Forza Motorsport 4
Gran Turismo 5 has come and gone, Shift 2 gave it a good run, but Forza 3 remains the serious racer supreme. Forza 4 looks set to surpass it. New rendering and lighting engines add a new lustre to the already dazzling graphics, but what really impresses about Forza 4 is the work that has gone into making it the racing sim that adapts to fit your style of play. Want to race on Kinect with the kids; well, you can. Want in-depth simulation in the world’s fastest cars? You can do that too. The old calendar structure is out, and in comes a new world tour, each stage consisting of events based on fictional and real-world courses, that adapt to fit the cars you like to drive and the way you like to play. Throw in the new AutoVista mode, which lets you get up close with specific cars and explore their interiors and engines, and Top Gear tie-ins – including challenges and comments from Jeremy Clarkson – and you have what should be the strongest Forza yet.
Due: October, Xbox 360
We had a chance for an extensive play of Rage away from the chaos of the show floor, and iD’s new shooter manages to feel simultaneously a radical departure and the sort of hard-hitting action piece that you’d expect from the makers of Doom and Quake. Wakening from a pod on a hostile, post-apocalyptic Earth, you’re thrown immediately into the ongoing battles between small communities of survivors and crazed outlaw games. With its free-roaming over a desert landscape, its quest structure and its item-crafting systems, this is the nearest iD will ever get to making an RPG, but when you’re in an outlaw hangout, knife-wielding nut jobs hurling themselves at you while their mates take potshots from cover, the DNA of Doom starts showing through. And while new weapons, like the razor-edged boomerang wingsticks, and a new alternate ammo system keep things fresh, there’s something very familiar about that big, badass shotgun. Roll on October, and roll on Rage.
Due: October, Xbox 360, PS3, PC
Kinect Sports – Season 2
Microsoft had plenty of Kinect stuff on show to see and play, some great for families (Disneyland Adventures, Kinectimals with Bears), some mildly disappointing (we’re looking at you, Star Wars Kinect) and some absolutely brilliant (hello, Dance Central 2). However, it’s the new version of Kinect Sports that’s the obvious hit, with Kinect-powered versions of American Football, Baseball, Golf, Skiing, Tennis and Darts. Surprisingly, it’s the latter that had us hooked, with the Kinect sensor showing an astonishing level of sensitivity as we took to the oche, lined up our arrows and sent them flying towards the board. Tennis was a lot of fun too. Kinect Sports Season 2 isn’t deep, but it’s certainly fun, and wlll give the crowd who’ve deserted Wii for Kinect something to keep them busy over Christmas. We look forward to seeing what skiing has to offer later on.
Due: October, Xbox 360 with Kinect