Licences alert! Gearbox are busy prepping a virtual version of De Niro-Pacino-Mann celluloid cracker Heat, while Konami are still grinding away on Hellboy, just as they were last year, and the year before that. The reason for the delay? It could be the fact that coders Krome Studios spent a year trying to come up with a subtitle and opted for... Science of Evil. Or, it could be that the game is being shunted back to better coincide with the film sequel, Hellboy II: The Golden Army, due in July. Either way, we're more stoked about a digital version of Heroes, which Ubisoft have added to their 'Big TV Shows' roster, which also includes Lost. If it's not a third-person action adventure we'll scoop our brains out Sylar-style.
Yeah, okay, so things have gone a bit awry on the alphabetical front, as we zip back to cover Hei$t, Codemasters' 70s bank robbery sim, and Hellgate, the PC hottie that rumours continue to suggest we will get in 2008. As long as it's not as MASSIVELY BROKEN as Hellgate London, a game that required a patch from day one to plug its many and varied holes. Hitman 5! We covered this last issue, but IO are on the verge of announcing it as their next game, and gives them an early chance to redeem themselves after Kane & Lynch.
Another game definitely coming but caught in a tidal wave of Grade A delayage is Huxley, the MMORPG-cum-FPS from Korean developers Webzen. It looks slick enough, if a little generic - but the wall-to-wall silence that's marked its development over the past year is worrying. Lastly, Hydrophobia, the technical marvel from Manc outfit Blade is also on its way this year. Incredible and realistic water effects are its big selling point, and with a giant cruise liner as its world and a Lara-like adventurer as its protagonist, the big question is whether the World Championship Snooker coders can bring it all together.
Indiana Jones is back in 2008 with the tentatively titled, er, Indiana Jones. All LucasArts have dealt out so far is some tech demos set atop San Franciscan trams, but they'd be doughtnuts not to tie it into next summer's movie return, Indiana Jones and the (breathe) Kingdom of the (breathe) Crystal Skull. Like your gaming a little more sedate? Infinite Undiscovery, bearer of the worst title in gaming since Risky Woods, is a sprawling RPG from Star Ocean developers Tri-Ace, and should be blinding. Lastly, there's Iron Man from Sega (who have also bagged the Hulk, Captain America and Thor licences). We've yet to see it in action, but early shots suggest it's remaining true to the spirit of the film, due this summer.
After stealing the rights from EA, Activision promised to do something special with the James Bond licence... but then handed development duties to Spider-Man coders Treyarch. Are we being unfair? Yeah, probably - but why not give it to Infinity Ward, and restore 007's gaming pride with an FPS to rival the classic GoldenEye? Ah well. At least the 70% specialists at the helm can't turn out the sort of 007-shaped dross EA were serving up... can they?
The mere mention of Jason and the Argonauts is enough to have us wistfully wishing for Christmas back, but Codemasters' game of the classic Greek tale isn't likely to draw too heavily on the brilliant film. Which, frankly, is ABSURD. Equally absurd was the walk animation Rico was lumbered with in the first Just Cause. Fortunately, sequel Just Cause 2 has rebuilt his animations from scratch, which - thankfully - means no buttock-squeezing mincery. If Avalanche can fill the world with, well, anything (as opposed to the first game's vast swathes of nothing to do), it could be a standout open-world game in 2008.