#30: Skate 2
Fall 2008: PS3, Xbox 360 After the original Skate outsold Tony Hawk 2:1, it was no surprise when EA announced Skate 2, a promise that already has fans flexing with anticipation. Returning to the city of San Vanelona five years after the events of the first game, players will find that skateboarding has become an outlawed phenomenon. City-erected obstacles will make tricks harder to pull off, and getting caught is no longer just a ticketable offense; it's grounds for the kinds of severe penalties that make grinding the law that much more appealing. A tight-lipped EA hasn't said much beyond the faintest hints of a harsher, more immediate skating paradise, but we're crossing our fingers for this tricked-out sequel.
#29: SOCOM: Confrontation
September 16, 2008: PS3 While Zipper Interactive works on re-imagining SOCOM 4, they've passed the reigns for an online-only SOCOM sequel over to Slant Six. Confrontation stays true to the classic gameplay of SOCOM in virtually every way-customizable weapons, realistic player damage, an authentic armory, and over-the-shoulder, squad-based shooting-and then takes things one step further by bringing it all to the PlayStation 3. You'll see a variety of multiplayer maps, both new and classic, as well as a Sixaxis tilt-enhanced cover system and some very pretty graphics. Fans of Counterstrike, Rainbow Six, and Metal Gear Online will want to check out this puppy.
#28: Silent Hill 5: Homecoming
October: PS3, Xbox 360 In 10 words: US devs tackle horror, add dodging and better combat. Boo!
#27: Spider-Man: Web of Shadows
Fall 2008: PS3, Xbox 360, Wii, PS2, PSP, DS, PC The alien symbiote, best known for turning our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man into a dark emo prick in Spider-Man 3, has spread its gooey vine-like grip throughout the streets of New York City. In Spider-Man: Web of Shadows, you have ultimate control over the fate of the city and over Spider-Man's path. Here are three ways Web of Shadows is building a better Spidey.
• 1. Red and black suit Spideys. For the first time in a Spider-Man game, you will be able to control both the acrobatic red suit Spider-Man and the savage, Venom-esque black suit Spider-Man. You can switch between the suits, even in mid-attack, to create new, devastating combos and finishing moves.
• 2. An overhauled combat system. You can now lock on to enemies - it's about time! - to help you better exploit Spidey's agility and strength. A context-sensitive camera system makes combat hyper responsive, allowing you to take on multiple enemies at once.
• 3. Choose your destiny. The choices you make will reflect the outcome of the game. Web of Shadows showcases many classic heroes and villains, and the missions you choose to accept will influence who will aid you in the fight to save New York from the impending symbiote takeover.
#26: Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood
Fall 2008: DS Hold up, now. Sonic the Hedgehog, in a role-playing game? For the Nintendo DS? Stop scratching your head -- it's true. This is a true RPG, too. You'll lead Sonic and his friends through classic locales like Green Hill Zone on a journey to rescue Knuckles and find the location of the disappearing Chaos Emeralds. You'll control everything using the DS stylus, from point-and-click movement across the world to the turn-based combat and mini-games. We're holding out a lot of hope for this unusual pairing.