If you can overlook the fact that we might not being playing it for another six months, there's plenty of good news behind Rockstar's shocker GTA IV delay.
For one, it's (hopefully) guaranteed to be a more polished and complete product by the time it's out for release. Secondly you now have a chance to enjoy all these Christmas releases, which might've previously been lost in the GTA carnage...
Amazing review scores are already starting to pour in for Irrational's moody first-person shooter. Our Microsoft-endorsed mates at OXM gave it a perfect 10/10 in their exclusive review, and the mouse and keyboard chaps at PC Gamer had similar good word to share, awarding it a massive 95 percent. Now that's GTA IV's out of the way, Bioshock has a chance at getting a rightfully deserved spot at the top of the Christmas charts.
Army of Two
Releasing in November - right between the one-two bitch slap of Halo 3, GTA IV and Mass Effect - was never going to do Army of Two any good. Which is a shame because it looks like its going to offer hours of distraction to fans of co-op shooting, who can now work through its gun-ho mission without fear of Liberty City distraction. That's if you're not still playing Halo 3 co-op...
Set to release just a few weeks before, PS3 flagship title Lair was in real danger of being lost in GTA IV's shadow. Now, despite the dodgy review it's just got from the States, you're going to have the option of spending your GTA pennies on Factor 5's dragon flight-sim and making up your own mind.
We're sure Haze is going to turn out as one of the better shooters this Christmas, but seeming as its one of a truckload of obligatory end-year FPS games - and its not exactly getting a Hollywood-level advertising budget from Ubisoft - it could really do with a month to itself. Now (apart from erm, Army of Two and Call of Duty) it's got one. At least it's not coming out in September, eh?
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
Call of Duty 4 looks fantastic. Unfortunately, this isn't any ordinary Christmas; not everyone can afford Halo 3, GTA IV, Mass Effect/Heavenly Sword AND Infinity Ward's latest shooter. Reduced competition thanks to Rockstar's delay, and a no-doubt massive advertising blitz from Activision, should help Call of Duty 4 rake in even more cash for the hit shooter series.
The key player in Ubisoft's November blitz, Assassin's Creeds got to compete with Ubisoft's own big hitters, let alone the stellar titles coming from the rest of the games industry this Christmas. With GTA IV out of the way, we reckon Ubisoft's assassin-em-up will benefit from a massive boost in word of mouth (provided it's actually any good).
Heavenly Sword is the Ace in Sony's Christmas deck. Well, it is now that GTA IV's nestled in with Metal Gear Solid 4 in the Q2 2008 buy-fest. With the biggest game of the year out of the way, Heavenly Sword will no doubt benefit from extra attention and advertising in GTA IV's absence. Let's hope for Sony's sake it can put up a fight against Microsoft's Christmas line-up as well...
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