Q1 2008 Predictions Feature - 01/02/2008

Welcome to our new quarterly feature, whereby we will be making our predictions for what's hot and what's not in the next three months of the year.

Mike Hazleton:

I see this as PS3's quarter, with Haze and Unreal Tournament both huge hitters that all but the most anti-FPS people will buy. The 360 doesn't have an awful lot to get excited about here, though the multi-format Burnout Paradise will be awesome (but, but..it's not Burnout 2!!!). The Club's quite a biggie, but it's by no means everyone's cup of tea, with some suspect controls and fairly/very linear level design - going on the demo that is. Frontlines Fuel of War is well worth keeping an eye on too, and as the only real Xbox 360 exclusive of the first three months of 2008 (though it is on PC as well), Microsoft will be hoping it does enough to stand out from the crowd. GTA can't be ignored, but I get the sense that it has to do something really special, if it launches in Q1 at all (watch out for bans all across the world with the supposed drink-driving mechanic at the forefront), to make people forget the travesty of San Andreas.

Best Game:

My personal highlight of Q1 will be Unreal Tournament. Burnout will be great (and Haze, too), and over the course of 08 I'll undoubtedly play it more, but there's something about Unreal that I just can't ignore. The modding, the gore, the multiplayer fun - it's going to be great. So that's my choice. Devil May Cry has passed me by too. It seemed like a big coup for the 360 at the time, but focus has shifted somewhat since then.

Not the most imaginative series in the world, but always fantastic online.

Sleeper Hit:

Most people will ignore this, but I think Viking: Battle for Asgard could be something really special. There's a few sites tracking its progress vividly, and it's not often that a game outside of a proven franchise or even genre manages to do that. Sega are publishing, with the Total War devs Creative Assembly also on board. Biggest Disappointment:

I feel tempted to say Haze, purely because of the scepticism that others seem to be viewing it with - I won't though as I think it'll be superb...Devil May Cry it is for me, as I know lots of people are hyped up for it and it seems a bit of an old fashioned concept for a game in this day and age. I'd also like to say GTA, but that's another story. Best Sales:

GTA - it has to be, if this releases in Q1. Otherwise, I can see Devil May Cry doing very well, despite what I just said above... Best Graphics:

Burnout looks pretty impressive, but I really like the grittiness of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. even if the engine is probably decades old. I'll go with Burnout though - as I've at least played the demo, and the PS3 version's supposedly on par or better than the glorious 360 graphics of Paradise City.

The famous EA motion blur in full swing.

Best Multiplayer:

Unreal Tournament on PS3 - the mods are everything for me. Again, Burnout is a contender, and Haze's co-op is enticing, but UT's all about multiplayer, and with the others it's always playing second-fiddle to the campaign. Delays:

I think Vegas 2 will be delayed to Q3, as at the moment it seems to be hovering around March, but reaction to the media released at the moment has been really negative, and we all know Ubisoft are not afraid to delay their games...I also feel that Rockstar have taken on too much with GTA, and wouldn't be surprised if that slips again, though it's likely to be due to the violent nature and crazy gameplay elements that are supposed to have been included. If it passes British certification, I'd be amazed. Of course Gran Turismo could be released in 2009 and no one would be surprised.


Tyler Roberts:

There aren't that many decent games headed for an early 08 release. The only two that stick out are Burnout Paradise and The Club. Having played the demo I can honestly say that the Club is a pile of shittaki mushrooms. The overall concept of killing people while racing, while being on foot is just stupid. Especially when you can do the same thing on CoD4's 'Arcade Mode'. Burnout, on the other hand, looks great. This time the demo was exhaust lickin' good. I'm usually not one for the Burnout games, I like to keep my cars in one piece, but a mixture of a free roaming word - Paradise City - and high speed 'racing' could slingshot this into first place. That is, unless Haze makes its way onto shelves before the end of Q2, which is pretty unlikely. It's all up in the hazey air. ha-ha...

If you haven't already guessed, most of this paragraph has been pieced together as I find more and more big hitters on track for release this quarter. You're not going to believe this, and it will probably make you go, "oh yer!" but I forgot to mention Devil May Cry 4. That's all need be said really, the third in a successful series of demon-'em-ups. Currently scheduled for release on PS3 and 360 in February.

Despite the appauling Haze joke, will it make a Q1 launch? It seems unlikely now.

I haven't included Killzone 2, by the way, because I doubt that it will make the expected release date. No matter where or when it releases (we don't want a repeat of the Halo 3 launch, Pharel Williams anyone?) it will be a chart topper and a must-have. I have no doubts in my mind that it will be one of the best looking games to date, as well as being a solid shooter online and offline. Whether it can match CoD4 is still to be decided though.

Best Graphics:

Not many big hitters were scheduled for a Q1 release, and my actual choice, Haze, has been delayed until at least April. So I'm going to have to go for Burnout, as I've already seen it running, and it does look the part.

Biggest Disappointment:

Burnout Paradise again for me. If you have played it you will have noticed that if you fail an event you can't simply restart it, you have to drive all the way back. It wasn't just that though. On the demo I hated the structure of how you played events and what the actual events were like too. Driving through billboards? No thanks.

OK, we've done Burnout already. So, here's S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Clear Sky looking appropriately atmospheric.

Best Multiplayer:

Funnily enough, the winner for best multiplayer is Burnout Paradise! The multiplayer in the demo where you were allowed to roam the streets and take down your friends was great fun, and the mugshot feature's as cool as the theme song. Stick to TGSN for the review in a week.

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