Greatest Games of 2009-2010

Forza Motorsport 3 is one of the most anticipated racing simulators this year, boasting over 400 different cars, 50 manufacturers, and more than 100 racing tracks. There are plenty of brand new features to gameplay, such as an in-car driving perspective and the ability to drive SUVs and trucks for the first time in the Forza Motorsport series. Cars can be painted now as well, one of the many things players can challenge each other for a spot on the Xbox Live scoreboards. The online multiplayer mode as a new in-game rules editor and the scoreboards display the leaders in racing, painting, and fine-tuning of race cars. Even cooler is the ability to upload videos in-game to the Forza Motorsport website. Players now have the chance to use the "rewind" feature to turn back time and fix previous mistakes on the track. There is no limit to the number of rewinds and it is completely optional. The graphics are seamless and confirmed to run at an impeccable 60 frames per second. There are ten times more polygons per car model and the texture resolution has been quadrupled. These are just some of the new features in the game. There is no question it will spur some heated wars for the scoreboard in the online community. Forza Motorsport 3 will be released on October 27th, 2009 in North America and four days earlier in Europe.

Star Wars: The Old Republic - Release Date: TBA (PC)

Without a doubt, Bioware's first online MMORPG, Star Wars : The Old Republic (TOR), has been this year's most hyped massively multiplayer online game. It will be the first fully voiced MMO (including including your character's voice) and features a true dialogue system (with cut-scenes ingame) similar to Mass Effect. Each player's decisions heavily influence his alignment and the way characters and his Companions (NPC party members) react.

The story takes place 300 years after the events of the first two Knights of the Old Republic games and a tentative war breaks loose between the Sith Empire and the Galactic Republic. Players will be able to choose their faction but their real-time MMO decisions can affect their true alignments. Players can even have love interests or end up causing their Companions to betray them in times of conflicting decisions.

Every class in TOR has its own massive storyline (with choices opening up or closing side story-lines) but are all integrated into the main game storyline. This means if you replay the game with a different class, expect an entirely different experience. So far, five classes have been announced - Bounty Hunter (specialist in ranged warfare with a jetpack to match) and the Sith Warrior (the lightsaber wielding melee class) for the Sith Empire, and the Jedi, Trooper (ranged and heavy warfare powerhouse), and Smuggler (Han Solo incarnate) for the Republic. Each class is highly distinct from each other and has certain trademark moves. One such example is the Smuggler's ability to get into melee range of an opponent, give a swift kick to his groin to 'immobilize' him long enough for a well-directed head shot finisher. At this time, all the classes have not been announced.
Also incredible is that TOR will feature the first cover system in an MMO. IGN has twenty minutes of footage of TOR (found here), showcasing how the Smuggler uses cover to outgun enemies (who can also take cover

and respond with their own strategies). The TOR walkthrough videos also unveil "Flash Points", which are special instanced game events in which a party of players can participate. One such flash point involved a Bounty Hunter and Sith Warrior killing a high ranking Sith officer (who disobeyed a direct order from a higher up, one of the many major choices the player can make or decide not to make) and fighting a multitude of invading Republic enemies on a Sith starship. Melee combat (lightsaber vs vibroblade and lightsaber vs lightsaber) is great to watch, with fluid animations that make sense in each situation, whether against a single opponent or multiple enemies. This includes deflecting blaster bolts from annoying ranged enemies while busy fighting an opponent with a blade of some sort. The game itself is very similar to the single-player KotOR series.

The game's graphics, though not taking the same route for photorealism that most MMOs do, are quite impressive, with great emphasis on style. The game environments are large and there will be many planets to explore, such as Korriban (the Sith homeworld), Nal Hutta, Old Mantrell, Tython, Coruscant, and more.

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm - Release Date: TBA 2010 (PC)

It's not even a year since the release of World of Warcraft's second expansion, Wrath of the Lich King, and now Blizzard has announced its third and latest expansion, Cataclysm. Perhaps it is Blizzard's answer to Star Wars: The Old Republic and other contenders for the online market. With over 11 million WoW subscribers, it is guaranteed Cataclysm will make an impact like WotLK did and perhaps exceed it.

There is much that is still unknown about the expansion but here is what is confirmed. The old classic zones of Azeroth (both Horde and Alliance continents) have been drastically changed. The Barrens has been literally split and deep craters and fractures of lava in the earth are seen in all zones, caused by the return of Deathwing, the main antagonist of this storyline. The Horde now has a new race - the Goblin, and the Alliance also has a new addition to its races - the Worgen (a cursed human that transforms into the Werewolf form). There are new race/class combinations that will let players try different classes with popular races, such as the prospect of Tauren Paladins (shudder). Players can now use flying mounts in Azeroth, which were previously limited to the zones in The Burning Crusade and Wrath of the Lich King. The graphics rendering system for water has received an upgrade and the zones have been redesigned to look better than ever. Also, the Maelstrom is churning.

Cataclysm will also feature an extensive Guild Achievement and Leveling system (more details found here). The level cap has been raised to 85 and there will be new raids and dungeons, including heroic versions of

some of the classic Azeroth dungeons. Expect this expansion to become the fastest selling PC game of all time, a record currently held by Wrath of the Lich King after it broke the Burning Crusade's mark of 2.4 million copies in the first day. Watch the trailer of Cataclysm here.

Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty - Release Date: TBA 2010 (PC)

Starcraft is Blizzard's masterpiece PC strategy game and today it is a major sport in South Korea. Featuring three highly distinct races with completely different units and styles of combat (and well balanced), the real-time strategy genre became mainstream in North America after its release in the late 1990s.

Starcraft II(Terrans - Wings of Liberty) will be the first part of a trilogy (Wings of Liberty, Heart of the Swarm, and Legacy of the Void). The Terran race will be the main focus of this first upcoming part, with the Zerg and Protoss campaigns highlighted in the next two, respectively. The single player mode in Starcraft II will revolve around a single 26-30 mission campaign centered around the Terran race.

There are no new races but there are many new units introduced, paving the way for brand new (and exciting) strategies. Some classic units like the Protoss Zealot now has the ability to charge to close in on attacking ranged enemy units, taking less damage as it gets into slash-range of a group of Terran Marines. has been improved and multiplayer matches will feel as optimized as ever. There will also be many cinematic cut scenes throughout the game (which Blizzard is famous for), featuring the story of the game, of which Jim Raynor is the main protagonist. Blizzard has hinted that the Xel'Naga will play a major role in the plot. Watch some of the SC2 gameplay footage here at

While this game has been in development for a long time, fans are certain it has it what it takes to be the ultimate RTS experience. This is one of the most anticipated sequels of all time. Do not miss this one.

God of War III - Release Date: March, 2010 (PS3)

Imagine playing a God of War shooting games on the Playstation 3. That idea alone should tell you how much is expected of God of War III. Kratos has become identified as one of the greatest anti-heroes in gaming history and his epic quest for vengeance and redemption continues in this part of the trilogy. It is now him and the Titans versus the gods of Mount Olympus.
The graphics are jaw-dropping (something that the PS2 installments also did when they were released) and the combat is a lot more visceral than before. Kratos has new moves with his trademark Blades of Athena, as well

as another newly unveiled weapon so far, a pair of fist Guantlets shaped like Lions' heads (reminiscent of Meng Huo from the Dynasty Warriors series). Like in the previous installments, Kratos will have to defeat major bosses and utilize special items, such as Helios' Head beam (featured in E3 2009) to reveal dark or secret areas of the game environment.

The number of enemies simultaneously on-screen has been significantly increased as well as interaction in the environment. For example, Kratos can launch himself onto a giant Cyclops, take control of it to smash nearby enemies (in E3 2009 footage; to take out a tough group of enemies using shields in a phalanx formation to protect Helios), and finish off the beast by pulling out its eyeball. Certain 'fatalities' like the finishers against the Chimera have shown players that God of War III has exceeded expectations with what it can do with the addictive 'minigame kill moves'. Watch some of the E3 2009 footage here.

The game itself will consist of a huge script (120 pages long) comparable to a Hollywood movie and it is quite certain that Kratos will have to fight integral gods of Greek mythology, such as Hades. The word epic has been used too many times this decade but to use it for this game is an understatement. This will be the final chapter in the God of War series so there will be a climactic end for Kratos. Knowing what the poor guy has gone through in the last two console installments, it will be a reckoning.

Super Mario Galaxy 2 - Release Date: TBA 2010 (Nintendo Wii)

Super Mario Galaxy 2is the upcoming sequel to Super Mario Galaxy, which is widely considered the definitive game for the Nintendo Wii, and perhaps, the definitive Mario game of this generation. The gameplay is a lot like the original, focused on platforming on diverse 3D planets.

The play games will be more challenging as well. Mario can ride Yoshi (using his tongue to swing across large gaps), and he can use special powerups like the Bee Suit. The Launch Star will also make a return, for planetary navigation, as well as Bowser Jr.'s airship.

Super Mario Galaxy 2 will have 90% of new galaxies, is very far along development, and has been stated to be more challenging than the original. Little else is known about the game but knowing Nintendo's track record, this sequel will most likely be a winner.