The mistletoe is pinned to doorframe, or the belt buckle in Lewis' case, and the Christmas cheer is jolly well in. So what better time is there to celebrate the best the festive season has to offer us gaming Santas? From the best titles of last year, to this year's hottest games and next year's sickly sweet candy-coated treats, here's part two of PSW's take on A Christmas Carol...
Ghosts Of Christmas Present
It's been PS3's best months ever, with awesome exclusives, new IP meeting expectations and sequels surpassing their predecessors. Get excited!
Call Of Duty World At War
Back in developer Treyarch's hands, Call Of Duty returned to WWII with World At War. Fight through Pacific and Eastern European campaigns, against new devious AI and make moral choices over who lives and who dies.
The politics of this one threatened to sink World At War before the game had even the chance to defend itself. How dare Treyarch take over dev duties from Modern Warfare's Infinity Ward? How could they go back to WWII? Well, in fairness, Treyarch has delivered a blinder. The gameplay, Perks and online set-up that made Modern Warfare so playable return, the difference is the WWII setting means helicopter gunships are replaced by attack dogs, air-strikes by precision bombing.
Co-op play makes its COD debut too, with offline play and online games boosted by a competitive points system and maps littered with hidden extras. Flamethrowers and shotguns burn and sever limbs; Nazi zombies are hidden away in here too for anyone skilled enough to unlock them.
Overall, World At War is a hugely playful, inventive and beautiful-looking first-person shooter that strongly deserves a place alongside Modern Warfare in your collection.
Finish the fight! Sony's answer to Xbox's Halo was a slow-burning, barely original FPS. But this sequel expands the template, adding new weapons, an involving co-op campaign and last, but not least, a whopping great 60-player explosive online frag-fest.
The action moves to the East and West coasts of the United States, and Nathan Hale is back in the thick of the action having joined up with The Sentinels, a task force of soldiers immune to the Chimeran virus. This sequel takes everything good about the original and goes big - you get a 60-player online Deathmatch, a standalone online co-op mode, a separate single-player campaign and alien beasts and machines the size of a skyscraper.
It's the gaming equivalent of a blockbuster like Godzilla, but sadly the the unoriginal US remake and not the quirky Japanese originals, in that its big, blusterous invasion tale overshadows any depth or subtly any quieter moments may provide. Resistance 2 is a solid shooter with extras that make up for its myriad shortfalls.
Far Cry 2
Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
Set in a fictional African region, your goal is to find and kill a war-mongering weapons dealer. Why isn't an issue, although how is, in Ubisoft's huge genre-defining free-roaming FPS.
Mixing free-roaming gunplay and the kind of detail and choices usually reserved for RPGs, Far Cry 2 is a true one-off. As the merc on the hunt for a notorious weapons dealer you can go it alone or hire and befriend other characters. They'll offer tips and come to your aid in a gunfight.