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PC Gamer: Hottest Games of 2008

Feature: 110 reasons to be excited - part five

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You'll use the same equipment seen in the films: a PK meter to track supernatural activity, the tether guns and traps, the ECTO-1 car. And some of the same ghoulies: we've already spied Stay Puft and Slimer in the Ghostbusters screenshots.

Add to this a neat physics system for accidental damage in the poltergeist pursuit, and you have a near-perfect revival. Set nostalgia glands to salivate: we can't wait for this.

Gothic 4 (ETA: Autumn)
Gothic specialises in vast, sprawling swords and sorcery RPG worlds. Think a slightly lower-rent Oblivion. Expect broody action and branching quest structures dependent upon the faction you choose to align with. The Germans love this stuff.

Guild Wars 2 (ETA: Winter)
Fans of Guild Wars have been sated with expansion packs - three so far (Nightfall, Factions and Eye of the North), compared to WoW's one. Clearly it's time for a reinvention of the hugely successful MMO. Here's what to expect.

250 years after the original Guild Wars, many of the locations will be gutted and ruined. The idea is that while only one dragon had woken at the end of the last expansion pack, Eye of the North, in the years since then hundreds have emerged. The ruin these creatures have inflicted has caused mass migrations, and the lack of habitable space has led to war and famine. It's the perfect excuse for faction-specific quests and competing allegiances.

If Guild Wars has one fault, it's the lack of sense of a single world: most of your time is spent in a solitary 'instances' where you'll never randomly stumble across a new friend. That's going to change. You'll now spend your time in a single free-flowing game world, only heading into instances when it's time to move the storyline along. But you're never going to be restricted to a single server - Arenanet promise that you'll be able to transfer characters between different servers at will, without cost.

Don't expect your experience bar to disappear once you hit level 20 either, as with the Guild Wars of old. While the true level cap hasn't been revealed yet, it's expected to be higher, and a longer path than any of the original Guild Wars games demanded.

But don't worry about missing out on playing with your high level friends. A 'sidekick' system means that you'll receive a temporary boost to bring you into line with your chums.

If you're just grinding, you'll be able to join up with an AI party, but playing with real-life online humans will net you more experience.

From day one in Guild Wars you could take any character into one of its deathmatch arenas and fight competitively. Those arenas are now complemented by a persistent skirmish area called 'The Mist'. Imagine a 24‑hour, 365-day battle and you're pretty much there. Anyone can wander in at any point and contribute to the fighting; successful kills and missions are converted into equipment rewards.

With all these features, the Guild Wars developers are clearly gunning for World of Warcraft's players. The good news: they'll never charge a monthly fee for this game.


Haze (ETA: Summer)
Drugs really are bad, mmmkay? This comment on corporate terrorism masquerading as an action FPS has cult hit written all over it: with big men in big suits shooting even bigger guns, all because of a legal narcotic known as nectar. The game's out on PS3 by the time you read this we should be seeing a PC version a little bit later.


Hei$t (ETA: Summer)
It's a caper sim set in '60s San Francisco. You play a safecracker, forced to take down all the banks in the city. Once inside, you'll want to manage the crowd, pray no one wants to be a hero, and get to the safe. And then comes the getaway.

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