The gaming gimmicks of 2008

Jan 9, 2008

With so much competition for our cash, it's understandable that developers try to catch our eyes with 'never before seen' features or appealing gameplay gimmicks. Bullet time, open worlds, reactive physics - all these examples of neat techno bobbins have been used to flog videogames (and videogame hardware) in the past.

It's the same every year, but now both Sony and Microsoft's next-gen consoles are fully up and running, what gameplay ploys can we expect in 2008? How are the devs planning on prising open our wallets? Here's our tips for the greatest gimmicks of the next 12 months...

Alternate Universes

All the juicy real world scenarios - World War II, Vietnam, Indistinct Middle East Country (TM) - have already been worn thin by endless videogame interpretations. So why not create new and intriguing scenarios rooted in what could have been, if only history had played out a little differently. Red Alert 3 welcomes us back to the Command & Conquer offshoot'sparallel universe, where Albert Einstein has inadvertently triggered a Soviet Union vs Europe megawar by travelling back in time to kill Hitler. It's familiar ground, but we really love it.

Another gamefollowing the alternate history routeis Turning Point: Fall of Liberty. This concocts a world where Winston Churchill has died before the outbreak of World War II, Europe has fallen to the Nazis and now (1953) America is being invaded by the marauding German army. As a construction worker you have the dubious pleasure of watching the spectacular invasion from the top of a scaffold, as paratroopers, airships and battleships crash into New York City. We've no idea if it'll be a decent game or not, but the idea is fantastic.

Ben Richardson is a former Staff Writer for Official PlayStation 2 magazine and a former Content Editor of GamesRadar+. In the years since Ben left GR, he has worked as a columnist, communications officer, charity coach, and podcast host – but we still look back to his news stories from time to time, they are a window into a different era of video games.