Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (PS3)Why get excited?
Uncharted: Drake's Fortune never got the hype it deserved, but it's quietly one of the best action/adventures of the current generation and the game that shows Lara Croft how things should be done. Naughty Dog has barely shown us anything of Uncharted 2, but we know it has the first game's hero, Nathan Drake, on the trail of Marco Polo's legendary travels, and that it features an all-new heroine.
Early teasers of Drake lost in the snow and dangling in peril from a falling train-wreck have us on tenterhooks, and promises of new free-climbing and stealth mechanics show that Naughty Dog isn't afraid to mix up the old Tomb Raider platforming meets Gears of War combat formula. Let's hope it can retain the original's grasp of storyline and character: the very thing that made it the interactive Raiders of the Lost Ark that we were all waiting for.
Curb your enthusiasm?
Talk of stealth always has us slightly worried, but we'll keep our fingers crossed that Naughty Dog will nail it.
Bioshock 2: Sea of Dreams (Xbox 360, PC, PS3)Why get excited?
Like it or loathe it, Bioshock is one of the defining games of the current generation and a game that set new standards for storytelling and all-pervasive atmosphere. We really don't know much about Sea of Dreams except for the title; the announcement trailer on the end of the PS3 Bioshock, showing a Little Sister gazing out across the ocean while a tiny city bursts to life in the sand behind her, was cryptic to say the least.
All we know is that it may be a prequel, not a sequel, and that development has moved from the 2K Boston studio to 2K Marin (though it will still proceed with input from Bioshock mastermind, Ken Levine. If Sea of Dreams can match its parent, it will be one of 2009's biggest games. Let's just hope it's not another Deus Ex 2.
Curb your enthusiasm?
Not everyone loved the original, and critics will be looking for improvements to the combat and AI so that the action is firmly on a par with the atmosphere. Can 2K Marin pull this off, or can we expect even more grumbling when Sea of Dreams appears?