I can’t believe my luck this year: I’m an avid gamer, and I find myself spoilt for choice at the moment. This is one of those years in which the sheer amount of quality games releases have well and truly out-stripped my budget! With several games that could legitimately be called ‘Game Of The Year’, I’ve been wondering if 2009 could be called a vintage year for video games?
SO, let’s take a look at some of them, shall we?
Killzone 2 (February 2009)
Correct me if I’m wrong, but Killzone 2 kicked off the start of the year’s gaming heavyweights with a solid FPS following on from the events in the first game on the PS2. Killzone is to the PlayStation franchise like Halo is to the Xbox franchise. Now, I love my FPS games, but Killzone 2 just didn’t do it for me. Graphics to die for and gameplay to match? Is that not enough for me?! Well, I only have so much money this year, and I have been saving my money for the big releases in the last half of the year. I’m not ruling out buying this at bargain basement prices in the future.
Resident Evil 5 (March 2009)
Resi followed on in fine form with perhaps a repetitive formula (pardon the pun) but with great visuals, a new and interesting setting for the series so far, and good gameplay. I get scared silly with zombies and their kind, which is why I’ve avoided this release so far. Maybe I’ll pick up this game in the future just out of curiosity. But seriously, zombies. I shudder at the thought.
InFamous (May 2009)
Everyone loves a superhero. Or so the saying goes. And here we have a great superhero game with a moral choice between good and evil. Great gameplay with the use of electricity as the main character’s superpower. A great game, I’m sure. It’s one of those that for me, didn’t make the cut for immediate purchase. I played the demo when it came out and I really enjoyed it. Whilst whetting my appetite for the full game it didn’t convince me to shell out for the full game… not yet. I’m going to pick this one up when it comes down in price when I have time to play it! It’s already available on platinum release, so it’s just a case of clearing my gaming calendar to make room for it!
Batman: Arkham Asylum (October 2009)
A game that I had initially not planned on buying. I’ll admit that I didn’t pay much attention to it. I had pegged the game as being just another Tekken/Soul Calibur game and so ignored it. Boy, was I wrong. In the weeks leading up to the game’s release, the hype became overwhelming. Heck, it even picked up a Guinness World Record for being the ‘Most Critically Acclaimed Superhero Game Ever’. I read the main reviews, watched the gameplay videos, and then after the game’s release I read blog after blog carrying nothing but praise. So I went and bought it. What a roller coaster. Amazing visuals, the most authentic comic book/superhero game you’ll play this year, and gameplay that makes it easy and fun to play, but difficult to master as the impressive supply of DLC shows.
Uncharted 2 (October 2009)
For me, this is the big one this year. My anticipation for this game was at fever pitch before it came out. I pre-ordered it and when I had it, I played it to death for an entire week! This is one of those releases that I’m still playing to get that elusive platinum Trophy. This is one of the select few games this year that is vying for the game of the year crown. It has my vote: superb graphics, a great story, some of the best character interaction you might see this generation, and solid gameplay to back it up.
Modern Warfare 2 (November 2009)
This then, would be the other game that might turn out to be the game of the year. Mostly shrouded in secrecy till its release, this game has generated so much hype (speaking of which, you might be interested in ‘Video Games: Death By Hype‘ by Rockers Delight) that it’s got everyone going crazy with excitement. I was really going to hold off on buying this release as I’d be blowing my budget for this year, but hey, it got me excited too. So I’ve got it for a decent price, and I’m saving it for Christmas. That reasoning may or may not hold true till Christmas, but either way, I made the right move as prices have rocketed right back up to at least £39.99.
Left 4 Dead 2 (November 2009)
One of those games that might just be worth getting over my zombie phobia for, except for the fact that it’s on the Xbox 360 only which rules me out of this one. However the first game offered both solid visuals, and solid gameplay for a FPS, being particularly fun when taken on Xbox Live. Promising to be bigger and better than the original, the game’s ‘realism mode’ in particular has me interested. Suffocated in the November 2009 release window by the other big hitters, this could stifle initial sales.
Assassin’s Creed II (November 2009)
This one has been on my radar for quite some time. The original, whilst the gameplay was repetitive remains a firm favourite. The original was my first true taste of next-gen gaming on the PS3 in sweet HD. The visuals were stunning, the plot was half-decent, and I found the Holy Land to be a truly fascinating place where I immersed myself for many weeks. The sequel will bring all of the original’s features back to the table, BUT this time there will be a great game in there as well: less repetition, new gameplay mechanics, and a great variety in missions, amongst other things. I’ll be getting this potential masterpiece as soon as I can on Friday 20th November 2009.
So, is 2009 a vintage year for video games? Or is it too early to say yet?