Battlefield: Bad Company
For the first PS3 and second Xbox 360 instalment in the Battlefield series, DICE is promising a greater focus on the single-player campaign. Expect sandbox gameplay in an environment that's 90 per cent destructible, and some lovely visuals thanks to DICE's Frostbite engine.
The storyline sounds similar to that of 1999 movie Three Kings. Dropped behind enemy lines, you and your squad embark on a mission to ignore your proper mission and nick loads of gold. Apparently it's all very "deep" and "cinematic", according to the press release, and comes complete with plenty of "dark humour".
DICE is keeping pretty quiet apart from that, and there's no word on a release date other than "2008". The game was originally down to ship in 2007, though, so here's hoping they're not far off...
In the meantime: Xbox 360 owners can check out Battlefield: Modern Combat, nearly two years old now but consequently available at bargain prices. And worth it.
Brothers in Arms: Hell's Highway
Say hello, again, to wartime hero Matt Baker as he embarks on an epic quest to kick Hitler's face off. More specifically, to open a key strategic route - otherwise known as Hell's Highway - across the flat hills of Holland
What's new? More destructible environments, for starters, machine gun and bazooka teams and greater realism in the way characters look, move and think. There's also a new cover system which is better than Halo's, according to Pitchford. Brothers in Arms: Hell's Highway is due out on PC, PS3 and Xbox 360 this spring.
Who's laughing now: Operation Market-Garden was a real historical event. It's hard to think up jokes about it once you've looked it up on Wikipedia and seen the death toll.
Conflict: Denied Ops
Most sequels promise to feature more guns, better AI, improved multiplayer modes and nicer pictures as a matter of course. But Pivotal is making bolder moves with Conflict: Denied Ops - switching the perspective from third- to first-person, halving the number of men in your squad to two, and allowing you to switch direct control between them at any time.
One of your operatives is a heavy weapons specialist while the other knows his way round a sniper rifle. The idea is you combine their skills to fight strategically - setting traps, lining up flanking manoeuvres and so on. Naturally, the game also features "highly destructible environments", "advanced enemy AI" and "true next-gen lighting". There's also a two-player co-op mode with both split-screen and online options.
We've only seen the Xbox 360 version so far, but Eidos says it will look "almost identical" on PC and PS3. Which is good news, as what we saw looked impressive - read the full preview for more details.
Go-go gadget: Conflict: Denied Ops features real weapons being used in Iraq right now! To kill real people! This doesn't make as enthused as Eidos probably hoped it would.
S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky
The first S.T.A.L.K.E.R. game may have taken six years to arrive, but the sequel will be out this spring. Honest, said GSC Game World, when Tom met them last year.
A prequel to Shadow of Chernobyl, the game promises to reveal more of Strelok's history and how the Zone came into existence. It'll feature a new weapons and armour upgrade system, a redesigned HUD and PDA and all manner of new nuclear nightmares trying to chew your face up.
Never one to take the easy option, GSC has developed new animation and game engines for Clear Sky. Plus it will feature support for DirectX 10 and improved performance from the DirectX 9 renderer.
A publisher is yet to be announced - it seems THQ has washed its hands of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. following the whole six years thing. Understandable really, but here's hoping someone else picks up the sequel to what was one of last year's best PC shooters.
Ready Brek: THQ took journalists to Chernobyl to promote the last S.T.A.L.K.E.R. game. Kristan's subsequent Gamerscore increase is widely attributed to the extra thumb.
Still months away from beta testing and Killzone 2 has already caused plenty of controversy. Most recently it hit the headlines after Guerrilla admitted some screenshots had been "the tiniest bit touched up", which in the context of the Internet is akin to admitting an interest in bumming pigs. But it's certainly looking "undeniably good", at least juding by what Tom saw at last year's E3.
Set two years after the assault on Vekta, Killzone 2 sees the Helghast and ISA facing off once again - this time on enemy turf. Trusty weapons such as the M82-G and StA-52 LA are back but you'll also get new toys to play with. A multiplayer beta is scheduled for some time this year, as is the game's release.
Killzone 2 is a key product for Sony, as Worldwide Studios boss Phil Harrison is the first to admit. It'll be interesting to see whether it lives up to expectations.
Pretty poly: Guerrilla reckons it takes the same amount of polygons to create a character in Killzone 2 as it did to create an entire level in the original game. Some people care about things like this.
Coming in part two: The Club, Everyday Shooter, Ghost Squad and more.