Top 5 Original Games of 2009

The “Top X Anticipated Games of 20XX” has become an annual requirement for just about everyone in videogame journalism nowadays; this article proves that I am¬†apparently no different in that regard. To be at least somewhat unique, I’ve decided to split the typical top ten list into two parts this year: sequels and original titles. Moving on from the predictable list of sequels, here is my list of the most anticipated original IPs of the coming year:

Trine (PC, PSN)

Trine is a very interesting puzzle/platform game set in a beautiful 2.5D fantasy world. Players take control of three different characters to overcome obstacles and beat back an army of undead, often manifesting objects out of thin air to solve physics-based puzzles, or using a Bionic Commando -like grappling hook to swing across large chasms. The burly, hammer-wielding Warrior, the deadly accurate and agile Thief, and the platform-conjuring Wizard can be swapped out at any time, depending on the task at hand. Little else is known about Trine, but from what I’ve seen so far, it definitely looks like a keeper.

Prototype (PC, PS3, 360)

If the sole purpose of gaming was to make players feel empowered, then Prototype may very well be the most successful work of electronic entertainment of all time. In this game, Alex Mercer wakes up in a morgue, defying death from the outset. He has no memory of his past, but has been endowed with supernatural strength, speed, and agility, as well as the ability to absorb the skills, knowledge, memories, form, and appearance of the people he kills. From instantly learning how to maneuver a helicopter or tank, to unlocking the secrets of his and the virally infected New York City’s history, consuming victims like this can prove to be very useful. Radical Entertainment claims that there will be over 750 unique superpower combinations in this sandbox of destruction. What’s more, Mercer can easily pull off a T-1000 impression, impaling enemies with spikes or clubbing them to death with weapons made from his own “biomass.” I want what he’s got.

Alan Wake (PC, 360)

Alan Wake, the newest offering from Max Payne creators Remedy Entertainment, looks to redefine the way we look at video game horror. Billed as an action thriller, this grisly game is the story of author Alan Wake, a novelist whose frightening fiction begins to creep off the pages and into his life. The funny thing is that most of the plot for his story came from his own dreams to begin with. Drawing influence from the Silent Hill and Max Payne series, Alan Wake is set in what the developers claim is a 38-square-mile portion of rural Washington, in a town that the titular protagonist comes to realize plays host to more than its fair share of paranormal and otherwise terrifying activity. Themes of dreams, reality, light and darkness are prevalent here, as Alan’s level of consciousness can be ambiguous, and even when he is awake, the various sources of light found throughout Bright Falls are his main sources of protection. That, and a .44 magnum.

Brutal Legend (PS3, 360)

Tim Schafer is one of the few video game designers whose every thought somehow seems to transform into gaming gold, so it should come as no big surprise that his studio’s first project since Psychonauts scores high on the “do want” list of many gamers. Jack Black will lend his voice and likeness to this comedic action/adventure game about a roadie who must raise an other-dimensional army to save humankind from eternal servitude…to demons. In an open world where everything is fashioned out of heavy metal (music, not steel), this Tenacious D -like character can be truly heroic, and with each subsequent mission, his hard-rocking warband grows stronger and larger. From what we know so far, Brutal Legend is set to be one of the most over-the-top absurd games out there, befitting both Schafer and Black — and I wouldn’t want it any other way.

Heavy Rain (PS3)

After Quantic Dream’s last game, Indigo Prophecy, it’s hard not to put Heavy Rain at the very top of my most anticipated games list. Billed as a game made for adults, this story-driven adventure aims to affect players on a mental and emotional level like no other. Heavy Rain is a malleable thriller in which decisions players make will have serious repercussions in the game world, be those consequences immediate or long-term. Much of the gameplay will focus on this thoughtful interaction with the images on-screen, rather than dexterous controller manipulation. The heavy themes involved will play out via the game’s already-stunning visuals and audio. For anyone seeking the next step in gaming, Heavy Rain may very well be the ticket.

‘Twill be a good year:

There are a lot of really exciting new IPs on the way in 2009. This list just represents a small portion (arguably the most intriguing, so please do argue) of that bunch. Games like inFAMOUS, Dragon Age: Origins, Darksiders: Wrath of War, Alpha Protocol, Flock, and many others are very promising, too, making 2009 look like yet another great year to be a gamer.

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Author: Eddie Inzauto View all posts by
Eddie has been writing about games on the interwebz for over ten years. You can find him Editor-in-Chiefing around these parts, or talking nonsense on Twitter @eddieinzauto.

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