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Top 5 Most Anticipated Video Games of 2009

I’m kicking off 2009 in a big way with a list of five awesome new games to hit the shelves this year. I hope you’re as excited as I am about..

5.) MadWorld (Wii)
Release: Mar 2009

The Wii is absolutely dominating the arena of “cute.” With that being said, when it comes to getting your daily dose of virtual violence the console usually leaves something to be desired.

Then there was MadWorld.

The Scoop: A bloody, beat-em-up game where comic book style intensity reigns. Seriously, there are only three colors in this game; vivid blacks and whites provide an amazing contrast to the vibrant red blood as its strewn about with artistic flair. All the while you pull off daring and sometimes downright comical finishing moves like: “Human Garbage” – where you fling a baddie back and forth then to his death by dumpster as somewhere a voice gives you the play-by-play like a sports commentator. This game can’t be missed.

4.) Wolfenstein (Xbox360, PC, PS3)
Release: Late 2009
Wolfenstein screenshots review preview

We have learned that games that attempt to recreate the feeling of back in the day classic are often given mixed reviews. It is difficult to follow in the footsteps of a classic game from the past while being innovative and meeting the expectations of new generations of gamers. The past classic Wolfenstein 3D ushered in the first-person shooter genre in video/PC gaming much like the classic Castle Wolfenstein ushered in the stealth-based genre, so Id software’s newest creation Wolfenstein has some rather large shoes to fill.

The Scoop: This new iteration of a long-standing franchise will keep the tradition of hidden treasures and surprises alive, as well as having some gameplay surprises of its own. For one, our old buddy “BJ” Blazkowicz returns, but with the ability to enter an alternate dimension called the “Mire,” where he will have new abilities and the capability of bypassing obstacles in our own dimension. He will, however, face new dangers in this dimension. The game, like its predecessors, is set in WWII, and the Nazis are attempting to also harness occult powers from this new world. What kind of abilities could come from such a source? One can only guess. The player will have new choices in what Id is terming an “expansive environment,” where the player is not forced to follow a linear path; multiple options will be available for a player to overcome an obstacle, and the player has choice in what missions, including “side” missions, to take going forward.

3.) Killzone 2 (PS3)
Release: Feb 27, 2009
Wolfenstein screenshots review preview

When you have die-hard Call of Duty and Gears of War fans playing their latest and greatest, how can you compete?

The Scoop:Whether you like rushing into the fray guns-ablazing or enjoy more calculated warfare with clear objectives, there are different strokes for every folk in this game. Killzone 2 brings the best of both worlds with serious in-your-face cinematic warfare. Our beloved “lean and peek” cover system has been implemented here to top it off with CPU drones that will band together and work as a team against you using what is quite possibly the smartest A.I we’ve seen yet.

The single player campaigns are a sure-fire win for Guerrilla Games, and the multiplayer is expected to rock even harder. There will be 16 skills in all that you can customize based on your playing style, and if you’re not doing so hot with one, you can switch abilities after you die. Oh my!

2.) The Sims 3 (PC)
Release: Feb 2009
Over the years of its releases, sales of the Sims series have been second only to World of Warcraft. So, it’s no wonder that we will surely love the Sims 3 like a fat kid loves cake.. or fat woman, as depicted in the above screenshot.

The Scoop: If the Sims did nothing else when it came onto the scene umpteen years ago, they brought a new kind of gamer to the forefront, and they’ve been coming back ever since. The challenge that comes with making a life-like game is that the people playing it will always want to “do more” than the game will allow.

Not in Sims 3! You can customize everything this time around; from minute attributes of your Sim’s personality, to making a custom floor pattern that was drawn after your cat Pookie. If that isn’t up your alley, walk down any number of others, as with Sims 3 you finally can. Your house lot isn’t in a bubble anymore, eliminating that “edge of the world” feeling when you “leave the neighborhood.” Now you can explore the neighborhood simply by walking out of the door.. because now everything is connected. Sims 3 is all about making dreams a reality. So if you’re poor and still living in your mothers basement IRL, you can still own a Lambo, bone all the chicks and live in a really sweet ultra-moderne mansion.. virtually. Who could ask for anything more?

1.) Heavy Rain : The Origami Killer (PS3)
Release: TBA 2009

Your search for a non-linear game is over. Having played all of Quantic Dream’s games, I can tell you that CEO David Cage meant it when he explained: “games are mature enough to tell complex stories with depth and meaning.”

The Scoop: They are promising us action, drama, and thrills, while not wanting to release too much info regarding the plot. So picture this; in-game characters portraying virtual actors that will be capable of highly realistic expressions. For over a year Cage wrote alongside a Hollywood script director to achieve a script-length that was longer than 20 full-length movies combined, all in hopes of giving the player the experience we gamers have always longed for. Actual choices. These choices actually having an impact throughout the entire game, and not just the end game. The possibilities are endless. You can choose whether to knock or to ring a doorbell, whether to fight or flee. If and when your character dies, the game is not “over.” The show must go on.