If you read our E3 coverage, you'll know that we like cutting straight to the chase with our coverage of new games. Not for us, the wishy-washy approach of "It's got potential, but only time will tell". No, we at GamesRadar like to go with our gut and give you instant, no nonsense appraisals of the games that will be vying for your wallet-love over the coming year.
And thus, as we did at E3, we've reviewed and rated the biggest and best from the Leipzig GC show floor. Our play-time on these babies may only have lasted between ten minutes and an hour, but we are always, always right.*
(*We are not necessarily right about this statement. These scores of course do not necessarily reflect the ratings these games will receive when we review the full, finished article.)
Bionic Commando - Xbox 360
Okay, okay, we know. We've been giving the Bionic Commando reboot a bit of a kicking for appearing to follow that tedious "Darker, gritter, bland with the pain of a thousand emos" route for quite a while. But now that we've got our hands on it and experienced its jump-grapple-swing-wheeeeeeee! joys first hand, we can honestly say that we really don't mind any more.
Forget the Spider-Man games. That computer-assisted noob-swinging was never as satisfying as this. Sprinting towards the edge of a skyscraper, swan-diving into a deadly plummet, and then pulling it all back with with a fully-controllable, precision grapple-swing around a crane is a jubilant feeling indeed, and the bionic arm's combat implimentation provides some brilliantly fresh badassery with a far more brutal sense of impact that old webby-boy could ever manage. Trust us, the online multiplayer death-match in BC could well effect some of the best super-heroic videogame combat yet.
Call Of Duty: World At War - Xbox 360
Treyarch really want to prove something with the new Call Of Duty, and from what we've played there's a very good chance they're going to pull it off. World War II or not, it sings with the graphic brutality of COD4.
Frantic screams fill the Pacific air as bodies fly and dirt explodes in all directions. Japanese soldiers appear out of the trees like Predators. Innocent-looking foliage can reveal imminent death at any second. Flamethrowers retaliate and scorch plant and enemy alike to crispy, flailing death. And while the COD4 engine has given the 1940s a sharp, detailed and surprisingly vibrant look, what really impresses is the level design.
While still based around the traditional Call Of Duty linearity, the branching routes afforded by the new four-player co-op mode make things more interesting as well as more tense, and the constantly-evolving, punishing set-pieces don't allow a second of relaxation. All things considered, very well done, Treyarch. Keep up the good work.
Crysis: Warhead - PC
Beautiful icy locations, vast open-world exploration and lots of gits to kill in a variety of amusing, super-powered ways. So far, so Crysis, but that's not necessarily a bad thing at all, as well you know.
Damnation - Xbox 360
Damnation is actually a much more appealing game than its early trailer gave it credit for. What looked like a fairly generic bullet-spewer, albeit one with a fantastic steampunk setting, is actually a vertigo-inducing Prince of Persia meets Tomb Raider in a John Woo shoot-out.
Multiplayer death-matches covering immensely tall and complex structures bring the promise of ceaselessly frantic, multidirectional platforming, cat-and-mouse gunplay, while the possibilities afforded by vertical capture-the-flag matches are almost too much to resist.
The only potential problems we can see right now are the less-than-imaginative weapons currently on offer and the relatively low, eight-player online limit. Unfortunately, if as detrimental as they could be, those two issues might take away a lot of Damnation's potential.