Everyone's favorite swashbuckling relic hunter is gearing up for a mid-2003 return. Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness will be released in Q2 of this year on both PC and PS2. This year's Raider features a gorgeous new game engine, along with numerous gameplay additions such as NPC interaction and skill development for Lara.
Eidos has also announced the third release in its collection of popular vampire action-adventure games, Legacy of Kain: Defiance. Defiance features two playable characters: Kain and Raziel. Slated for a late 2003 release on PS2, Xbox, and PC, Defiance lets gamers engage in intense combat against hordes of demonic, human, and undead foes.
Backyard Wrestling: Don't Try This At Home! does, in fact, let gamers try it all at home. Players can brawl across sprawling open-ended environments and dish out punishment with implements like barbed wire, light bulbs, thumbtacks, and baseball bats. The game will ship for PS2 and Xbox this summer.
Deus Ex: Invisible War from Ion Storm Austin should hit the PC and Xbox sections of stores sometime this fall. This first-person action-adventure game deftly blends classic conspiracy theories with hard-hitting action and role-playing elements. Gamers use high-tech gadgetry and futuristic body modification to fight evil factions that exist after the conclusion of the original Deus Ex. Ion Storm is also keeping busy by developing the third in the critically acclaimed Thief series, for PC and Xbox. This groundbreaking first-person sneaker should be out this winter. Eidos is building upon the success of its most popular franchise with the planned summer release of Commandos 3: Destination Berlin for PC. Along with graphical and gameplay enhancements, developer Pyro Studios is adding deathmatch for up to eight players. This summer should also see the long-awaited release of strategy game Republic: The Revolution for PC.
Chain Gang, scheduled for release this fall on PS2 and Xbox, features two shackled animals, à la The Defiant Ones, escaping from an animal experimentation facility. Eidos' big movie-license game this year is The Italian Job, based on this summer's remake of the 1969 heist movie. Owners of GameCube, Xbox, and PS2 consoles will see the action sometime this summer.