The Raw Recruit #7

By Scott Parrino 11 May 2003 0

Introduction

Welcome to The Wargamer's feature article series, "The Raw Recruit." This weekly feature offers release dates for upcoming computer and board games. The list doesn't include every computer or board game being released, however it does include almost all of the games we believe The Wargamer's audience will enjoy. The release dates presented in this article are for North American releases only and indicate "shipping" dates, not necessarily guaranteed in-store dates. Most major PC titles are released on Tuesday or Wednesday and are widely available across the country by Friday. These release dates are provided in association with The Wargamer's affiliate merchant partner, Chips 'n Bits.

New Releases

May 11 - May 17
Blitzkrieg
Enigma: Rising Tide
Chariots of War
Enter the Matrix
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
Return to Castle Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory

May 18 - May 24
PlanetSide
Rise of Nations
War Games Pack
Legion Gold
Europa Universalis: Crown of the North
Medal of Honor: Deluxe

May 25 and Beyond
War & Peace
Elder Scrolls III: Bloodmoon
Port Royale
Lock 'n Load
Korsun Pocket
World War II: Frontline Command
Republic: The Revolution

The Raw Recruits for the Week of May 11 and May 18

This week marks the annual Electronic Entertainment Expo ("E3") convention show in Los Angeles, California.  By far the biggest and most important week of the year for the gaming industry, hundreds of game developers and publishers will be at the show from May 14 to May 16 to show off their new games.  Of course The Wargamer will be on hand to cover the show, so keep an eye out for our full coverage in just a matter of days.  Since we'll be focusing all our attention this coming week on the E3 show (and despite all the fun, yes it is exhausting), this edition of the Raw Recruit will cover new releases for both the week of May 11th and those of May 18th.  And yes, there's a lot of them: May 11 - 17 - Blitzkrieg, Return to Castle Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory, Chariots of War, Enigma: Rising Tide, Enter the Matrix and Grand Theft Auto Vice City; May 18 - 24 - PlanetSide, Rise of Nations, Legion Gold, Europa Universalis: Crown of the North, War Pack and Medal of Honor: Deluxe.

Up first is CDV and Nival Interactive's Blitzkrieg, the real-time strategy World War II game which has been advertised here on The Wargamer for the past few weeks.  Our recent interview goes into great detail explaining how this RTS will cover the World War II era as authentically as possible.  Enigma: Rising Tide is the other major war game also being released this week: it's a submarine simulation set in an alternate history of World War II, developed by Tesseraction Games and published by GMX Media.  The final war game of note is Chariots of War from Slitherine Studios and Strategy First.  Based on the turn-based strategy model of Legion, Chariots of War puts players at the dawn of human civilization, running the empires of the Egyptians, the Babylonians, the Nubians, or the Assyrians.  

In addition to those war games, two mainstream PC games are being released which will most likely draw the majority of attention from the gaming populace next week: Grand Theft Auto: Vice City and Enter the Matrix.  The former is the PC port of the hugely popular and controversial Playstation 2 title developed by Rockstar Games.  Like Grand Theft Auto 3 before it, Vice City is a crime and criminal enterprise game in which the gamer plays a street thug climbing his way up the organized crime ladder.  Unlike GTA 3, Vice City is set during the 1980's in a city which not-so-subtlety resembles the TV show "Miami Vice".  The other major release is Enter the Matrix, the intriguing tie-in to The Matrix: Reloaded, which will be released on the same day as the film's opening, Thursday May 15th.  Enter the Matrix includes actual movie-quality footage and tells a story which runs parallel to the movie itself: players take the role as one of Zion's soldiers battling "the agents" in a third-person action game which in many resembles 2001's Max Payne.  Finally, Activision announced it would be releasing the free multiplayer game Return to Castle Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory sometime this week: Raw Recruit #5 explained in detail the free game. 

For the week of May 18th to the 24th, yet another wave of games is being released.  Of particular interest to us is Europa Universalis: Crown of the North, the grand strategy game set during the lone civil war in Sweden, circa 1270.  This Europa Universalis stand-alone game shares much in common with its franchise brethren and is based on a game Paradox Entertainment released only to its home market in Sweden.  Next up is Microsoft and Big Huge Games' Rise of Nations, the long-anticipated historical strategy game from a group of designers who contributed to Sid Meier's projects.  In the game, players can take any empire from its earliest days to modern times in just a few hours of gameplay.  The Wargamer's preview of Rise of Nations and our interview with Brian Reynolds of Big Huge Games should provide enough detail until the game arrives on or around May 20th.  The final significant release of the week of May 18th is that of PlanetSide, the hybrid massively multiplayer first-person shooter being created by the developers of EverQuest and Tribes.  The Wargamer's preview of PlanetSide (available shortly) provides an excellent overview of what the game will offer.  For those interested, the game is currently in open beta testing - for the price of a 1.6 terabyte download.

Finally, the week of May 18th to the 24th will see a collection of shovelware packs released.  Legion Gold is the Roman empire turn-based strategy game we discussed a few weeks ago in another edition of the Raw Recruit. Next, Electronic Arts will be releasing a "Deluxe" packaging of its World War II first-person shooter Medal of Honor franchise, which includes Allied Assault and Spearhead.  Finally, Simon & Schuster is releasing a combination of three titles into the War Games Pack which includes Real War: Rogue States, Soldiers of Anarchy and Warbirds III.

Top Ten Selling PC Games

Here's the top ten selling PC games list for the week of April 20 - 26 (courtesy of NPDTechWorld).

Top Ten Selling PC Games
1) Command & Conquer: Generals
2) The Sims Deluxe
3) Delta Force Black Hawk Down
4) The Sims: Unleashed Expansion Pack
5) Battlefield 1942
6) Diablo 2
7) Warcraft III: Reign Of Chaos
8) Zoo Tycoon
9) CSI: Crime Scene Investigation
10 Battlefield 1942: Road To Rome

To purchase these and other titles, please visit Chips 'n Bits or Amazon.com.

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