The poster-boy for PC gaming over the past year is finally here, and everything you have heard about the groundbreaking visuals is true. No game on any system has rendered such realistic environments or such believable interactions between them, objects and animated characters. Running on a high-end system, the dense jungle vegetation, HDR lighting and post-processing effects need to be seen to be believed, and the game is an undoubted new high-water mark for game technology. Only extended play will reveal whether the gameplay can live up to the eye-candy. Expect a full review later on this week.
Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures
The most hotly-tipped of the next wave of MMOs, Age of Conan gives the online fantasy RPG the DirectX 10 treatment, creating an atmospheric world worthy of Robert E Howard's most famous pulp creation. Emphasising the barbaric blood and thunder of the Conan stories over the high-fantasy of current genre champs World of Warcraft and Lord of the Rings: Online, Age of Conan swaps the usual MMO click-to-hit combat system for a more fluid setup of real-time attacks. Meanwhile, the game is split into two sections: a solo-friendly, story-based introduction in which players can find their feet and develop their heroes, followed by a more open, dynamic environment where seasoned players can choose their own path. With this, Warhammer Online, Guild Wars 2 and Pirates of the Burning Sea expected in 2008, MMOs remain a key reason for gamers to stick with their PCs.