Tech + Lifestyle

games, gear, and googleplexes (joke)

Top Five PC Games For 2009

Happy 2009, everyone. The new year means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. For me, I always get really excited about what new PC tech will be released, and perhaps more importantly, what new games I’ll be able to play on that hardware! Here’s my list for the top five PC games of 2009:

5. F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origins

In the interest of full disclosure, I’ll say two things right now. First, I never played the original F.E.A.R., though I really should have – it was a great game by any standard, and a bunch of my friends really enjoyed it. Second, I participated in a focus group for the upcoming title’s box design, in which I proceeded to tear the game a new one based solely on what the text on the back of the box might read. In my defense, on the first issue, I was completely obsessed with Oblivion at the time, and wouldn’t have played another game if you’d given me money to do it. As for the second, I took a rather mischievous pleasure in being so brusque – after all, they were just trying to improve their product before it’s release, and I was providing constructive criticism (of a sort). That got me interested, though, and their poor description aside, the game looks really fun. It’s a Survival/Horror FPS with an interesting back-story, and I’ll leave it at that. Look for this game to be released in mid-February 2009 (10th for the US, 13th in Europe).

4. Mirror’s Edge

Nothing truly needs to be said for Mirror’s Edge. Released in late 2008 for XBox 360 and PS3, Mirror’s Edge was (and still is) one of the most realistic games out there when it comes to proprioception (the sense of where your body is, essentially). This had the unfortunate side effect of making some gamers nauseous as they guided the protagonist, Faith, through a seemingly endless series of jumps, dives, rolls, and similar acrobatic maneuvers across a dystopian world filled with enemies. Overall, though, the game is fascinating, and really good at what it does. Look for the PC release to improve in two really big ways: the ability to enable PhysX, if you’ve got an nVidia graphics card (8 series and later), and extra downloadable content for everyone, rounding out your Mirror’s Edge experience with those gorgeous time trials.

3. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

Have you noticed a trend yet? Game makers are sticking with what they know, building on successful franchises. On the one hand, this is probably an attempt to weather the current financial situation; on the other, it just means that you get to enjoy more of what you already love, including Call of Duty. When Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 emerges in August 2009, I have fervent hopes that it will erase any lingering anger from Call of Duty: World at War. Really, I’m not sure why Treyarch even tries. It’s like Infinity Ward is giving the keys to their Ferrari to a guy with an IQ of 46. Anyway, they’ve got it back now, and may they never let another studio mess with their success again. Look for this newest installment to run really smoothly on a wide variety of computers, just like COD4 did. Also, I wouldn’t be surprised if they’re cooking up some really great new forms of gameplay for us, and a really good plotline is essentially a given. I’m getting chill bumps just thinking about it.

2. Starcraft 2

Starcraft 2 has finally arrived. If you never played the original Starcraft, you’re missing out. Heck, that game got so popular that South Korea’s got professional gaming teams devoted to playing this RTS staple. Hardcore gamers have been drooling over the idea of a sequel since the original was released back in 1998, and they finally got their wish. This strategy game will probably sell in absolutely absurd numbers, though Empire: Total War will definitely give it some competition. Developing studio Blizzard Entertainment has decided to release the game in three parts, with each featuring one of the game’s factions: Wings of Liberty will cover humans, Heart of the Swarm is the name for the Zerg campaign, and the Protoss will get face time in Legacy of the Void. According to VP Rob Pardo, each campaign will highlight a different sort of gameplay – Wings of Liberty will be done in a mercenary style, Heart of the Swarm is to include RPG elements, and Legacy of the Void will feature diplomacy. Unfortunately, Starcraft 2 doesn’t have a release date, though I suppose Blizzard’s reasoning for this is a bit of a comfort – they say “we will take as much time as needed to ensure the game is as fun, balanced, and polished as possible.”

1. Bioshock 2

My final pick is Bioshock 2, and for good reason. The first Bioshock rocked my gaming world in the fall of 2007. The eery setting, with it’s gorgeous sound effects, art-deco architectural style, and creepy residents, was entrancing. Add on top of that an excellent plot (which, being a writer, I demand in my games) and a great moral component, and you’ve got one heckuva game. One of my most memorable experiences in Bioshock occurred early in the game. I had made it into the medical area, and was snooping around a dentist’s office for some much-needed health. I did a routine search of a piece of furniture, and when I turned around found myself face-to-face with a psychotic doctor. I jumped, yelled at my computer screen,and emptied maybe a dozen rounds into the guy. I was shaking, my roommate was in the corner laughing his head off, and all I could think was dang, this game is good. I play my games for the plot, for interesting forms of gameplay, and for emotional moments like that. Those ten seconds were, to me, worth the entire cost of the game. I can’t wait until Bioshock 2 is released. Conveniently for me, it’ll roughly coincide with my return to the United States and my scheduled build of a Core i7 rig. It’s going to be a great few weeks with that game.

Admittedly, there are several great games coming out that I’ve excluded from my Top Five list. Here’s two that I think also deserve recognition.

Honorable Mention: Empire: Total War

This was a tough one to leave out, but I tried to choose genres according to what most people play, myself included. Having two strategy titles would have been overkill, in my mind. That being said, if you’re not interesting in Starcraft 2 (or can’t wait until then to get your strategy fix), the best choice you can make will be picking up a copy of Empire: Total War when it’s released in March 2009.

Honorable Honorable Mention: Dragon Age: Origins

This one is included because I’m an RPG junkie, and this looks like one of the more creative releases of the year. Dragon Age: Origins is a Bioware title in the tradition of Baldur’s Gate, an RPG classic that was one of their finest. It’s going to be a rather dark, gritty title, and will definitely get a Mature rating from the ESRB. It will use a pause and play combat system, and will feature something called Origin Stories – presumably an elaborated class/race element that will more directly affect your interactions with others than, say, in the Elder Scrolls series. Dragon Age: Origins is slated for an early 2009 release.

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January 2, 2009 - Posted by | Gaming | , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

6 Comments »

  1. […] first collected Added 02 Jan 09 from techpluslifestyle.wordpress… Flag as inappropriate or […]

    Pingback by Top Five PC Games For 2009 Video | January 2, 2009 | Reply

  2. Origin is singular. You probably want to change it for your tag.

    Comment by Zach | January 2, 2009 | Reply

  3. On Project Origin.

    Comment by Zach | January 2, 2009 | Reply

  4. Oh, and in my opinion, Mirror’s edge kinda sucked, after you got through the first hour (during which your eyes were glazed with wonderment). After that, it wasn’t puzzling, it was just grueling, plus it was too short even if you did like the gameplay… all in all, not so great.

    Comment by Zach | January 2, 2009 | Reply

    • haha it took three comments to get all that out? *fixed*

      Comment by Brian | January 2, 2009 | Reply

  5. […] Five Upcoming PC Games ***Update*** Check out my new Top Five PC Games For 2009 […]

    Pingback by Top Five Upcoming PC Games « Tech + Lifestyle: Enhance Your World | January 6, 2009 | Reply


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