The gaming gimmicks of 2008

Deformable worlds

Since next-gen techno grunt means developers can create credible, solid-looking videogame worlds, the next logical step must be to let us utterly destroy them. Fracture is the obvious forerunner in this area. LucasArts'seismotastic shootercasts you as a futuristic demolitions expert with a difference - namely that you can shape, deform or manipulate the very ground you stand on using an array of innovative weaponry. It's "truly groundbreaking" according to the developers. See what they did there? Aha haha, etcetera and so forth.

Meanwhile, Battlefield: Bad Company is set to push destruction in a more traditional direction, with developer DICEaiming to make"nearly everything destructible". If you need a more accurate stat, the prediction is 90% of everything,apparently. With experience gained from the wide-open worlds of the Battlefield multiplayer series, we're hoping that Bad Company's environments will be big enough for us to use the wall-breaking, loophole-creating tech to create free-form tactics, rather than merely as a solution to a series of linear tasks.

Mercenaries 2: World in Flames wants in on the destruction, too. The next-gen reinvention of 2005's brilliant freelance-soldier actioner boasts "completely destructible environments" according toits Wikipedia page. Which, as we all know, is a haven of truth and fact. The game'sofficial websitegives a bit more detail, though, illustrating that you can use the destruction to your advantage by destroying overpasses to hamper assaults, blow bits of buildings off and watch them crush your enemy, or just topple whole buildings in a believably satisfying fashion.

And don't forget Brothers in Arms: Hell's Highway, which will also feature destructible environments - the examples we were given when the gamewas first announcedincluded doors being blown off their hinges, and enemies holed up in buildings being exposed by wall-smashing artillery fire. Our worry is thatrecent previewssuggest a very linear approach to level design, which would hamstring any realgameplay impact that the full destruction action would offer.

Ben Richardson is a former Staff Writer for Official PlayStation 2 magazine and a former Content Editor of GamesRadar+. In the years since Ben left GR, he has worked as a columnist, communications officer, charity coach, and podcast host – but we still look back to his news stories from time to time, they are a window into a different era of video games.