Most Anticipated Game of 2008: Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning (EA Mythic)
By JR Sutich
Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning was our Most Anticipated of 2007. Since its release date was pushed back to Q2 2008, it became eligible for this year as well. A good part of the anticipation is based on the desire to see if this game is 'The One'. Will WAR be the game to stand toe to toe with WoW? WAR is the Great Green Hope.
Another part of what makes us salivate like one of Pavlov's canines for this MMO is the PvP. While other games have dabbled in PvP, WAR has been designed from the ground up with player versus player combat as an integral part of the game. It will be interesting to see if WAR can become the first PvP-centric game to break out of the 'niche' category.
The Warhammer Universe is one of the most popular tabletop gaming licenses in the world, and it has a fanatical player community. Whether or not it will attract the 'Beer and Pretzel' crowd is yet to be seen. But the interest shown by many at various gaming conventions over the past year truly solidifies Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning's place as the repeat winner of this category.
If you really want to know the reason why this is the Most Anticipated Game of 2008, we should probably ask an expert:
"Waaagh! Dis iz da game that lets Da Boyz crush da Stunties and the Pinkies. Da Boyz iz ready to use da choppas and da bashas and let the bludd run redd."
Honorable Mention: Age of Conan (Funcom/Eidos)
By Dana Massey
In the unpredictable world of MMO development, it's tough to say exactly when a game will launch. Clearly, last year our predicts were wrong. Both Conan and WAR slipped into 2008 and over that year, nothing has changed to make us change our minds. Age of Conan retains its badge as an honorable mention for the Most Anticipated MMO of 2008.
Over the last year and its many delays, Funcom has rethought combat in a way to reinvigorate the traditional MMO experience and stitches it all together with a story told through top-notch voice acting. Despite another delay - which now means the game is due in May - Age of Conan has appeared polished and well on its way to a successful launch.
Age of Conan is also better suited to eventual console adaptations and is poised to lead the MMO parade onto the Xbox 360, roughly six months after the PC launch. It won't be the first MMO to grace the consoles, but because of its AAA graphics, more adult story and console-friendly combat, it could be one of the few games to reach many new players and introduce them to the MMO genre.
Last, but not least, our Game of the Year!