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  1. #1

    Thumbs up 50 to pick up

    July 10, 2006

    50 to pick up
    Our look at the hottest upcoming video games

    By C. Mark Brinkley
    Times staff writer

    Brothers in Arms: Hell’s Highway - Xbox 360, PS3, PC - early 2007

    It’s Sept. 17, 1944, and the Germans are on the ropes.

    That’s where you come in, brave airborne soldier, parachuting with your brothers in arms into the Netherlands to help launch Operation Market Garden, the largest airborne operation ever conducted. Tasked with securing a route for heavy Allied armor into Germany, the paratroopers soon find themselves locked in an intense battle for “Hell’s Highway.”

    Ubisoft and Gearbox Software are sending you to the front lines with “Brothers in Arms: Hell’s Highway.” The third installment in the historical shooter series, “Hell’s Highway” puts you with the 101st Airborne Division, fighting to hold the road.

    What makes it special? Next-generation, high-def graphics powered by the stunning new Unreal Engine 3, for one thing. Plus a new feature called “cinematic seamlessness” that virtually eliminates loading times and cut-screens.

    “The whole concept of levels is kind of out the window,” said Jeramy Cooke, a Gearbox designer for the project. Here, you can save anywhere, anytime, and fight on.

    Want more? How about better use of cover, more troops to command (bazookas and mortars and more, oh my) and a completely redesigned aiming system?

    “The world is a lot more interactive than before,” Cooke said, blowing up a wall in an early preview of the game.

    But is it historically accurate? The designers went to great lengths to ensure as much, using maps, documents and aerial footage from actual battles to help recreate the scenarios.

    “We take it very, very seriously,” Cooke said. For good reason: Thousands of troops on both sides died during Market Garden, which was ultimately a failure for the Allied forces.

    Want to learn more about the operation? Grab a history book or rent the film “A Bridge Too Far.”

    Want to learn more about the game? Check it out online at www.hellshighwaygame.com.

    Alliance: The Silent War - PC - 2007

    Oh, the classic debates.

    Could a young Mike Tyson whup Ali in his prime? Could Homer Simpson out-drink Peter Griffin?

    Could a World War I Czech rifle platoon defeat a six-man SEAL team from 1987?

    With the help of Windward Mark Interactive’s upcoming shooter “Alliance: The Silent War,” we might be able to settle that last one. The game takes players on a multigenerational, multicontinental romp through battles most game developers have overlooked: WWI Russia, the Castro Revolution in Cuba, the 1973 Arab-Israeli War.

    Never heard of Windward Mark Interactive? Until now, they’ve stuck to creating outdoor lighting models for flight trainers and other simulators.

    Now they’re bringing that expertise to the gaming world, creating one of the most beautiful (and well-lit) shooters we’ve seen. Plus, the arsenal of weapons — more than 200, from bolt-action rifles to MP5s — is most impressive.

    But the “What if?” multiplayer feature, allowing teams to outfit themselves in any lopsided fashion they choose, seems awesome.

    Our money’s on the SEAL team.

    Step into the light at www.alliancethegame.com.

    Frontlines: Fuel of War - Xbox 360, PS3, PC - 2007

    One of the most ludicrous ideas for a game ever: a war for — of all things, get this — oil.

    As if that could really happen.

    Coming from Kaos Studios and THQ, “Frontlines: Fuel of War” drops players into the middle of a futuristic global depression. A true Cold War emerges as the energy crisis unfolds, pitting the Western Coalition (the U.S. and European Union) against the Red Star Alliance (China and Russia).

    Pick your side and join the, well, front lines. Attack objectives in any fashion you like — just get the job done.

    Choose from 60 vehicles and weapons, all based on military designs for future warfare, and outfit your soldier with customized characteristics tuned to your playing style.

    With single and multiplayer modes, the game promises plenty of replay value. Good thing, since the coming flood of next-generation shooters is gonna make for stiff competition.

    Fill up your tank at www.frontlinesgame.com.

    Enemy Territory: Quake Wars - PC - fall

    Truthfully, we don’t hate the Strogg.

    Sure, we’ve waxed ’em over the years (most recently in “Quake 4” on Xbox 360, the best place to start if you’ve never played the series), but that doesn’t mean we don’t like them. Heck, we’d even sign up for a stint in the Strogg Foreign Legion if the pay was right.

    Looks like we’ll get the chance.

    “Enemy Territory: Quake Wars” is set between the first and second installments of the game, as the human Global Defense Force struggles against the invading alien Strogg armies. In this multiplayer-only, team-based shooter, players choose their side and their soldier class — medics, engineers, covert ops and the like, though a few of each are needed to be successful; somebody has to be Mr. Pink.

    Then the war is on, as the Strogg try to dominate and the GDF try to shift the momentum. Although there’s no traditional single-player campaign, there are solo missions where players can tackle assignments alone to earn rank and move up the food chain.

    The demo we saw was loaded with unique vehicles and weapons, robust missions and solid graphics. For fans of the “Quake” universe, it’s like a slipgate opened and the Holy Grail fell out.

    But don’t take our word for it; heck, we only do this for a living. See for yourself at www.enemyterritory.com.

    F.E.A.R. - Xbox 360 - fall

    Are you scared yet?

    Of course not. We know you. You laugh in the face of danger. You ain’t skeered.

    You love fear.

    And, probably, “F.E.A.R.,” the popular PC shooter from Sierra that topped so many critics’ lists last year. As a member of the First Encounter Assault Recon force, you’re trained to tackle missions so strange and spooky they’d make Mulder and Scully run for cover.

    Now you’ll get to try them on Xbox 360, as game designers promise to turn the PC game into a next-gen console must-have in time for a fall release. More than a straight crossover, the version will offer new levels, new weapons and expanded online action for veterans of the paranormal thriller.

    Don’t own a 360? Have no, umm, fear. The PC expansion pack, “F.E.A.R.: Extraction Point,” is also scheduled for fall release, featuring new weapons, new enemies and “different, bone-chilling environments.”

    Wanna see something scary? Check out the “F.E.A.R.” world online at www.whatisfear.com.

    Call of Duty 3 - Xbox 360, PS3, Nintendo Wii, Xbox, PS2, PSP - fall

    Considering that the only thing missing from “Call of Duty 2” was a Purple Heart, we’re not sure how you’d make “Call of Duty 3” better than ever.

    Oh wait, you add “close-quarters battle mechanics.” Get in there and get your hands dirty — beat a guy barehanded, then grab his rifle and crack his cranium with it. Or try setting traps and bombs, or other dexterous feats.

    Make the environment more interactive so you can really bring the roof down on that mickey-fickey. Expand the levels so you can choose your own path to greatness, then select the appropriate tactics and weapons to get the job done. Add new combat options, such as multiplayer vehicle combat.

    Activision and Treyarch are promising all of that and more for their new World War II shooter. Set during the breakout at Normandy and the liberation of Paris, the game is designed to extend the series’ grip on the WWII genre.

    How’s it look? All we’ve seen so far is a slick promo trailer that didn’t offer many details. But just knowing that a follow-up is due this year has our morale high.

    Want more intel? Check out www.activision.com.

    Halo 3 - Xbox 360 - 2007

    Well, if it isn’t the Master Chief, back for thirds.

    Coming next year, “Halo 3” promises to round out the trilogy with a final battle to save humanity. “This is the way the world ends,” or so we heard on the dizzying trailer that Microsoft and Bungie Studios dropped in May.

    Will it be the last game? “It is the conclusion to this story arc,” game designers answered cryptically in a message on the Bungie Web site.

    For the uninitiated, “Halo” charts the battle of humans against alien races in a futuristic war. Little is known about the main character, Master Chief, other than he’s handy in a fight. A “Halo” is an artificial world (ring-shaped, duh), and you don’t want to find out what it really does. Earth, no longer the only planet humans inhabit, has been conquered.

    There, you’re mostly caught up. Now get in the fight.

    Thanks to the overwhelming popularity of the “Halo” games (a movie is coming soon, reportedly penned by Alex Garland, author of “The Beach” and screenwriter for “28 Days Later”), Microsoft’s Xbox 360 is set. Game designers are being coy about the ins and outs of the new installment, but the trailer is more than enough to make your trigger finger quiver.

    Didn’t see it? Log on to www.xbox.com or www.bungie.net. Wanna learn more about the “Halo” universe? Check out the fan resource for all things “Halo” at www.halopedia.org.

    Crysis - PC - fall

    What if a UFO crashed to Earth and someone else got the technology first?

    That’s part of the premise of “Crysis,” a first-person shooter from Crytek (the design house for the popular “Far Cry” games — see the name thing going on here?) and Electronic Arts. A mysterious object crashes into a Pacific island jungle, sending North Korean and Chinese forces scrambling to find it.

    Playing as an elite American special operator, your job is to take on these forces and pretty much save the day. No problem for a player of your considerable skills, but wait until you go head-to-head with a monster metal alien on the deck of a sinking carrier as various aircraft slide into the drink.

    One of the first games designed around the upcoming DirectX 10 technology — if you don’t follow software, that’s a multimedia package from Windows that enables top-notch graphics and sound for games and videos — “Crysis” looks too good to be true. Think rich lighting and textures, plus massive interactive worlds. (Mow trees down to fall on hiding opponents, for instance.)

    Coming out of the recent E3 show, “Crysis” won a dozen awards from some of the biggest names in the gaming press for its graphics and game play. Our favorite features? A special suit that allows you to shift power where you need it (increasing speed or boosting strength, for example) and a bevy of crazy weapons (such as “tactical bullets” that can kill an opponent, explode on impact, put a baddie to sleep or simply serve as a homing device, depending on your needs).

    Let Microsoft hold on to “Halo 3” until next year; we’ve got other aliens to worry about.

    If you have to see it to believe it, skip the still-junky official site and go straight to the massive fan site, www.incrysis.com.

    A stellar fan site for a game that hasn’t even been released? Sometimes winners are determined by who gets there first.


  2. #2
    July 10, 2006

    “Army of one,” meet “Army of Two.”

    Forget tackling missions alone or jumping from player to player trying to direct all the action. In this innovative game from Electronic Arts (the first from its in-house studio in Montreal), you’re half of a two-man mercenary team fighting unique, cooperative missions as a dynamic duo.

    What do we mean by cooperative? We’re talking Blue Falcon and Dynomutt, Batman and Robin, Tango and Cash, Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man.

    You get the idea.

    Split the screen down the middle and let one guy drive the forklift as the other fires from its upraised lift. Conduct two-man rappelling ops with one guy holding the ropes and the other one dropping down.

    Or bring a partner back to life by doing chest compressions on his limp body while he frantically tries to “run from the light.” It’s all teamwork here, but you should be used to that by now.

    None of your friends wants to play? Fire it up alone, teaming with the computer, and let the sophisticated artificial intelligence help you out. Plug in the headset and it’ll even respond to your verbal commands, which is more than you can say for your real friends anyway.

    Make a mistake and it’ll give you the finger and curse you for being stupid. Say, maybe it is like your real friends.

    The game isn’t due until next year, but the early demo we saw looks fun. There’s not much out on the Web so far, but keep an eye on www.ea.com for more.

    Huxley - Xbox 360, PS3, PC - 2007

    Hey, acronym junkies, here’s one for you: MMOFPS.

    That’s “massively multiplayer online first-person shooter.” Thousands and thousands of players from around the world choosing sides and squaring off in a virtual war.

    OMG is right.

    Some might remember the online games “World War II” and “PlanetSide,” but it’s a largely untapped arena. Get your first taste with “Huxley,” coming in 2007 from Webzen. The game drops players in the middle of a post-apocalyptic world where two races of humans are fighting for control of the planet’s energy resources. Go head-to-head with an opponent or team up in epic, 5,000-player battles across the ’Net.

    Can they deliver? The playable demo we saw recently looked promising, with a bevy of customizable weapons and gear available for each side.

    “Huxley” could become the hottest online shooter ever, but the jury is still out. In the meantime, catch up on the back story and check out some screen shots at www.webzengames.com.

    War Rock - PC - summer

    Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?

    Cheapskates everywhere will rejoice for “War Rock,” a PC shooter from K2 Network. One of a new breed of massively multiplayer online first-person shooters headed to a server near you, “War Rock” will do the unthinkable. The unimaginable.

    The whole thing will be offered for free.

    Sound too good to be true? As with most things, there’s a catch. You have to purchase upgrades, using in-game credits earned during matches or, if you’re itching to gear up faster, cold hard cash.

    Play for free with minimal weaponry and extras, or shell out a couple of bucks here and there for new blasters and armor.

    Still, we’ll try anything that’s free. Plus, the pay-as-you-go approach to online gaming will likely become a trend among the major gaming companies if the little guys manage to turn a profit, so give it a shot. The only thing you have to lose is time.

    Catch a preview at www.warrock.net.

    Prey - Xbox 360, PC - July

    Sometimes you’re the hunter, and sometimes you’re the prey.

    In “Prey,” a shooter coming from 2K Games, you get to be both. You play as Tommy, a Cherokee descendant fighting against the old ways and meandering through life until aliens kidnap him and his people to their mothership. Sounds corny, but you have to have a reason to fight.

    No traditional spacecraft, this massive ship is alive, designed to enslave alien life forms and turn them into food. You struggle to save your people and, ultimately, the human race. Rock on, Tommy.

    “Prey” stands out from the pack with incredible gravity-defying, wall-walking physics unlike any seen in previous games. The shooting genre will literally be turned upside down with this one, as enemies come from above, behind and out of thin air, thanks to a strange teleportation system.

    If it reminds you of the most recent “Doom” game, it might be because it’s running on a modified version of the Doom 3 engine, which still looks great. The hype is so massive for “Prey” that the game’s designers are sending out weekly updates on development progress. Take a look at www.prey.com.

    Battlefield 2142 - PC - fall

    Just when we were getting over our “Battlefield 2” addiction, the game-pushers at Electronic Arts came along and dragged us back in.

    The newest installment in the “Battlefield” series fast-forwards to the middle of the next century, when an ice age has thrown the world into chaos. With frozen water everywhere, only a few will survive.

    You side with either the European Union (perhaps the Americas are included there?) or the Pan-Asian Coalition and join the biggest snowball fight since Hoth fell in “The Empire Strikes Back.” High-tech weaponry, such as electromagnetic pulse grenades and cloaking devices, make this “Battlefield” unlike any other.

    Also new for this installment is “Titan Mode,” in which players face off in a “capture the flag” style war to destroy the other team’s massive Titan warship (controlled by the team commander) while simultaneously protecting their own from harm. Exterior attacks won’t get ’er done, as players are forced to destroy the shields, fight to the bowels of the beast in a close-quarters slugfest and blow it up from the inside.

    Sounds a lot like “Return of the Jedi” to us. Is there nothing George Lucas hasn’t influenced?

    Our feet are numb just thinking about this one. See screen shots, movies and more at www.electronicarts.co.uk.

    Killzone: Liberation - PSP - fall

    Oh yes, we played it … and it rocks.

    “Killzone: Liberation,” the exciting follow-up to the PS2 classic “Killzone,” heads to the small screen this fall for the PlayStation Portable. And while things are mostly as you remember them, one huge thing has changed.

    It’s not a first-person shooter. (We’ll wait while you scream in agony.)

    Taking a cue from the “Metal Gear” series, which mixed things up for its PSP “Acid” games, “Liberation” comes out as a third-person shooter. Why the switch? Maybe it was the small screen or the lack of a second thumb stick.

    Either way, it doesn’t matter. The third-person perspective takes a little time to get used to, but pretty soon you’ll be racing through the levels, blasting bad guys. Events here pick up about two months after the first “Killzone” game, with Jan Templar still fighting the evil Helghast, trying to rescue a group of hostages.

    Our experience with the game was far too brief, but we’re betting that it’ll hold you over until “Killzone 2” lands on PlayStation 3. Get a sneak peek at www.PlayStation.com.

    Gears of War - Xbox 360 - fall

    Remember when “Halo” came out only for Xbox and you kicked yourself for buying the wrong console?

    If the promise of “Halo 3” isn’t enough reason to go with the Xbox 360, consider “Gears of War,” a third-person shooter only for Microsoft’s next-generation console. “Gears of War” is touted as a “tactical action/horror game,” and its designers are quick to point out that its mature themes and graphic violence are only for grown-ups.

    You’re hooked already, right?

    As Marcus Fenix, you and your squad tackle overwhelming odds from the Locust Horde. The game is designed to be a cinematic experience, taking players through one long, scary sci-fi movie as the human race battles extinction at the hands of the evil aggressors.

    “Gears of War” is one of the most anticipated games of the year, stirring up major buzz at E3 in May. If the final product matches the early demos and crushing hype, we might forget what a “Halo” even is.

    Check it out at www.gearsofwar.com.

    Resistance: Fall of Man - PS3 - November

    What if history as you know it had never happened?

    Cue the dramatic music.

    “Resistance: Fall of Man,” a Sony Computer Entertainment shooter, explores an alternate reality, one in which World War II never had a chance to begin.

    Instead, another race of creatures emerges, the Chimera, bringing with them a deadly virus that turns other life forms into their own. After decades of fighting the scourge, most of Russia and Europe have fallen. By 1951, the U.S. and Britain have teamed up for a last-ditch attempt at saving Europe and Asia.

    As with other titles for the next-generation hardware, “Resistance” looks amazing, blending past, present and future into a visual jumble straight out of “The Twilight Zone.” It’s like a cross between “Medal of Honor” and “Halo,” as though someone dropped modern rifles, tilt-rotor aircraft and aliens into 1950s Europe.

    Game designers promise the total package: full single-player campaign, co-op mode, playable vehicles and a robust multiplayer experience. If it’s half as good as we anticipate, deciding which next-generation platform to invest your hard-earned dollars into is gonna be tough.

    Want to join the “Resistance”? Check out screen shots and a high-def trailer at www.us.PlayStation.com/Content/OGS/GMID-018/Site.

    SOCOM - PS2, PSP - fall

    Don’t put away that PlayStation 2 just yet, “SOCOM” fans.

    Coming this fall are two new offerings for the franchise: “SOCOM Combined Assault” for the PS2 and “SOCOM Fireteam Bravo 2” for the PlayStation Portable. Just as with “SOCOM 3: U.S. Navy SEALs” and “SOCOM U.S. Navy SEALs Fireteam Bravo,” players will be able to link the PS2 and PSP games, but things should be smoother this time around, with new features that include a single story for the two games.

    Where’s “SOCOM 4”? We’re betting that Sony is trying to squeeze the last little bit of life out of its current-generation console before moving the series over to PlayStation 3.

    Until there’s an announcement, these will have to do. Check out info and screen shots for each game online, http://www.us.PlayStation.com/Conten...CUS-97545/Site for “Combined Assault” and http://www.us.PlayStation.com/Conten...CUS-98645/Site for “Fireteam Bravo 2.”

    Medal of Honor: Airborne - PS3, Xbox 360, PS2, PC - early 2007

    Way back in 1999, “Medal of Honor” got the jump on the competition by launching the first World War II shooter.

    Looks like they’re ready to get the “jump” again.

    With “Medal of Honor: Airborne,” the series adds paratrooper operations to the mix: Players begin each mission behind enemy lines with an interactive, controllable airdrop. View the battlefield from the sky, then steer yourself to the perfect landing zone.

    As with real life, the landing affects the outcome of the mission. With nonlinear missions, you’re free to land where you like, roam where you want, and choose your own path to greatness.

    “Airborne” takes players across Europe, from Sicily to Germany, as soldiers in the 82nd Airborne Division. Historical advisers, including retired Marine captain-turned-Hollywood technical adviser Dale Dye, collaborated with designers to ensure the game once again stacks up with reality.

    “Call of Duty” might have taken the next-generation platforms by storm, but “Medal of Honor” is ready to assault that position. In this war, we all win.

    Check out screen shots and game trailers at www.moh.ea.com.

    Rainbow Six: Vegas - Xbox 360, PS3 - fall

    Thanks to celebrity poker and “CSI,” Las Vegas has finally reinvented itself as more than just strippers and buffets, and now terrorists want to blow it up?

    Oh, haaaaiil no.

    What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, and we want it to be there waiting for us when we get back. Somebody better get the “Rainbow Six” team on the horn.

    The newest installment in the tactical shooter series looked so realistic in previews that we almost went “all in.” New characters and new tactics will help make use of those big engines revving under your console’s hood.

    The concept looks obvious — save Sin City from destruction. (Say no more, we get it.) Some of the featured locations include famous casinos, the Vegas Strip and the lights of Fremont Street.

    Game creators say we’ll be involved in the Rainbow team like never before, tackling advanced artificial intelligence and complicated missions requiring (a.) solid teamwork and (b.) a willingness to pull the trigger.

    Check and, umm, double-check.

    Designers promise that “Rainbow Six: Vegas” will be one of the good installments in the series. That they are even willing to admit there are some bad installments gives us hope.

    Check out the new Vegas propositions online at www.rainbowsixgame.com.


  3. #3
    July 10, 2006

    Like a guy shooting for a second date, everything we say from here on out might be a lie.

    Sorry, but we’re in training. Only three months to get our deception skills honed before “Splinter Cell: Double Agent” puts us to the test.

    Ubisoft’s latest entry in the Splinter Cell franchise, “Double Agent” forces players to walk that fine line between right and wrong. Returning as the popular character Sam Fisher, you work to infiltrate a terrorist network and bring it down from the inside.

    But when, early on, a cell leader asks you to prove your allegiance by executing an unarmed man, will you go for the head shot, shoot him in the leg, or simply refuse outright? The choice, and others that follow, will have a dramatic effect on your success.

    “We’re putting the player into these excruciating situations,” said Sam Saliba, Ubisoft’s brand manager for the game, showing us a demo at E3.

    Such trickery isn’t the only new aspect of “Double Agent.” Normally a cover-of-darkness kind of guy, Sam’s out in the daylight this time. But players still have to use environments to their advantage — one scene has him swimming underwater for the first time, sneaking under a frozen lake to blast a bad guy without being spotted — making the stealth aspect of the game much tougher this time around.

    With killer high-definition graphics for the PC and Xbox 360 versions and tons of extras (like minigames during the loading screens, such as one requiring you to safely land a parachuting Sam), the game looks like a worthy follow-up to its predecessors.

    Or maybe it doesn’t. With double agents like us, you never can tell.

    Sneak in and see for yourself at www.splintercell.com.

    Infernal - PC - fall

    When all else fails, taking two good ideas and mixing them together often works.

    Jack and Coke. Chocolate and peanut butter. Linkin Park and Jay-Z.

    The greatness of these duos makes us weep with joy. So it should come as no surprise that we’re into the idea behind Playlogic’s third-person PC action game, “Infernal,” coming this fall.

    Blending the action of a stealthy shooter with the “holy crap” of a supernatural thriller, “Infernal” introduces PC gamers to secret agent Ryan Lennox. His biggest secret? Inner demons, literally, and they come out to play when the going gets tough.

    When his arsenal of weapons, spy gadgets and gizmos can’t get the job done, Ryan turns into a ghost and feeds on the souls of his fallen enemies. Even his weapons become possessed.

    It’s like James Bond meets “Ghost Rider.” Now THAT would be a game.

    Release the devil inside at www.playlogicinternational.com.

    Hard Truck: Apocalypse - PC - available now

    And now for a little something to quiet your inner road warrior.

    “Hard Truck: Apocalypse,” one of the first North American releases from Russian gaming lab Buka Entertainment, is everything its title implies. Trucks hard enough to crack the Thunderdome battle it out in a post-apocalyptic world, all wrapped up in a third-person, action-driving game similar to “Auto Assault,” but without the racing focus.

    The world has been fractured by a mysterious accident, and the people who survive have adapted as only humans can, creating new cities, new societies … and new crime syndicates, determined to control everything.

    Only a bad motor trucker like you can stand up to them. As you escort your shipments from town to town, you pimp your ride with new armor and weapons and fight to restore a semblance of normality to the world.

    Currently a hit in Russia, the game was released in the U.S. in June. There’s already an expansion pack in the works for next year, “Rise of Clans,” adding a multiplayer aspect to the game.

    If Buka keeps churning out hot games, we might even find it in our hearts to forgive Ivan Drago for killing Apollo Creed. Maybe. Probably not.

    Learn about the Russian revolution at www.buka.com or from Buka’s U.S. partner, CDV Software Entertainment, USA at www.cdv-online.com.

    Crackdown - Xbox 360 - early 2007

    With the world spiraling out of control, who possibly could be the last hope for restoring order?

    You, always you. Overachiever.

    From Microsoft Game Studios and Real Time Worlds comes “Crackdown,” a third-person action-racer in the style of “Grand Theft Auto.” Only this time, you’re the cop.

    And it’s set in the future. And the whole thing looks amazingly like a comic book. OK, so maybe the only resemblances to “GTA” are the massive 3-D world you plow over, under and through to waste the bad guys, and the nonlinear campaign designed to give you optimum decision-making control.

    You’re not just a cop — you’re a supercop, armed to the teeth and chemically enhanced for superstrength and endurance. Faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, you’ll leap tall buildings in a single bound and toss cars like paper airplanes.

    Use anything and everything as a weapon. Play alone, or team up with a friend in co-op mode.

    “Crackdown” is one of those games that elevates the genre to a new level, harnessing all of the power of the next-generation console to deliver exceptional graphics and sound. You’ve run through cities causing mayhem before, but never quite like this.

    So take the oath of duty already. The streets aren’t gonna clean themselves.

    To learn more about the mess you’re getting into, log on to www.crackdownoncrime.com.

    Mercenaries 2: World in Flames - PS3 - 2007

    “Dirty deeds, done for exorbitant fees,” they say.

    Buy, steal or “blow the living crap out of” everything you see, they say.

    Recruit new mercenaries into your own private military company, they say.

    They had us at “dirty.”

    “Mercenaries 2: World in Flames” is set for a 2007 release, and as a result, there are no hard and fast details out there yet. Coming from Pandemic Studios for PlayStation 3 (no word on an Xbox 360 version), the game is set in a war-torn Venezuela. You’re still a gun for hire, and you can recruit computer or real-life partners. Human companions can jump in on the action via split-screen co-op mode.

    Speaking of flames, apparently you can torch buildings, people, whatever. You can swim, too, so no more drowning. And you have a massive unscripted world to work in, bigger than the original.

    Sorry, that’s all we’ve got so far. Only promises.

    Check out screen shots and more, and stay up on all the action as it develops, at www.mercs2.com.

    Assassin’s Creed - PS3 - 2007

    The world is full of necessary evils.

    Taxes. Speed limits. Drinking ages. You can’t stand them, but they exist for a reason.

    We’d like to add assassins to the list.

    OK, murder isn’t politically correct. Snipers weren’t much loved either, back in the days when the only honorable way to wage war was to face off and take turns blasting one another. Now you can’t leave home without them.

    Likewise, assassins have earned a bad rep. But maybe that’s about to change.

    “Assassin’s Creed,” an action game coming from Ubisoft, has more buzz than a boot camp barbershop. And not for its subtle use of nonviolent discussion and sanctions to resolve conflicts.

    Just the opposite.

    As the 12th century draws to a close, the Third Crusade threatens to rip the Holy Land apart. Unless you can stop it. You are Altair, a ruthless assassin feared by both sides of the conflict.

    Think of yourself as a medieval ninja — stealthy, cunning and deadly. So deadly. And by not choosing sides, you are free to take out targets wherever, whenever and however you choose to bring about peace.

    With lifelike graphics and a unique plot, it’s little wonder that “Assassin’s Creed” was named Best Action/Adventure Game at E3 this year. We’re already honing our swords.

    Paying our taxes? Never.

    See the teaser trailer and screen shots at www.assassinscreed.com.

    Metal Gear Solid - PSP - fall - PS3 - 2007

    Finally, some answers.

    After years of letting us sneak around the “Metal Gear” universe, only half-aware, the creators have decided to clue us in. With “Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops,” Konami’s new offering in the series due this fall for PlayStation Portable, we get the missing chapter. Serving as a link between “Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater” and the first Metal Gear game, it nearly completes the circle.

    Unlike the “Metal Gear Acid” games, which use a strange turn-based feature for game play that requires you to collect ability cards (think “Pokemon”), “Portable Ops” looks like a true third-person action/shooter. Recruit your friends for wireless multiplayer action.

    If that’s not enough, head back to the “Metal Gear” world next year in “Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots,” coming only to PlayStation 3. In a world where mercenaries do most of the fighting, one man pulls the strings behind the curtain. You take control of Snake for his final mission, to stop this man once and for all.

    Can’t wait that long for Snake? Look for a “Metal Gear Solid” digital graphic novel for PSP this summer.

    Slither over to www.konami.jp for tons of sneak previews.

    Lost Planet - Xbox 360 - early 2007

    If you like cool games, prepare for one that’s absolutely freezing.

    In “Lost Planet,” coming early next year from Capcom for Xbox 360 (plus a complementing game for mobile phones), you’re a human snow pirate on a frozen planet, battling the elements and the local life forms for thermal energy until a mysterious corporation decides to take you all out.

    The third-person action/shooter uses ground- and vehicle-based fighting to draw you into its chilly plot. Fight above and below ground as you search for the truth behind your own amnesia and the attempt to destroy all life on the planet.

    With a full single-player campaign and various multiplayer modes, there’s plenty to do here. We’re betting you’ll need a hot cup of cocoa just to get through it all.

    Want an early look at the snowfall? Check out www.capcom.com.


  4. #4
    July 10, 2006

    Maybe you’re the kind of person who aspires to greatness.

    You thirst for power. You long to command. To heck with playing as a single guy fighting across the blown-out landscapes of World War II Europe; you get enough shooting during your day job.

    You want to run the show. Well, we’ve got a game for you.

    “Company of Heroes,” a real-time strategy game from THQ and Relic Entertainment (you might know their other little RTS project, “Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War”) puts you in command of Able Company as it drops into France and fights its way into history. Since the game’s unveiling last year, critics have been salivating over the incredible graphics and stunning game features.

    The wait is almost over.

    “Heroes” sets itself apart in two ways. First, the soldiers on the battlefield aren’t knuckleheads. Sure, they do what you tell them to, but thanks to advanced squad intelligence, they also think for themselves.

    “They act intelligently,” said Mike Echino, a Relic designer. To prove the point in a demonstration at E3, he put a group in the middle of a fracas, and we saw them scurry to get away from a hand grenade lobbed nearby. Their reaction was so realistic, we half expected to hear them say terrible things about his mother.

    The second feature is the “completely destructible world,” Echino said, trashing a building to show off the lifelike physics and debris. No more taking the long way around an obstacle — you can plow right through the middle.

    “Company of Heroes” won the Game Critic’s Award for “Best Strategy Game” at E3 last year, and that’s a tough group to convince. With 14 missions covering 12 to 25 hours of playing time for the experienced gamer, we figure you’ll find enough there to satisfy your inner Patton.

    Want more? Check out screenshots on the Web, www.companyofheroesgame.com.

    Ancient Wars: Sparta - PC - fall

    “Molon labe.”

    Perhaps the two most enduring words ever uttered by a military commander, they sum up all you need to know about the ancient Spartan warriors. Vastly outnumbered by an advancing Persian army near the mountain pass at Thermopylae, Spartan King Leonidas is offered a chance to surrender his weapons. His reply?

    “Come and get ’em.”

    The spirit of that war ethic carries on in “Ancient Wars: Sparta,” a real-time strategy game from Playlogic and World Forge. You take command of Spartan, Egyptian and Persian forces during the 700-300 B.C. wars in and around the Mediterranean. Build cities, launch massive wars and extend your reach across more than 30 levels.

    You’ll arm your troops with a variety of historically accurate weapons. Give ’em chariots and horses, or put them on ships.

    With a single-player mode and a multiplayer version for up to eight players, you’ll learn more about the ancient world than any schoolbook ever taught you.

    And when the enemy offers you a chance to lay down your arms, you know what to say.

    For screen shots and more, take a glimpse at history in the making at www.playlogicinternational.com.

    Shadows of War - PC - fall

    Forgive us as we lean forward a little.

    Every cool list has to have an obscure reference, and “Shadows of War” is ours. Coming from little-known ON Games, a two-year-old gaming house based in Spain, the real-time strategy game puts you in pre-World War II Europe as war looms. You decide the destiny of German, Italian and Russian troops across more than 30 levels.

    We haven’t seen any screen shots so far, but the concept art and promotional materials have us thinking this will be the one that takes gamers by surprise. Other games from the company have already sold millions overseas, and the designers are working on some secret console projects that could launch ON Games across the Atlantic.

    As with any intel, this may or may not prove valuable. But take a chance — we are. You can’t win if you don’t play.

    Wanna see more? There’s precious little out there, but we’ll share what we have. See ’em online at www.planetadeagostini.net/ongames.

    Pacific Storm - PC - July

    Finally, the Navy gets some action.

    All too often, the sea service gets overlooked by game designers. We know there’s more to enjoy besides SEAL teams, but enormous naval battles generally don’t send thousands rushing to pre-order.

    Maybe the real-time strategy game “Pacific Storm” will change their minds. Already a hit in Moscow (it comes from Russian company Buka Entertainment), the game takes players through the monster battles in the South Pacific in World War II. Controlling either U.S. or Japanese forces, you fight your way through large-scale naval battles and air operations.

    The game mixes the thoughtful elements of a strategy game with the hands-on action of an arcade classic. And because it’s been out for a while overseas, designers are already putting the finishing touches on “Pacific Storm: Allies,” the game’s first expansion pack due around the holidays.

    Buka turned some heads at E3 with these and other offerings (keep reading, we’re getting there). It seems the Russians are invading in full force.

    Who ever thought we’d be happy to hear that?

    Find out more about the invasion at www.buka.com or from their U.S. partner, CDV USA, at www.cdv-online.com.

    World in Conflict - PC - 2007


    What if the Cold War had gone remarkably different? Yeah, we know the Soviet Union spent the 1980s bogged down in Afghanistan. But suppose they had decided to get all “Red Dawn” on us.

    “World in Conflict,” a strategy game coming from Sierra and Massive Entertainment, does more than suppose. The year is 1988, and in a bold move, Soviet forces have invaded Europe. NATO responds, but the Russians have a counterattack planned.

    Their target? The mainland U.S.

    You’ll play as a field commander fighting to reclaim those cities and towns from the Soviet war machine. Nearly every weapon in the U.S. arsenal is at your control.

    Using stunning graphics and a unique camera-control system, “World in Conflict” has us hating communism all over again.

    The teaser trailer alone is a sight to behold. So behold it already, www.worldinconflict.com.

    Supreme Commander - PC - 2007

    The future battlefield is dominated by a single weapon.


    At least, that’s what the teaser trailer we saw said. They might be wrong. Maybe you don’t have the skills to be a “Supreme Commander.”

    Coming next year from THQ and Gas Powered Games, “Supreme Commander” is a PC strategy game set nearly 2,000 years in the future, with three rival groups of humans fighting for control of the galaxy. Already this Infinite War has gone on for nearly a millennium, but your job is to end the fighting through overwhelming firepower.

    With intense ground, air and sea battles (or both, using crazy amphibs that deploy legs and transform into spiderlike tanks when they hit the beach), there’s something for everybody: Naval battles between ships and subs, bombing missions, infantry assaults.

    “Commander” is a massive game, with thousands of troops fighting it out at once in various areas of the map. Thanks to a revolutionary command-and-control system, you can zoom in to direct a single firefight or zoom out to focus on your world strategy.

    The graphics and concept were so smooth, “Supreme Commander” was named Best Strategy Game at the E3 show this year. Waiting for it is almost more than we can bear, but if the war has been going on for a thousand years, one more can’t hurt anything.

    Check out the most complete game preview site we’ve ever seen at www.supremecommander.com, where you can see screens, game footage and teaser trailers, as well as learn more about the epic war you’re getting yourself into.

    Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War - Dark Crusade - PC - fall

    With so many fans of the tabletop “Warhammer 40,000” game out there, it’s little surprise that the PC version of the game continues to spawn updates.

    Here comes another instant classic, “Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War — Dark Crusade,” an update for the original “Dawn of War” and follow-on to the popular “Dawn of War — Winter Assault.” The PC strategy game offers two new races of warriors and a brand-new single-player experience.

    Play as the Tau, warriors who rely on ranged combat options, not melee attacks. Or play as the Necron, the race that never dies, whose warriors can regenerate themselves as long as a squad member remains alive.

    Or play as one of the five other races battling to control the map. The story line will unfold in a way unique to your race, so play it over and over for new experiences.

    You know you love it. We know you love it. It’s coming. ’Nuff said.

    If you just can’t wait, get an early preview at www.dow-darkcrusade.com.

    Command and Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars - PC - late 2007

    More than 10 years, more than a dozen titles, more than 23 million units sold.

    You’ve been faithful, if nothing else.

    Now, the game that spawned a million copycats is coming back next year. “Command and Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars,” the working title for EA’s upcoming PC strategy game, again puts players fighting for control in a world quickly being overrun by Tiberium — an alien substance that self-replicates and spreads like wildfire, destroying everything it touches.

    We’d like to say we know a lot about the plans for the game, but all we’ve got is a brief chat with a designer (where we laid eyes on the super-secret “Command and Conquer Bible,” an in-house guide to all things related to the Tiberium Universe). Suffice it to say, the plan is to revolutionize the strategy genre once again, with a unique single-player campaign.

    There, you’ve been warned. Set aside a few pennies for the end of next year. Our work here is done.

    Wanna keep tabs on your favorite strategy game? Sign up for the official newsletter at www.commandandconquer.ea.com.


  5. #5
    July 10, 2006

    They say the best offense is a good defense.

    That certainly seems to be the case for “PRISM: Threat Level Red,” a first-person shooter for PC (and possibly Xbox 360, though reports conflict) due out later this year from Playlogic. Developed under license from the Army National Guard, the game puts players inside a covert homeland defense force trained to protect America from terrorist threats.

    With the PRISM (Preemptive Reconnaissance and Identification Security Mainframe) system, Big Brother is always watching. Tracking feeds from a variety of sources — from traffic cameras to home webcams — the government is able to follow known terrorists and feed that info to PRISM operatives.

    Using this computer system and an array of high-tech weapons, you must defend the Golden Gate Bridge, Hoover Dam and other U.S. landmarks. Identify terrorist cells and take them out before they create another Sept. 11.

    The game is an amped version of the Guard’s new recruiting game, “PRISM: Guard Shield,” also due out later this year. That game will probably be free (you can already download the demo version at www.1800GoGuard.com), but the commercial version will likely have extended features and a new story line.

    The screen shots we’ve seen thus far look pretty crude, but officials at Playlogic assured us that the game is far from ready. Scope ’em out at www.playlogicinternational.com.

    America’s Army: Overmatch - PC - August

    Seven million people can’t be wrong.

    That’s how many gamers have registered as users on the Army’s free recruiting game, “America’s Army.” Still haven’t played it? No better time than now to jump in.

    This summer, the “Overmatch” expansion pack for the popular PC shooter will be available for free download, giving fans exciting new options, including new weapons and vehicles straight from the military arsenal.

    Look for cooperative missions against enemy artificial intelligence, allowing outnumbered players to challenge and defeat much larger forces. The game will also use in-game video to tell the stories of real soldiers decorated for valor in the war on terrorism.

    “Overmatch” adds virtual personnel files similar to the files the Army keeps on soldiers, allowing you to track game advancements, player stats and more.

    The only way to get closer to the real thing is to sign a contract. Keep up on the intel at www.americasarmy.com.

    Haze - Xbox 360, PS3, PC - 2007

    If you think military service means job security, take a look at this.

    In “Haze,” a new first-person shooter by Ubisoft and Free Radical, the same multinational companies that build our weapons do the fighting, fielding massive mercenary armies to do the dirty work. That means you’re out of a job, buddy — or at least under new management.

    Hopped up on more steroids than a major league slugger and hauling around the finest arsenal money can buy, you hit the world’s insertion points as a private military contractor for Mantel Corp. You’ve got bullets and gear, but ethics? After seeing a squad intentionally drop an innocent bystander, we’re thinking the laws of war might not apply here.

    The game is beautiful, with graphics befitting the high-tech platforms it’s designed to run on. Supposedly, the artificial intelligence is a thing of beauty, too, but it’s hard to tell from the demonstrations we’ve seen.

    This one is in the early, early stages, but keep an eye out for it. See the trailer and some screen shots at www.hazegame.com.


  6. #6
    July 10, 2006

    With the pending release of the PlayStation 3, “Warhawk” fans the world over have reason to rejoice. One of the first-launch titles for the next-gen system, the updated “Warhawk” is set for a November release.

    What makes it special? You take the controls of the Warhawk — part Joint Strike Fighter, part AC-130 gunship — to help protect your homeland from an invading armada.

    But maybe you hate flying games. We understand completely, and so do the game designers, who are adding a rich ground combat element to the game. Here you can fight the war as a top-gun pilot, infantryman or vehicle commander — whichever suits you.

    What’s more, the powerful technology inside the PlayStation 3 means cutting-edge graphics and unfamiliar concepts such as motion-detecting hardware. Oh yes, the vibration feature isn’t included in the new controllers, replaced with tilt-sensing technology (also coming to the Nintendo Wii) that makes for more interactive gaming than ever.

    How will we ever make it until November? Hey, we’ve been waiting for this for years.

    Catch a sneak peek at the “Warhawk” universe online at www.warhawk.com.

    Fatal Inertia - PS3 - fall

    One more “Star Wars” rip-off, anyone?

    While the premise behind KOEI’s new futuristic flying-racer isn’t groundbreaking (remember that pod-racing scene from “Phantom Menace”?), we’re not complaining. Whizzing through a barren desert canyon, trashing our opponents and knocking over debris to block their paths reminds us a lot of when we used to bull’s-eye womp rats in our T-16 back home.

    “Fatal Inertia,” coming this fall as a first-launch title for the PlayStation 3, puts you behind the controls of a speedy little space-racer, armed for bear and ready to roll, er, hover. Dodge enemy traps and set a few of your own by blowing up the surrounding environment.

    It’s like an ultramodern version of “Full Auto” (speaking of which, watch for Sega’s “Full Auto 2: Battlelines,” also coming to PS3), perfect for stirring up hate among friends. Particularly interesting are the underwater shots, which strike us as a cool approach for the hard-to-reinvent racing genre.

    Ready to get your fly on? Sorry, but there’s precious little out there about this one. Check out the popular gaming Web sites, or keep an eye on www.koei.com for updates.

    Ace Combat X: Skies of Deception - PSP - fall

    We gotta do something here, and we still can’t believe it.

    We gotta give you your dream shot. We’re going to send you up against the best.

    OK, so you characters aren’t going to Top Gun. But you can always pretend. Coming this fall from Namco, “Ace Combat X: Skies of Deception” puts a massive array of realistic fighter jets in your pocket.

    Still don’t own a PlayStation Portable? Looks like you won’t be our wingman anytime soon.

    After more than a half-dozen installments in this popular flying series, “Ace Combat” returns in hand-held format but retains most of the killer attributes that have kept it in the air this long. You’ll fly realistic jets that you can personalize as you unlock weapons and upgrades.

    Defend Aurelia from its invading neighbor, Leasath, alone or with up to four friends via the PSP’s wireless capability. Approach each mission carefully, hotshot — the decisions you make on one level affect the options available to you on others.

    Want to check out a target-rich environment? See more online at www.namco.com.

    WarBirds - 2006 Mac, PC - available now

    A game so realistic it could teach you to fly?

    The gang at iEntertainment Network says yup. Released in June for PC and Mac, this fighter-sim could cut your time to fly in half, according to its designers.

    But what’s new in “WarBirds 2006” that wasn’t in last year’s update? A new role-playing system and user interface, for starters, plus new locations, aircraft and features.

    Play it offline, or sign up online and join thousands of subscribers in massive aerial battles using realistic aircraft. More than 60 percent of them are current or former military, company officials said, so you might even find an old friend.

    The “WarBirds” series has been around a while, but it just keeps getting better. It’s more than a game; it’s an experience.

    Don’t take our word for it. Get in there and grab the sticks. Catch a game trailer or buy the download and online subscription at www.totalsims.com.

    Over G Fighters - Xbox 360 - available now

    We’ve heard people say that this game was the only reason they bought an Xbox 360.

    Man, that’s a big flight suit to fill. Luckily, the folks behind “Over G Fighters” were up to the challenge.

    “Over G” puts players in the cockpits of more than two dozen of the toughest fighters ever to touch tarmac. The F-22A Raptor? Oh yeah, it’s in there, along with F/A-18 Hornets, F-117A Nighthawks and more.

    You play as a pilot in a united world air force, taking on — what else? — terrorists who threaten global security. (Somebody should ask Zarqawi how well jets and terrorists mix.) There are more than 80 missions in the skies over Asia, Africa, Europe and North America. Team up online for huge aerial dogfights or massive co-op squadron attacks.

    “Call of Duty” who? We may never go back to ground-pounding again.

    Download the full mission briefing for yourself, and sight in on a screenshot or two, at www.overgfighters.com.


  7. #7
    July 10, 2006

    Any game where we get to blast hippies is automatically going on our Christmas lists.

    That’s not a peace sign our favorite Earth-hating alien, Crypto, is flashing. That’s a “two,” as in “Destroy All Humans 2: Make War Not Love,” the forthcoming sequel to last year’s popular space invasion game.

    Coming this fall from THQ and Pandemic Studios, the game takes the campy alien farce to a new decade, moving from the frumpy 1950s to the psychedelic ’60s. The jokes are still there, oh yes, as are Afros and multicolored Volkswagen buses.

    The destruction is bigger this time, with new weapons and new psychic abilities — such as “free love,” the ability to hypnotize humans long enough for you to escape or pop their brains from their skulls — and you can split the screen and tackle the game in co-op mode.

    Make war, not love. Sounds like a plan. If you get there first, zap a hippie for us.

    Beam down the details for yourself and see some cool screen shots at www.destroyallhumansgame.com.

    God of War II - PS2 - February

    We love it when the slick marketing bubbas think we won’t catch on to their little plans.

    “God of War II,” the much-anticipated sequel to everyone’s favorite mythological bloodfest, is coming in February to PlayStation 2. Yes, PS2, i.e., “that console you’ve owned for years.”

    How could Sony ask you to shell out $500 for its next-gen platform this fall but not release this scorching hot title on it? Marketing bubbas are sneaky.

    “God of War II” looks much like the original, beefed up by a few new combos and such. This is an update, not a leap ahead, so publishing it for PS3 would have just been insulting.

    Does that make it bad? Not as far as we can tell. The original became an instant classic for a reason, so if you’re not buying a next-gen console this year, here’s a little something to look forward to.

    And even if a PS3 is in your future, we’re betting you’ll find time to say hello to an old friend. The marketing bubbas are betting on it, too.

    Feast on some screen shots and concept art at www.godofwar.com.

    Saints Row - Xbox 360 - fall

    When it comes to the virtual thug life, we’re the baddest mammajammas on the block.

    Don’t think so? Fool, you better recognize. You wouldn’t believe how we roll through the cyberhood. We’re game-bangers, baby.

    “Saints Row” was built for game-stas like us.

    Coming this fall from THQ and Volition Inc. only for Xbox 360, the first great ghetto blaster without the word “grand” in its title is set to explode on an unsuspecting world. Think you’ve seen it all? Not even close.

    Get started by customizing everything. Play as a member of the 3rd Street Saints, the smallest of the four gangs that have the fictional city of Stilwater on lockdown. Earn money, power and respect by completing a variety of missions.

    If the thug life genre needed updating (and we’re not sure it did, honestly — we’ve got kids), this is the answer. It’s vulgar, violent and viscous — everything you’ve come to expect from games where proficiency at drive-by shooting is a virtue.

    Check it out, but don’t let us catch you on our block. You don’t want none.

    Get the 411 at www.saintsrow.com.

    Indiana Jones - Xbox 360, PS3 - summer 2007

    Welcome back, Dr. Jones.

    Twenty-five years after Indy first tackled the Nazis in “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” we still can’t get enough of the fedora-wearing adventurer.

    Forget the string of so-so video games LucasArts has pushed out over the years that never really allowed Indy to reach his full potential. This one looks like magic already. Or, rather, Industrial Light and Magic.

    “Indiana Jones 2007” represents the first-ever pairing of filmmaker George Lucas’ game company and the stellar special-effects house.

    New “euphoria” technology means the characters’ movements and reactions are more lifelike than anything currently seen in gaming. “Digital molecular matter” means game environments shatter, crumble and break as they would in real life.

    Sure, other games have promised as much, but the early “Indiana Jones” shots deliver. Consider us sufficiently teased.

    Unfortunately, you have to see it to believe it. Check out screens and a teaser video at www.lucasarts.com.

    Miami Vice: The Game - PSP - July

    We loved the ’80s.

    Hair metal. Rubik’s cube. Pac-Man fever.

    Oh, and let us not forget “Miami Vice.” The show that defined a generation (and launched Don Johnson as a pop star — seriously, Stevie Ray Vaughan played on his cassette. Cassettes, bwahahahahaha) is making a comeback this summer in a big way. Colin Farrell and Jamie Foxx channeling Crockett and Tubbs? Count us in, if for nothing else than a hearty laugh.

    With the blockbuster comeback comes the required video game crossover. Coming this summer from Vivendi and Sierra Entertainment, “Miami Vice: The Game” puts us back in modern-day Miami (“Bienvenidos a Miami.” Sorry, Will Smith moment.), chasing drug dealers, piloting boats at reckless speeds, shooting it out in single-player mode or with a friend in co-op mode.

    We’re in.

    The lack of console versions of the game makes us a little nervous, but it will be worth the trip down memory lane. Now, if they’d only make a “Family Ties” movie.

    Catch up with your old friends and view a few screens at www.sierra.com.


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