FGotY 2009 [PC]

With the portable games behind us, here’s our list for the Fun PC Game of the Year for 2009.

Nat – I never thought I would say this again but I am in love with PC gaming. Another hallmark year with titles such as Dawn of War II, Demigod, Plants vs. Zombies, Empire: Total War, and Torchlight. Valve should be commended for the strides they’ve made in my personal PC gaming renaissance. I don’t like ties, so I need to pick a winner based on hours alone. Borderlands—even with all it’s console conventions, nit-picky faults, and connection difficulty for a co-op title—is my Fun Game of the Year. At fifty hours and counting it fed the loot whoring monster inside me. Torchlight comes in second. A close second. We’re talking a Michael Phelps victory for Borderlands.

Brock – I’ve only recently gotten back into PC gaming to any real extent but I’ll have to give Plants Vs. Zombies my pick for the most fun I’ve had with a PC game this year. I’ve played through it on two different systems, worked through it again with my son and haven’t even scratched the surface of what is available in the bonus/zen garden modes. I’d also give a huge nod to my runner-up, Machinarium, which is a fantastic point-and-click adventure game that oozes charm.

James – I actually only played the game I chose for a short while but I think it deserves to be listed here. Killing Floor is a FPS horror game. Playing this game was reminiscent of Left 4 Dead in the way you needed the help of your teammates and how much fun it was. I only played it for three days but I am considering picking this up, especially because you can get it cheap on Steam. I never thought I would be able to get along without a cross hair to shoot with, but it works!

Will – I’ve always dabbled in PC games, but I have never had a rig capable of running modern games the way they were meant to be played. This means that the majority of my PC collection is made up of older titles (just look at my list of Steam games to see what I mean). Thanks to Steam, I bought Dawn of War II, GTA IV, Borderlands and Torchlight; all of which are up for my FGotY 2009 [PC] award. I gave it to Torchlight because of the loot monger in me (the one that makes me love Borderlands so much). I haven’t put many hours into it yet, but I feel the hopeless addiction setting in. I was initially turned off by the lack of online play, but I got over myself and bought it and am now loving it. Part of me wants to buy a netbook just to see how it runs on one, and to be able to bring the loot hunting with me everywhere I go.

Tony – I, too, am having renewed interest in PC gaming, strictly on the strength of Steam. I wish it had entered in my life earlier, but it came just in time this year. I didn’t play a lot of games, but I’m also picking Torchlight as my FGotY for the PC over Plants vs. Zombies. Not only did Torchlight scratch the loot itch, it also eased me in to using Steam and getting back into the groove of using the tried-and-true keyboard/mouse combo. I still prefer the 360 controller to my mouse and keyboard, but it’s been nice to get to know an old friend.

The Last Stand? Yes, Please.

The Last Stand update for Dawn of War II was released yesterday…and it is a breath of fresh air. After three hours of play, I claim it to be gaming goodness. FREE gaming goodness. Let me know if you have the game in the comments and we can survive a few rounds. Relic has really taken this game to a new level. Mixing Call of Duty with DoW II was an excellent idea. It’s a shame some people missed this, but Steam was selling the game half-off yesterday Holy frick. I just checked. They’ve extended it until Monday. $20 (TWENTY!) for this amazing game.

Dawn of War II on ‘Da Cheap

So far, Dawn of War II is my PC Game of the Year. You can enjoy it this weekend for $25 from Steam (I should be getting paid by Valve.) The Company of Heroes games are discounted too.

PC Gaming Deals…and Then Some

I have come across some great PC games lately (expect some reviews soon) and I want to pass along where I either purchased them or where I’ve found them discounted.  They’re not super cheap, so don’t get your hopes up, but I do initially recommend all three.

I’d be willing to play any of the titles with anyone who has them. Co-op is a blast in all three.

Dawn of War II

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When it comes to RTS games, Relic is the pretty boy on the block right now. This game oozes atmosphere and style.

Demigod

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Just released this week, it’s my new PC passion. Think of it as chess meets an RTS meets an RPG meets huge lumbering beast and you get this gem.

BattleForge

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I’d also recommend BattleForge, but it’s not being discounted right now. I’m not a big fan of collectable card games or micro transactions.  However, this game comes with $30 in credit on top of the initial decks of cards you get. Essentially, you don’t need to pay extra to play—and play well. Take a CCG and marry it to an RTS and you get this game. It has 2, 4, and 12-player co-op.

Buttonmashing is getting nothing out of this other than, hopefully, people I know would want to play online.

My First Ten Minutes For the Emperor!

I consider Dawn of War and its extensions (not expansions) to be the best RTS I’ve ever played. It was actually the first game I ever reviewed online (which sadly no longer exists). I have not been following all the hoopla over the sequel—probably because I’m on a kick of not spending premium dollars on games for a while. Today, I found myself surprised by this:

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Yes, that’s a Dawn of War II icon in my gammercard. It’s my first experience using a Games for Windows Live game (which I was amazed at how well it worked). Anyway, the first ten minutes.

Before I begin, I want to state that I believe Relic should be lumped in the same group of developer extraordinaire as Valve, Blizzard, and Stardock. Just about everything that Relic has made has been golden.

Dawn of War II exudes polish and atmosphere. I’ve read a few Warhammer books in my time, and I’m somewhat familiar with the universe (although I’ve never played a table-top version of the game it’s all based on). However, the game is exactly how I’ve always imagined it would be.

Relic has taken the original Dawn of War formula and streamlined it. I was expecting a resource management type of RTS, and I was welcomed with a squad-based game. You play as a hero character that (so far) is pretty much invincible and the commander of the squads you acquire. Basically, they took all the fun of the first game and ramped it up. In the three missions I’ve played I’ve not been frustrated once like I was with the first at certain points in the game (I felt that upgrading the units in-game was a pain).

Some RPG elements add a nice touch. Your main character and the squad leaders gather experience while weapons, skills, and armor can be upgraded. There also appears to be an attribute tree that adds stronger skillsets to your characters.

Graphically, the game is stunning. I spent a few minutes just looking and exploring all the menus. It took some time to realize I wasn’t reading what was on the screen. I was too busy looking at the eye candy. It’s also appears that each and every unit has it’s own unique type of animation motions. I know that this is based upon some excellent scripting and coding, but this small touch adds a sense of individual realism.It actually appears that each character is acting on their own and not just following their units particular script.

I’ll definitely be putting some more time into this title (which I got on Steam). If this keeps up, I may have an early contender for my PC Game of the Year.