Since the death of the 'World's Biggest Games Show' E3 in Los Angeles - slicing a dull story short, it was too expensive to run and 'reborn' as a series of sedate hotel meetings back in July - the biggest games show in the western world is now GC (Games Convention), held in Leipzig, Germany, which kicks off this Wednesday. It's important for two reasons: 1) The event is actually attended by gamers (not just press and trade, like E3) giving a truer indication of the most popular games and, 2) It's rapidly becoming the place for new game announcements, especially for European publishers - as you'll see below...
Who's announcing what? Here's a brief rundown of obvious, and rumoured, stuff:
Fracture - Hands on
Call of Duty 4 - Hands On
Tony Hawk Proving Ground - Not sure if it's hands-on at the show, but we got a decent play the other day, and will have impressions in PSM93, on-sale 27th Sep. (Yes, ages, away, but...)
Plus... potential new footage/demos of Quake Wars, Guitar Hero III etc
Alone in the Dark Hands-On
Er, not much, sadly... we're told six new DMC3 screens, but they have got a new PS3 game to announce around about TGS (Tokyo Game Show) time, in late September. More soon...
Hands on with:
Turning Point: Fall of Liberty
Jericho (a surprisingly decent horror FPS, due late October)
Turok - Hands on
Hands-on with... (deep breath)
NFS Pro Street - we played it at E3, and whatever you think of the series, this is an impressive re-boot, with blistering speed and wide-open canyons.
Army of Two
Mercenaries 2 - though we're worried it's going to slip...
The Orange Box
... plus the usual selection of sports games and franchises.
A new Conflict game, called Conflict: Denied Ops
Kane and Lynch - hands-on with a new level
Plus... they've got at least three 'secret' - but you could almost guess them - PS3 projects due to be unveiled in late 2007/early 2008.
PES 2008 - Hands-On (check the next issue of PSM3, due 30th August for the full scoop, including Master League details etc.)
MGS4 - a new Hands-on with Hideo Kojima (we're honestly thinking about storming the stage and kissing him, after being forced to abort our 'planned' kidnapping at E3. Read: sitting one row behind him during the Konami press conference and waving at his translator, while secretly thinking insane thoughts and smiling.)
Midnight Club Los Angeles - first look.
Playable Sega Rally, The Club, plus...
Extended look at their forthcoming 'His Dark Materials' game on PS2, The Golden Compass, based on the insanely popular Philip Pullman novels - confused? It's the thinking geek's Harry Potter, if you'll excuse the reductive and crude analogy of an otherwise fearsome body of work.
A new game on PS3 - rumoured to be Viking: Battle of Asgard. We're betting it's by the Rome: Total Rome (PS2) developers Creative Assembly. Could be great.
Killzone 2 - Hands-On (Exciting, no?)
Ratchet & Clank
Uncharted: Drake's Fortune
Buzz Quiz TV
And all their key PS3 titles, but...
BIG news is the confirmation of the PS3 Video on Demand service, plus PSP/Sky TV download deal. Essentially, your PS3 is becoming a Sky Plus box, give or take. We'll have more soon.
Sid Meier's Civilization
Top Spin 3
Borderlines - exciting new DIY FPS with millions of weapon combinations, by Gearbox of Brothers In Arms and Half-Life fame.
Plus... a new action game from a famous developer starring a famous person. You'll see.
More hands-on with
Brothers in Arms
And loads more, but that's just a taste. We'll be live at the show, and - all being well - keeping you up to date with daily blogs. Let us know if there's anything you really want to know, or if you're attending and want to meet up (Read: Drink beer while we smile and think insane thoughts). We'll be the ones with a 5'6" Japanese developer banging on the insides of an outlandishly spacious, but extremely secure, suitcase.