9 Must Have Games of 2009

Feature: Ones to watch

With 2008 officialy behind us (even though we can still taste last night's sick in the back of our throats) let's get excited about what we're going to be playing this year.

We're fully expecting a multitude of new announcements for the year ahead, but for the time being it's about what we KNOW will be awesome. Let us know what you're looking forward to the most in the comment section.

Resident Evil 5
ETA: March 13
The fifth instalment of this classic horror series will take place in Africa, though the likelihood is you'll be too busy capping motorcycle-riding zombies to fully appreciate the continent's exotic wildlife and culture. After a virus starts mutating people and animals into shambling killers, returning Resident Evil hero Chris Redfield must come to the rescue by uncovering the truth behind the outbreak. He'll be accompanied by Sheva Alomar, an AI-controlled sharpshooting babe in the employ of the African equivalent of S.T.A.R.S., who'll also be a playable character in the campaign's co-op mode. Lush visuals, gruesome zombie deaths, oodles of tense atmosphere and intense firefights all point towards another potential Resi classic. Oh, and did we mention the motorcycle-riding zombies? Genius!

Street Fighter IV
ETA: February 20, 2009
The world's favourite beat 'em up is back with an assortment of old and new faces just waiting to be pummelled into a fleshy pulp. Returning favourites include headband-loving hero Ryu, lightening-legged Chun-Li and Mr. Latex himself, Dhalsim. Newcomers will include a female super-spy called Crimson Viper and lucha libre wrestler El Fuerte. While the visuals will be 3D, the action will take place from the series' traditional 2D perspective, whilst the now standard six button control setup is set to be augmented by a host of new special moves and Focus Attacks (the ability to launch a counter after being hit). February simply can't arrive soon enough.

Halo 3: ODST
ETA: Autumn 2009
While it may be a standalone expansion rather than a full, sparking new episode, Halo 3: Recon still has us more excited than a puppy in a table leg factory. Master Chief takes a back seat as you control The Rookie, an Orbital Drop Shock Trooper who's part of a five man team dropped into New Mombasa during the events of Halo 2. Recon will see you searching for your four comrades and then playing a flashback scenario as each team member once you locate their last known whereabouts. Bungie has stated that stealth and cunning will also play a more prominent role this time around, while multiplayer will feature new maps and full Forge options.

God Of War III
ETA: TBA 2009
Ok, we admit it, details about God of War III are currently more scant than a lap dancer's uniform, but we're still pretty confident that the game will be making an appearance in 2009. What little we do know about God of War III is this: you'll once again control killing machine Kratos in a quest that will ultimately determine why there are no more Greek myths. We're guessing that the battle for domination between the Titans and the gods may well have something to do with it. Just a hunch. We're also banking on some major Sixaxis integration, online multiplayer and the usual lashings of blood, gore and platforming mayhem. Bring it on!

BioShock 2: Sea of Dreams
ETA: Late 2009
Another game we have little information on is this follow-up to 2K's 2007 RPG masterpiece. So far, all we've seen is a cryptic trailer of a girl gripping a toy Big Daddy while staring serenely into the sea on the Atlantic coast, followed by stones erupting from the ground. Ken Levine has spoken up to reveal that he won't be 'substantially involved' in the sequel's development as the game is being created by fledgling studio 2K Marin, so here's hoping the new team can recapture the magic of the original. If it can, then we could well have another classic on our hands.

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