Pre-E3 blowout day one: Xbox 360

The dark horse

The Darkness
Fitting that this game seems shrouded in an impenetrable vortex of inky blackness from which little information has emerged, but from what we've seen of The Darkness so far, we are freaking out about seeing this first-person shooter at E3. Based on a popular comic book, The Darkness gives you the opportunity to cause mayhem with arcane powers from the underworld as a mafia hitman named Jackie Estacado.

Jackie was blessed/cursed with the occult abilities of The Darkness on his twenty-first birthday and must now battle his own mob family in a bloody struggle for supremacy. These powers range from skewering enemies with barbed black tentacles tosucking foes into an alternate dimension of abject despair to summoning ghoulish familiars called Darklings that help dispatch those that stand in Jackie's way.

Created by the twisted minds behind the critically acclaimed Chronicles of Riddick (you can laugh all you want at Vin Diesel, but you can't deny that the game rocked), The Darkness appears to be carrying on the gloomy tradition of combining incredibly realistic graphics with disturbing amounts of gore. While you may not have heard of the team behind The Darkness, or even the comic it gets its name from, we're still eager to plumb this game's shadowy depths.

There's always more...

While we're sure we're going to see a lot of 360 titles this year, gearing up for the holiday onslaught, but it's what we don't know for sure that intrigues us the most. We keep hearing that World of Warcraft is just a rumor on Xbox 360, but dammit, we are still holding a torch; same for some form of City of Heroes coming to 360 from MMO makers NCSoft. They're up to something, but haven't said what; is it the existing game or an offshoot starring the original comic characters? We do figure Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball 2 will be at the show in some form; Tecmo's said that's coming before the next Ninja Gaiden. And please please please tell us that the rumblings we've heard of Guitar Hero coming to 360 are legit - we want to rock!