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MechAssault 2: Lone Wolf

While the first MechAssault didn't blossom in Europe it was apparently very popular among early-adopting Xbox Live-enabled Americans, who took great pleasure in stomping about in enormous BattleMechs blowing the hell out of each other.

So much so that a fully-fledged sequel is almost upon us, and in an attempt to broaden the appeal, greater emphasis has been placed on the single-player campaign, as alluded to in the hastily-added Lone Wolf subtitle.

As opposed to the drudgery of the previous mission-briefing-mission approach, it offers interaction with non-playable characters, with missions presented on the fly. A deeper storyline has also been incorporated, with you assuming the role of The Pilot, who's so hard that he doesn't need a proper name.

In the previous game, Mechs were selected in advance, but this time round you will be able to dynamically choose what to use in the heat of battle. Effectively, the Mechs are huge weapons that you occupy rather than wield, and each has its benefits and drawbacks. For instance, the Battle Armour lets you run around at pace, but doesn't offer much protection from a 40ft behemoth, which in turn isn't exactly blessed with speed.

All of these factors come into play in the multiplayer mode, with proper co-operation required in the team-based games such as Capture The Flag, which is best captured by quicker Mechs, and then best protected by sturdier affairs. Simple really. There is also a long term Conquest mode, whereby you can join a 'house' and battle for territory across the galaxy. Provided, of course, that you've got Xbox Live.

MechAssault 2: Lone Wolf will be released for Xbox in January