8 Video Games You HAVE to Play in '08

Since the Christmas holidays, the world of video games has been fairly quiet. If you are looking forward to a particular game that is coming out in 2008, but you aren't sure what is lined up for this year, this list is for you.

Games on this list span the entire year of 2008. Barring any delays, you can have them in your hands by the holiday season rolling up into the year 2009.

Video Game #8: Guitar Hero 4/Rock Band Expansions

Rock BandRock BandIn recent years gone by, gamers have found that they absolutely love rhythm games (games in which a player plays a musical instrument to music that is playing through the game). Rock Band expansions and Guitar Hero series games to be released in 2008 are both highly anticipated, and are expected to entertain millions of gamers worldwide. Because these two games are so similar, I included them both in the same spot on my list (essentially a tie). Guitar Hero 3 and Rock Band allow players to play along to music, allowing you to play instruments such as guitars, drums, and even singing. Future games under these brands are sure to be successful, and everybody is looking for more songs to become a rock star to in 2008. Guitar Hero 4 and expansions to Rock Band are due to be released sometime in 2008, and myself and fellow gamers cannot wait to get our hands on these games, whether it's under the Guitar Hero brand or the Rock Band brand.



Video Game #7: Saints Row 2

Original Saints RowOriginal Saints RowThe critically acclaimed Saints Row was released in August of 2006, and this sought after sequel is due out sometime late in 2008. It will be released simultaneously, as announced by THQ on May 10th 2007, on both the PLAYSTATION 3 and Xbox 360 in 2008. This game continues the fun that was packed into the original Saints Row, allowing players to navigate the fictional city of Stilwater at your own whim, doing almost anything that you wish. In addition to all the features of the first game, you will also be able to control and navigate the city on motorcycles, helicopters, and planes, and be involved in missions revenging the events of the first game. This game will be one of the biggest hits in 2008, and many fans of the sandbox game genre will be looking forward to both this game and Grand Theft Auto IV.(Buy video game.)



Video Game #6: Brothers in Arms: Hell's Highway

Brothers in Arms: Hell's HighwayBrothers in Arms: Hell's HighwayThis World War II game is the 3rd entry in the Brothers in Arms series, and will be more explosive and exciting than any of the previous games in the series. The game follows the events of the Market Garden campaign during World War II, and will allow you to navigate a photorealistic and action packed environment using realistic squad based tactics. The game will feature the 101st Airborne, and will play through the events of Operation Market Garden, which was executed on September 17th, 1944, in the Netherlands (enemy controlled territory at the time). Because the player is dropped in behind enemy lines, the action will be non-stop and ferocious, two very needed aspects of the first person shooter genre. The game will most likely be one of the best of the genre to come out during 2008, and will be released on Xbox 360 and PLAYSTATION 3. (Buy video game.)



Video Game # 5: Splinter Cell: Conviction

Sam FisherSam FisherThis stealth/action game will be released sometime in 2008, using the crowd interaction abilities that Ubisoft used in Assassin's Creed. While previous installments of the game pitted Sam Fisher against enemies that he could typically hide from in the dark, this game will have the renegade Sam Fisher running from the authorities, and to do so, must use the people and crowds within the game to conceal himself. Continuing directly from the ending of the previous game, Splinter Cell Double Agent, the story is sure to be captivating, the graphics stunning, and the gameplay superior to many other 3rd person action games coming out in 2008. (Buy video game.)



Video Game #4: EndWar

Tom Clancy's EndWarTom Clancy's EndWarEndWar is another Tom Clancy game (as is Splinter Cell), but this time publisher Ubisoft is entering a new genre entirely. Using the engine from Ghost Recon, the Ubisoft team is creating an RTS (Real Time Strategy, a game that allows the control of a larger battle, and many aspects of the battle, in real time) game that will throw players into the action like no other game ever has. The game focuses on action rather than the resource gathering of many other games in the series, and allows you to fight in a massive online war that will span across the world. The game takes place a little over 10 years from now, in 2020, when the United States launches a space station that will house three companies of Marines, who are able to deploy to any location in the world in 90 minutes. When a terrorist action at the location of the launch occurs, Russia, the United States, and the European Federation are cast into a global scale war. Ubisoft hopes this is a successful game for the RTS genre, a genre that has not been the most successful on consoles to date. Gamers should look forward to this innovative console game that will be released in mid-2008.



Video Game #3: Super Smash Bros. Brawl

Brawl CharactersBrawl CharactersThis "smash" hit in games will come out in early 2008 in the United States, and is one of the biggest games to be released on the Wii during the entire year. If there was ever a good reason to buy a Wii, this is a brand new (and possibly the biggest reason) to go out and get one. This fighting game allows up to four players to brawl, using famous character's from Nintendo's games, and for the first time, third-party characters as well (including Solid Snake from the Metal Gear Solid series on Playstation, and even Sonic the Hedgehog from Sega's mega franchise). This installment in the series has been delayed several times, but is due to be released in early to mid-2008, and will be a must-buy for all owners of Wii consoles. (Buy video game.)



Video Game #2: Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots

MGS 4MGS 4This PLAYSTATION 3 exclusive will be released sometime in 2008, and will be one of the biggest hits of the year. Even before the game has been released, media has already discussed the possibility of the game being a "Game of the Year" candidate. The game features Solid Snake from the previous installments, albeit rapidly aging, appearing in the game with gray hair and wrinkles. Despite this fact, the player will continue to be able to stealth around the levels in the game with unparalleled ease, having more gadgets and abilities at their fingertips than ever before. The player will be able to stealthily navigate locations spread around five different regions of the world, including the Middle East, South America, and Eastern Europe. The game has been heralded as the biggest release of 2008 for the PLAYSTATION 3, and will receive heavy media attention when it is released in the second quarter of 2008 exclusively for the PLAYSTATION 3. (Buy video game.)



Video Game #1: Grand Theft Auto IV

Grand Theft Auto 4Grand Theft Auto 4Possibly one of the biggest and most popular franchises of all time, publisher Rockstar will release Grand Theft Auto IV sometime in 2008 for both the Xbox 360 and the PLAYSTATION 3. The game will take place in the fictionally created Liberty City, which is heavily based on New York City and New Jersey. The game will be a sandbox game that will allow you to freely travel around Liberty City, completing missions and objectives at your free will. The popular draw of this game was previously seen only on Playstation consoles, but this game will be the first to be released on multiple platforms, including the Xbox 360. Grand Theft Auto is a series that has broken many sales records, and has caused massive controversy over the violence in video games. Despite this, the game will reach the top of the charts in sales this year, and will also be a heavy contender for Game of the Year at the end of 2008. (Buy video game.)

That's my 8 Games You HAVE to Play in '08. While there are many, many other great games that are coming out in 2008 for all consoles, these are the best of the best, and will receive huge exposure on television, in magazines, and many other media outlets. While these games are heavily hyped, I expect at least one of these games will not be as good as they are expected to be. Given that information, these games are the eight most likely games to entertain any gamer in the year 2008.

Note: The video used in front page teaser is an official trailer from UbiDays '07, and is cut unofficially to the musical theme from the film "Requiem of a Dream." The song is called "Lux Aeterna," the latin phrase for "eternal light." The piece was composed by Clint Mansell, and can be found in many stores and in the iTunes Store under the name "Lux Aeterna."

Matt Wood
Featured Blogger