25. Dark Sector
Set in the crumbling infrastructure of a fictional Soviet-bloc country in the near future, the game’s main character is a man named Hayden Tenno, a morally ambivalent clean-up man employed by the CIA. He suffers from a real-life disease called congenital analgia that does not allow him to feel pain. On a mission he is exposed to a biological compound which mutates his right arm, giving him the ability to spontaneously grow a three-bladed throwable weapon. During the course of the game, Hayden encounters others that have been similarly mutated by the compound. However, the mutation process is painful to the point that its victims go mad. Hayden’s congenital analgia inadvertently protects him from this aspect of the mutation. [Trailer]
24. LEGO Indiana Jones / LEGO Batman
The games will allow players to control the iconic characters in humorous renditions of their adventures. They are expected to feature the same drop in/out co-operative play mode as seen in the Lego Star Wars video games. [Trailer]
23. Mercenaries 2: World in Flames
Mercenaries 2: World in Flames is the upcoming sequel to 2005’s Mercenaries: Playground of Destruction. The game will feature many new environments ranging from massive, densely-packed urban environments such as Caracas, to the sprawling expanse of the Amazon jungle, including Angel Falls. [Gameplay]
22. Burnout Paradise
According to Alex Ward from developer Criterion Games, this game will be a “complete reinvention” of the Burnout series. It has a seamless open-world set in the fictional ‘Paradise City’, with no loading times and no traditional online lobbies or game menus. It still retains the high 60-frames-per-second frame rate most Burnout games have used. [Trailer]
21. Tom Clancy’s Air Combat
Thrust into the cockpits of incredibly powerful and technologically advanced jet fighters, gamers will benefit from hi-tech piloting assistance, providing comfort, security and enhanced perception. As players gain skills and confidence, they will be able to shed the assistance. But before choosing performance over security, they’ll have to weigh the risks carefully.
Upcoming action and survival video game by Ubisoft. The only known story details are that it takes place after an earthquake. The gameplay focuses more on character interaction and problem solving.
19. Ghostbusters: The Video Game
The game’s storyline is being written by Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis, the writers of the original films and they along with Bill Murray and Ernie Hudson will lend their voices and likenesses to the game. [Gameplay]
As a soldier in this struggle, Mason Briggs uses explosive, terrain-deforming weaponry to change the face of battle: He not only destroys the land in his path, he outright transforms it to gain the strategic advantage in completely unscripted ways no game has ever seen. [Gameplay]
17. Alan Wake
At the beginning of the game, Alan Wake travels to a sleep clinic to seek treatment for his insomnia. The secluded clinic is located near the small town of Bright Falls, Washington, far away from the stressful urban lifestyle. But something is horribly, horribly wrong. Impossibly, the town of Bright Falls starts to change to something awful that bears a close resemblance to Wake’s new book. He ends up fighting for his life with a gun and a flashlight in his hands, trying to understand what’s happening. The dark-forces (enemies) coming to ‘take care of’ Alan Wake are vulnerable to light. So the most useful weapon of all is actually the flashlight. You will be able to place booby traps which will illuminate when executed, etc. Light will weaken or hurt Wake’s enemies, and creatively taking advantage of any and all light sources within Alan Wake’s grim world ought to be one of the interesting aspects of play. [Trailer]
16. LMNO (Working title)
LMNO is the project codename of an upcoming video game being developed by Electronic Arts in conjunction with film director Steven Spielberg. With the player controlling an ex-secret agent, the game’s plot “focuses on a touching and ever-changing relationship between [the player] and a mysterious female character who holds the key to many futures”. Newsweek describes the game as “North by Northwest” meets “E.T.”.
15. The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena
The science fiction shooter is anticipated to be largely a remake of The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay. According to Starbreeze Lead Designer Ian Stevens, the decision to do a remake was because Microsoft could not make Escape from Butcher Bay backward compatible with the Xbox 360, and because they wanted to get the Escape story to a larger audience before progressing further. Dark Athena is expected to have improved graphics and AI from Escape along with the addition of a multiplayer mode. The single player mode will also be expanded to include Riddick escaping onto a mercenary ship called Dark Athena. [Gameplay]
Sabotage is an upcoming stealth action title based on a real life WWII secret agent/saboteur Violette Szabo. Players take on the role of Violette as she goes behind enemy lines to thwart the German war machine.
13. Legendary: The Box
The game takes place in modern day New York City as well as other undisclosed locales. When a thief named Charles Deckard opens Pandora’s Box and releases the evils within it, mythological creatures begin to wage war against the world. It is the task of the player, in the role of Deckard, to stop the invasion and save Earth. Unique to Legendary is an expansive three way enemy AI and an action sequence in Time Square as it is being torn apart. [Trailer]
12. Ninja Gaiden 2
The game is now far more gruesome, bloodier, and gorier than the last installment, as several screen-shots show Ryu not only decapitating his unfortunate foes but cutting off their arms and legs and even ripping their bodies apart as well. Combat in effect will be more strategic as players will have to further exploit the respective enemies’ weak points and be more cautious. [Gameplay]
11. Halo: Chronicles
Peter Jackson and his recently formed Wingnut Interactive will create a project set in the Halo universe, in partnership with Bungie Studios. The game is toted to be a “new chapter” in the Halo story and is slated to feature a new way of playing games. It is speculated that the game will be more of an “interactive movie”; some parts will be semi-playable, and certain decisions will lead to different outcomes. They also speculated that the game could retail for half the cost of a normal Xbox 360 title. However, none of this information has been officially announced by Bungie, Microsoft, or Wingnut Interactive.
9. Street Fighter IV
While Street Fighter IV will feature 3D rendered characters and backgrounds, the game will still play in traditional 2D, thus creating a “2.5D” effect. Producer Ono has stated that he wants to keep the game closer to Street Fighter II than to its sequels. A new system temporarily called “Saving” has been introduced, as well as Ultra moves. The traditional six-button control scheme will return, with new features and special moves integrated into the input system, mixing classic gameplay with additional innovations. [Trailer]
8. Star Wars: The Force Unleached
The player assumes the role of “Darth Vader’s secret apprentice”. The player is sent across the galaxy to destroy the remaining Jedi. According to Lucasarts, the next generation versions of the game will utilize Pixelux Entertainment’s Digital Molecular Matter (DMM) and NaturalMotion Ltd.’s euphoria technology. DMM is a real-time physical simulation technology that causes materials to act in the game world as they would in the real world. Wood splinters, glass shatters, and metal dents. Euphoria is a behavioral-simulation engine that gives all characters a nervous system, meaning that their animations are determined in real-time as reactions to stimuli. For example, characters unbalanced on a bridge will try to balance themselves by flailing their arms or attempt to catch the edge as they fall. [Preview]
7. Halo Wars
Halo Wars is a real-time strategy video game that will take place in the fictional Halo universe. It will take place prior to the events of Halo: Combat Evolved. The game is set in 2531, in the UNSC’s first battles with the Covenant around the planet Harvest. [Gameplay]
6. Left 4 Dead
Multiplayer co-operative survival horror game by Turtle Rock Studios and Valve Corporation. Gameplay takes place in urban cities, small hamlets, wooded rural settings, shopping malls and other such locations. Four players take control of the four main characters of the game, “The Survivors”, who subsequently play through the levels fighting off the Infected, which are humans who have been infected with a mutated form of rabies. Each level has the players fighting towards a goal, such as escaping by helicopter. Four subsequent players can join the server and take control of the larger, more powerful Infected with unique abilities amongst the other AI Infected. [Trailer/gameplay]
5. Brütal Legend
Action adventure game by Tim Schafers’ Double Fine Productions. It is their second game following the critically-acclaimed Psychonauts. Brütal Legend follows the story of Eddie Riggs, a roadie for a band who is transported into a Heavy Metal and Nordic fantasy inspired alternate history where demons have enslaved humanity. The game stars comedian/actor/musician Jack Black as Eddie Riggs, while many other celebrities will lend their voice to the game. Confirmed Voice Actors include many legendary Rock and Roll and Heavy Metal musicians, including Lemmy of Motörhead, Rob Halford of Judas Priest, and Ronnie James Dio of Dio, Black Sabbath, and Rainbow. [Trailer]
4. Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Conviction
The fifth installment in the Splinter Cell series of video games. It has been reported that Conviction will be set almost entirely in open urban areas, with Sam Fischer using other environmental elements, such as crowds, for cover. It has also been said that Sam can use the environment for defense (i.e. using benches to block off doors). It will be possible to interact with nearly every object in the environment (i.e. chairs, printers, pieces of paper, etc.). Sam will have more close combat abilities as well, some of which include throws, kicks, and punches. The crowd mechanic (similar to the social stealth of Assassin’s Creed, also developed by Ubisoft) is said to be a new mobile stealth device. Sam no longer works for the government, and thus, consequently, has limited supplies. Sam must use his immediate environment instead of specialized equipment. The crowds react to each other and to Sam’s actions. Individuals may interfere with Sam if they see that he is armed or otherwise executing some form of suspicious activity. They may follow you, attack you, or call for help. [Gameplay]
3. Grand Theft Auto IV
The game is set in a redesigned Liberty City, based heavily on New York City. Titles in the GTA. series have traditionally been heavily mission based (fixed missions must be completed to progress through each game), but the freedom to explore and play outside of the set missions in GTA IV will now be more relevant to progress through the game, according to comments by a Rockstar spokesperson: “We’re really trying to blur the line between on-[mission] and off-mission. So storyline, and what you do outside [it], and how those two things influence each other.” [Trailers]
2. Portal 2 (or DLC)
It is pure speculation, but it is possible we might see something new from Valve sometime this year. Perhaps not a sequel but at least some downloadable content.
1. Half-Life 2: Episode Three
Half-Life 2: Episode Three is the third and final installment in a series of episodes following the 2004 first-person shooter computer game Half-Life 2, from Valve Corporation. It will be the last episode in the currently planned story arc, although not the end of the Half-Life franchise. No release date has been announced, but since the first two episodes where released a bit over a year apart, a 2008 release is possible.