Exclusive peek at coming Xbox 360 games (April-Dec 2008) – Part II

This is the second part of my preview of the 10 most anticipated games coming out on the Xbox 360 this year.

The first part can be read here.

All the games were shown to us at the Xbox 360’s 2nd birthday party at The Screening Room on April 3rd. Well, some only had trailers because the games weren’t done being developed. But here’s a peek at the stuff we were shown.

Alone in the Dark

More gory zombie slasher survival thriller goodness coming your way!

[Alone in the Dark screen 1] [Alone in the Dark  screen 2] [Alone in the Dark  screen 3]

It seems a common enough theme in games for heroes to wake up disoriented in an eerie, perhaps threatening, environment, posing a challenge to the player to figure out what’s happening and to get the hell out of there.

But Alone in the Dark has the privilege of being a pioneer in the survival horror genre (first released for the PC in 1992), so you can’t exactly accuse it of being unoriginal.

This remake has some potential stuff to look forward to, not the least of which is the episodic treatment of the game. It’s made to look like a TV series, with each episode unfolding just like a TV drama complete with recaps and plot synopses.

There is a lot more interactivity. You can pick up just about anything that’s sitting around and use it like you might in the real world. You can even combine items to help you get through obstacles. Brains and logic count for a lot in this game.

For instance, you could grab a coffee maker and beat a zombie over the head with it. Okay, that’s a no-brainer, but I mentioned that because that’s what you’ll get to see in this funny video. I filmed it as an Atari representative played game for us.

It’s hilarious how the crazy zombie wretch just refuses to die. Watch it to the end. I promise you you won’t regret it.

Alone in the Dark releases on June 24, 2008.

Official site on Atari.com.

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Mirror’s Edge

I like this one. We were shown a CG trailer highlighting the plot and special features, and I hope the game will be as good as the trailer looks. (Sorry, we’re not allowed to share the trailer.)

The protaganist is Faith (that will be you), a spunky neo-Asian chick who works as a courier in a sterile city set in the future.

[Mirror's Edge]

She’s no ordinary courier, wouldn’t you know. Faith is faster than a speeding bullet. More powerful than a locomotive. Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound.

Oh, wait. That’s the wrong superhero.

But she sure does kick ass, all the same. And her mode of transport is leaping tall buildings. Really.

Because the government monitors everything that goes on in the city and strictly controls the flow of information, there is a need for talented, gravity-defying individuals to courier sensitive information above the prying eyes of the government.

Yes, if you can leap from rooftop to rooftop, you can make a bid for Faith’s job.

So you get to do Matrix-like stuff in the game as you go about your business. You grab objects on the fly to use as weapons to help you overcome obstacles. According to the developers, the game is not about brute force. It’s about outhinking the man behind the gun.

The game camera is free-flowing in the sense that it follows your movement more realistically than most other first-person games. Real-time momentum is built in, like, you can’t come to a sudden halt in the middle of a sprint. And you will actually feel woozy when looking down or leaping off tall buildings. Unless you’re a daredevil with no heart.

[Mirror's Edge screen 1] [Mirror's Edge screen 2] [Mirror's Edge screen 3]

Mirror’s Edge releases late 2008.

Official site on Mirror’s Edge.

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Destroy All Humans! Path of the Furon

So, like, the tables are turned and the human race gets obliterated by a retro disco-era zen alien going by the name of Crypto.

In the words of the trailer: “To attain enlightenment, you must expand your mind, master time and space and blow the living crap out of everything.”

Sounds like everything you ever wanted to do, doesn’t it, you sicko? Especially since you get to destroy all humans, as the title of the game strongly suggests.

What the heck, this brand new exclusive trailer says it all:

Destroy All Humans! Path of the Furon releases May 16 (UK, Australia) and September 15 (USA), 2008.

Official site on Destroy All Humans.

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FaceBreaker

Personally, it’s kinda worrying to me that there’s an actual sport revolving around beating people’s faces in. But if that’s what people like to do for leisure, who am I to object?

FaceBreaker takes arcade boxing up a whole new level with real-time facial deformation.

Yes, it’s not enough for people to see cars getting pounded in and smashed up in racing sims. People want to see people get pounded in and smashed up now. Oh, and let’s top it off with a cherry, why don’t we.

Put your photo on your avatar. Put your worst enemy’s photo on your opponent’s avatar. Uh huh.

We were told that your photo will get 3D’ed nicely so your boxing avatars will look just like you and your good friend, Billy Wanna Get Punched In The Face.

How about that?

[FaceBreaker screen 1] [FaceBreaker  screen 2] [FaceBreaker  screen 3]

Official site on EA Sports.

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UEFA EURO 2008

You can probably tell that I know nothing about sports or sports games, so I’m naturally biased and won’t be talking at length about this title. Haha. That’s just how it is, unfortunately.

All I can say is that the developers promise highly authentic stadiums and teams. And the game interface has been made easier for casual players to get into it.

Die-hard fans can check out the Be A Pro mode, in which you zero in on one particular player and develop his career from scratch.

Oh, and there’s this cool feature you can invoke when you score a goal. It’s called a celebration scene, during which you can make the scoring player perform celebratory dances while your enemy watches. And you can do it as much as you want, disrupting the game for as long as you want, to really rile your opponent.

Coolness! I like that, even if I won’t play this game.

[UEFA 2008 EURO screen 1] [UEFA 2008 EURO screen 2] [UEFA 2008 EURO screen 3]

UEFA EURO 2008 releases on April 11 (Europe) and May 19 (USA), 2008

Preorder is available here.
Official site on EA Sports.

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That’s all for upcoming games this period. If you liked my previews, tell me and I might do more. If you didn’t like them, what the heck, I still might do more because I like playing games and talking about them. So there.