After this year’s E3 convention, many 360 gamers were worried that Microsoft was blowing its entire load with the 360’s holiday line up and that this fall’s monsoon of games would result in a drought next year. But many games slated for this fall were pushed back, and joined an already impressive number of titles currently expected in the New Year. So have no fears about the industry running out of great games, because 2008 is looking like another incredible year for the Xbox 360 no matter what kind of games you prefer. So let’s take a look at what’s coming….
10. Devil May Cry 4
Although it took four games, Xbox gamers are finally going to be able to get their hands on the Devil May Cry Series. This time around, the usual series protagonist Dante will not be the main playable character. Instead, you’ll play as Nero; whose one arm resembles a demon’s and is the source for his Devil Bringer Power. This power will bring a new combat feature in addition to guns and swords, allowing him to grab distant enemies. Not much else is known about the story of the game. Dante’s involvement has been confirmed but remains a mystery.
For more info on Devil May Cry 4
9. Star Wars: The Force Unleashed
Out of all the aspects of the Star Wars universe, the Force is probably one of the best resources for a videogame, and Lucas Arts is planning on using the concept, along with new technology to make sure players can feel its power. Using the Havok physics engine and the Euphoria engine (which gives all NPC’s a nervous system that causes their animations to react in real time to various stimuli), the game will ensure players are given an enormous amount of interactivity with the world using the Force. The story takes place between episodes 3 and 4, and you will play as Darth Vader’s secret apprentice, who has yet to be named. So far the trailers have shown the force powers having a tremendous effect on the environment and enemies. Lucas Arts has also stated that the storyline will contain highly significant events that will echo throughout the Star Wars universe, making this one of the most important Star Wars games in a long time
For more info on Star Wars Force Unleased
Ever since Turok: Evolution, the series has been on a bit of a hiatus, and with the last game it definitely didn’t go out with a bang. However there is hope as Propaganda Games is attempting to breathe new life into the series by going back to what makes a classic Turok experience. The game features lush jungle environments loaded with enemies both dinosaur and human. Also, the player will be able to provoke dinosaurs to working for their advantage, and have them attack their human opponents. However, if the dinosaurs decide that you look like a meal a mini-game type brawl will break out. Although there is the usual layout of high tech guns, more basic weapons like the bow and knife have been given more uses for stealthy gameplay. Hopefully these changes will give Turok back that primal feel of hunting, and being hunted by, one of nature’s most terrifying creations.
For more info on Turok
7. Mercenaries 2
The first Mercenaries was probably the most original take on the sandbox game since Grand Theft Auto, so it’s only natural to have high expectations for the sequel. Developer Pandemic has set the game in Venezuela, which has been invaded by various factions after a tyrant seizes control over the country’s oil supply. This time gamers will have to work a little harder to hijack vehicles by completing a mini game to boot the operator out of the controls. Another new feature is the ability to build a Private Military Company, and hire mercenaries to assist you in battle. Finally, gamers will be able to participate in the fun together with co op, which should make for a great addition to the open ended gameplay.
For more info on Mercenaries 2
6. Condemned 2: Bloodshot
The first Condemned was one of the best 360 launch titles and is still regarded as one of the scariest games the console has to offer. Condemned 2 takes place a year after the first game, where the main character Ethan, has become a homeless alcoholic, and will be suffering from even more severe illusions than last time. The innovative melee combat of the series will make a return with an all new fighting system featuring offensive and defensive combos, as well as over 40 finishing moves. Multiplayer will also be included featuring modes such as Deathmatch, Circle of Death, and a hobo fighting arena, at the moment the number of players supported has not been confirmed.
For more info on Condemned 2: Bloodshot
5. Tom Clancy’s EndWar
It has been a while since the Clancy series has come up with a completely new brand and to make it even more interesting, Ubisoft has stated the game is an RTS but not in the traditional sense, since it will focus on smaller scale battles. The game is set in the year 2016 during an energy crisis that has the world falling apart, which has divided the nations of Earth into three factions: Russian Spetsnaz, the European Federation Enforcers Corps, and the United States’ Joint Strike Force.
One of the things that separates EndWar from any other RTS is the camera, which is placed from the perspective of one of the units under command, and can be swapped to other units. Another exciting aspect is the multiplayer mode, which is said to be massive multiplayer in which online battles will take place in over 40 locations across the globe, and each faction’s hold on territory will continually change based on the number of victories or defeats. EndWar is sounding pretty ambitious, and with this new take on the RTS hopefully the game will play well on a 360.
For more info on Tom Clancys EndWar
4. Ninja Gaiden 2
Original Xbox gamers all have some very fond and frustrating memories of Tecmo’s very hard core action game Ninja Gaiden. Ryu Hyabusa is making his return exclusively to the 360 with even more frenetic action, and if you’ve seen the gameplay video, an unbelievable amount of blood. The game will feature new weapons, a 30 hour long story mode, the return of the Master Ninja Tournament, and a new health system that regenerates at save points for all you ninja dogs out there. Another new gameplay element is the obliteration moves which allow Ryu to eviscerate numerous opponents in one swift movement.
For more info on Ninja Gaiden 2
3. Fallout 3
One of the most anticipated RPGS of next year, Fallout 3 is promising some ambitious RPG gameplay and is being brought to us by the folks at Bethesda, who were responsible for the last two Elder Scrolls games. The game takes place in 2077, after a nuclear holocaust which drove thousands of people into underground vaults, emerging hundreds of years later into a wasteland inhabited by mutants and various other vile things. The game begins in one of these underground vaults, where the player is eventually tasked with venturing out into a 1950’s style futuristic world that was ravaged by the apocalyptic war. What you do after that is up to you as the game allows the player to freely traverse the world looking for quests. Unlike the previous Fallout games, this one will take place in the first person, although Bethesda has made it clear that this is no FPS, saying that combat will be determined by the player’s skill set. Even though it’s still a ways off, Fallout 3 is looking to be a very engrossing RPG with an almost overwhelming amount of depth, if you’re a big Oblivion fan keep your eyes on this one.
For more info on Fallout 3
2. Halo Wars
From the titles being announced for next year, it’s looking like the RTS genre is really starting to flourish on consoles, and is also arriving in new forms more suited to a 360 controller. Halo Wars is one of the most important games for the Xbox community, as it is the first spin off game of the Halo franchise, and everyone is wondering if it will live up to the series’ past success. The game takes place before the events of the first Halo game, and will be set around humanity’s first engagements with the Covenant.
Developer Ensemble studios have designed the game for the 360 from the ground up, and made various adjustments so an RTS can work on a console. Creating units and managing resources will be done by bringing up a rotary menu and selecting whichever option you wish for simple administration of your army. So far it looks like Ensemble is doing a good job of recreating classic Halo vehicles and characters, that all behave like any fan would expect. And yes, you will be able to command Spartans, but there is no word yet if any of them will be Master Chief.
For more info on Halo Wars
1. GTA 4
Although there are a lot of great games coming out next year, nothing quite matches the sequel to one of gamings most successful and controversial franchises of all time. GTA 4 returns the series to a very beautiful next-gen version of Liberty City, where you will be playing as Niko Bellic, who has come to aid his brother Roman who has gotten himself into trouble with the wrong people. The game will be bringing numerous changes to the series, one most importantly is that jacking cars will now involve more effort than pressing a button; Niko must first break the glass and then hot wire the care before driving off.
The game also possesses a new cover system for combat similar to Gears of War, in order to replace the cumbersome controls of previous GTA titles. The way your wanted level works has also changed, as the player must now escape a zone in which the police are searching, the higher the wanted level the bigger the zone. There is still a lot more to be revealed about the game, such as multiplayer modes, but it is already apparent that Rockstar is intent on making GTA 4 the next true evolution of the series.
For more info on Grand Theft Auto 4