Mercenaries 2: World in Flames

Though no one's confirming long-term exclusivity, development of World in Flames is targeting PS3 as its primary battleground. Topically staging another no-nonsense premise in an oil-rich, war-torn Venezuela, its developer sees the new hardware generation as an excuse to move beyond the idea of the action game into a so-called 'action world.'

The motivation for that apparent grandstanding is that while 'game' denotes a script, and thereby limits, a world can combine incidental action moments to greater overall effect.

Above: The trees cast proper shadows over everything, as you'd expect now

Resnick elaborates: "First, we insist that everything be general purpose. Whenever we add something - like the air strikes or the support delivery - we go the extra mile to figure out how to make it work everywhere, not just at the scripted moment.

"Also, we're able to integrate every system into a unified, reactive world. We track a lot of information about what you do, how you do it, and who you do it to, and have the world respond. We use the general term 'reactivity' to express this idea - the world has a response for practically everything you do.

"Some of the responses are immediate and funny, such as when a civilian berates you for knocking over his food, while some are longer term consequences - an ally rewarding you for services rendered, for example."