#7: Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X.
Fall 2008: PC, PS3, Xbox 360 Flight simulations are often either absurdly complicated or shallow arcade novelties, but H.A.W.X. will explore the sweet spot between both extremes. Over fifty licensed planes offer variety and authenticity, from Lockheed Martin's pending F-35 Lightning II to older workhorses like the Russian MiG-29. You can take assignments all over the world, including scenic locales like Rio de Janeiro, and contend with plentiful hostile gunfire. The computer can draw a trajectory to intercept an enemy or evade a locked-on missile, or you can nail high-risk stunts like drifts and flips with a standard controller or flight stick.
#6: Tomb Raider: Underworld
November: PS3, Xbox 360, Wii, PS2, DS, PC Lara Croft is still the most recognizable female protagonist in video games, and new developer Crystal Dynamics has helped restore a bit of the old girl's luster. Lara returns in Underworld, and she feels nimbler than ever. Lara also comes equipped with some clever new tricks, such as deployable bombs, a grappling hook for rappelling, and a new camera item that allows you upload and share your favorite pics (or lurid Lara poses).
#5: Too Human
OUT NOW ON Xbox 360! I 10 words: Nietzche, Norse mythology, and laser guns: a Diablo III killer?
#4: Twisted Metal (Working Title)
Late 2009: PlayStation 3 About all we know about the new chapter in the long-running Twisted Metal series is that it's definitely on the way, and that original designer (and God of War creator) David Jaffe is back at the helm. Hell, the developer won't even reveal whether it'll be a full-fledged retail game or a PlayStation Store download, but just the thought of seeing Sweet Tooth's ice cream truck unleash napalm and homing missiles across brand new cutting edge arenas has us honking our horns in excitement. Eat Sleep Play announced the game in a most unusual way, too. Rather than simply issue a press release, they challenged players of the PlayStation 2's Twisted Metal: Head On: Extra Twisted Edition to find a hidden coded message that revealed the exciting new project. It got our attention, that's for sure.
#3: Velvet Assassin
October: Xbox 360, PC Set in World War II, Velvet Assassin is a stealth-action game with gameplay nods to Metal Gear Solid and Splinter Cell. You play as real-life Allied secret agent Violette Summer, who stealthily goes behind German lines to sabotage the war machine. As the game name implies, Velvet Assassin is more about sneaking up on enemies and dragging them into the shadows rather than ballistic shootouts. Much like other stealth action games, you creep around and grab enemies from behind, but here you can perform over 50 different assassination variations.