News: The latest EGM reveals a few must-have titles of 2007.
The February 2007 issue of EGM (number 212) features a very in-depth look at all of the major titles coming in 2007. The article itself is a great read, but the best part is that some of these games haev been heretofore unannounced.
First up is a new entry in the Guitar Hero series. According to EGM, Guitar Hero: 1980s Edition is in production and will ship sometime in the Spring (presumably alongside Guitar Hero II for the Xbox 360). With the game only three to four months away (and still unannounced), EGM could only say "trust us; it's coming."
Next up is EGM's assertion that Tomb Raider: Anniversary* will be coming to more than just the PS2, PSP and PC this year. The article's entry for the game listed Xbox and Xbox 360 versions as well. Considering Anniversary runs on a modified version of the Tomb Raider: Legend engine (a game that also came to both Xboxes), this seems likely.
Rounding out the PS2 portion of the article is a pair of RPGs from Japan that will be coming to America for the first time. EGM says that Wild Arms 5 will arrive in the Summer and Kingdom Hearts II: Final Mix will take up the fight in the Fall.
But hold up just a minute, you say Kingdom Hearts II came out last year? Why yes it did, but Final Mix is a special edition of KH2 that includes the full U.S. version and a bunch of bonus features. These include extra cut scenes, new bosses (including Sora's evil twin Roxas) and a 3D version of the GBA's Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories (that's right, a full game is considered an extra).
Square-Enix has traditionally released these "director's cut" of their top-tier RPGs only in Japan and if EGM is to be believed, Final Mix will mark the first time one of them has made it to America.
Moving on the next-gen, EGM is claiming that the Xbox 360 and PS3 version of Half-Life 2 will be officially called Half-Life 2: Orange. Nothing new was revealed about the game, but it's interesting to know the final title nonetheless.
Finally, the article reveals the first details about the mysterious "Area 52" that showed up in a Midway job posting a few months back. Apparently the game will be known as Blacksite: Area 51 and it will be a more serious take on an alien invasion FPS at the famous army base. EGM even went so far as to describe it as "politically charged."
The game will feature squad-based combat that will dynamically change according to the intensity of the situation. Creative Director Harvey Smith described the system like so: "When morale is high... the squad is more aggressive, fires more often and more accurately, etc. When things are going to hell rapidly, the squad tends to enact the military rule of 'Cover Your Ass.'"
The February 2007 issue of EGM should be arriving in subscriber's mailboxes now.
* UPDATE: A thread on NeoGAF has pointed out that we may have goofed on Tomb Raider: Anniversary's future on the Xbox and Xbox 360. The NeoGAFers believe EGM's "(XB360/PS2/XBOX)" tag at the end of the blurb was referring to Tomb Raider: Legend.
Looking at it again, this is most likely the correct interpretation, but with Legend's popularity on the Xbox 360 and Xbox, I wouldn't rule out Anniversary making an appearance on Bill Gates' favorite toys.