Part one of our action-adventure round-up looked at the likes of GTA IV, Metal Gear Solid 4, and Devil May Cry... 4, amongst others. Here's part two, complete with the new Ninja Gaiden, Resident Evil 5, Tomb Raider Undeworld and many more.
Army of Two
Is Army of Two a shooter or an action-adventure game? Lead designer Chris Ferriera reckons it fits into "a new genre - the genre of the pure co-op game, of everything being focused on two players from the ground up". Its "aggro" system is a bit like the one in RPGs, letting you draw people's attention so your mate can do some damage.
The storyline revolves around Private Military Corporations and the ethical issues surrounding them. You and a friend (or an AI partner, but that's sort of missing the point) will embark on a series of missions specially designed for two players, using unique tactics and taking advantage of your doubled firepower.
"With co-op undeniably enjoyable in virtually every shooter it's in, and broadband penetration in a genuinely sweet spot for the first time since consoles noticed the Internet, EA's timing is certainly right," observes Tom. "Army of Two looks like the first decent stab at the inevitable next step."
Bloodyform for you: For more on the game, including details of the AI, swearing and tampons, read the full preview. Army of Two is due out on PS3 and Xbox 360 this spring.
Last year it was Naughty Dog's turn to leave cartoon characters behind and give it all realism, and now Sucker Punch is saying goodbye to Sly Raccoon. The developer's next title, Infamous, features a human lead and decidedly darker tone - as illustrated by the trailer.
Looks like your character will have various super powers that allow you to chuck cars about, blow stuff up, fight robots and so on. It's also been suggested that the city around you will change depending on whether you decide to pursue justice or wreak havoc. Or save the cheerleader.
Infamous is due out some time this year, exclusively on PS3.
On the Sly: How come no one in Europe liked the Sly Raccoon games apart from Kristan? Perhaps their genius will finally be recognised now he's dead. Sly, not Kristan.
Everyone may have stopped watching Lost in March 2006, but that's not going to stop Ubisoft doing a game based on it for PC, PS3 and Xbox 360. You play as a survivor of Oceanic Flight 815. Not one of the characters from the TV show, though you do get to interact with them.
There are puzzles to solve, enemies to outwit and probably a load of nonsense about buttons and bunkers and her out of Babylon 5. The game is being developed in collaboration with ABC Studios, and series producer Bryan Burk has been left feeling "giddy" at the whole experience.
"Many of us on Lost have been hardcore gamers for years and the chance to work with Ubisoft, a company behind some of our favourite titles, has excited us to no end," he definitely said and didn't just approve for the press release.
"We’re giddy to be developing a game that, once completed, will be as engaging and fun to play as it is to create."
Find out if the game leaves you feeling similarly nauseous and disorientated when it's released this spring.
In this order: Sawyer, Mr Eko, Sawyer again, Jack, Sayid, Sawyer, Sawyer again. Maybe Jin if he asked really nicely, but never Boooooone.
Indiana Jones 2008
That's a working title, by the way. It was slightly different up until 11 days ago, but clearly there's been a bit of a delay - not too surprising when you consider what they're trying to accomplish with the new Indiana Jones game.
It's in development for PS3 and Xbox 360 and is being built using Euphoria, a behavioural simulation engine from NaturalMotion. According to LucasArts this makes characters (including enemies, not just Indy) "move, act and even think like actual human beings, adapting their behaviour on the fly and resulting in a different payoff every single time".
If characters stumble, they'll attempt to regain their balance; if they're about to fall they'll brace themselves, and so on. Because it's all unscripted, "You'll never see the same thing twice".
Kristan got to see a tech demo of the game back in May 2006 and reckons Euphoria has "big potential in a gameplay context". Read his preview for more.
Lucas hearts: King George himself has written an original story for Indiana Jones 2008. He's unlikely to do any interviews with videogame journalists about it. But just saying, watersports and everything.
Resident Evil 5
The Resident Evil 5 trailer was shown as a highlight at both Microsoft and Sony's E3 conferences last year and caused quite a stir. Admittedly this was partly because it was an actual game and not a green Xbox 360 or a yellow PSP. (You can see it for yourself, along with some other videos and screenshots, over on the gamepage.)
We've since learned that Resi 5 will see hero Chris journeying to Africa, where he encounters a new kind of enemy with a bit more intelligence than thicky zombies. A female character recognisable to long-time fans of the series is also set to make an appearance.
Light will play a key role in the gameplay. You'll have to consider how long it will take for your eyes to adjust when going between dark interiors to brightly lit outside environments, and learn how to use light as a weapon.
The game is being worked on by former members of Capcom's Clover Studio. This is good news as Clover was responsible for titles in the Resi, Viewtiful Joe and Devil May Cry series, plus the excellent Okami, before being shut down last year.
Resident Evil 5 will be released for PS3 and Xbox 360 this year.
Be my Valentine: Bored? Lonely? Aroused by the idea of fictional characters getting drunk and lezzing up? Why not read some appalling fan fiction.
Ninja Gaiden 2
Our current to-do list looks something like this: "1. Finish action adventure round-up. 2. Do round-ups for outstanding genres (approx. 700000000 words). 3. Stop saying dog eggs." Ryu Hayabusa's to-do list looks like this: "1. Avenge clan. 2. Prevent destruction of human race."
We could spend hours debating who has the hardest task, but anyway. Ninja Gaiden 2 features a new game engine and combat system. You can play with a variety of old and new weapons and finish off enemies using something called Obliteration Techniques. Plus there are new auto-healing and save point systems.
Multiple difficulty settings will be available from the beginning. According to Team Ninja, it's all part of a bid to make the game "both accessible to more casual players" (i.e. not as bastard hard) and "challenging even to the most demanding gamers" (i.e. with a bastard hard option to stop the Internet complaining).
Ninja Gaiden 2 will be "the world's premier action game", according to Team Ninja. Find out if they're making it up when it's released exclusively for Xbox 360 later this year.
Tecmo tecmo tecmo: Team Ninja is of course led by Tomonobu Itagaki, creator of the Dead or Alive franchise and definitely not a sex pest.
Tomb Raider Underworld
Details on Lara's latest outing are still scarce, but according to US PLAY magazine the theme is "pure woman versus wild". Perhaps it's about her trying to get home in an unlicensed mini cab.
They've overhauled the technology since Legend, apparently, so Lara will now leave footprints in mud, and they will be washed away, like tears, in the rain. Our heroine has been animated using motion-capture and there's new dynamic lighting. Plus, bodies and debris won't just disappear when she moves away from them. Welcome to 2002.
While "Underworld" smacks worryingly of darkness as in "Angel of", it's comforting to know Crystal Dynamics are in charge once again. No screenshots as yet, but Eidos has invited us round for tea in a couple of weeks so we'll have more then. Tomb Raider Underworld is "tentatively" scheduled for a 2008 release on PC, PS3 and Xbox 360.
Underworld: If you thought the Resident Evil fan fiction was bad, you should see what people write about Lara Croft. Excerpt: '"They’re real," she declared, and hated herself for saying it.'
Silent Hill V
This time it's the turn of war veteran Alex Shepherd to embark on an epic mission that will leave him terrified, mystified and feeling a bit sick. In the search for his missing younger brother, Alex finds himself exploring the insular community of Shepherd's Glen, but inevitably winds up wandering round the streets of Silent Hill.
The combat system has been enhanced, so there are new offensive and defensive moves to fight the wide variety of horror shows you come across. They've also been creating new puzzles and you'll need to take your cues from the environment to solve them. Akira Yamaoka has been drafted in to do the soundtrack once again.
The development team, however, has changed. Out goes Team Silent, in comes Team Collective - the people behind Marc Ecko, the Buffy game and the forthcoming Dirty Harry. Let your imagination run wild. Silent Hill V is in development for PS3 and Xbox 360.
Shhh: You'll find some screenshots and several videos of Silent Hill V over on the gamepage.
The Chronicles of Riddick: Dark Athena
The first Riddick game, released in 2004, was met with widespread critical acclaim. Not least from Tom, who declared there was a "moral obligation" to at least give it a go. "Riddick deserves to mark the pivotal moment when movie games changed forever," he concluded. That went well.
The sequel was supposed to be out by the end of last year, but Starbreeze decided to spend a bit more time on it following criticism from fans. The main complaint seemed to be that while it looked jolly nice, there wasn't enough new content - hopefully they've addressed that now.
You'll get to explore the Merc-ship of the title, and face off with Captain Revas and her enslaved combat drones. Multiplayer combat will feature, too. Dark Athena is now due out this year, and it'll be available for PS3 and Xbox 360.
One more time: Just in case you missed part one of our action adventure round-up, here's that Vin Diesel breakdancing video. It's worth watching again in any case.
Due out this "fall" on PS3 and Xbox 360 (there's definitely a pattern emerging here), Dead Space is a new sci-fi horror adventure from Electronic Arts. You play as Isaac Clarke, an ordinary engineer who finds himself in the midst of an alien infestation.
It's being developed at Redwood Shores, the studio behind The Sims, The Godfather and Lord of the Rings. By the sounds of things, the emphasis will be on psychological trickery and atmospheric thrills rather than constant gore.
"We're all such huge fans of the horror and sci-fi genres, we wanted to create the most terrifying game we could, and keep the player on the edge of his seat the entire time," explains executive producer Glen Schofield. Jolly good.
In Valen's name: WHY WON'T SOMEONE MAKE A BABYLON 5 GAME?. Happy days.
Mercenaries 2: World in Flames
It's not even out yet and Mercenaries 2 has already caused controversy. The storyline is "inspired by" the current political situation in Venezuela, which doesn't sit too well with the Venezuelan Solidarity Campaign. They've even called on Bono, an investor in the development studio, to take action.
Anyway, EA is billing World in Flames as an open-world action game "featuring the latest in civilian and military technology - everything from shiny new sports cars to the future-tech satellite-guided bunker-busting mini-nuke". Expect lots of skulduggery and explosions: "If you see it, you can buy it, steal it or blow the living crap out of it."
Speaking to us last year, lead designer Scott Warner said his favourite feature of the game is "definitely online co-operative play". He added, "Being able to play with my buddy in an open-world action game is a pretty new frontier in videogaming, and I'm glad that we're trailblazing in this regard." Aren't we all. Except for the Venezuelan Solidarity Campaign.
Kristan enjoyed the first Mercenaries, describing it as "a brilliantly enjoyable all-action extravaganza of blockbuster proportions". Let's hope the sequel will turn out even better when it's released for PC, PS2, PS3 and Xbox 360.
Shady business: As someone once wrote on the Viz letters page, we'd just like Bono to stop telling us to give money to the starving while wearing pink sunglasses that cost £500.
As reader Daymare put it the other day, "Wake the f*** up, Alan, it's 2008 already." Indeed, Alan's shown little sign of stirring since his game was first announced at E3 2005, and there's still no definitive word on when he's planning to get up.
For those who've forgotten, Alan Wake is a psychological action thriller for PC and Xbox 360. It's being developed by Remedy, the studio behind the Max Payne games. The titular hero is a best-selling suspense author who moves to a small town to recover after his fiancee mysteriously disappears. Complications ensue.
Light plays an important role in the game. Enemies get their strength from shadows, so Alan must learn to use light along with conventional weapons to deck them. Driving is also integral to the gameplay.
According to lead designer Petri Järvilehto, "Intense cinematic action is something that we love to do, and Alan Wake features tense combat gameplay as well." But overall, "The game has a lot more emphasis on adventure and exploration than Max Payne did."
I'd rather Jackson: Eurogamer's favourite Alan is multi-million selling country and western singer Alan Jackson. His best song is 9/11 tribute Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning). Highlight: 'I'm just a singer of simple songs, I'm not a real political man / I watch CNN but I'm not sure I can tell you / The difference in Iraq and Iran'.
The first Mafia game sold more than two million copies around the globe, so it didn't come as much of a surprise when 2K announced a sequel was on the way. Once again driving and on-foot action is promised, and the game will be set in the mob underworld of the late '40s - early '50s.
In a press release that also includes the phrase "high octane" and the word "leveraging", 2K president Christoph Hartmann says Mafia 2 will offer "the benchmark-setting visual quality and action that you only expect to see in Hollywood movies". Judge for yourself - the trailer is now showing on Eurogamer TV.
Mafia 2 is a PC exclusive. (No it isn't - it's for 360 and PS3 as well. I apologise and have resigned.) A release date has yet to be announced.
Mob rule: The first Mafia may have sold two million copies, but Eurogamer didn't think much of it at the time.
Viking: Battle for Asgard
We're very excited about this one, mainly because it's already given us reason to write some of the worst straplines of all time (2000 brake Norse power! Don't myth out! Inspect a Norse! Total War creator developing!).
Viking: Battle for Asgard is a hack-and-slasher which sees you playing as young warrior Skarin. He's been sent by Odin to defend Midgard from the goddess Hel and her army of undead Vikings. Also there's a wolf-god in it.
"In essence, gameplay is split between preparing the ground for war and then making sure the war goes to plan," explains Tom. "A bit like Dynasty Warriors with funny hats. And dragon air-strikes." According to Quintin, "Battle For Asgard could well end up being the game a lot of people wanted out of Fable." Perhaps including Peter Molyneux.
Developer Creative Assembly certainly has an impressive pedigree, what with the Total War series under its belt. Find out how Viking: Battle for Asgard matches up when the game hits PS3 and Xbox 360 on 28th March.
Drugs and Vikings don't mix: Evidence.
That concludes our round-up of 2008's bestest looking action adventure titles. Coming soon: sports, strategy, RPGs and whatever flipping category Wii Fit goes in.