Eye On '07: PC • Page 2

A truly promising Vista.

Honourable Mentions

Alan Wake

  • Developer: Remedy Entertainment;
  • Publisher: Microsoft Game Studios
  • Also Available On: Xbox 360
  • Gamepage

Max Payne creators Remedy have superb pedigree when it comes to fantastic visuals, and Alan Wake looks like being a showcase for the capabilities of modern graphics hardware. This is far from a pretty-but-dumb game, though. Described by the developer as a "psychological action thriller", this has the potential to combine the best elements of Grand Theft Auto and Silent Hill with gameplay that draws heavily on the engine's ability to render convincing light and shadow. Being Remedy, though, it also has the potential to be delayed again, and again, and again - but Max Payne proved that it's worth keeping the faith sometimes.

Alone in the Dark

aitd
  • Developer: Eden Games;
  • Publisher: Atari
  • Also Available On: Xbox 360, PS3
  • Gamepage

The venerable franchise that launched the survival horror genre returns on next-generation consoles - and while the likes of Resident Evil and Silent Hill have overshadowed Alone in the Dark in recent years, early looks at this update to the series suggest that its fantastic atmosphere and focus on short, tightly plotted episodes may well propel it back to the cutting edge of videogame horror.

Assassin's Creed

creed
  • Developer: Ubisoft Montreal;
  • Publisher: Ubisoft
  • Also Available On: Xbox 360, PS3
  • Gamepage

The latest creation from the studio that reinvigorated Prince of Persia is one of the most hotly anticipated titles for the new generation of consoles, and for good reason; early demonstrations have shown stunningly realistic combat and movement, adaptive AI which sees entire crowds reacting realistically to your actions, and the kind of freedom of choice which gamers have dreamed about for years.

Bioshock

bio
  • Developer: Irrational Games;
  • Publisher: 2K Games
  • Also Available On: Xbox 360
  • Gamepage

The "spiritual successor" to the classic System Shock series is laden with promise. The series seamlessly integrates brilliant narrative, a complex, interactive world and thoughtful first-person action into a brilliant, atmospheric whole. Bioshock adds an "AI ecology" to the mix - giving other characters and entities in the world their own objectives and personalities, which interact with both the player and with each other to create surprising, complex scenarios, unlikely alliances and even moral dilemmas. Transposing the action from the abandoned space station setting of System Shock to an art deco undersea city has given the game a unique visual style to complement its extraordinary gameplay - and is just another reason on the growing list of reasons that Bioshock screams "instant classic" at us.

Brothers in Arms: Hell's Highway

biahh
  • Developer: Gearbox;
  • Publisher: Ubisoft
  • Also Available On: Xbox 360, PS3
  • Gamepage

In the crowded World War II shooter market, Brothers In Arms stands out not just for its tactical nature - where commanding your squad is as important as shooting straight - but also because it's one of the few WWII games which focuses heavily on characters and relationships rather than on guns and explosions. Hell's Highway continues the story through Operation Market Garden, and promises to be the thinking man's WWII game - with civilians to consider, clever AI to outsmart, and missions that require careful thought rather than just rushing towards an objective marker on the map.

Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars

cc
  • Developer: EA;
  • Publisher: EA Games
  • Also Available On: Xbox 360
  • Gamepage

It's no secret that we weren't big fans of the last C&C outing here at Eurogamer. However, while the dismal and borderline offensive Generals was a fairly major disappointment, our enthusiasm for the C&C series continues unabated - all the more so because C&C3: Tiberium Wars looks like being a truly worthy successor to the franchise, and a bloody good game to boot. The RTS genre is increasingly crowded with quality products, but the promise of classic C&C gameplay with a refined and streamlined user interface and a more involved, multi-threaded story (not to mention the return of Kane) is good enough for us, frankly.

Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2

graw2
  • Developer: Ubisoft;
  • Publisher: Ubisoft
  • Also Available On: Xbox 360, PS3
  • Gamepage

The first GRAW was a stand-out hit for the Xbox 360, and we know plenty of people who are still playing it months later - so the team knew that for the second game (or the fifth in the Ghost Recon series, but who's keeping count ), they couldn't afford to rest on their laurels. GRAW2 is promising dramatic real-time weather effects, even more stunning lighting, realistic smoke and gas effects and a host of other visual changes - but more importantly, it's also going to beef up the tactical side of the game, especially in terms of how you select your squad and the impact that has on the success of your mission.

Half-Life 2: Episode Two

hl2
  • Developer: Valve;
  • Publisher: Valve / Steam
  • PC Exclusive (Although it'll be part of a pack on Xbox 360/PS3)
  • Gamepage

Look, we know - it's not even a mission pack, it's part of a mission pack. However, after the seminal Half-Life 2 and the first episode of Valve's follow-up series, we're excited about this like no other expansion ever (except perhaps Burning Crusade, but we'll be covering MMOG titles for 2007 in another article). Episode One proved that Valve had no intention of churning out more of the same, while reaffirming their commitment to making sure that everything with the Half-Life name on it is truly top-notch FPS entertainment; Episode Two, accompanied by the launch of Team Fortress 2, could well prove the validity of episodic gaming as well as simply being an awesome game.

Haze

haze
  • Developer: Free Radical Design;
  • Publisher: Ubisoft
  • Also Available On: Xbox 360, PS3
  • Gamepage

Most famous for being "the guys who did Goldeneye" when they were at Rare, Free Radical have proved their worth with the comical but beautifully balanced TimeSplitters games, and the more recent departure into seriousness, Second Sight. Haze is another "serious" first person shooter; set in the near future in South America, it sees you fighting as part of a band of mercenaries against an insane rebel leader who wears the skins of his captives as clothing. Nice. The graphically stunning Haze remains largely under wraps for now - but great things are expected.

Medal of Honor Airborne

moha
  • Developer: EA Los Angeles;
  • Publisher: EA Games
  • Also Available On: PS3, Xbox 360, Wii, PS2
  • Gamepage

The next version of EA's massive Medal of Honor franchise, as the name suggests, focuses on the airborne units - placing you in the boots of a paratrooper who is dropped into various war zones across the European theatre of World War II. Updated graphics are a given; the chief innovation that's been revealed so far is that you can control your descent in the parachute, and where you eventually land will affect how your mission plays out significantly. Shadowrun Developer: FASA Studios; Publisher: Microsoft Game Studios Also Available On: Xbox 360 Starting out life as an astonishingly deep pen and paper roleplaying world, Shadowrun is now the (very loose) basis for FASA's eagerly awaited multiplayer-only first person shooter. Focused entirely on bringing both top-notch combat and the cyberpunk abilities from the Shadowrun universe into squad-based FPS action, the game won't have much to offer to non Xbox Live types - just offline play against bots, no campaign mode - but online, a combination of superbly creative abilities (seeing through walls, gliding, turning into fog and plenty more) with high-powered ranged and melee weapons promises one of the most interesting multiplayer experiences of the year.

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.

stalk
  • Developer: GSC Game World;
  • Publisher: THQ
  • PC Exclusive
  • Gamepage

It's been in development for almost as long as industry laughing-stock Duke Nukem Forever (which isn't on this list because frankly, putting it on a "most wanted" list for the sixth year running seems a bit silly), but S.T.A.L.K.E.R. looks like it's finally nearing the finish line. Relentlessly grim, the game is set in the real-life exclusion zone around the Chernobyl reactor, and while reaction from those who have seen it so far has been mixed, gamers who have been following the progress of the title for around five years will undoubtedly be keen to see how it turns out.

Unreal Tournament 2007

ut07
  • Developer: Epic Games;
  • Publisher: Midway
  • Also Available On: PS3
  • Gamepage

Epic's latest instalment in the Unreal Tournament series will be a showcase for the latest version of the industry-leading Unreal technology - and given the new benchmark which the Unreal-powered Gears of War set for the Xbox 360, it's going to be interesting to see how it shapes up on the latest PC hardware. As, of course, will fans of the most extensive and finely tuned series of multiplayer FPS games ever - if UT2007 continues the progress the series made with UT2004, this should be a really exciting game for the online multiplayer fraternity.

The Witcher

witcher
  • Developer: CD Projekt; Publisher: Atari
  • PC Exclusive
  • Gamepage

Another game which has been on the radar for some time and will finally see the light of day in 2007 is CD Projekt's The Witcher, a fantasy role-playing game which runs on Bioware's rather excellent Aurora engine. While it's a relatively traditional western role- playing game at heart, the combat system promises to be interesting - and perhaps more importantly, the game looks like being relentlessly, uncompromisingly grim and bleak, and bloody violent to boot. Topping it off, the storyline branches all over the place depending on your actions, and the vast amount of content that requires may go some way to explaining why it's been in development for such a long time.

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About the author

Rob Fahey

Rob Fahey

Contributing Editor

Rob Fahey is a former editor of GamesIndustry.biz who spent several years living in Japan and probably still has a mint condition Dreamcast Samba de Amigo set.

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