THQ gathered the world's press in San Francisco this week to show off its line-up for the next year, announcing Dawn of War II just beforehand and a Saints Row 2 release date on the night before plying us all with alcohol and letting us loose on demo pods and developers.
On our way out, we snagged the expected press disk, home to dozens of screenshots and a fair old amount of trailers, too. We thought you might like to have a look, so here's what was on show:
Baja (PS3, Xbox 360) - Badger to its friends, and now to the four American journalists who laughed when we repeated our rubbish joke, this is THQ's answer to, er, its own MX vs. ATV series. You do the Baja rally, with various vehicle types and punishing terrain to cross. See what we mean in the screenshot gallery and trailer. It's due out this August.
Battle of the Bands (Wii) - Planet Moon's latest is a Guitar Hero or Rock Band-style rhythm-action button-matcher, with the focus on adversarial gameplay rather than chasing high scores. It uses Wiimote gestures rather than button taps, which is what the arrows in the screenshots are about, and the gameplay footage demonstrates how the licensed songs switch styles from hip-hop to country and so on as one band outperforms the other. Out on 16th May.
Big Beach Sports (Wii) - A Wii title from HB Studios, it's a collection of sports games that use Wiimote controls. What a great idea! The ones we got to see in depth were volleyball and cricket, and you can catch up on them yourself in the gallery and trailer. Can this do for cricket what Wii Sports did for tennis? Probably not, but it's got blue skies and big smiles, so we'll give it a pass for now. Out on 27th June.
Darksiders: Wrath of War (PS3, Xbox 360) - We prefer Strongbow. Actually, we don't. Death to apples. Anyway, this one puts you in the shoes (or lava-tainted hooves, by the look of it) of War, one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. You're cross, apparently, because people have been mean to you, so you're going to mess them up, calling to mind Devil May Cry and God of War as you do it. The devs also claim some Zelda influence on the puzzles, although we're withholding judgement, if not eternal damnation. Judge not lest ye be judged for yourself in our screenshot gallery and trailer. "Q1 2009", friends!
Deadly Creatures (Wii) - Rainbow Studios doesn't just make games about quad bikes, you know - it also makes games where you play as scorpions and spiders. Well, game. This one. No trailer for it, but you can creep and crawl around some screenshots. Might want to take a torch though - someone's forgotten to pay for the leccy. This is also out this year.
de Blob (Wii) - Based on a Dutch PC freeware game, this involves painting the town red. And yellow and blue. And green. And orange and purple. To earn points and unlock more of the city. One of the standouts in THQ's Wii line-up, this looks nice in screenshots and nicer in motion, and is due out in August.
Destroy All Humans! Path of the Furon (PS3, Xbox 360) - Forget the horrible Wii version (Ellie sometimes rings me up and complains that she can't), for this is the proper one: a fancy, openworldy sequel with lots of new ideas and glorious visuals, as demonstrated by the - you guessed it - screenshots and video. Late this year.
Red Faction: Guerrilla (PS3, Xbox 360, PC) - Not all of THQ's games begin with B or D, with Red Faction: Guerrilla smashing its way past them into hitherto unimaginable areas of the alphabet. Volition appears to be paranoid about letting people see it, with only shots available and urgent reassurances from spokespeople that it would look a lot better in the end. We don't know why they're worried, because it looked great in motion as almost the entire world could be smashed up. Years after trying destructible environments on PS2, it's back to try and have the final word. In 2009.
WALLE (PS3, Xbox 360, Wii, PS2) - Sadly though Volition cannot have the final place on the list, because there's a trio of Ws first. (Originally there was a duo, so we said "pair", and then we added Warhammer to the list, which made us look like we couldn't count. We can. We just can't proofread for dependencies.) WALLE is a Pixar tie-in with a typically silly, website-breaking name. We can't remember what it's about and won't pretend we care enough to even Google it: there are PS3/Xbox 360, PS2 and Wii galleries if this is your sort of thing. 4th June.
Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II (PC) - Not actually on the show floor, despite its announcement just prior to the Gamers Day event, but we were given three screenshots to mine for hints at what lies ahead.
WWE SmackDown vs. RAW 2009 (PS3, Xbox 360) - THQ now has both WWE and Ultimate Fighting Championship games on its books, although the latter was held back from Gamers Day so that it could be given a dedicated welcome later in the year. That left the "squared circle" clear for some sweaty screenshots to twist arms a bit until we posted them. Enjoy. 2009! Actually, 2008. Late.
Look out for more coverage of THQ Gamers Day next week.