half-Life 2: Episode 2 and Team Fortress 2, with this odd, quirky little 4 hour experience almost tossed in as a delightful aperitif.
Now, it is a full scale release with a major marketing campaign, television spots, an ARG and above all else intense, hyper-sensitive scrutiny. It does not enjoy the element of surprise in the way that the first game did, and it's hard to imagine that Valve can completely recapture the surprising joy of the first romp through Aperture Science's devious labs. However, I am jazzed to give it a try, and have Portal 2 as the undisputed Game of the Week.
That said, I have to admit that the latest Mortal Kombat looks like a pretty fun romp through the absurdly violent, and I'm not often quick to perk up my ears at a fighting game release. A return to form for the classic bruiser, it's not hard to imagine this being as big a franchise release as Street Fighter IV was.
As if all that wasn't enough, SOCOM 4 is also hitting the streets this week, and though this franchise doesn't seem to carry the same capital it once did in gaming spheres, it's still worth paying attention to/
Still, personally, I'll be having fun with GladOS. For science. You monsters.
L.A. Noire -- May 17 -- 360, PS3
The Witcher 2 -- May 17 -- PC
Red Faction: Armageddon -- May 31 -- 360, PS3, PC
Duke Nukem Forever -- June 14 -- 360, PS3, PC
Dungeon Siege II -- June 21 -- PC, 360, PS3