We’re back after an extended Christmas break! Partly due to the UK going through a new ice age (click for the rather impressive Nasa satalite image of the UK snow!), and partly due to one of the games in this list…
There are some noticeable exceptions in this Games of 2009 list as i’m only covering games I’ve personally played. Hence no Left 4 Dead, Borderlands or Modern Warfare 2. All good games so i’m told, but i just haven’t got round to playing them yet so i didn’t feel it was right to include them.
What No MMORPGs?
Regular readers may also notice the distinct lack of MMORPGs in the list this year, which is rare for GeekTown given we’re traditionally big MMO players. Problem is, there really hasn’t been anything on the MMO front that’s grabbed us. We played a bit of WoW (which is as good as ever). Dropped into the Shire in LotRO (which just gets better every update), and tried a few new MMOs such as Champions Online (which was okay, but not great). 2009 was not a strong year for new MMOs. I am expecting that to change in 2010 though, what with Star Trek Online due soon, the potentially genre altering Star Wars: The Old Republic possibly appearing before the end of the year, and the arrival of WoW:Cataclysm, things are really looking up for MMOs future.
GeekTown’s Top 5 Games Of Year 2009
5. Ghostbusters: The Video Game (PC, PS3, XBox)
As someone old enough to remember the original Spectrum Ghostbusters game, I was over the moon to hear they’d finally got round to making a new game based on the franchise. You take on the role of ‘Rookie’, a new recruit to the Ghostbusters team, helping trap ghosts around New York city. As an 80’s kid and Ghostbuster fan, really what’s not to love about a game that let’s you strap on a proton pack and fight paranormal activity with all 4 of the original Ghostbusters team, voiced by the original actors. It also looks like the renewed interest in the franchise from the game could help spur on a genuine Ghostbusters 3 movie.
4. Plants vs. Zombies (PC)
This was another great little game from the guys over at PopCap. Like their other runaway hit Peggle, PvZ kept me entertained far longer than any ‘casual game’ should. It’s essentially a tower defence game, where your house is being invaded by zombies, and your only defence is your wide variety of exploding/shooting/energy giving plants. By placing the plants strategically, you fight off wave after wave of the zombie horde to stop them coming to eat your brains. Simple, funny, and horribly addictive.
3. Batman: Arkham Asylum (PC, PS3, XBox)
I’ve always wondered why it took someone so long to make a decent Batman game. It seems like such an obvious pick as a franchise, its just surprising it took till 2009 for someone to actually make a decent go of it. But what a superb job they did. Not only did it have some of the best hand to hand combat seen in any video game, it had a great, engaging story, and brilliant voice acting (bringing in the Animated Series cast in to voice the lead characters was a stroke of genius). The sequel is currently in development, and it’s really going to be one to watch out for.
2. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (PS3)
Uncharted 2 follows on from the events of the first game, with you once again taking control of Nathan Drake, this time on the search for Marco Polo’s lost Treasure. Like it’s predecessor, Uncharted 2 has great storytelling and character development, with a wonderfully twisty turny plot that keeps you wanting to play ‘just till the next checkpoint’ (and then find yourself still be playing at 2a.m.) It takes you through some beautifully rendered environments and tests you with some great inventive puzzles, and really is a great example of what developers can do with the the action/adventure/shooter if they put their minds to it.
1. Dragon Age Origins (PC, PS3, XBox)
This is the game that’s responsible for the lack of posts recently… Dragon Age is set in the a fantasy world of Dwarves, Elves, and of course, Dragons. The initial character creation process has more in common with an MMO than an RPG. Rather than you just picking a race and class, and then being dumped into the world, each introduction section (taking a few hours each to play through), is totally unique. So if you play a dwarven noble, you’ll have a totally different starting experience to playing as a Dalish Elf. This also effects people and plot throughout your game, giving a huge possibility of variations, and encouraging you to play through multiple times. And with over 100 hours of gameplay, that’s a lot of game playing time. Dragon Age really is the pinicale of the RPG genre. Hummm… i wonder what it’s like to play through as a Dalish Mage… see you in a bit… ;)