Of course, one by one, the Juggernauts were revealed. Gears of War 2, with its spectacular announcement by CliffyB. The announcement of Call of Duty: World at War, riding on the wave of success of Call of Duty 4. Release dates were announced. And as usual, with the announcement of a platform exclusive game, So did the Annual Console Battles begin.
They said 2007 was a great year for video games. 2008 wasn't so bad too.
1. Grand Theft Auto 4
It had been 7 years since gamers set foot in Grand theft Auto 3. People wanted to set foot on Liberty City again in a direct sequel and by god they did. Having one of the most expansive play areas in the entire series.
2. Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots
The Epic Conclusion to Kojima's cinematic-standard game. PS3 Gamers and long time Metal Gear Fans were waiting for this game for a long time.
Made by renowned developer, Free Radical, who developed the amazing Time Splitters series, this game gained popularity. Once supposedly Multi-Platform, it was cut-down and became a PS3 Exclusive.
4. Gears of War 2
With an Epic Announcement and an Epic History of games, Epic Games's sequel to the highly successful Xbox 360 exclusive, Gears of War created lots of hype with promise of a better single player and being 'bigger, better and more badass'.
5. Resistance 2
Insomniac, like Epic Games, has a long history of amazing games and just like Gears of War, the first Resistance was the flagship title for the PS3. It was regarded as the Ultimate competition to Gears of War 2.
6. Fable 2
Crazy Promises were made for the game. Being Described as a lot of things, Fable 2 was a Highly anticipated game.
7. Fallout 3
A Massive shift from the first 2 Fallouts in the hands of Bethesda. Nothing more was needed to be said.
8. Left 4 Dead
Its made by Valve. Nuff Said.
There were of course countless other releases but these were the games that I can safely say gamers everywhere were looking forward to.
Winner is... Battlefield: Bad Company
The battlefield guys have been making sweet Multiplayer games over the years. But couple that with a whole new engine capable of awesome destruction that doesn't completely ruin the gameplay and still look good? You got yourself some killer effects. Every Audio bit. Every piece of destruction. the Lighting. Everything was very well done. The folks at DICE deserve a good pat on the back.
Special Mention: Dead Space
The Game is Scary. Its quiet nature and the use of lighting and solid sound design gives it some extremely good effects.
Best Gameplay Innovation
Winner is...Mirror's Edge
Platforming games are really addictive. You know it. But taking something like Mario, putting it in a whole new perspective and adding other gameplay tweaks? Thats really difficult to pull off. A Parkour Action Platforming Game from a First Person Perspective is Innovation at its best and though a lot of more improvements can be made, Mirror's Edge wins best Gameplay Innovation.
Special mention: Left 4 Dead
Co-op gameplay has been in a lot of games but never as refined and important as Left 4 Dead. Here Co-op is key and a slight change in teamwork could mean chaos to the entire team. The ai Director is also wonderful, changing the enemy spawns depending on Player behavior. Good job Valve.
Winner is...Gears of War 2
Surprisingly enough, Gears of War 2 trumps every other game this year in terms of music. Steve Jablonsky, the dude who worked on Transformers, was composing the music and created something beautiful. Truely emotional and captures the true feeling of each of the moments perfectly.
Special Mention: Grand Theft Auto IV
With some of the best songs from the Era featured in Grand Theft Auto IV, you know that the folks at Rockstar know their stuff.
Least Fun Game of 2008
Winner is...Grand Theft Auto IV
Its sad when such an expansive game, such a detailed game messes up the Fun Factor. Rockstar decided to forgo the path they always took and take a more Realistic Approach, leading to the game's fun's demise. Sorry Rockstar. One can only force themselves to play the game. Its too painful to play.
Most Disappointing Game
Being developed by Free Radical, you would think this would wipe the competition clean. Unfortunately, it fell flat on its face. With nothing to call its own, this game, I feel, is a way to prove that success can get to one's head and cloud their vision. Themes of Drug Abuse? Looks like the Developers were on Drugs.
Special Mention: Gears of War 2
While the Single Player was a vast improvement and problems with Multiplayer Fixed (With new ones added into the mix), you would think this was a good thing. Well, I would love to tell you how great the Multiplayer is but unfortunately I can't get into a damn game and enjoy it. Waiting times for more than 30 minutes and lag when you finally find a game, like Haze and Free Radical, its time for CliffyB to wake up from his Dream World and tell himself that he is not the God of Video Games like he makes himself look like.
Game of the Year
Winner is...Left 4 Dead
When you have 4 missions, each an average of being 1 hour long, that can be played over and over again, you know that something magical has happened. Valve has pushed the boundaries of replayability with on the fly AI adjustments and wonderful Gameplay. Being Simple can be successful and Valve has once again proved that.
Special Mention: LittleBigPlanet
Up till now we thought of User Created Content as PC Mods and more recently, Map Variants from Halo 3. However, nothing pushes the limit on a console than LittleBigPlanet. With a game focused mainly on this, it could have easily gone haywire but LittleBigPlanet safely pulls through and earns a special mention.
2007 was a great year. Loads of Game releases exclusively for the Xbox 360 and bunch of great Multi-Platform games. 2008 could have been called the '2007 of the PS3'. While, tons of the highly anticipated games for the PS3 did get released on time, almost none were satisfying. Metal gear Solid 4 was a true Solid experience though and that in itself, won the year for the PS3.
Another Interesting thing to take note of is that almost none of the Big Releases made my set of special awards. All the Underdogs got it. Think about it
One Last Honorable Mention:
Renowned for the Battlefield Series, DICE took a risk and released something that was not only Innovative but changed the way we look at certain genres. For that, they deserve this mention.
Thanks for taking the time to read!
So, I wasn't really expecting much for 2008. 2007 ended up brilliantly, with the release of games like Halo 3, Mass Effect, Call of Duty 4 and Bioshock etc. I usually don't go into a year expecting games, unless they have been delayed. So, 2008 was a pretty normal year.