Best of 2009
Jimbo_N: Best of 2009
Jimbo_N: Best of 2009
A TOP NOTCH first person shooter of old where awesome gunplay and cool enemies gets to take the front seat. Weapons are superb and they come in so many different flavors that you´ll never see them all. Layer on top of this a Diablo style leveling, class and loot system and you have something that is simply impossible to stop playing. Its a game that makes sure you have a blast playing it before anything else. The gameplay fun here is something that has to be experienced to be believed. It is not a game you watch a trailer of a instantly want to play but when you get into it theres no stopping it. It also has the best humor of the year and it conveys it in a very subtle way. Achievements, quest names, NPCs, monsters and small details in the enviroments are often nods to other games as well as a big chunk of pop culture. It dosent take itself seriously and manages to keep a tasteful amount of self distance to everything it does. Borderlands is a tribute to what makes games fun and 50 or so hours later you´ll still enjoy leveling up and finding new loot because it never feels like a grind, it feels like youre playing an awesome first person shooter that also features a great and unique artstyle to go with it.
One of the most rewarding Co-op experiences I´ve ever had. Few games was made for co-op like this one and if you didn´t like it chances are you either played it alone or have a dislike for Resident Evil already. Its a reminder of what made Resident Evil 4 one of the best games ever all over again but with added co-op.The game also features a great build up of the story and a great new character in Sheva. RE5 is also easily forgotten when it comes to graphics of 2009. This is easily one of the best looking games of the year and the facial animations in particular is nothing short of stunning. But as I said it was really the co-op that did it. Playing the game through twice with a friend easily contributed to some of the best gaming memories of the year and cooperative bossfights took gaming fun to a place it havent been for a while for me. Its a pure Resident Evil experience of the post RE4 era with over the top awesome cutscenes, panic inducing enemy encounters & plenty of unlockables to make you come back time and time again. Already super hyped to jump back in next year with the DLC.
I said it in my review back then and i´ll say it again. PC RTS havent been this good outside of a Blizzard title in a loooong time. Its fantastic on all levels. Warhammer is a great well to drain from when it comes to lore, artstyle and strategy. It blends to form a RTS/RPG hybrid that wont let go and make you lose your interest like so many PC RTS games does these days for me. This game drips of personality in every aspect of its execution and the blend of genres is taken to perfection. The campaign is a really nice display of progression with its loot and leveling mechanics and the stellar presentation makes every mission of it a battle for the ages. I can´t say enough good things about Dawn of War 2 and how tragic it is that many console players wont even think about playing it. But if you´ve ever enjoyed a Blizzard RTS in your life you owe it to play this perfect evolvement of the genre. It wakes up the sleeping RTS need you thought you didn´t have while playing on the strenghts of the WoW addiction of the world today. 4 distinct races to learn and play in skirmish and multiplayer and all of them reeks of personality and style.
Its a heavy, gritty gaming experience that stuck with me as one of the absolute best of the year.
Beforehand this game didn´t really catch my interest..because...well.. its Batman. I´m not a big Batman fan nor a big comics fan in general but man, it totally dosen´t matter. Arkham Asylum is still such a masterpiece of a game. Its a fresh blend of Dead Space / Bioshock and a 3rd person shooter. The campaign is perfecly paced, has a cast of great characters and a dark psychological tone that plays alot on your own mental strenght to get through. The game also managed to be a stealth game without it feeling frustrating and the difficulty was spot on all the time to keep you on your toes without it ever getting too much. Batman is a very tense and exciting game to play and all of the story twists the game throws at you combined with the great use of the Unreal technology makes this a must play, Batman fan or not.
When this was released I described it as the Quake 2 of 2009. Not only because of the similarities in theme, enviroments and enemy/weapon design but also because of the mindset with wich they designed this shooter. Its straight forward, fun and has great level design. I think its something very pure in Killzone 2 and I think thats what really gets me. Weapons feel right, enemy encounters feels well balanced and the Quake 2 HD style of presentation brought in an extra layer of nostalgia into the mix. Also it dosent hurt that Killzone 2 uses a new way of lighting that brings a level of intensity to the presentation that havent really been seen in a shooter before. It looks great and also sounds great. This game might have the best overall soundwork of a game this year. Sure the last boss encounter was a catastrophy on all levels but that dosent stop this game from being a damn fine first person shooter. A genre I greatly appriciate.
I wasn´t into the DoTA phenomenon at all but a free standalone game build on the concept got me. And it dosent take long for the addiction to kick in. Easy to learn / hard to master gameplay that is constantly fast paced and fun and when you start to get the hang of it you feel you want to step up your game even more. Its a very competative mindset that I haven´t felt since I played WoW Arena daily or tried to push myself on a pro level in Warcraft 3 or Quake 3. League of Legends will surely be there in future E-Sport tournaments. Sure the game can´t compete with the big releases of the year when it comes to content or presentation but there´s really something to be said for a game that is just pure fun to play and when you realize you put other big titles aside to play it you have to appriciate its awesomeness. The hours have flown away for me with this one. One game can easily take an hour but at the end of the game it only feels like 15 minutes. You instantly want to play another game and suddenly you look at the clock and its frikkin 5 AM! FIVE AM! The thought of taking a break never crossed my mind like it did with many other games in 2009.
I still feel like there´s something wrong with the way Uncharted plays and I can´t fully appriciate it as a 3rd person action game. But that dosent really matter when the game delivers such a rollercoaster ride. The campaign is cinematic and intense like few before it and its jampacked with likeable great characters and a cool Steven Spielberg storyarc. Uncharted 2 is also in a league of its own when it comes to presenation. We are talking serious budget here. Animations, voicework, camera angles, environments. You name it. U2 prevails on its fantastic presentation and its really a special feeling to play something that feels so lifelike and cinematic. Many of the coolest moments of this year is in U2´s single player campaign. Moments where you can hardly believe you just did what you did.
Controls so spot on it sometimes felt like you´re controlling the game with your mind, a superhero story with a twist and a great Lionhead style Good and Evil system to build your character around. Infamous ended up feeling a bit too grindy the 2nd time around but the first playthrough was a blast. It felt fresh and it was released at the perfect time of the year. When I was deep into this game I could wake up and it was the first thing on my mind. It stuck with me even when I wasn´t playing it. I am always a sucker for shaping yourself and the world around you with your actions so this one was right up my alley.
I didnt play all the way through myself. I played around 50 hours before I stopped (but looking back it felt like 5). I was totally locked down with this game ignoring everything else for weeks before I gave up. But that was only because I spent another 100 hours watching the Endurance Run here on Giant Bomb. The mix of J-RPG, social simulation, weather and calendar mechanics and the unique style the game is going for made this RPG one for the ages. The game features a great soundtrack, memorable characters and shows off some great use of the PS2 in this HD era. As much as I want to move past this title and ignore the last generation I just can´t. Following Vinny and Jeff every day throughout months of this year made this a very memorable gaming experience for this year. Its a really really great concept that I will be all over when it reaches the current gen.
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