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The unsung stars of 2008

Nov 26, 2007

What's your pick for next year, then - Grand Theft Auto IV? Metal Gear Solid 4? Something else that might not have a '4' attached to it, but has still been hyped beyond all imagining? They're the obvious choices, but what about the games that are out of the spotlight?

We've dug around for these lesser-known delights, and are pleased to present nine not-so-familiar titles that are all due for release next year. If what we've seen of them so far is anything to go by, all of these games have the potential to be big hitters in their own right...

Dead Island || Techland || PC, 360, PS3

Dead Island is probably the survival horror game all survival horror fans have been waiting for. Or, at least, the ones obsessed with zombies - which, let's face it, is pretty much anyone with a passion for the genre. You're stuck on an island, you're surrounded by flesh-hungry ghouls and your missus is missing. Brilliant.

What should ratchet up the tension tight like a vice, though, is the lack of serious firepower. You won't be grabbing RPGs or pummelling an army's worth of bullets into the ranks of walking stiffs, instead your surroundings will be littered, Condemned style, with objects to 'weaponise'.

Add to this lethal cocktail a the free-roaming island itself, a number of opposing gangs (actually we could do with out this almost arbitrary feature) to either fight or align with, and a disgustingly satisfying damage system promising 'real time skin injuries ' and you've got a game with massive potential.

Beaterator || Rockstar || PSP

Produced with help from superstar music producer Timbaland, Rockstar's create-your-own-beats synth thing ought to sit perfectly alongside PSP's multimedia capabilities. It's not a game, true, but then is Dr. Kawashima? We know which one we'd rather rock out to on the commute.