Christmas 2008 Shaping Up to be Gamer Heaven

Dennis Faas's picture

Although we won't be expecting any major new hardware releases this holiday season, Christmas 2008 might feature some of the best-reviewed video games ever. Two years after the release of the Sony PlayStation 3 and Nintendo Wii (and three since Microsoft released the Xbox 360), next-gen consoles appear to be hitting their stride.

Surprisingly few of these exciting new titles are original franchises. Perhaps the most talked-about game is the recently released Fallout 3, which places gamers in the middle of a massive post-apocalyptic universe. Awakening in the middle of a bomb shelter, the gamer begins life in the bowels of underground tunnels (not unlike the structural inspiration for Fallout, Bethesda's Elder Scrolls III: Oblivion). From there, gamers will emerge into an impressively detailed (although very bleak) universe in search of their father, who has disappeared into the radiation-plagued landscape. Fallout 3, released on Tuesday, is already receiving 95-98% reviews from most gaming sites and is available for PC, Xbox 360, and PS3. (Source:

In addition, Rock Band 2 and Guitar Hero: World Tour are now available for those who wished they had picked up an instrument rather than a controller as a child. Although the latter has experienced some hardware issues (broken cymbals and pads), Activision, its maker, is onto the problem.

Original titles are also available. LittleBigPlanet, the PlayStation 3's most exciting new game, is a highly customizable platformer that lets players create their own creatures and the environments in which they'll live. Like many other quirky Sony hits, it really takes just playing this game to completely understand it. Even then, it may leave you shaking your a good way, of course. (Source:

Finally, as if Fallout wasn't spooky enough, there's an even freakier title available this Christmas. Dead Space, a game set in a futuristic space station, pits gamers against ghoulish mutants. Reminiscent of the Aliens movie franchises (in a way, I really wish this had been an Aliens title), the game is spooky enough to keep players awake for hours both voluntarily and involuntarily. A great Halloween title, indeed.

That's not it either. Soon Xbox 360 gamers will be drooling over the very highly anticipated Gears of War 2, sequel to the 2006 game that kept the Xbox 360 a hot Christmas item, even as the Wii and PlayStation 3 provided stiff competition.

Check in again soon, and we'll keep you updated on the best new games hitting consoles this Christmas.

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