PC gaming - will it finally die in 2010? No. C'mon, stop already with that. Sure, 2009 had its ups and downs, PC gaming is very much alive and maybe looking healthier than ever in 2010.
Blizzard will, we hope, stick to its early 2010 release date for StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty, the first entry in the planned real-time strategy trilogy. And the publisher developer is threatening to release two titles next year, including the third World of Warcraft expansion, Cataclysm.
But 2010 cannot survive on Blizzard alone. Blizzard and Valve? Maybe, but beyond more Left 4 Dead 2 and Team Fortress 2 content, we're not sure what to expect. Episode III? Let's not set ourselves up for disappointment.
Thankfully, there are many strong contenders due in the following year, including highly anticipated MMOs like Star Wars: The Old Republic, DC Universe Online, Star Trek Online and APB, to name but a few. So let's take a look at what's will be pushing PCs to their limits in 2010, starting right now.
StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty
World of Warcraft: Cataclysm
APB: All Points Bulletin
Command & Conquer 4: Tiberian Twilight
Star Wars: The Old Republic
DC Universe Online
Natural Selection II
Kingdom Under Fire II
Silent Hunter V
S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat
Star Trek Online
Tiger Woods PGA Tour Online
Alan Wake Max Payne developers Remedy give PC gamers a flashlight-heavy dose of literary horror, sending the titular Alan Wake to the Pacific Northwest to confront his writers block, only to find himself in a nightmare of his own creation. It's gonna be scary!
Splinter Cell Conviction Sam Fisher is back and looking less haggard than originally planned. Expect Splinter Cell-style stealth gameplay, with a few new innovations, including more cooperative and competitive multiplayer.
Mass Effect 2 BioWare's epic space saga continues, now with better shooting mechanics on top of the already intriguing intergalactic soap opera.
Battlefield: Bad Company 2 Another shooter bound for the PS3 is Battlefield: Bad Company 2, which will fight MAG for big, bombastic multiplayer FPS for the year.
BioShock 2 Be the Big Daddy in 2K Games' sequel to the mega hit BioShock. The prequel adds multiplayer, if you consider that a positive or negative.
Dark Void Capcom's oft-delayed jetpack hero adventure may have a hard time standing out in a crowded early 2010, but the third person shooting, climbing, flying and UFO hijacking sounds like a good combination.
Dead Rising 2 Zombies require killing in Fortune City and you're just the right guy to do it. Kill 'em again with motorcycles, roulette wheels or moose antlers. Your choice.
Dead Space 2 Visceral Games follows up on the excellent Dead Space (and very good Dead Space Extraction) with a new Necromorph dismembering adventure for old Isaac Clarke. Rocket boots? Yes, please.
Lost Planet 2 Get up in them giant bug guts with the sequel to interplanetary adventure shooter Lost Planet. Everything's bigger!
Medal of Honor EA reboots Medal of Honor, taking the series from World War II theatres and into the modern age. Could have more beards than any other first-person shooter released next year.
Mafia II Shoot things '40s style with Mafia II, another game that should've been released in 2009, but will settle for a 2010 release nonetheless.
Max Payne 3 Max is back and far less attractive to women. The paunchier, less follicled Payne is drawn back into the dive and shoot at things world he tried to leave behind him. Expect this one late in 2010.
Aliens Vs Predator Aliens and Predators settle their differences in this, the first Sega game that will actually take advantage of the Aliens licence. Rebellion is at the helm again, which can only mean good things.
Fallout: New Vegas Crap, they got Vegas too? We don't know too much about Bethesda's follow up to Fallout 3, only that gambling and mutant showgirls are likely to be involved.
Alpha Protocol The espionage RPG!
Brink Splash Damage's squad based and class based tactical shooter is brighter and more promising than most, featuring a unique movement method dubbed SMART.
Singularity Raven's time-travelling first-person shooter was moved out of Modern Warfare 2's way, but now lands directly in the middle of 2010's busy first half. Perhaps that time glove will find it a better spot to find an audience...
R.U.S.E. Real-time strategy? On my video game console? From Ubisoft? Yes, at least based on our hands-on time with the game, which seems to work quite well.
Darksiders Be the Apocalypse as one of four horsemen in this gritty action adventure game from THQ.