Lost Planet

This being an Xbox 360 game, you can expect bigger and bolder vistas than in the games you've been playing for the past few years. Whether it's a wasteland of snow and discarded architecture or a cave that's become a nest for Akrid larvae, you'll have plenty of room to fight - but you'll also have the ability to zip around the environment on a wire that Wayne can deploy at any time, allowing for quick access to ledges and quicker escapes from danger. It's also essential for hijacking Vital Suits from uncooperative enemy pilots - just leap onto the cockpit, pull the guy out and you're good to go.

Of course, the game supports Xbox Live. Not only will there be battles between players - Capcom is promising at least 16, perhaps 32 per match at the moment - there will also be missions that players can tackle together online. With a robust slate of environments and weaponry, this game could be a standout.

"[The story] is very key ... we first created the scenario, the script, what the world was going to be like, and then started creating a game, a game that would fit that world," offers Keiji Inafune, the game's producer and - no coincidence - the creator of the Onimusha series. As we move forward into the next generation of gaming, worlds are getting more gorgeous, stories are getting more movie-like, and gameplay is getting more engrossing. When it arrives in early 2007, Lost Planet should embrace all of these trends.