Every year, video games keep getting better as game developers learn the ways of the industry, seeing what works and what doesn’t. In terms of raw power, the PlayStation 3 is the most powerful video game console, but games continue to be released on it that offer a next-generation experience in their own ways. 2009 for PS3 games is all about offering a cinematic presentation, but that’s not to say games won’t also be judged for their styles of gameplay, story and replay value. Many franchises are making a return with their first installments on the PS3 console.

Here are the top 5 upcoming PS3 games of 2009.

Bioshock 2: Sea of Dreams – Release Date: Q4 2009

Bioshock won critical acclaim for its ability to masterfully blend a cinematic first-person shooter experience with an engaging story. Playing like an RPG, the premise of the game was giving the player many ways to impact the surrounding environment. In addition to stealth and turning robotic probes against your enemies, you can use special powers gained from using plasmids to wreak havoc on anything you don’t like.

An example of Bioshock’s combat? You can set a swarm of stinging bees on an enemy splicer and wait for him to run into a pool of water to get them off. Then you can unleash an electrical storm on him for bonus damage while he’s wet. Or you can just set him on fire instead to make him run into the water; you’ll be surprised of what you can think of on the spot. Another strategy is to set an enemy on fire and launch a heat-seeking missile at him. Physics takes care of the rest.

Bioshock 2

The amount of different ways you can kill depends on your imagination and your personal choices, namely good and evil. And these choices you make when you come across the Big Daddies and Little Sisters will influence the direction of the story, including the very end.

Now Bioshock 2: Sea of Dreams is upcoming for PS3 (and also on PC and Xbox 360) and the hype is in the air. Can it fulfill the expectations of being a sequel for a Game of the Year nominated shooter by IGN? Bioshock 2 will be released late in 2009 and its official website has the latest details on the story and gameplay features. You can watch the official trailer for Bioshock 2 at GameSpot.com.

And if that’s not enough pressure, the franchise has become a trilogy, with Bioshock 3 being announced as well, most likely to coincide with the live action Bioshock film release (directed by Gore Verbinski).

God of War III – Release Date: Q4 2009

The God of War franchise made the PlayStation 2 even better than it already was, with an epic action-packed adventure that combined many elements of Greek mythology to form an excellent story. The game raised the bar for action video games and gave a whole new meaning to running around in massive dynamic environments hacking mythological monsters to bloody pieces. Kratos became an action anti-hero, leading the first God of War to be named as the greatest PS2 game of all time by IGN.

God of War III is slated for release for late 2009, exclusively on the PS3, and will continue the story where Kratos left off at the end of God of War II. There is more on the line this time as you have to lead the Titans against Mount Olympus itself. The game will run at 1080p HD resolution and boasts a script of 120 pages. The gameplay will be better now with the power of the PlayStation 3, with more monsters on the screen simultaneously, seamless rendered environments, and a more robust combat system. A new God of War movie is also slated as a project, to be directed by Brett Rattner.

Tekken 6 – Release Date: Q3 2009

Tekken is one of the most popular fighting video game franchises and Tekken 6 will take it to the next level, being the first installment of the series on the PlayStation 3 (it will also be available on Xbox 360). It will have the most playable characters in a Tekken game to date (42 total), with many elements of gameplay from the previous games of the series retained. Every frame of animation has been altered, stages will have night and day variants, there will be an online multiplayer mode, and even customizable costumes for characters. The health bar will be larger now that you have the ability to use items against your opponent and the new ‘rage’ combat system.

Like many video games these days, Tekken is being adapted into a movie to be directed by Dwight H. Little.

The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena – Release Date: April 7th, 2009

The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape From Butcher Bay is a sci-fi first-person shooter game based on the movie, Pitch Black, which starred Vin Diesel. However, the critics praised the video game as being much better than the actual movie. Now the sequel, The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena, will bring back Vin Diesel on a new campaign, which will include the campaign of the first game. It will have improved graphics, enemy AI, and a new multiplayer mode. You have to break out of the galaxy’s most deadly prison and you have an arsenal of skills and heightened sensory abilities to help you do it.

The game will also be released on Xbox 360 and PC.

Prototype – Release Date: June 2009

Few sandbox-style action games have an extraordinary concept like Prototype, being developed by Radical Entertainment. You take control of Alex Mercer, with no memory of your past or who you are. With superhuman abilities and shape-shifting (taking on traits of enemies you have ‘consumed’) and 750 unique combinations of powers, you can do quite a lot in game, which is set in the city of New York.

Players will be able to run through the city and overcome obstacles in a parkour-inspired way. You can run at super speeds, jump very far distances, absorb memories, knowledge, and biomass of enemies you defeat, and many other things. There is much expected of this game simply because of the interactive combat gameplay and all the unique ways you can complete a mission objective. Prototype will be released in the summer of 2009, also on Xbox 360 and PC.

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