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PC Gamer's Hottest Games of 2008

Feature: 110 reasons to be very excited

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And the sci-fi? There's a strain of techno-conspiracy running through the game, including hints that you might in fact be a direct descendant of the lead character, Altair, living out his escapades via genetic memory. Spooky.

The good news is that this is already a bona-fide hit on the 360, with some of the most impressive locations we've ever seen. Thankfully, we'll be getting a far prettier version with PC-appropriate controls soon.

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Bionic Commando (ETA: Winter)
1988's NES platform classic Bionic Commando has reappeared from nowhere. The star: one bionic arm. You're able to extend it to swing from buildings, or grab enemies about the throat, and even throw massive objects across the broken Ascension City - the ideal middle-ground between a gravity gun and Spider-Man's webs. Early videos look hot, with excellent use of physics to create train-sized domino effects for improvised kills.

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Borderlands (ETA: Summer)
Guns: lots and lots of guns. Millions of them, in fact. That's the banner feature of Borderlands that's going to embarrass all those other first-person shooters.
Borderlands is a mix of open desert buggy-driving and fast-paced shooting that's coming to the PC this summer.

You and three friends bomb around a ruined landscape in souped-up dune buggies, chased by angry mercenaries while protecting threatened colonies from cracked-rhino-hide aliens - the Kraytt. You do so with this: an epic selection of randomly generated weaponry.

Remember how Diablo dropped an almost constant stream of items into your world, for you to coo over, or sell? That's what Borderlands is attempting, in a fast-paced shooter.

After every gun-fight, you'll find yourself rummaging through dropped weaponry, scouting for that one special side-arm, the pistol you'll be proud to wear, the rifle you can sling on your back with a scope the length of your arm.

Brilliantly, you can see without even picking it up just how powerful and useful a gun might be. Got a long barrel? Then it's accurate. Got a underslung grenade launcher? It's right there. Old, rusted, liable to break? you'll see the wear and tear. What's the size of the clip? What ammo does it take? Do the go-faster stripes along the barrel match your vest?

It transforms your ownership of the experience. In the four-player co-op mode your roles change depending on your choice of gun, rather than any specific character class. Do you sport a sniper rifle? Then you stay at the back, spotting targets and taking out hidden threats. Or maybe you want to lug around a rapid-fire sub-machinegun?

Your team will want you up front, getting up close and personal. The choices even cement relationships: no one likes a ninja looter. But everyone loves a bigger gun. Start coveting arms now. Borderlands looks brilliant.

Well, that's your first ten of 110 - check back soon for more entries in PC Gamer's big '2008's hottest games' list.

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