Rogue Warrior - first look

Warrior's not due out until this time next year, so a hands-on look just wasn't going to happen during Bethesda's secret unveiling earlier this month. We did, however, get a quick demo of an area Marcinko and his group slithered their way through - a busted shipbreaker yard that strips stolen vessels of their valuable parts.

Right from the start, you're free to roam around the area and choose a path forward. With no heads-up graphics or life meter on the screen, you're able to eyeball the environment and decide if sneaking through a break in sea wreckage is the way to go versus the more direct, trigger-happy approach. Silent kills are of course a major element, but we really loved the idea of booby trapping dead bodies.

Once the enemy notices a fallen soldier, someone will rush over to check out the scene. If you've set a mine on the body (either time, remote or pressure detonated), it'll pop and take out anything around. You can do the same with alarm switches and other parts of the level too.

There's no hiding bodies or jumping into house-smashing vehicles, but we're hoping the reactive enemy AI and single-button squad commands make the solo-missions worth running through. One cool perk is the ability to play the game and have friends bounce in and out at any point in the level, but that too has been done before.

We've got the better part of a year before Rogue Warrior sneaks onto PC, Xbox 360 and PS3, so there's plenty of opportunity to add even more features before the game ships.