The best games released this year designed for the PC.
By now you've hopefully seen our Top 50 Games of 2008 and viewed our Top 10 video feature (if not, why not?), but what about the best games made for each individual format or platform holder? Good question. Luckily we've thought about the answer, and put together the Top 10 PC games of 2008. Before you get the pitchforks out and rustle up an angry mob, this list deliberately disqualifies titles like Fallout 3 and GTA 4. These are games developed by studios that had the PC in the forefront of their minds during development.
What we said: When Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War came out just under four years ago it didn't revolutionise the RTS genre, but it did offer a compelling, solid, fun and, for its time, spectacular strategy experience. However, it did feel slightly lacking in the playable race department, offering only the Space Marines, Orcs, Eldar and Chaos Marines for future fantasy fans to sink their fangs into. Three expansions and nine races later we've finally got our hands on the Dark Eldar and the Sisters of Battle in what's promised to be the final Dawn of War expansion ever. Having pumped hours into the two new races, stayed up late into the night busting open the ultimately unnecessary single-player campaign meta-game and stared bleary-eyed at the game's new air units, we can confirm that Soulstorm is bloody brilliant and a fitting finale for the RTS franchise. Phew.
What we said: Warhammer Online feels like Mythic's answer to the problematic question posed by Blizzard's World of Warcraft. Every virtual sinew of it screams 'our game is better and here's why'. From the player versus player combat to the questing, the game is full of nice refinements that feel as if they've been borne out of a frustration the design team has experienced when playing WoW. For this reason we reckon WAR is going to have a much tougher time bringing new players into the MMO genre than WoW did when it was first released a few years ago. Sure, there will be fans of the Warhammer universe, perhaps players of the popular table-top game, who are sure to enter the fold. But WAR Online is, after all is said and done, unashamedly hardcore and, by its very nature baffling to anyone who's never played an MMO. Instead, we reckon Mythic's focus is to steal players from Blizzard's virtual world. This is something we can see it doing in spades.