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The 2009 PC Crystal Ball
PC gamers have had a rough couple of years as the amount of quality games has dwindled in the face of Xbox 360, Wii and PS3 releases. Fortunately, 2009 is shaping up to be great one for PC loyalists with a ton of top-notch games slated to impress. So if you've invested a small fortune into your rig, have the latest and greatest video card with more memory than an elephant, you won't want to miss the top five games of 2009.
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Top 5 PC Games for 2009
Star Wars: The Old Republic
Star Wars + Bioware + MMO = Paradise.
That's my calculation and I'm sticking with it. BioWare, long considered the #1 RPG studio, with such titles as Mass Effect, Knights of the Old Republic and Baldur's Gate to their credit, is finally entering the MMORPG world with Star Wars: The Old Republic. While little is known about the game, we do know there will be a rich story, plenty of character classes, and copious amounts of light-saber swinging. BioWare claims they will take MMOs to a new level and there is no reason to doubt them. Hopefully, Star Wars: The Old Republic will make us forget Star Wars Galaxies ever existed. But can it make us forget World of Warcraft?
The Sims 3
I think it's safe to say The Sims 3 will be the best-selling title of 2009, especially considering how well the franchise continues to perform with unending expansion packs. The Sims 3 is promising a more unified game world, a continuous map and AI players who will age and evolve at the same rate as the player. A key new feature is the ability to explore your local neighborhood in real-time with seamless transitions between your home and others. Perhaps more importantly, The Sims 3 will take full advantage of the latest hardware, bringing the series up-to-date and looking better than ever.
Dragon Age: Origins
Bioware again? Indeed. This time BioWare returns to their roots, delivering a mammoth single-player RPG experience that hearkens back to their Baldur's Gate glory days. Players can expect to be faced with tons of moral choices that influence the evolution of the story, as well as NPCs that will accompany your travels and follow your instructions. Other features include three basic classes, including rogue, warrior and mage, as well as real-time combat that can be paused for tactical orders. Camera options will include over-the-shoulder or a classic isometric view. Considering Bioware is behind this, you can expect a well-written story that will morph and change based on your evil or noble deeds.
You know what I said above about The Sims 3 probably being the best-selling game of 2009? Well, if it isn't it's because StarCraft 2 sold more, which is entirely possible. It's been 10 years since the original StarCraft was released, but the wait for the sequel is almost over. Blizzard recently announced StarCraft 2 would ship as three self-contained products, one for each of the main races. Some view this as money-grubbing greed, but Blizzard insists you'll get more value out of three deep products than a single game. The real question is, are gamers still anxious to play a real-time strategy game? The genre has long since lost its luster, but if anyone can revive the RTS, it has to be Blizzard.
Empire: Total War
As a huge fan of the Total War series from Creative Assembly, which includes Medieval: Total War, it's sequel and Rome: Total War, I simply cannot wait for the next installment, Empire: Total War. Ditching the ancient eras for the 1700 and 1800s, Empire will focus on the founding of the American colonies, allowing players to engage in the most realistic naval combat even put on a computer screen. Empire will have more of everything that made previous installments so engaging, but this time around your computer rig may be begging for mercy. Time for an upgrade!