E3 '08 gives glimpse of games on the horizon

Gamers, get your thumbs ready. The 14th annual Electronic Entertainment Expo, or "E3" — the world's premiere video gaming convention held each July — once again served as a glimpse into the future of the multibillion-dollar interactive entertainment industry.

Media, retailers and analysts packed the invitation-only industry event held at the Los Angeles Convention Center to play games coming soon to a platform near you.

On that note, E3 '08 was less about the "console wars" between Sony's PlayStation 3, Microsoft's Xbox 360 and Nintendo's Wii, and more about the video games themselves — most of which are available on multiple systems anyway.

Here's a look at some of the most impressive titles worth saving for.

Action

In Electronic Arts' Mirror's Edge, you play as Faith, a "runner" who is an information courier in a world where all communication is tightly monitored by the state. By traversing rooftops and alleyways and navigating through underground waterways, you'll perform your tasks — played from a dizzying first-person perspective — while working toward a greater goal: saving Faith's sister, who's framed for a murder she didn't commit. This gorgeous game will be available for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 (PS3) and PC by year's end.

Fans of "survival horror" games can look forward to a couple of scary thrillers including Capcom's chilling Resident Evil 5 (Xbox 360, PS3), which drops the player in a zombie-filled African nation and will introduce a new online co-op feature when it launches in March 2009. Due out this holiday, however, is Dead Space, a new franchise from Electronic Arts (for Xbox 360, PS3 and PC) that takes place on a giant spaceship a few hundred years in the future. Konami's Silent Hill: Homecoming also looked downright creepy.

Other impressive action games include LucasArts' Star Wars: The Force Unleashed (all major platforms), Ubisoft's new Prince of Persia (Xbox 360, PS3 and PC) and Midway's Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe fighting game (Xbox 360, PS3).

Shooters

Sony kicked off its news conference with a jaw-dropping live demo of Resistance 2 (for PS3, out in November), which takes place in an alternate 1950s. Rather than fighting each other in post-WWII battles, humans are working together to take on menacing aliens bent on world destruction. This gorgeous first-person shooter includes multiple weapons, enormous creatures (including a 300 foot-tall leviathan stomping through Chicago) and online support for up to 60 players.

Also due out in November is Microsoft Game Studios' Gears of War 2 (for Xbox 360) that also pits man against vicious aliens but requires a more tactical approach than merely running and gunning. As with its best-selling predecessor, you must hide behind walls and vehicles to take aim, find precious health packs and ammo, and work with your squad mates to make it to the end of the levels. This Xbox 360 exclusive also offers a host of online multiplayer modes playable over the Xbox Live service.

Puzzle/strategy

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