A highlight of my year is definitely the release of GTA4. Big surprise, you cry. A fan since its early days, its open gameplay has always appealed, and when it came onto the PlayStation 2, I bought one and spent several years shooting my way through first Liberty then Vice City, before getting in touch with my inner gangbanger and rampaging through a whole state. What fun.
But my choice of console was pure fluke. If the XBox had gotten there first, I would be an owner of an XBox 360 right now, rather than a PlayStation 3. Fanboyism, much like social adroitness, is something I appear to lack. Those comparison screenshots they show you? They both look bloody amazing, and I'm not going to pledge allegiance to one camp just because they can offer me soft shadows. So, on the eve of GTA's next big release, how about we all just concentrate on gunning down computer generated pedestrians in a pseudo-city, rather than our fellow gamers in the forums? Hey, I'm under no illusions that this sort of thing will ever end; us humans apparently display a knack for seeing what's rocking our neighbour's world, then taking a complete opposite stance.
This incarnation of the murderous series also features fully-realised multiplayer capabilities... yay. (San Andreas really doesn't count) You finally get to use those intricately crafted cities to run around in, completely ignoring the plethora of details afforded by months of modelling and texturing, fragging some kid from Ohio. Sounds like you paid for another copy of Unreal Tournament without realising it. The questline in GTA, coupled with running around and finding all those little hidden extras, has always been more than enough to sustain me with one of these games until a worthy successor is found. The quests are by-the-by very good, making full use of the game's boundaries, and are always loaded with dark humour. Why do you need to go head-to-head with someone you've never met and probably would not want to meet, who's idea of humour is 'LOL!!11!!! U suXX0rZ!!!111!!' But I guess everyone is different.