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12 Games Of Christmas part 1

Author: Geoff Larsen
Monday, 12 November 2007
Christmas is always a horrible time of year. You are forced to spend time with your family, you feel guilty when someone buys you a more expensive gift than you got them and - worst of all - none of the shopping centres have any parking spaces.

The cursed period is fast approaching however, so you are probably feeling pretty bummed… There is one saving grace though. Christmas is the time where every game developer lets loose their gaming juggernauts into the stores. With the sudden flood of titles it can be overwhelming to the senses, so you need the advice of someone who has devoted their life to understanding of video games (*sigh*, I could have been a surgeon). With Halo 3, The Orange Box, Bioshock and Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass already out, your Christmas lunch will probably consist of scraps of bread and lengthy dockets… but we know you still want more. So, crack out some eggnog and embrace the Christmas cheer as we walk you through the 12 upcoming essential games of Christmas.

12. Guitar Hero 3 Xbox 360/PS3/PS2/Wii

If you've played any of the previous games it's likely you've already preordered it. The sales figures show that this is driving the gaming world insane. For those that are new to the planet Earth, Guitar Hero allows the player to experience what it is to be a rock and roll legend by jamming with a guitar shaped peripheral. The game features songs by popular artists and this time out is no different: Aerosmith, Metallica, Iron Maiden and The Rolling Stones are all in attendance and Activision even forced the Sex Pistols to get back together to record a track. Instead of getting this game you could spend the time and money you would have put into it learning how to play the real guitar but that just isn't cool is it-

11. Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games. Wii/DS

The whole gaming world has been talking about this ungodly combination ever since it was announced and finally we are about to see what we've been waiting to see for decades: who is better, a fat plumber or a blue hedgehog- Early reviews from the US confirm that like every other Wii game released in the last year, this is a collection of minigames. While not revolutionary, reportedly the games are extremely well thought out and a lot of fun to play in a party atmosphere. The game may not be the mindscrew we were all expecting but the game is still a solid title and an essential game for anyone who often cracks out their Wii when friends are around.

10. Silent Hill: Origins. PSP

Before I say anything I should first warn you: Silent Hill is scary. Due to the series' popularity people are often mistaken in believing that it is just a cheesy horror series. Let me assure you that this series is popular for a reason - the Silent Hill games are far scarier than any movie I've ever come across and the disturbing images have been known to haunt players long after they have switched off their consoles. Bringing one of the scariest series to a handheld was quite a strange decision - people are going to drop their consoles in fright right-
The Silent Hill series revolves around a deserted town of the same name where people's own personal nightmares manifest in reality, and the PSP title intends to show the player how it all began. Taking the role of a passing truck driver the player must find a way to escape the town and in the process unravel the mystery around the seemingly unconnected death of his son.

9. Call Of Duty 4. PC/Xbox 360/PS3

Commies and Terrorists: the two great evils combine into one almighty force that you are charged with wiping from the earth in COD4. Finally making a game not set in WWII (and if anyone ever makes another I will go out and punch them in the spine), Infinity Ward has evolved their series to deal with modern day combat. Making use of practically every graphical feature ever created COD4 looks insanely good and has the fantastic gameplay from Call of Duty 2 return that fans have been clamoring for. A possible contender for shooter of the year (a notable feat considering the competition) COD4 deserves a spot in your Christmas stocking and should be out by the time you read this.

8. Resident Evil: Umbrella Chronicles. Wii

Infecting stores merely days before Christmas, RE: Umbrella Chronicles sadly isn't the sequel to RE4 that we have all been waiting for but still looks to be an exciting entry in the series. An on-rails shooter (ala House of the Dead) that seems perfectly suited to the Wii's control system, RE:UC takes players on an action filled romp through the history of the mysterious Umbrella Corporation and the Zombie virus outbreak that made them win our hearts. While previous spin-offs in the series haven't always been successful, developer Capcom seems to have a lot riding on this game and seem to be pulling out all stops. Could be the Wii sleeper hit of 2007.

7. Assassin's Creed. PS3/Xbox 360/PC

Developed by the same team that did the excellent Prince of Persia Trilogy last generation, Assassin's Creed puts the player in control of a nimble assassin in the Holy Lands during the Third Crusade. Apart from its historical accuracy and immensely detailed environments Assassin's Creed introduces a revolutionary gameplay system that allows the player to create their own path while climbing around the city (in comparison to the preset footholds in previous games) and hypothetically be able to climb up anything. One of the most anticipated titles of 2007 Assassin's creed should creep into stores within the next week.

That's all for now, stay tuned for part two coming soon.