The Preemptive 2009 Game Awards

Look! A Wii game that doesn’t embarrass us! It’s not just the ultra-violence that has us excited – that’s not even our primary interest. We care that it’s a damn GAME (a third-party one, even) and not a Tonka truck with a gyroscope and some sound effects. Not only is does it look cool for a Wii game, it looks cool for any game. It’s just cool, and we want to play “Man Darts.”

Other potential winners:
– Because YEAH!
Fatal Frame 4: Mask of the Lunar Eclipse – Strange that Fatal Frame never really gained the notoriety that games like Resident Evil and Silent Hill did – because they’re great and scary.
The Conduit – A Wii game that looks like a 360 game and has decent online play? Well, good luck.

Guesstimated Award Probability: 92%

It’s like, Resident Evil 5 and stuff. You know it’s going to win.

Other potential winners:
Alan Wake
– Because Remedy has made some kickass games before.

Guesstimated Award Probability: 64%

UPDATE: It seems that the rumors about Jade Raymond's involvement in I am Alivewere recentlydispelled. We were such fools.Also, the game has been delayed a bit - which further adds toits mystery.Anyway, just ignore that big picture of Jade down there.

All we really know about the game is that it takes place in a post-disaster Chicago and stars a guy named Adam. And there’s some problem solving survival stuff. Watch thetrailerif you want -that’s all we have to go on.

Given the low-key publicity, an odd name, and a delightful post-apocalyptic setting (just after Fallout 3 won almost everyone’s 2008 GOTY), it has all the makings of a sleeper hit. Oh hey look!

Above: Disregard this

Other potential winners:
– We keep hearing about Pandemic’s Paris-based Nazi revenge story, getting excited, and promptly forgetting about it. When’s it out again?
Infamous – The open-world superhero sim hasn’t been quite as talked about as the other big ’09 PS3 games, but it may turn out to be the system’s biggest game this year. Keep an eye on it.
That Beatles game/DLC, whatever it is – Harmonix + ??? + The Beatles = profit?

Guesstimated Award Probability: 83%

If it’s as good as the first one, BioShock 2: Sea of Dreams will be hard to top. Unless there’s a surprise Portal 2 announcement, or a sudden Diablo III or Final Fantasy XIII release date change, we’re pretty confident in our choice. Granted, we don’t know much about the teased sequel, but do we really need to? It’s BioShock.

Other potential winners:
Resident Evil 5
– RE4 took just about every GOTY the year it was released – could we see a repeat?
Mass Effect 2 – If the combat is perfected, the bugs are worked out, and the dialog system is refined to a point, it could rival the other GOTY contenders (if it’s even released this year).

Publishers: Here’s our snazzy Preemptive Award for your cover art. We suggest you place it over the ESRB rating, or directly in the center of the box. Just go ahead and save it now so you don’t forget.

Associate Editor, Digital at PC Gamer