CBR Games Roundup: March 2009

We're back for another monthly installment of the CBR GAMES ROUNDUP, and March is picking up right where February left off, with some big releases on all of the major consoles. There's something for everyone this month, including strategy games, shooters, brawlers, drivers and even some flight simulation thrown in for good measure. As always, please keep in mind that the list is not inclusive of every release for a given month, release dates are always subject to change, and some games release on certain platforms before others. Now let's take a look at this month's releases.

Eat Lead: The Return of Matt Hazard (PS3/Xbox 360)--March 3 (Website)

This third-person action shooter features one of the most memorable characters you've never heard of. Matt Hazard is a fictional video game character that is coming out of retirement in a big budget shooter game. Developer Vicious Cycle has created a fictional history of the character, dating back to the 8-bit days. The game pokes fun at franchises like "Doom," "Wolfenstein," "Duke Nukem" and more. Matt will have to face off against enemies from all of his previous games, and he'll be battling through levels that are reminiscent of some of the games many of us grew up with. Will Arnett and Neill Patrick Harris will be providing voices for the game.

Halo Wars (Xbox 360)--March 3 (Website)

Will the inclusion of the Xbox 360's most popular franchise be enough to establish RTS games on a console? Microsoft is hoping so, and the early reviews have been very positive. "Halo Wars" is a strategy game designed for the console from the ground up. Players will take on the role of either the Covenant or the UNSC, building armies and managing resources as they wage war on one another. The single player campaign will be told from the USNC side of the war, but multiplayer will be fully featured for both sides.

Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X. (PC/PS3/Xbox 360)-March 3 (Website)

"H.A.W.X." is an air combat game set in the same alternate future as "Ghost Recon: Advanced Warrior" and "End War," with a story that fits somewhere in between those two games. Gameplay features a lot of flight simulator elements, and players can select from either first or third person perspectives as they provide support to ground units and engage enemy pilots who are attacking the US. The multiplayer component of the game features a leveling system that is used to unlock additional planes and weapons.

Watchmen: The End is Nigh (PS3/PC/Xbox 360)--March 4 (Website)

This old school beat-'em-up features Nite Owl and Rorschach, and takes place several years before the events in "Watchmen." The game will be episodic, and features a story written by "Watchmen" editor Len Wein. Gameplay is cooperative in nature, and players can take to the streets together through local co-op, or individuals can play through with an AI controlled partner. The story will be told through animated comic panels, and "Watchmen" film actors Patrick Wilson and Jackie Earl Haley are providing voices.

MadWorld (Wii)--March 10 (Website)

Terrorists take over Verrigan City and turn it into the stage for a game show where contestants kill one another for money in this blood-soaked brawler from SEGA. Players take on the role of Jack, a mechanic who happens to have a chainsaw on his arm. "Sin City"-style visuals and over-the-top violence add to the game show presentation of the action. A recent trailer for the game also revealed a split-screen co-op mode.

Resident Evil 5 (Xbox 360 / PS3)--March 13 (Website)

Set ten years after the original "Resident Evil," this game takes place in Africa and follows Chris Redfield as he's investigating an incident in the village of Kijuju. Redfield will be partnered with Shiva Alomar, a fellow agent from a local branch of the same bioterrorism unit. Gameplay and controls will be similar to "Resident Evil 4," with one major difference being the ability to play through the entire campaign in online or offline co-op mode. "RE5" will also feature new enemies and weapons, as well as cover mechanic.

WildStorm will be publishing a six-issue miniseries that serves as a prequel to the game. The series is written by Rick Sanchez, and issue #1 goes on sale March 11, just in time for the launch of the game.

Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars (DS)--March 17 (Website)

This handheld installment of the GTA franchise will have players assuming the role of Triad member Huang Lee, who's come to Liberty City to deliver a family heirloom to his uncle. The gameplay is primarily viewed from an overhead angle, similar to early entries in the series, and most functions are performed with the d-pad and face buttons. Some minigame style tasks like hot wiring a car are done with the stylus and serve to break up the driving and shooting sequences of the missions.

Resistance: Retribution (PSP)--March 17 (Website)

Another popular console franchise makes its way to the handheld with "Resistance: Retribution." The game introduces Resistance fans to James Grayson, a British Royal Marine who is looking for revenge after losing his brother to the Chimera. The story is set weeks after the events of the original game, and Grayson will eventually team up with characters Cartwright and Parker from "Resistance." The game features both single and multiplayer modes, and also has features that can be unlocked by linking the PSP to the PS3 if players have a copy of "Resistance 2." One of the unlockable features is an alternate story where Grayson is infected with the Chimeran virus.

For those looking to delve deeper into the story of "Resistance: Retribution," the back-up stories in WildStorm's "Resistance" comic book tie-in to the game.

The Wheelman (PC/PS3/XBox 360)--March 24 (Website)

Vin Diesel lends his voice and likeness to lead character Milo Burik in this open world driving game. The game is set in a city modeled after Barcelona, where Burik is a getaway driver for whoever has the cash the pay him. Gameplay is a mixture of driving missions and third person shooting, and there are well over 100 missions between the main story and side missions.

Wanted: Weapons of Fate (PC/PS3/XBox 360)--March 24 (Website)

This action shooter picks up right where the film left off, as Wesley tracks down another faction of the Fraternity to try and find out more about his past. The game features a unique cover system and the ability to curve bullets, allowing players to take out enemies from just about anywhere. Players will go through part of the game as Wesley, and also play missions from the past as his father Cross.

Guitar Hero: Metallica (PS3/XBox 360)--March 29 (Website)

The latest spin-off of Activision's highly successful franchise will feature one of the biggest metal bands of all time. Just like "Guitar Hero World Tour," the game will feature guitar, bass, drums and vocals. The game will include 28 songs from Metallica's collection, from early hits like "Am I Evil" and "Creeping Death" to songs off their latest album, "Death Magnetic." In addition, 21 songs from other metal bands will be featured, and the roster is quite impressive: Slayer, Judas Priest, Queen, Suicidal Tendencies and Motorhead, among others.

That about does it for the CBR GAMES ROUNDUP this month. If we skipped your most anticipated game of the month, head on over to the boards and let us know! And remember to keep checking CBR for exclusive interviews with publishers and developers. Until next month, good gaming!

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