In the games business, sometimes its easy to miss out on the Shadow of the Colossus’es among all the Cooking mamas and Wii Fits and fucking Imagine babies bullshit. So much like a degenerate hobo picking through a pile of human waste to find a morsel of soiled bread to fill his stomach, were poking through the shit to find a few of 2009’s gems that may have passed you by.
5. Halo wars
For most Halo players, asking them to give up teabagging, smack talking, and generally being an all round cuntoid is like asking Stephen Hawking to do the fucking moonwalk. So it came as no surprise that a Halo game that involved neither teabagging nor questioning your opponets sexuality/mothers profession and actually required a sliver of intelligence and planning, tanked like a white power band at a Bar-Mitzvah. Sales-wise Halo performed respectably, but you wont find it in many best of 2009 lists, which is a shame, considering Halo wars stands as the only RTS on a console thats worth playing. Its expanded storyline fits nicely into all things Halo, and the joy of piloting your own scarab around a battlefield and seeing all the Halo universes coolest vehicles in minute detail was like playing with the worlds best micro machines collection, and one of the most unexpected gaming joys of early 2009.
4. The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena
TcoR:AoDA was saddled with a few problems which were destined to stop it from being included on most of the ‘best of’ lists that are floating around the internet at the moment. For one thing, its based on a series of incredibly shitty movies. (pitch black aside). For a second thing, its based on a series of incredibly shitty movies starring Vin Diesel. Gamers will buy any old shit if you slap a pair of tits on the box (Dead or Alive volleyball, stand up), but slapping a buff hunk of manhood beloved by females across the globe as your protragonist, and asking bespectacled overweight sweaty geeks (that is what all gamers look like, right??) to empathise with him, was never going to work. A shame, as Diesel is actually a quite a nice bloke and an avid videogamer, and Tcor:Aoda was one of the finest stealth-em-up’s of the year. With some excellent graphics, stellar voice acting, gratuitous violence, an interesting story, and a HD remake of Escape from Butcher Bay thrown in for free. Its selling for next to nothing nowadays so theres no excuse not to pick it up.
3: IL-2 Sturmovik Birds of Prey
Some games are destined for Failure. Others have failure thrust upon them. Il-2 sturmovik couldnt have failed harder if it was re-branded ‘Gary Glitters paedo-pokemon! Gotta catch em all!’. Releasing the sequel to an extremely hardcore flight sim on consoles mostly known for their love of gritty shooters and cuddly platformers was sadly for 505 Games, a fuck up of epic proportions. Fortunately, the game was mostly excellent, and tho dumbed down from its PC counterpart (thank fuck for that), it brought epic WW2 Aerial bosch-bashing to an audience that was too busy furiously masturbating over Modern Warfare 2’s imminent release to give a flying fuck.
Poor, poor Wolfenstein. There were so many things going wrong for this game it’s a wonder it ever saw the light of day. For one, it was about 4 years too late to release. Running on the same tech that powered Doom 3 back in 2004, it certainly wasn’t the prettiest game of ’09. It also had the bad luck to be released a month or so before Modern Warfare 2, almost guaranteeing Wolfenstein’s ass was going to take a pounding sales-wise. And to cap it all it’s multiplayer was admittedly god awful, practically condemning it to a life of languishing in bargain bins the world over.
But, graphical inconsistencies and multiplayer so bad it made ones arse cringe in embarrasment aside, Wolfenstein compensated for these inadequecies by having one of the most face-kickingly great single player campaigns in an FPS this year. Meaty weapons, non-stop action, and the ability to blast a Nazi across the room with one bullet from a fully upgraded K-98 rifle meant that while it was unoriginal, it was certainly never boring.
1. Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood
Released at the beginning of the Summer lull, CoJ should have been a runaway hit thanks to A) there being fuck all else to play, and B) it being ass poundingly fantastic. Again, CoJ was a game that performed reasonably well at retail, but, yet again, it’s a sad fact that for most games released early in the year, when it comes to ‘best of’ lists at the end of December, its only the latest and greatest that stick in most reviewers minds. You wont find CoJ topping any lists and standing triumphantly over MW2 or Killzone 2, despite having a single player campign that fucks the ass off either of those efforts. Give me Reverend Ray over Soap McTavish or…whover those identi-kit cardboard cutout grunts were in Killzone 2, anyday.