No more excuses. The next-gen console cycle is fully underway and developers have had years to get to the grips with the new hardware. In fact it should probably just be called hardware these days. The point is, 2008 ought to be a bumper year for videogames.
There are certainly plenty on the release schedule. Over the following week or so we'll be presenting Eurogamer's guide to the highlights of the next 12 months. Due to the high volume of multi-platform titles on the way, we'll be dividing them by genre.
Whether you like guns, war, cars, fighting, films, football, music or gurning, there's something for everyone. Especially if you like guns and war. So what better place to start than with shooting games? Here, in part one, we focus on first-person shooters such as Haze, Frontlines and Killzone 2.
Free Radical gave shooters a new twist with TimeSplitters and now the studio is hoping to do the same with Haze. It's set in 2048, at a time when governments have started outsourcing military operations to private military corporations.
These corporations include Mantel Global Industries, which specialises in producing a chemical stimulant called Nectar. It gives users faster reactions, unique abilities and five pounds off AA membership if you go to Sainsbury's eight hundred thousand times.
You play as Shane Carpenter, a newly-enlisted soldier who can't stop necking Nectar. However, he soon discovers it also ups aggression and arrogance levels like some kind of Stella of the future.
After learning more about what Mantel's really up to Shane switches sides, where he gets to see things from a different perspective. In short, Haze is being billed as the thinking person's first-person shooter, a game which forces the player to consider the morality and ambiguity of war. Also it's got four-player co-op.
Haze was originally supposed to be out this time last year but following a series of delays, the PS3 version is now due to arrive by the end of March. Free Radical has yet to confirm release dates for other platforms, or indeed which other platforms.
Telly addicts: You can see Free Radical's Dave Doak talking about why Haze is good over on Eurogamer TV right now.
Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Vegas 2
As Kristan reported, the original Rainbow Six Vegas marked a return to form for the series. Now Tom Clancy is working on new lighting effects for the sequel, due to arrive on PC, PS3 and Xbox 360 this March.
It'll feature two new adversarial multiplayer modes, and better matchmaking is promised along with more rewards. The single-player game will have a drop-in co-op option and you can expect plenty of character customisation options.
Enemies will be tougher to bring down as they now have shields, thermal and night-vision gear and more sense. But to balance things out you'll get 11 new weapons, plus extra camo, clothing and equipment. The storyline is something about terrorists.
Expect a bigger Vegas than ever, with plenty of "new hot spots" and "gritty back streets" to explore. And box with a man wearing goggles on the cover.
Happy birthday: Vegas 2 is being released to coincide with the tenth anniversary of the Rainbow Six series. More than 16 million games have been sold to date. However, Tom Clancy has sold five times that number of novels - turns out books aren't dead after all! Yet.
Frontlines: Fuel of War
This openworld first-person shooter is in development at Kaos Studios. The company was formed by veterans of Trauma Studios, which created the Battlefield Desert Combat mod and was later bought out by DICE. In other words, pay attention, Battlefield fans.
Frontlines: Fuel of War takes place in the year 2024. The world's oil reserves are almost exhausted and warring nations scramble for the last remaining stores of petrol and Mazola. In the red corner it's Russia and China, facing off against America and Europe. After picking a side, your mission is to take down the other one using more than 60 futuristic weapons and vehicles.
Kristan reckons Frontlines could be "the first game of its kind to successfully combine the immediacy of a scripted, cinematic FPS with the multiplayer depth of the Battlefield series", which sounds nice. There's already a demo on Xbox Live if you fancy having a go yourself.
Or you could just hang on a bit longer for the finished product - the 360 and PC versions are due out on 15th February, with the PS3 game to follow in April.
Kaos theory: each time a buttefly flaps its wings in Brazil, a fight breaks out outside Lewisham Wetherspoons.
Unreal Tournament 3
The PC version of Unreal Tournament 3 proved the series "pretty much remains the Daddy", according to our review. New vehicles, strategic elements and an enjoyable story-based single-player campaign all helped make it a hit. Not to mention the visuals - Epic clearly saw UT3 as an opportunity to show just what Unreal Engine 3 can do.
But what of the console versions? The PS3 game's already out in the US but a European release date has yet to be confirmed. Goodness, or rather Mark Rein, only knows when UT3 will arrive on Xbox 360. He recently confirmed they've taken a break from working on it to get the PS3 and PC games done, with features like Xbox Live still to be implemented. A while to go then, but likely to be worth the wait.
Keeping it unreal: Epic has yet to confirm whether we can expect a sequel to their other hit, Gears of War. In other news, no one knows whether it will be dark later.
According to Propaganda's Josh Holmes, the new instalment in the Turok series "offers a truly unique experience, blending elements of action and stealth in a prehistoric world". The short version: it's got dinosaurs and guns and space and it might not be rubbish.
No, really, even if the main character is called Joseph Turok. He's a former Black Ops commando on a mission to bring down a war criminal. Unhelpfully, the war criminal has fled to an alien planet inhabited by carnivorous dinosaurs. Switzerland must have been full.
The game is in development for PC, PS3 and Xbox 360 and is due out on all formats this spring. It's looking "workmanlike, polished and pacey", according to our recent preview. None of those words could be applied to the previous game at any stage of its Evolution, so here's hoping.
Hooray for Hollywood: Voiceover talent for Turok includes Timothy Olyphant (currently starring as Agent 47 in the Hitman film) and William Fichtner (the thinking woman's Christopher Walken).
Battlefield: Bad Company
For the first PS3 and second Xbox 360 instalment in the Battlefield series, DICE is promising a greater focus on the single-player campaign. Expect sandbox gameplay in an environment that's 90 per cent destructible, and some lovely visuals thanks to DICE's Frostbite engine.
The storyline sounds similar to that of 1999 movie Three Kings. Dropped behind enemy lines, you and your squad embark on a mission to ignore your proper mission and nick loads of gold. Apparently it's all very "deep" and "cinematic", according to the press release, and comes complete with plenty of "dark humour".
DICE is keeping pretty quiet apart from that, and there's no word on a release date other than "2008". The game was originally down to ship in 2007, though, so here's hoping they're not far off...
In the meantime: Xbox 360 owners can check out Battlefield: Modern Combat, nearly two years old now but consequently available at bargain prices. And worth it.
Brothers in Arms: Hell's Highway
Say hello, again, to wartime hero Matt Baker as he embarks on an epic quest to kick Hitler's face off. More specifically, to open a key strategic route - otherwise known as Hell's Highway - across the flat hills of Holland
What's new? More destructible environments, for starters, machine gun and bazooka teams and greater realism in the way characters look, move and think. There's also a new cover system which is better than Halo's, according to Pitchford. Brothers in Arms: Hell's Highway is due out on PC, PS3 and Xbox 360 this spring.
Who's laughing now: Operation Market-Garden was a real historical event. It's hard to think up jokes about it once you've looked it up on Wikipedia and seen the death toll.
Conflict: Denied Ops
Most sequels promise to feature more guns, better AI, improved multiplayer modes and nicer pictures as a matter of course. But Pivotal is making bolder moves with Conflict: Denied Ops - switching the perspective from third- to first-person, halving the number of men in your squad to two, and allowing you to switch direct control between them at any time.
One of your operatives is a heavy weapons specialist while the other knows his way round a sniper rifle. The idea is you combine their skills to fight strategically - setting traps, lining up flanking manoeuvres and so on. Naturally, the game also features "highly destructible environments", "advanced enemy AI" and "true next-gen lighting". There's also a two-player co-op mode with both split-screen and online options.
We've only seen the Xbox 360 version so far, but Eidos says it will look "almost identical" on PC and PS3. Which is good news, as what we saw looked impressive - read the full preview for more details.
Go-go gadget: Conflict: Denied Ops features real weapons being used in Iraq right now! To kill real people! This doesn't make as enthused as Eidos probably hoped it would.
S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky
The first S.T.A.L.K.E.R. game may have taken six years to arrive, but the sequel will be out this spring. Honest, said GSC Game World, when Tom met them last year.
A prequel to Shadow of Chernobyl, the game promises to reveal more of Strelok's history and how the Zone came into existence. It'll feature a new weapons and armour upgrade system, a redesigned HUD and PDA and all manner of new nuclear nightmares trying to chew your face up.
Never one to take the easy option, GSC has developed new animation and game engines for Clear Sky. Plus it will feature support for DirectX 10 and improved performance from the DirectX 9 renderer.
A publisher is yet to be announced - it seems THQ has washed its hands of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. following the whole six years thing. Understandable really, but here's hoping someone else picks up the sequel to what was one of last year's best PC shooters.
Ready Brek: THQ took journalists to Chernobyl to promote the last S.T.A.L.K.E.R. game. Kristan's subsequent Gamerscore increase is widely attributed to the extra thumb.
Still months away from beta testing and Killzone 2 has already caused plenty of controversy. Most recently it hit the headlines after Guerrilla admitted some screenshots had been "the tiniest bit touched up", which in the context of the Internet is akin to admitting an interest in bumming pigs. But it's certainly looking "undeniably good", at least juding by what Tom saw at last year's E3.
Set two years after the assault on Vekta, Killzone 2 sees the Helghast and ISA facing off once again - this time on enemy turf. Trusty weapons such as the M82-G and StA-52 LA are back but you'll also get new toys to play with. A multiplayer beta is scheduled for some time this year, as is the game's release.
Killzone 2 is a key product for Sony, as Worldwide Studios boss Phil Harrison is the first to admit. It'll be interesting to see whether it lives up to expectations.
Pretty poly: Guerrilla reckons it takes the same amount of polygons to create a character in Killzone 2 as it did to create an entire level in the original game. Some people care about things like this.
Coming in part two: The Club, Everyday Shooter, Ghost Squad and more.