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2008's Essential PC Games

Feature: Ten games your hard drive would be foolish to miss out on

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World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King
Love it or hate it, World of Warcraft is one of the biggest PC franchises of all time and, with player numbers worldwide recently topping 9.3 million, second expansion Wrath of the Lich King is guaranteed to be a massive seller.

Blizzard's bringing back the hardcore feel of Warcraft, after The Burning Crusade took a short detour in to space, and it'll return us to "some of that hardcore fantasy vibe". An increase in level cap, a new continent in the shape of Northrend and the introduction of the first Hero class are among the highlights.

Want more on WoW: Wrath of the Lich King? Go here.

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Operation Flashpoint 2: Dragon Rising
Codemasters' Operation Flashpoint 2 remains something of an unknown quantity at this moment in time, but with the original military sim proving a massive hit on PC and genuinely breaking new ground, we're still keen to slap this one on a hard drive.

Operation Flashpoint 2: Dragon Rising is set on an oil-rich island located off the eastern coast of Russia, north of Japan. "The defining feature of Operation Flashpoint 2 will be the scale of the warfare, which will be unprecedented in first-person shooters," Codemasters has promised.

Want more on Operation Flashpoint 2: Dragon Rising? Go here.

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Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning
EA Mythic's MMOG based on Games Workshop's fantasy tabletop game is THE title in the genre that we're dying to get dirty hands on. Staying faithful to the rich and hugely popular Warhammer world, a major focus is Realm versus Realm combat - PvP mass fighting mayhem, which Mythic has plenty of experience with thanks to developing MMOG Dark Age of Camelot.

GW's Warhammer universe rocks with elf-bells on and we just can't help but get very excited at the thought of adventuring in - let alone engaging in massive battles and city sieges in - a persistent-world version.

Want more on Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning? Go here.

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Spore
It's the latest title from The Sims creator and all-round videogame design genius Will Wright, and naturally that makes it one of the PC stars of 2008. It's an ambitious game, Wright explaining that Spore's "about life. It's about life starting at the cellular level, working it's way up through evolution, into tribal societies, civilisation, and eventually going out into space and spreading through the galaxy".

Crikey, it sounds like 15 games crammed into one; but if anyone can pull it off, it's Will Wright. Got that Will?

Want more on Spore? Go here.

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Alan Wake
What is it about Alan Wake that plucks the gaming heartstrings? The suspense? The anticipation? The mystery? Well, it's all of them, but what's probably the real pull is the wisps of impression seeping out from under Remedy's door that this game is going to be quite unlike anything we've seen before.

Coming off the back of the strength of the developer's Max Payne games, Alan Wake has a team behind it that knows how to thrill and to entertain. Prepare to be sucked into the nightmare and have your head messed with in Bright Falls.

Want more on Alan Wake? Go here.

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Dragon Age
Purely attaching the name BioWare to an RPG is enough to get hardcore fans of the genre drooling down their breastplate, but what's extra enticing about Dragon Age is that it's set in a fantasy universe entirely of BioWare's own creating. Not only that, but the developer is including many revolutionary features.

Multiple origins plotlines for characters, cinematic combat, living, breathing NPCs, legends, mysteries, relationships, action and reaction - you just know it's going to be an awesome adventure during an age of dragons.

Want more on Dragon Age? Go here.

And that concludes our ten PC games to watch out for in 2008. We're sure you'll agree - and vehemently disagree - in the comments field below.

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