Another great year for computer games has passed and I should really have written a game-of-the year for 2009. However, for several reasons I was unable to decide on the best game of 2009. Due to finishing my PhD, I am also half a year too late with this post. Nevertheless, spreading the word about good games is never too late 🙂
Why not a game of the year 2009?
First, there are a lot of the great games that were released in 2009 that I have not played yet. (1) I do not own a PS3 and I have therefore not been able to play for instance Uncharted 2, Killzone, Demon Souls, and so on. (2) I have not been able to buy all the great games from 2009. I still do not have Batman: Arkham Asylum, Forza Motorsport 3, Fifa 10, and Empire: Total War. (3) Of the great games I do own, there were several that I was unable to try in 2009, like for instance Assassin’s Creed 2, Left 4 Dead 2, Anno 1404 (Dawn of Discovery), Dragon Age: Origins, Men of War, and Borderlands.
Second, I can’t really decide between the games I did play. I guess the problem is that there are so many good games that it is a bit difficult to find a game that really stands out from the crowd.
What I played
Lately, I have played a lot of Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 and it is quite fun. However, for the way Infinity Ward and Activision have ignored us PC-games, I cannot say Modern Warfare 2 is even a contender for GotY. The game is pretty much Call of Duty 4.5 as the single player is short and uninteresting. I agree with Michael Pachter who said that the four hour story of MW 2 was “as lame as any story I’ve seen in any game” (Bonus Round @ 17.00). The multi player is more of the same (still great fun though), but it lacks dedicated servers, has a lot of cheaters, allows only 12 or 16 players per game, and does not allow user mods.
Next up is X3: Terran Conflict. I played this quite a lot during the summer, but I have not played it in a long time. However, watching Star Trek made me want to fire it up again. Even though the game is very interesting and made me remember the depth of PC-games, it does have a few to many small problems to be a game of the year. It was furthermore released in 2008. In addition to being a great game, I must applaude the developers at Egosoft for constantly updating the game, and releasing new content for FREE (the money-hungry suckers at Activision should take note).
I also played quite a lot of Left 4 Dead, Call of Duty 5: World at War, and Fallout 3, and a bit of Far Cry 2, World of Goo, and Red Alert 3. All these were good games, but all of them were released in 2008. I guess I played more CoD 5 than anything, but Fallout 3 was probably the best game. On the Xbox I played Resident Evil 5, Guitar Hero: Metallica, and Red Faction: Guerrilla. Then of course, I also played through Saints Row 2, Dead Space, and Mirror’s Edge from 2008. All of these were quite good but perhaps not really game of the year material.
Finally, I would like to dedicate a thumbs up for all the new intellectual property we have seen in 2009. Batman, Borderlands, Mirrors Edge, Dead Space, and (to some extent) Dragon Age Origins were new intellectual properties released during the last year or so. Even though Mirrors Edge and Dead Space did not sell as much as EA anticipated, I really encourage them to make another. I really enjoyed them!