The hottest games coming to the Xbox 360 in 2009

The biggest games you'll want to keep an eye on.

Halo Wars

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Master Chief's first-person shooting trilogy has come to a close, but the real-time strategy battle for the universe won't begin until this Xbox 360 exclusive hits the ground. The events of this overhead tactical epic occur over 20 years before John-117's video game adventures get rolling, but you'll command lots of familiar UNSC and Covenant assets, including crowds of Warthog-driving Spartans, who haven't yet had their numbers decimated, and fleets of Banshees and Wraiths. There are also brand new units that you've never seen before, like the airborne UNSC Vulture missile fortress, and you can recruit a friend to help you double-team the crafty A.I. crowds.

RTS console games are often viewed with caution, thanks to the lack of a mouse, but Halo War's entire command system is built from the ground up, with the Xbox 360 controller in mind. Whether you send ground troops to take control of Forerunner outposts, carpet bomb a line of invaders, or blast enemies from orbit, the streamlined handling should make all those hours of living room command as intuitive as possible.

Aliens Colonial Marines

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The Aliens gaming franchise has gone down the tube much like Sigourney Weaver's acting career. There is hope, however, as the upcoming first-person shooter release Aliens: Colonial Marines should give the series the jolt it needs to once again rise to prominence. Here's why.

4. Marine Tough

The marines that you'll be using throughout the game aren't just random, cookie cutter soldiers. They all have their own unique skills and personalities and react to different situations just like a real soldier would. Out of the 12 you can comprise your team of four; some are more likely to panic than others but may wield more powerful guns.

3. Not Your Average FPS

Aliens: Colonial Marines takes a different approach than other first-person shooters in how it plays out. Instead of being one long, continuous story, Aliens is broken down into three different acts with each one containing a certain amount of levels.

2. Blowing off Face-huggers

Sega's new Aliens game will be bringing back many of the standard weapons from earlier installments in the series as well as adding new guns, too. Players will have flamethrowers, mounted guns, pulse rifles, grenade launchers, and more at their disposal.

1. Allies in Alien-killing

The online version of Colonial Marines will allow people to play through the campaign with their friends in teams of four. What's cool about this is that players can enter the game or leave it without disrupting anything or forcing the team to go back into some type of lobby.

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