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2008 Reader's Choice Awards: Best New Game

In this category, we hope that our readers will vote for their favorite game launched in 2008 and award the 2008 Reader's Choice Award for Best New Game.

Best New Game

Every year, the lit of current MMORPGs grows. Every year, we hope to find the launch of the "next big thing" in our genre or maybe just the next big thing" for our tastes. Sometimes we're happy with the results and sometimes we're not.

This year, we decided to include a "none of the above" nomination in this category. This decision was reached after reading numerous comments on the forums that seemed to indicate that people were unhappy with the products released in 2008.

The Best New Game category was created in order to determine our readers' favourite game that has yet to celebrate its one year anniversary. In order to qualify for this category, a game had to be released in 2008. As always, the nominations were chosen by the editorial staff.

Note: All Blurbs are taken from each game's PR material or websites:

Age of Conan

Funcom's Age of Conan launched on May 20th of 2008.

Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures is an MMORPG based on the world of famed fantasy author Robert E. Howard. In Age of Conan, players enter Hyboria with thousands of their friends and enemies to live, fight, and explore the dark and brutal world of King Conan.

  • Our Active Combat System
  • A World of Breathtaking Beauty
  • Tread In The Footsteps Of The Greatest Fantasy Hero Of All Time
  • Unprecedented Character Development And Customization
  • Unique and Interesting Classes
  • Massive Player Versus Player Combat
  • An Engrossing Crafting System
  • A Living World
  • Extensive Solo Options

Age of Conan Screenshot

Atlantica Online

NDoors' Atlantica Online launched on October 30th, 2008

Travel the world and see the sights. Then kill the likes of Dracula and the mummies. In Atlantica Online, there are many real-world places and people that players will recognize - the Great Wall of China, the pyramids of Egypt, Shakespeare, and da Vinci are just some of the locales and characters that populate the world of this MMORPG that playfully blends fact and fiction. But there are elements in this game that won't be so familiar to an MMO gamer, like turn-based action.

Atlantica Online makes use of "classic turn-based gameplay" to bring its MMORPG to life. And rather than the standard one character used in MMOs, Atlantica uses nine-character groups to allow players to interact with the world. They will have one main character and can assemble up to eight mercenaries to fight with them.

Combine the turn-based battles with the mercenaries, and that means players must use the limited time it has - up to 30 seconds - to move and manipulate all the characters, whether it be to attack, use magic, defend, or change formation. Having to make all these decisions requires both strategy and quick-thinking. In addition to fast-paced battles, Atlantica Online provides a deep RPG environment in which players can take control of a town like London and even form its own nation, then go to war against other nations.

Atlantica Online Screenshot

Pirates of the Burning Sea

Flying Lab Software's Pirates of the Burning Sea launched on January 22nd, 2008

Welcome to the Caribbean Sea, circa 1720. It's a time of prosperity for wealthy merchants who know the trade routes, and it's a time of piracy. Into this world you have chosen to forsake your ties to the mainland and have enlisted as a captain for one of four nations: England, France, Spain, or the unaligned Pirates. You must be a member of the Pirate nation to play a Pirate, but as a member of the other European nations, you can choose from three careers--Freetrader, Naval Officer, and Privateer.

With more than 100 ships to sail and exotic harbors to discover, you will quickly be immersed in the stories of the friendly--and even dastardly--patrons of your home port and beyond. You may even rally to your nation's war cry in massive player-vs.-player battles that hold the fate of the entire Caribbean!

Warhammer Online

Mythic's Warhammer Online launched on September 18th, 2008

War is everywhere in Warhammer® Online: Age of Reckoning™ (WAR), the new fantasy MMORPG from Mythic Entertainment, the creators of Dark Age of Camelot™. WAR features next generation Realm vs. Realm™ gameplay that will immerse you in a world of perpetual conflict for years to come.

Experience the glory of Realm vs. Realm! Declare your allegiance and join hundreds of thousands of mighty heroes on the battlefields of Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning to experience the epic nature of war. Enter a grim fantasy world where the armies of Order (Dwarfs, High Elves, and Empire) and Destruction (Greenskins, Dark Elves, and Chaos) collide to determine the fate of nations. Invade enemy lands, besiege imposing fortresses, and sack sprawling capital cities for the glory of your Realm. Wield devastating magic and deadly weapons, battle monstrous creatures, and join your brothers-in-arms in epic Public Quests™. Climb the Bastion Stair, carry your Guild Banner into battle, and unlock the secrets of the Tome of Knowledge as you travel the world. Sharpen your blade and prepare to unleash your inner mutation-the Age of Reckoning has begun and WAR IS EVERYWHERE!

None of the Above's None of the Above category was launched on December 9th, 2008

If you are one of those folks who honestly and truly has not found even a small amount of fun in any of the four games mentioned above, then this category is for you. By voting None of the Above, you are stating that this year's crop of MMOs was not only poor, but to your mind, so completely unplayable that no redeeming factors could be found in the nominated games.