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The bit-tech Winter Games Preview 2008

Far Cry 2

Released: Q3 2008
Platform: PC, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3

Far Cry and Ubisoft have had a difficult history and though the publisher has diluted the franchise with numerous console expansions of eyebrow-raising worth, but it looks like the French mega-publisher has finally hit its stride with Far Cry 2.

A lot of that is probably because Far Cry 2 is completely detached from the original game – there’s no jungle, no mutants and no obscenely red Hawaiian shirts sprinting through the undergrowth with gravelly voiced pillocks trapped inside.

Instead, Far Cry 2 moves the action to the African savannah and lets you enjoy an even more open and sandbox approach to assassination missions than ever before.

Your task is to take down The Jackal, a notorious gun runner who needs to be stopped. Competing with you and working alongside you are other mercenaries and the pressure is on for you to be the one who finishes off the Jackal, which you’ll be able to do using a range of vehicles and approaches.

The bit-tech Winter Games Preview 2008 The bit-tech Winter Games Preview 2008 - Sequels
Far Cry 2 bears no plot-relation to the original game

There are a lot of games coming out this year that boast the chance to give players a new level of freedom, but Far Cry 2 is definitely one of the few games we’ve seen that actually delivers that freedom on a consistent level.

Why we can’t wait: Frankly, the fire in Far Cry 2 is the most beautiful and realistic looking inferno we’ve ever seen.
Want to know more? Check out our Hands-on Far Cry 2 Preview.

Command and Conquer: Red Alert 3

Released: Q4 2008
Platform: PC, Xbox 360

Like Quake, Red Alert is one of the cornerstones of PC gaming and the series is still going strong with the latest addition to line-up. Though EA has arguably faltered a little with previous Command and Conquer titles, namely Tiberium Wars, the series has managed to get back on track since Kane’s Wrath thankfully.

Red Alert 3 takes place in a separate universe to that of the Tiberium Wars and is noticeably better off for it, using humour and a tendency to go over-the-top to accentuate the camp style of the original series.

The bit-tech Winter Games Preview 2008 The bit-tech Winter Games Preview 2008 - Sequels
Red Alert 3 will maintain the camp, stylised feel of the series

The alternate future of Red Alert 3 once again tells the story of the struggle between the Western Allies and the Soviets as they battle bitterly for world domination and use everything from Tesla coils to time travel to get the upperhand. When one of the Soviets’ plans backfires though the Allies are left awfully exposed and a new faction, The Empire of The Rising Sun, enters the battlefield and starts waging an all-new war.

The Empire of The Rising Sun is a controversial addition to the franchise and could easily have backfired on EA Westwood. From our experiences with the game though we’re confident that the new army will make a valuable contribution to the series – not least because of the new ninja-mecha inspired units.

With a full cast of cheese-tastic actors manning the FMVs and the chance to play as your choice of the three sides in this all out fight for world domination, Red Alert 3 is looking to be the single best strategy game out this year. When one game has everything from armoured bears to blimps on offer, then you know you’re in for a treat!

Why we can’t wait: Gemma Atkinson. One woman, two reasons to play.
Want to know more? Check out our Hands-on Red Alert 3 Preview.