Roam Around the World - A roundup of 2008's sandbox games, including GTA 4, Mercenaries 2, and Fallout 3

GameTap writes: "Grand Theft Auto III set the standard for open-world gameplay back in 2001, and managed to sell 12 million copies in the process. That was enough to send other developers jumping onto the sandbox bandwagon, with varying levels of success. Seven years later, technology is much better equipped to handle big, free-roaming environments; these are some of the open-world games you can expect to see in 2008.

Fallout 3

You shouldn't be surprised that Bethesda, with its long history of open-ended role-playing games (even the ones before The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, as buggy and imperfect as they were, were large, open-world affairs), is a part of this list. Bethesda has inherited the Fallout license, and even though not much has been shown beyond elements lifted from the opening area and first dungeon, we can already see the fusion of Elder Scrolls and Fallout gameplay--namely, the first-person perspective, the radioactive wasteland setting, real-time combat with the ability to pause (a throwback to Fallout's turn-based combat), the SPECIAL (Strength, Perception, Endurance, Intelligence, Agility, Luck) character development system, multiple solutions to quests, and the dark humor."

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