World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade

Blizzard's first expansion pack for World of Warcraft, The Burning Crusade, is shuffling along nicely towards a late 2006 release. But to give eager gamers a taste of what they'll soon be slicing, dicing and blasting into oblivion, we've grabbed a handful of fresh artwork for four new monsters from the game's soon-to-be-expanded bestiary.

First up, we've got the Fleshbeasts. These are unpleasant looking products of twisted nightmares, summoned from the beyond by Medivh, the nutcase sorcerer responsible for opening the Dark Portal and unleashing the orc army on the lands of Azeroth.

Then there's the Ethereals: astral travelers who inhabit the chaos between worlds, in the Twisting Nether. Purveyors of artifacts, these creatures are as trustworthy as they are substantial - which is to say, not at all.

The tusk-mouthed green beastie is a Forest Troll, straggled bands of which dwell in the dark northern forest, nursing their deep-rooted hatred of humans and elves. And toothbrushes, probably.

Finally, the spiky fellow is a Gronn, an immortal demigod ogre. While there may be only a handful of these still in existence, gronn are stupendously powerful, monolithic beasts with very short tempers and fists like granite boulders. We'll look forward to bringing you more bios of the nasty inhabitants of Blizzard's world very soon.

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.