Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction
The Ratchet and Clank series has always fared well in front of critics but has traditionally found a younger platforming audience. This, the sixth title under the name will be hoping to convince the older, early-adopting PS3 demographic of its worth.
That said, the plot details so far are pure Saturday morning kid's TV. The titular protagonists face an alien invasion from a species known as Cragmites. During a huge battle over the streets of Metropolis the duo manage to steal a warship in which to make a getaway and begin an adventure to find out the origins of the attack.
The game mechanics appear to focus strongly on the platforming elements that defined the earlier games eschewing much of the weapon-based combat of more recent iterations. This is accompanied by a more light-hearted approach to both gameplay (the Groovitron grenade is a glitterball weapon which immobalises enemies by playing irresistible disco music at them) and storyline.
Unreal Tournament 3
An Unreal Tournament game with a single player storyline? If that's not a surprising enough feature for a series that has traditionally sidestepped even the most fleeting brush with narrative, then the huge reduction of multiplayer modes will surely stop fans in their tracks.
While the game, the latest title in a run-and-gun FPS series that has outlived most of its id Software rivals, does include Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, Capture the Flag and Warfare mode, that's almost it. This more streamlined approach is intended to distil the series most successful achievements into a compelling package.
While the game is exclusive to PC and PS3 for 2007, it will launch on 360 early next year. Players concerned about how well the lightning-paced battles will play out on a Sixaxis controller have been told to rest assured that Epic's Gears of War team has been working "day and night" to get them just right ahead of launch.
With both Project Gotham and Forza now firmly established racing brand successes for the 360, Gran Turismo 5 Prologue has a heavy burden of expectation and responsibility to bear as Sony's flagship racing title.
Numerous new features help propel the series deeper into sim territory. Speedometers and odometers as well as rear and side view mirrors are now visible from the in-car view. Reportedly, it will even be possible to turn your driver's head within the car to look around you using the d-pad.
However, the series has, in more recent times, attracted criticism for being too dry and too sim-like to really connect with a wide console audience. Prologue looks to be addressing some of the issues by promising to integrate fully with Home (the PS3's new social networking environment) as well as providing on-line voice chat. Nevertheless, most of these features are already present in Forza 2 so GT5 Prologue really needs to provide something over and above that excellent game if it's to maintain its position at the forefront of the console racing world.