The Nexus of Pop-Culture Fandom

Our Most Anticipated Games of 2008

Written by: The CinCitizens

ImageThis week the team sounds off on the titles expected to drop in 2008 that are playing Pavlov to their gamers’ salivary glands.

ImageComing soon to your Xbox 360 or PS3: Tim Schafer’s Brutal Legend: Roadshow of Destruction.

Russell Davidson:

Tim Schafer, right? The guy behind Psychonauts, still my all-time favorite game, where you journeyed as Raz, junior Psychonaut, through all sorts of crazed and imaginative levels, inside people’s brains, actually. A true work of Art, that game. Brilliant. Surreal. So here comes Schafer again.

Brutal Legend is a trek through the trenches of Rock-N-Roll, and as I understand, the story of Eddie Riggs, heavy-metal roadie. A third-person action game, it takes Eddie to a fantasy world where he must survive and triumph, surrounded and aided by familiar Metal/Nordic imagery like axes, guitars, amps, leather, and metal studs. With this as the backdrop, I fully expect it’ll be full of classic Schafer touches – all the odd references, freaky imagery, humor, grimness. And get a load of the voice talent! Lemmy from Motorhead as the healer/bassist Kill Master, Rob Halford of Judas Priest as the bad guy, and Jack Black as Eddie, holy cow!

Certainly, hopes are high. Hard to follow up Psychonauts, and Schafer could’ve retired on the legacy of that game alone. Great for us that he didn’t.

ImageExclusively for your Xbox 360: Silicon Knights’ Too Human.

Big Ross:

I know what you’re thinking, is this game really going to be out this year? It’s only been trapped in the seventh circle of development hell since 1999, but all indications are Silicon Knights will finally see their dream project rise from the ashes and released to the masses sometime this year.

Billed as a sweeping, cinematic blending of cyberpunk and Norse mythology, while the game’s third-person perspective and melee combat system might appear to some Playstationites as a God of War wannabe, its promised mix of action/adventure and RPG genres with elements from Devil May Cry and Diablo has got me intrigued to say the least.

Add to that my feeling that Nordic legends have always seemed to take a back seat to Greco-Roman mythology, and the re-imagining of these mighty inhabitants of Valhalla as cybernetically enhanced humans persisting from the ancient past to fight in a future threatened by a sinister machine presence intent on humanity’s eradication has me stoked. If Silicon Knights really does intend this as the first game of a trilogy, let’s hope it delivers on all it promises.

Two Reasons to Buy a New PC (Because We All Know Vista isn’t Worth It)

Ed Van Velson:

ImageWarhammer Online: Age of Reckoning

With the success of World of Warcraft, EA Mythic hasn’t skipped the chance to turn the Warhammer series into a MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game). EA Mythic is putting a lot of focus on the PVP (Player Vs Player) aspects of the game, which made World of Warcraft extremely popular. With amazing concept art and incredibly detailed information on Warhammer lore, this game will be a big step for the series.

ImageFar Cry 2
Far Cry pushed limits in gameplay, graphics and technology. Take all these aspects and place it in 2008 and you have: Far Cry 2. Ubisoft knows that the tropical island theme is overdone with games like Crysis; therefore, the next installment to the series is in a photo realistic African landscape. Jump, run, shoot, crawl and obliterate enemies in this shooter coming out towards April.

Whether at Home or on the Go Nintendo Has Your Gaming Answer

Mike Leader:

ImageNintendo DS: Taking design pointers from previous Nintendo-published DS games such as The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass and Hotel Dusk: Room 241, Team Ninja are bringing the fast-paced slash-em-up series Ninja Gaiden to the DS. The control scheme alone is noteworthy – the DS is held sideways, ‘book’ style, and the stylus is key, used both for movement and attacks. Ninja Gaiden has a reputation for its punishing difficulty and high quality – and the recent reboot under game director Tomonobu Itagaki has refashioned the series into something that is slick, sleek and modern. The game also looks great, showing the DS’s hidden graphical power.:

ImageWii: The undisputed #1 anticipated title for the first half of this year is Super Smash Bros Brawl, which was released in Japan recently and sold over 800,000 copies in its first week. The Smash Bros series has grown in stature since its first release on the N64; its second game, Smash Bros Melee, on the Gamecube, was one of the most popular games of its generation. The combination of Nintendo franchise characters (Mario, Link, Samus, Pikachu, Kirby) and a compelling, original twist on the fighting game genre has guaranteed that anticipation and hype for this new game is high. However, the list of new features and additions is staggering. It will be the first game in the series to offer online play; the single player campaign has been overhauled, now offering a proper storyline; and this is without mentioning the amount of collectibles, customisables and unlockables.

One development that has caught the headlines is the inclusion of characters from other, even one-time rival, development teams – namely Sega’s Sonic the Hedgehog and Solid Snake from Konami’s hugely successful Metal Gear Solid series (which, incidentally, has its 4th game out this year, on the PS3 – any sane gamers choice for most anticipated). It seems that Nintendo have pulled out all the stops for this game, choosing to refine and amend, as opposed to tacking on awkward Wii motion controls or dumbing down the gameplay to entice a wider audience. They’re simply Giving the Gamers What They Want – which is something that most internet-bound H4rdc0r G4m3rz accuse them for NOT doing. Sadly, while Brawl is coming out in the US in early March, no release date has been announced for Europe or Australia. Gamers from those territories have been trained by Nintendo to wait. I’m sure it will be worth it.

Got a topic you’d like to see covered in The Weekly Guide to Gaming? A game you’d like us to review? Do you have a love of video games and a talent for writing, and want to join the team and contribute to the weekly column? Send requests and inquiries to bigross [at] cincity2000 [dot] com.