#98: Bionic Commando
2008: PC, PS3, Xbox 360 Another vintage NES game gets a second lease on life, new-gen style. Players control a dreadlock-sporting super-soldier equipped with a mechanical arm. His attachment projects a sticky grappling hook that can latch onto any surface within range, grab onto enemies, and enables him to perform special moves such as the zip-kick and the barrel toss. Online play is a go, too: Bionic Commando will support up to 10 players online. Best of all, according to producer Ben Judd, you'll be able to "get online and join the Swinger's Club," which includes online stats and leaderboards. Really? Because, for a second there, we thought "Swinger's Club" might mean something else.
2009: PS3, Xbox 360 In the history of footwear, we may point to secret agent Maxwell Smart's shoe phone as revolutionary. We can hail Disco Stu's platform shoes with the goldfish in them as inspired. And both Smart and Stu would die horribly when shot in the face with guns mounted on video game heroine Bayonetta's shoes. Bayonetta, a witch who not only possesses magical abilities and fearsome martial arts skills but also fatal footwear, will be waging war in the third-person perspective against angels aplenty next year. Hideki Kamiya, the man who created the Devil May Cry series for Capcom, serves as Bayonetta's director, so this one definitely has potential.
#96: Beyond Good & Evil 2
TBA: PS3, Xbox 360 The touching story of a plucky young photographer and her porcine pal continues with Beyond Good & Evil 2. For those who missed the first game, Beyond Good & Evil offered a sweeping conspiracy, plenty of stealth action, and some good-natured humor for what was, essentially, a feel-good adventure that a lot of people missed out on. No plot details have emerged yet, but Ubisoft president Yves Guillemot recently went on record, saying "Beyond Good & Evil was probably a little too difficult...we're going to make it more accessible for the new generation that's come into videogames."
November: PlayStation 3 Travel back to the undersea city of Rapture, where creepy little sisters will remind you, "Angels are waiting for their kisses," meaning it's time for them to stick the needle in a corpse and collect its-uh-stuff. And, rest assured, there will be plenty of twisted enemies for you to shoot, or burn, or freeze, or sting with bees from your hands. This first-person shooter was awesome on Xbox 360 and with new content surely in the works, it will be suitably titanic on PlayStation 3.
September: PC, PS3, Xbox 360 In video games, no explorers ever visit the planet of tea and earthly delights. On the world of Pandora, colonists have found nothing but misery and famine. Borderlands, a first-person shooter with role-playing game elements, drops players on Pandora, giving them the opportunity to loot an alien archive or drop dead trying.
Borderlands offers three playable characters, and each has a special skill or talent. The psionically inclined Lilith can alter time; Soldier Roland can use his leadership abilities to augment the fighting prowess of his allies; and Mordecai can call upon a powerful alien ally. The gameplay blends first-person shooting with vehicle-based mayhem, and players will be offered lots of quests. Along the way, they'll have access to a great wealth of weapons; Here are six reasons we're excited to visit this hellhole.
• 1) Over one million weapons. The game promises a random weapon generator with countless variations. A pistol that fires shotgun shells? Yeah, you'll find it somewhere.
• 2) Mad Max-style vehicular combat. In the online cooperative play mode, up to four players can hop into dune buggies and tanks to take on enemy pirates or loot alien ruins.
• 3) No loading screens. Borderlands streams all of its data straight from the disc, meaning you'll be free to roam as you please without interruption.
• 4) Mutants, aliens, and alien mutants. We saw one creature that was roughly the size of the death star, and its skin lesions were home to flocks of screeching alien pterodactyls.