5 years, 5 ‘best of’ games of those years chosen by me, 4 upcoming games that I jolly well hope to enjoy, 3 original SONY Computer Entertainment series yet to bounce back onto PS3 that should, 2 games PlayStation 3 sorely missed out on, and 1 inappropriately long title/ 1 wish for PS3
So… as the PS3 carries on its lifecycle throughout the UK, EU and across the world, there have certainly been some highlights, there have also been quite a few low points, yes, I’m looking at you Killzone 2, trophies and the online multiplayer takeover , but overall, I have been satisfied with my little black beauty. So, here is a little countdown of games, that has been tickled my own personal fancies. Plus some extra things thrown in to give the title more meaning, and for this to not just be “Hey guiz, here’s some games you’ve all played and don’t really care about any more lol, let me just tell you all about them, even though you already know everything” *So essentially, don’t be looking here for a grand review on each game*
Resistance: Fall Of Man
Launch titles, always a big thing, they need to showcase the best of the graphics available, they need to open with lots of action, they need to be gripping, they need to absolutely knock your socks off. And yeah, ok, Resistance: Fall Of Man wasn’t BESTALLTIME! It was certainly the start the PS3 was looking for with shooty bang bang games.
- Visually, it was stunning. I’m not one these people that are “pro-graphics”, or “anti-graphics” but I do feel that a game needs specific graphics quality based on what it’s trying to achieve. And Resistance’s was spot on. When this came out, it was stunning, nothing I had played looked like this before. It had a strange mixture of sexy colours, with a dirty wash over the top, and it blended so well with the action that was to follow.
- Gameplay, in general was the whole go from A-B and kill the humans with sharp teeth and state buildings on their backs. But it was done so well. Generally, I buy a shooter to kill things, and satisfy that craving, and Resistance brought me this on a whole new level. It had flerpyderp physics, it had a wonderful assortment of weapons, it had a jolly awesome difficulty and its fun to play through more than once.
- Online multiplayer isn’t usually something I can relate to, but with some friends, just a simple 3v3 this game was unbelievable fun. We would spend hours ‘role-playing’ on the church roof… albeit, not quite as sexual as that first sounds. But just throwing grenades at each other, and watching our bodies ragdoll over the roofs of distant buildings will always be something to beat for my first time on a video games console.
The Orange Box
You know…. 3 games for the price of 1… … yeah… it had a few issues, but I can’t really complain considering Half Life was still awesome, Team Fortress 2, turned out to be awesome, and Portal, was as awesome as I hoped. Ever since I first saw a Portal video on some kind of disc with a PlayStation magazine, I had a feeling it was going to be rather awesome. This was the last choice for 2007’s top 5, narrowly beating Motorstorm… but, with Motorstorm lacking a offline wreakreation mode, and The Orange Box having triple the fun, I had to include it.
- Half Life 2 was still the crowbar mashing game you wanted it to be. It still had that story, it still had those monsters, it still had Gordon Freeman.
- Team Fortress 2 whilst this didn’t see as much play as the others (it sees a considerable amount on Steam however) I appreciated the mechanics and visual style of it quite a lot.
- Portal as most of you know was genuinely the highlight of the package, and don’t get me wrong, I loved it, thought it was jolly good fun, but maybe because I’m slightly pathetic when it comes to puzzle games, I preferred Half Life 2 overall.
Uncharted: Drakes Fortune
I didn’t actually get Uncharted till 2009, purely because, I’m not a fan of Lara Croft, or ‘that’ kind of adventure/action kind of gameplay. However, I can easily put my hand on my heart and say I was wrong. Boy had I missed out… I really do try my best to be a hipster and buck the trend, but, I just couldn’t play Uncharted and not enjoy myself. Even when I got it almost 2 years after it was released, I was still astounded with its graphics and story, and I will stick by the Uncharted series for years to come… … (even if Uncharted 3, was… under par)
- Visually (again I know) It was ground-breaking as far as I was concerned. The landscape was just beautiful, Drakes hair was so… soft, I could get him all wet… and… you kind of get the idea.
- Story is usually the make or break of this type of game, and it certainly delivered here. I’ll be honest, I laughed at the bad comic timing and jokes throughout, I found the relationship between the characters to be amazing for a video game, and I thought the whole treasure hunter thing was brilliantly done, partly due to not really playing a Lara Croft game, and kind of enjoying the Indiana Jones films, so I didn’t really have the whole “OH JEEZ IT’S A INDIANA JONES/LARA CROFT RIP OFF!”
- Gameplay was just so… well done. The game was the perfect length, the way the game flowed from area to area, the infamous ‘fight scenes’ and of course, the flerpyderp physics meant I could make Drake jump on grenades all day long and watch his carcass bounce down the cliffs for a quick rofl session.
And here we go, a game that was apparently, poo. However, I truly loved it. The cutscenes in it… were beautiful, the unfitting, rather scary music during the title screens opening movie, and the general game itself were just raw fun as far as I was aware. A real gem lost amongst the heavy hitters, with a neat gimmick, and lots of graphic content.
- Gimmicks are always fun to have, and Timeshifts… timeshift ability was one of the more common choices for gimmicks now a days, however, whilst most kind of ruin the pure gameplay elements with them, I really felt Timeshift did an amazing job with it, and kept things fresh, whilst not alienating the basic mechanics of the game.
- Blood. Oh, yes… I do like it when games put an unnecessary amount of gore into a video game. Nothing gets me going more than watching some poor souls disembowelled ribcage fly across the screen in slow motion.
- Multiplayer (again, again I know) but… for the short space of time it was possible to actually get a game, I had more fun than I had done previously on anything else that year. The way that the blood, and gimmick had been integrated with some wonderful map designs really brought a mad run and gun strategy to what could have been a boring cover based shooter.
I love horror games, I love an abundant amount of gore and I love… scary little girls? … F.E.A.R brought all these things together in one neat little package, with Creepy Joes behind corners, the start to an awesome story, brilliantly worked AI, plus some cannibalism and epic firepower. Add some memorable chapters, awesome multiplayer, and some strange form of mini-game and you have quite an awesome start, to an awesome series.
- Story is always a main ‘thing’ for horror games, and always have been, and with F.E.A.R came another chapter in horror games that have done it right. Ever since I first watched The Grudge, small children, and black hair down the front of someone’s face have terrified me, so mixing up this concoction along with some other groovy characters and you have a backstory that really builds throughout.
- Bone-a-liser is a top, top weapon… or “Armacham Type-7 Particle Weapon” for those of you who want to find a video of said gun. But, when hiding behind cover doesn’t quite do it for you, grab this bad boy and just incinerate the flesh off everything in your path then teabag their skeletons for as long as you want… because you know… it’s not like they have “any-body to play with”
- Blood… again, with the john woo violence (John Woos Stranglehold actually almost made the list) But F.E.A.R combined more unnecessary amounts of gore and exploding people against a wonderful soundtrack and it made for a very pleasant game experience. (especially when the AI were using the superior game engine to hide for 15 hours before shedding them full of bullets)
Unreal Tournament 3
A timed exclusive, that still looks, and plays better than the majority of games out now. The Unreal series has always been one of my favourites, and this release was my first try on a console. And boy was I impressed. I was one of the few that genuinely liked the story, the cutscenes looked brilliant, as did the rest of the game. There was so… many… options/maps and this that and the other upon release before the release of the FREE Titan Map Pack which gave us 2 new modes, and 16 new maps, plus split screen and a new power-up, vehicles, characters, you know, the usual brilliant things Epic gives us.
- Death Feigning is… just… beautiful. I have most probably spent more time falling off buildings and jumping off of high speed hover boards to watch my created character awkwardly bounce off everything, which bring me to my next two points
- Flerpyderp physics is very prevalent in Epic games, and in Unreal Tournament 3, the inclusion of large maps and multiple ways to get places, it gives jumping about and dying in mid-air a whole new level of fun. Running up to a box and feigning to flip over it in the midst of a capture the flag bonanza is always, always good for lifting the mood of your fellow comrades.
- Hover boards… … It’s freaking hover boards.
Condemned 2: Bloodshot
I just got this game on the off chance it might be scary, it kind of was, so I was kind of happy. However, the very second I stepped onto the online multiplayer, everything I originally thought was scary fun, just went out the window, this… this game, did it… to near perfection… and I was jolly good at it, a game, I was actually good at, that I could showcase to the world. … Albeit, when I did get it, there was hardly anyone online, so that might explain why… but regardless, it was so … so fun.
- Multiplayer was a blast, as you just read. But, one specific moment… walking through a house, 1v1, trying to find this guy… I nervously open a cupboard, and there, breathing into my face holding a fire axe was the beast I had been searching for… I cannot begin to describe the outburst of tears of fear and laughter I let out that evening.
- Combat in Condemned 2, was sublime. (OK, it wasn’t as fun as Alone In The Dark Inferno’s… but still) I hadn’t played a game that focused on melee combat in this style… since… ever, and it worked brilliantly, especially the environmental kills, ah… it takes me back.
- … … Blood? … … Nah, the atmosphere. The game, whilst certainly scary… just had an atmosphere around it I loved. It was just so dark, and gave a pure sensation of “Did something just move over there?” And quite frankly, Monolith need to hurry up and make the third instalment as everything they seem to touch is just brilliant.
And no… I’m not joking. Yes, FarCry 2, Bioshock, GRID, Fallout 3, Dead Space, Saint Row 2, LittleBigPlanet, Mirrors Edge, Resistance 2, Battlefied Bad Company, Legendary and Dark Sector were all very strong contenders, and were all… much… much better games, none of them provided what I generally look for in a video game as much as Haze did, and still does today… and that’s pure, benign, stupid fun.
- Multiplayer as you’d expect Free Radical did this right, offline bot support, online bot support, full co-op and some free DLC. What the game… clearly lacked in visual representation, the longevity of it will last… so… so much more than it’s bigger brothers due to frankly, some awesome map designs and AI funziez.
- Gimmick I know most… or… probably everyone else hated the whole nectar thing, expecially as you only had it for half the story, but I actually loved the way it worked, for both teams, and of course the planting of mines… they were additions that originally looked like they would hold the key for multiplayer, but in the end, just provided being one other thing that would be extremely fun to muck about with.
- Story co-op… this kind of ties in with the multiplayer aspect, and I apologise, but HAZE was so bad it’s hard to find any good bits… but that’s what makes the game wonderful, it’s just… so bad. But, onto the co-op aspect, the game worked brilliantly with it. Being able to play through the confusing story, listen to the terrible dialogue, and watch the buildings glitch away with friends will always be a highlight of my PS3 days.
Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns Of The Patriots
Best game this generation. Fact. And I’ll tell you why… because it made me cry… twice, it had… the best online multiplayer, I have ever played… ever, and I freaking rocked my socks off at it, and the game looked, played, sounded, amazing… … … and it you could hide in cardboard boxes.
- Story is always the number one thing you think of with a Metal Gear Solid game, and as cliché as it all was, I was… astounded when I got it. I was emotionally attached to characters, I could watch the cutscenes all day, and still, after all the hours I’ve spent on it sneaking around in boxes and rolling around in barrels, I am still far from completing it 100%
- Multiplayer was… huge on this. The essentially separate game altogether Metal Gear Online was… amazing. There is only 1 game this generation I have spent more time playing overall, but Metal Gear Online was my first true love. Every day, till the early hours of the morning I’d be playing Rescue. I knocked myself up to 6th on the leaderboards, I had bought every item from the store, I had laid down thousands of gentleman’s magazines and I had carried millions of ducks to safety. I will never be able to find another online game of this magnitude…ever… again.
- Visuals were the bomb. From the very start watching Snake smoke for a few hours whilst it installed just chapter 1. To the breaking of some eggs in a frying pan, to blending into the floor and stabbing unsuspecting soldiers in the privates, everything about this game looked astonishing. And Meryl… in that dress… … oooomph.
Motorstorm: Pacific Rift
And here is the game I have spent more time playing than Metal Gear Solid… yey! Why? Because the wreakreation mode was utter brilliance. I mean, it was no Toca Race Driver 3 free play, but for this generation of games I have accepted that offline support is non-existent anymore, and Pacific Rift, really taught me just how amazing a game can be, with the simple inclusion of local multiplayer and customisable bot support.
- Local multiplayer is key to this game success. Yes, the online multiplayer was jolly good fun, but in terms of general playtime, it had nothing on Pacific Rifts offline wreckreation. The amount of times my big rig has got stuck under the infamous barn doors on Sugar Rush is stupidly high, the amount of times my ATV has accidentally slid off the safe path on Colossus Canyon is remarkable, and the amount of times I have crushed the hope of friends in my Monster Truck barrelling across that last run on Paradise Beach… oh… I have been sworn at a lot.
- Damage in a racing game is a must. Gran Turismo, this is why you will never be accepted into my “Reasons to purchase a PlayStation console.” … but not only was the general damage of Pacific Rift amazing, the physics that followed in both vehicle and rider were awesome. It was a strange sensation of realism and pure archaic fun.
- Opening cutscene … oh….just yes. Just that man’s voice saying “Welcome to Motorstorm” against the beat of Phat Planet will always make me more aroused than any woman can.
F.E.A.R 2: Project Origin
Yeah… I know… but… how do you improve on F.E.A.R? … You… make the game again, with less scares, more gunplay, better multiplayer and an naked Alma you don’t feel too bad about stalking obviously. I’m still torn between if the game is better than the original or not. In some ways it is, in some ways it isn’t, but I’ll give it the benefit of the doubt because I never completed the originals story 3 times with this I did, and spent considerable more time on the multiplayer (although still sucked badly at it)
- Blood, I’ll just start with it right now. More fun disintegrating people, more fun pinning them to walls, more fun brutally sliding across the floor kicking them, then throwing a grenade at their pals, walking away to a backdrop of explosions and death that only a 18+ Power Ranger could pull off.
- Story was once again pulled off to an exquisite degree here. And frankly I enjoyed it throughout. There were moments in the school I was a bit of a pansy, then there were moments in the big ol’ industrial complex I was kicking toosh left right and centre… but sticking it all together with that final moment in the game, really worked for me.
- Multiplayer… or more importantly the free DLC maps for the multiplayer. Because the pinball machine, and the sandbox… are utter genius in level design, and the amount of times I’ve played online in what was already a rather low populated game, no one was playing these maps… I would have to set a room up specifically to play them, and even then hardly anyone who joined had them. So this is more of an announcement, if you still play this game online (which you should, it’s amazing) download the free DLC, playing failsafe on them, is unbelievable fun.
Red Faction: Guerrilla
This was without a doubt the surprise of the year for me. I hadn’t ever previously played a red Faction game, and honestly, I had no intention of even hearing about the series, then one day, I inherited this game off a friend… and by jove was I astounded. As far as games go… for pure fun, it’ll be hard to best Red Faction: Guerrilla.
- Destruction was an obvious choice as to why it’s damn amazing. The destruction mechanic was sublime, and opened up a whole new level of gameplay and strategy, whilst sometimes it felt a bit off, or broken, that only ever added to the hilarity and all good feeling factor of knocking down a bridge with some questionable driving.
- Combat was one of the standout points of the game. The way the guns felt and worked, the mixture of weapons, and of course the incredibly overpowered sledgehammer. The fun I would have just running about and knocking civilians off of cliffs only to attract the EDF, and go ahead and knock them off cliffs was incredibly insane
- Multiplayer … I’m starting to doubt my hatred with online multiplayer… but Guerrillas was so well made. Again, the only real problem came with the people you played with, people that would happily run about just destroying everything for XP… but the real joy was held in picking up a rhino backpack, hiding behind a wall, then charging at someone and killing them with an ostrich as their body flew happily across Mars.
Supersonic Acrobatic Rocket Powered Battle Cars
Yes, a PSN game made it into the best of 2009. The year wasn’t the best in the PS3s lifetime, but this game isn’t here because I struggled to find others, it’s here, because the game is amazing. I first saw this on the same disc I saw Portal, and I am so glad both games came out as epic as I expected. Supersonic Yadda Yadda Cars just somehow blended cars and football, two very masculine things, into one over extravagant package that resulted in days of happy fun times.
- Multiplayer both online and offline was wonderful. Online tended to lag a bit, but more often than not that only helped everyone enjoy the game as lagfests make car football so much more exciting, but offline, knocking it about with some friends, pushing them over just before they make the shot, always entertaining.
- Free DLC … Well… 2 updates/patches which added 2 new levels… both of which soon became my favourites in the game, so I applaud you Psyonix, now, tell SONY to buck their ideas up and release Supersonic Rubber Duck Simulator Monkey Trucks 2 already.
- Theme song. This is all that needs to be said, for a game to be successful, it needs to draw you in from the start and what better way than to have the. Best. Theme. Song. Ever open up on the XMB? For those of you not aware… : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ySFWsvOA0KI
Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
Ah yes, carrying on from where the first game left me wanting more. I didn’t think it would be this easy to just… love a game series straight away like I did with Uncharted, but by no means was it just a fanboy following. Uncharted 2 pretty much built on everything that made the original such a fantastic game, and I had my doubts when I heard it will be getting multiplayer, but they kept the single player aspect brilliant, and added a multiplayer component that was also awesome fun.
- Visuals again were the standout point here, from the snow kicking up at the start of the game, to Chloe’s toosh throughout, and of course, Nate’s hair that was still holding its own on the sexiest things to ever appear in video games. It was a small step up from the original in terms of overall quality, but a step up from Uncharted is still an amazing achievement.
- Story again, was on top form throughout. More awesome relationships between characters, more dialogue that just suited everything I’d want, and more plain amazing gameplay that tied everything together.
- Multiplayer is something I almost didn’t include, but, in the short space of time I actually played it, it was amazing fun. Almost every decision they took in the development of it was the right one, and looking back through machinima that was taken during it, or just reliving those co-op moments is something everyone should be able to enjoy.
Well, what can I say… I’m a sucker for over the top action and co-op, and what better game is there than Borderlands? I originally got this purely for the co-op factor with friends, and along with split screen co-op… it saw a lot of playtime. It was just, a pure fun game, something that has been missing for quite some time.
- Blood … is again, great. The pure brutality of the game, and just the way everything explodes creates a game that can be easily picked up and played no matter what mood you’re in. And it’s visual style strangely blends in well with the entrails and slivers of your enemies flinging across the screen
- Co-op both online and offline made the game what it was, it was still, incredibly fun single player, don’t get me wrong, but the nature of the game as a medium of pure entertainment is best shared with other people
- Story … it’s not the obvious choice for Borderlands, it’s usually the guns, or the graphics, but I personally enjoyed the story, it kind of didn’t make sense, in such a way, you were just led into believing it, the game sucked you in so much with its pace and quests you didn’t question the rather insane things it had you to do.
Let me start off by saying this was perhaps the hardest year to choose 5 games, as frankly, this is the worst year for PS3 in terms of general stand out amazing games for my tastes. But onto MAG, or Massive Action Game for those who like big and bad titles. Whilst I haven’t played the game as much as I’d like, when I do occasionally pick it up, there are still a good few playing it, but this was also one of the reasons I had to make a very tough decision choosing this, plainly because, once the online dries up… the game is no more than a dust collector. But when in a full 256 player game, playing tactically with likeminded people across the whole map on Domination, platoons clashing and people raging, it is a thrill to behold.
- Multiplayer with 256 players is just amazing. There is no latency issues, and as long as you aren’t in a game with 75% fliddy nobrains then you can genuinely have one very intense battle scenario on your hands
- SVER is just an amazing race/clan/group/thing. Everyone knows the concept of them, and as a ‘race’ they are just what everyone genuinely dreams of. Almost, a rogue sand people with sniper rifles… essentially, Tuskens. ..and Tuskens are cool
- £3.99… Generally because I can’t think of another reason for it being here, it was just dirt cheap within a few months of release and I nabbed it for under a fiver. Sorry if you were expecting 3 general reasons, but 2010 kind of sucked.
Out of nowhere this game was put into my PS3 and it was an instant hit. From the start that dodgy cutscene intro had me hooked, and then the game only progressed to be something that shone above it’s bigger brothers, the TMD worked wonderfully, online was beautifully crafted, and I genuinely enjoyed pretty much every part of the game.
- TMD was a wonderful gimmick to include, and whilst I feel there could have been so much more done with it, what was done added a whole new level to the shooter that was already firmly planted on the ground. A tad of puzzle solving, a few enemy melts and going mad with the chalkboards practically sum up all you could do with the TMD, but it was still jolly good fun.
- Multiplayer, again, I know, I know, but this was something I hadn’t enjoyed like I had for quite some time. The mutant team was so well balanced in the right hands, and the extermination game mode was so perfectly crafted the whole experience when playing with the right people was unrivalled all year.
- Story was a shock here as well, it will never win an award, but I felt the story itself worked very well, and did the job of putting me in the game, there was a good sense of immersion, and it hopped around without losing the plot, or track of where it was before.
Just Cause 2
The first was, only slightly enjoyable, however Just Cause 2 really opened up, in almost every way and made an overall sandbox game that was a joy to play for hours. There was always something to have fun with throughout the island, and getting there was generally half of the fun.
- Visually the game had a lovely art touch. Especially when taking a birds eye view of the whole landscape, falling through the clouds into the sea, and just witnessing some beautiful natural architecture in free fall before plummeting through the glistening ocean is something everyone should be able to enjoy.
- Longevity is something lots of games miss out on lately, but I doubt I’ll ever complete Just Cause 2. More than half of my whole game time so far has just been flidding about, throwing people out of cars and watching them ragdoll across the street. I haven’t been playing the game how it’s meant to be played, but that’s the beauty of the game, it gives you the chance to just mess about for as long as you want.
- Grappling Hook… … just, dat grappling hook. It’s one of the sexiest things in recent gaming memory. Having your tuk-tuk flid about uncontrollably after attaching yourself to a plane and letting go mid flight to cascade back down a mountain in a fit of laughter is wonderful.
Lost Planet 2
This again is only carrying on my bad taste in games, and I’ll be honest when I first started playing Lost Planet 2, I too felt it was poor. But, then it grew on me, and soon enough… I was loving every minute of it, until some boss completely overpowered me with the games confusing tendency to throw you into a fight you won’t win if you play games as badly as I do, or if you’re not paying 100% attention to what it is you’re meant to be doing.
- Co-op was really well made. I’ve heard much like every other aspect of this game, it failed to entice the masses, but I thought it worked like a charm, it crossed that borderline between competitive and cooperative, and still maintained a slick campaign progression.
- Arcade gameplay at its heart was also very well done. The levels worked perfectly with the style of the game. It felt like a classic arcade game brought back to life with the score system and the controls. Something fresh in the generic shooter seasons PS3 has lately.
- Customisation in the game was so deep, and whilst the majority of ‘things’ you could unlock were pointless, it was nice to just see that ‘item unlocked’ pop up. More games should follow in Lost Planet 2’s footsteps, at least with the character customisation as it definitely adds to the fun.
Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days
And finally… Kane & Lynch 2… I enjoyed the first game… but the online is where it really shone and with this game… again, it wasn’t for the single player story. (which honestly, would have been slightly more bearable if they didn’t have those camera effects and that pixilation of a slightly deadified head) So it seems a strange game to bring up as my favourite of 2010, but when I compare it to the larger games of 2010, it provided more overall fun than say Red Dead Redemption did, despite its many, many flaws and strange design choices.
- Fragile Alliance is the obvious standout point for Kane & Lynch games, and it was just as fun, if not better than the original. The mode is just so unique, and gives this hugely, strangely satisfying sensation when playing as a ‘good’ guy, or a bad egg.
- Co-op really does save the story mode here… as, it is appalling… well, not so much she actual story itself, just… everything else really. However, playing through something this bad with someone else, makes the experience bearable and a laugh, much like Haze.
- Arcade mode. … This… this is another saving grace. Offline ‘multiplayer’ style gaming is always going to be my number one thing to look for in a game, and Kane & Lynch’s version is just as superb. The AI are surprisingly ok, and the level designs add some wonderful pacing and tactics that you can enjoy without the need to look for a room with other people online.
And again, an F.E.A.R game makes the final grade. Whilst I was very sceptical when it was announced Monolith weren’t developing, and it was being a co-op based game, but within the first few minutes playing it single player, I didn’t really have anything to worry about. I will say, it’s not as good as the first 2, but this is probably down to me not being able to find a real partner to play through it on co-op yet. But it is still a F.E.A.R game at the base, and with something added on top that works, something’s don’t, but the balance is still very much in favour of a jolly fun game.
- Physics, again, is just absurdly fun. With the F.E.A.R series, you can never be assured of genuine scares, or unique gameplay, but AI and flerpyderp physics is something that just will be there, for you to abuse.
- Co-op was surprisingly a very prominent part of this game that worked, and worked really well. Despite me not being able to get a real co-op partner for this, even the randoms I encountered on my travels still gave me some kicks with the mechanics and gameplay seemingly merging perfectly in its two player form.
- Story held up, also surprisingly well this time round. Maybe I’m just biased towards anything F.E.A.R related and it blurred my vision of the story and I just automatically was hooked, and shocked, but regardless, the story was a true enjoyment.
Ah… yes. What can I say. The only true contender to Metal Gear Solids crown as far as I’m concerned is Dead Island. The game has its flaws sure, and there were plenty of opportunities throughout I felt there was a serious lack of scares/zombies/events. But, for pure… fun, good times, giggles and mayhem… there is nothing better. I have said time and time again, this was game of the year the second the trailer was launched, and I know I will still be playing this game at the eventual demise of the PS3.
- Visual representation, as a whole. From the general graphics, to the visual style of the levels, to the smaller things like the blood and gore effects, which are amongst the best I have ever seen in a game, to including the players feet and the cracked glass of the vehicles. Everything in this game, just looks amazing, there is a few time a characters eyes don’t line up very well, and this that and the other, but on the whole, the visual representation of the island, it’s inhabitants and what you can do to them is just extraordinary.
- Gameplay, was at its purest. Kill zombies, kill zombies with other people, kill zombies on your own, kill zombies with a gun, kill zombies with an electric mace, kill zombies with a car, and so on. The gameplay was just so pure, there was no time to not have fun playing Dead Island. Whilst the story itself, also wasn’t all that bad, and whilst single player was uber fun, playing it with other people just added pure hilarity to it, it was the simple mechanics at its heart, along with well worked controls, customisation, graphics, audio and longevity, the game was a winner from the start.
- Trailer, isn’t something most people usually look at when finalising a game, but Dead Islands is the best trailer, for any entertainment medium I have ever seen. This alone made me pre-order the game on every platform, and made me crave the thrill of hitting a zombies head off on the Playstation 3, (seeing as Dead Rising 2 did a terrible job of it). But the music in the trailer will now forever hold a special place in my 8-bit heart.
I feel really bad for not including Resistance 2 in 2008, but that was just such a hotly contested year, and I’ll say here, Resistance 2 would have been my 6th best game that year. However, this is 2011, and Resistance 3 carried on the ability to be a damn awesome series, no matter what sales figures say, this is the strongest PlayStation exclusive series out there, and the third instalment proved so much better than its main competitors for the crown, Uncharted and Motorstorm.
- 3D and Move is where I will start here, and mainly because I’m one of the cynics who thought we’d be better off without both of these gimmicks, however I had the opportunity to play Resistance 3 with Move on a large 3D projector, and I must say, I was blown away. It worked flawlessly, and added so many new dimensions to a game I already thought was darn exciting and fun. So, if you ever have a chance to really play a game like this, I urge you to try Resistance 3, it looks and feels 10X better.
- Gameplay … and especially stuff like the weapon wheel and health bar were something I completely didn’t expect, or even realise how much I missed them. But also the upgrade system. Insomniac did a great job making Resistance 3 truly immersive, and giving players back something from the games roots, as well as new options which only added to an already great series and game.
- Story was something I was completely unsure of before I got the game, and it took about halfway through the game until I realised just how good the story was, even without Hale. It was odd at first, but once I took Capelli under my arms, I found a deep and enjoyable campaign that ended just as well as it started.
I’ll start by saying Rage and the next game were in a small list of games I was genuinely struggling to put in to round of 2011. Resistance 3, F.3.A.R and Dead Island were miles above any other game released in 2011, but these last 2 spots, my lord was it a tough decision, so hearty condolences to some of the other genuinely good games this year. So, I went with RAGE… and, I’ll hate myself for it, so shout outs to Little Big Planet 2 for being, as ‘kind of boring’ as the original, but one or two user created levels being an absolute joy. Two Worlds 2 for being hilariously bad, and War In The North for including blood and stuffs. But Rage, even though, ironically it is one of the most rage inducing games I have played recently, but despite giving myself an aneurysm on multiple occasions, there was still some very fun times with it.
- Art is the obvious place to start for Rage, well, maybe not… the graphics themselves were evidently a standout point, but slow loading textures on the PS3 and many objects looking a bit too shiny kind of spoilt this, but the initial art for the game, rivalled Fallout, and even surpassed it overall in my humble opinion. It was a wasteland built upon the best ideas and art that was from scratch, mesmerising. Don’t get me wrong, the general graphics are still a technical achievement, but I still find games like Unreal Tournament 3 easier on the eye.
- AI is on par with another one of my favourites, F.E.A.R, but there is just something about the way the mutants crawl across the walls, and jump about, that really give off an urgency to unleash some bullets. I will admit, even here I think there could have been some improvement, maybe it was more of the lack of all mutant fights, or the predictable entry points, but something was amiss, however, for those few moments where I was genuinely stunned by a sneak attack, or having them scrape across the floor it bumps the game up a notch.
- ‘Co-op’ is, once again, well made, but if only the whole game was playable in co-op, this aside, Legends Of The Wasteland was still a huge amount of fun. And this, I can’t stress enough, if played with the right people this mode alone is better than most other games released in 2011, especially playing through Mutant Bash TV, that, that level, is super fun single player, but is deserving of an award in itself for pure hilarity in co-op.
Dead Space 2
Dead Space 2 made it in by the scrap of its nose. I’ll still never know which of the two Dead Spaces are better, but in a year with not that many other groovy titles, Dead Space 2 and its multiplayer just shone through. The game carried on with more excessive gore, more genuine scares, more well designed enemies and environments, and packed in one of the most strangely satisfying multiplayer components I have ever witnessed in a game.
- Graphics in general were outstanding… from the atmosphere around the ship, the gore, again was absolutely top notch blood and entrails, and of course the Neccies themselves, everything just looked fantastic… just the way they managed to contain the horror not just in pure scares, but setting the environment and making it look so good, then adding in splashes of blood, lots of splashes of blood was seriously sexy. (Not that I have a ‘thing’ for blood stained undead babies)
- Story was a difficult one for me to judge here. Was it as good as the original is just what I kept asking myself, and it was kind of distracting. The ending wasn’t as good, I’ll say that, and I don’t think making Isaac talk was the best idea either, but still it was a horror story that made more sense than the majority of games trying it, and it still kept me on the edge of my seat with the whole “when will that guy die” approach they kept from the original.
- Multiplayer… yes, yes I know, and I still despise online multiplayer, but Dead Space 2 handled it so well. They had somehow managed to keep the horror theme, and still keep things scary, whilst adding a whole ‘nother level of fun on top of it. I know it’s a bit strange, but it gave me the same thrill that Singularity’s multiplayer did, a purely adrenaline filled super fun single player, that managed to tack on a multiplayer that just wanted to make you play the single player again, but at the same time, you didn’t want to leave the multiplayer because you were controlling the mutants, and making funny noises down the mic.
Metro: Last Light
I know, hate on me if you want, but Metro: 2033 was an absolute top game. But as most people I fear it will lose it’s all important immersive feel it had. The original seriously made you think about things, which was odd as like many who hadn’t heard of it (which was the majority) we thought it was going to be another standard shoot things in dark tunnels game. But it actually turned out to be a run from things in dark tunnels game.
I personally found the voice acting unbearable, but this really only added to the comedic factor games tend to forget about and we as consumers have to go in search of it ourselves. But the game as a whole was an absolute breath of fresh air, and I just hope 4A & THQ make the sequel at least as good as the original and don’t end up doing some shoddy port to our lovely system.
This isn’t one of those “better throw a game in nobodies heard about so I don’t look like Mr. Bandwagon”… but I’m mainly looking forward to Dishonoured because of the development team behind it. However, this hasn’t always gone in favour of me, most recently I had a bad case of Homefront. And with Bethesda publishing, who knows what the end product will be like?
However, as for the game, the plot seems to be one I won’t bother getting into, however, the setting looks and sounds like it could make one beautiful game to play in, and with Arkane Studios working on it, I know it will be built upon some of the best artistic merit out there. And in gameplay, I haven’t played an assassination game I’ve enjoyed so much since Thief, and luckily for me, the lead designer of that game, is working on Dishonoured. … but of course this time, there are gimmicks, and if pulled off correctly, gimmicks make a game.
Bah, I didn’t even want to put this here, FarCry 2 was a game I didn’t particularly enjoy, still haven’t finished it, but I still see myself going back to it every now and then… for some reason? FarCry on the other hand I enjoyed immensely… a few years after its release when I finally had a computer good enough to play it…
However, just, how can you say no to that E3 trailer? I’m a big fan of stories in games, and just by looking at what I’ve seen so far, a lot of work has gone into the voice acting, and that is something I appreciate a lot, however, this could be a bad point and end up losing gameplay, but as long as there is a map editor, pure sexylicious tropical graphics and strongly re-worked AI, I am sure this will be a keeper.
Counter Strike: Global Offensive
Sorry to say this, but I’m one of those gamers that will always say “nah, I never follow the crowd” But I’m sorry, I just can’t pass up how awesome Counter Strike is. I have sunk many, many hours into it and Source, and when I heard there was a version coming to consoles, I wept.
You see, I’m bad at Counter Strike, like, really amazingly bad, but the game just works on so many levels for me as a player that plays games for the enjoyment of gaming rather than a high score on a leaderboard, or a MVP achievement/trophy. But, I do have some conditions if Global Offensive is to be my new “go to” game when I’m in need of that “that was a hard day, I need to take a few peoples virtual lives” feeling I so often get. There needs to be the ability to get mods, Unreal Tournament 3 did it, and Counter Strike is built on player created mods. Also, please, please, for the love of everything video gaming, keep the ability to play with just bots and have everything customisable in that offline/online multiplayer mix-up they do.
3 SCE Originals:
First and foremost, no, Combat Ops doesn’t count. But whilst there is all this speculation going around about E3 this year (one I am still incredibly excited to watch in my underwear eating more Doritos than it’s worth, regardless of last year’s being the worst I have ever seen) Syphon Filter needs to make its glorious full game debut on PS3… soon. With the Tom Clancy series being complete rubbish (they just are boring… fact.) And with no other stealth games looked set to bring the genre back to its golden days, only SONY hold the key with Syphon Filter 4.
The funny thing is, I’ve never really… ‘got’ into the series, I own 1, 2 and 3… as well as The Omega Strain, but have never played any of the later iterations, and from what I remember, I never really thought Syphon Filter was the best stealth games out there, but during late 90s, early 00s there was a few of these games floating about. However, because there hasn’t ‘been’ a stealth game on the PS3 yet (MGS4 doesn’t count, that was a game made by the gods, thus doesn’t have a genre) I just feel there needs to be something I can relate too, and who knows, with PS2 porting now on the store, the later Syphon Filter games may come out and I can finally play them and get back into things for the release of the next Syphon Filter… if it exists, but we all know how bad SCE are at keeping secrets.
Because the Flatout series never looks like it’s going to make it’s all powerful presence felt on the PS3, Destruction Derby needs to make a triumphant comeback. Whilst it has now unfortunately met an early demise after being passed about like *insert sexual reference here* The game still holds its roots as the best racing game on the PS1 (because Gran Turismo is roflbad).
There was something about Destruction Derby 1, 2 and Raw that just held an appeal with me as a child, at the time, I thought there was absolutely no faults with the games, and even looking back now, if it wasn’t for the likes of FlatOut and Crash ‘n’ Burn I’d be having to say they are the best racing games ever made. So, whoever owns the rights to them, Gathering Of Developers is it you? SCE Studio Liverpool? Ubisoft? Basically, whoever it is, can’t they see there is now a rather large gap in the market for a racing game that is just a purely fun and addictive drive about and cause carnage type of game? … As you know, I’m very dubious about picking up a Ridge Racer game with the premise it now includes groovy damage… because you know… it’s… RIIIIIIIDGE RACER!
Ah…. Crash… you and Spyro were my life at one point. … Obviously Spyro has now entered the pit of doom and will never see its way back into my heart, unless SCE get it back off Activision, stop this stupid cash cow thing they’re doing with Skylanders and making a freaking Spyro Karting game.
But this is about Crash, the other major heartfelt love as a child. Crash has done almost everything right, and even in its later life as essentially a sideshow attraction for platformers of this day and age, I still enjoyed the later games, and whilst obviously they haven’t had the same raw fun that early games had… I’m looking at you Naughty Dog and Travellers Tales, but it’s yet to see the light of day on the PS3… Honestly, I don’t know where I’m going with this… it’s all in vain… Activision hold the rights to Crash aswell…
2 SCE Missed:
Left 4 Dead ( or L4D2, preferably a multi-game release would be better)
Yes, the Left 4 Dead series is the number one thing Microsoft has that SCE don’t, and frankly it’s always been this way that Microsoft has the got the cream of the crop when it comes to zombie games, Stubbs The Zombie: Rebel Without A Pulse, best zombie game ever, Left 4 Dead series? Best series of zombie games ever, and without a doubt one of the best co-op experiences since the dawn of gaming, and of course the original Dead Rising for being… just… so much better than Dead Rising 2.
However, what Valve do with games is… just amazing. And what they’ve done with Left 4 Dead, and its sequel is create a horror game with more fun and laughs floating about its spectrum than any other game, I have ever played. But what makes it even better is it includes zombies, my favourite type of enemy in a game, you get the thrill of taking a humans life, whilst not upsetting the majority of middle aged mothers. I can sit for hours looking at my PS3s game collection, and weeping that only Dead Island looks back at me with a wink as if to say “come on, enjoy yourself, knock that zombies head off” … Yet, a quick peek over to my PC/Xbox collection, and they are just there, the two of them, looking so damn smug that they are unplayable on my blackbird.
Tom Clancys Splinter Cell: Conviction
I know, I’ve pretty much already degraded any dignity I had throughout this article and been a hypocrite to almost everything I stand for, and Tom Clancys Splinter Cell: Conviction is just another thorn in my crown of video gaming.
But you see where ever other Tom Clancys game has failed, Conviction made up for it… this game was actually playable. It was fun, and most importantly it was fun with other people. If I can play a game single player, with other people round and have fun, it’s damn good, every other title so far didn’t do this, however, Conviction did, not only did it do that, it had a co-op mode that just upped the ante for any stealth game to follow, sorry Syphon Filter.
Conviction just worked on so many levels for me personally, it worked as a stealth shooter, the gimmicks only added enjoy ability to the game, and the multiplayer was a barrel of laughs everytime guaranteed. Syphon Filter ,the gauntlet has been laid down and frankly, I don’t think you can top it.
Ah… … Timesplitters. I’m sure this is the most requested game… for any console…ever… however, part of me, wants this to stay a dream.
If Crytek were to announce it, don’t get me wrong, I’d be first in line to pre-order it no matter what (And this is a big deal, as I just don’t pre-order games) But… with Crytek being Crytek, and with David Doak not being with Crytek, it leaves a lot of questions as to will it be a Timesplitters game.
I know it seems cynical, and one man doesn’t make the game what it is… but you all know, deep down the game will feature stupid mechanics, lose the sense of comedy it had, and worst of all focus entirely on online multiplayer and lost the map editor and the incredibly deep offline multiplayer modes that was the whole reason Timesplitters as a series was so meaningful to me. Even now, typing this, I can feel myself getting teary eyed remembering those days spent shooting rockets at monkeys in Siberia, setting fire to robots with a crossbow in the Aztec level, pitting Chinese chefs and zombies together in a hospital and only letting bricks be the weapon.
The game series will forever hold more happy memories with me than any other, and for the same reason I will never re-visit Populous: The Beginning, despite it being the best game ever made, I don’t want those memories to be diminished. And I just know Timesplitters 4 will ruin video gaming for me.
I propose, here and now, Timesplitters 4….ever. Put everything from all the games into one, knock out some cheap HD effect, and release it as one game with everything from each game included, and nothing changed. This would keep at least me happy. All I want is the same experience I spent on these games, on the PS3, and whilst it certainly could work, and by jove I hope some day it does, there would be something within the game that would just make me walk away and get a life, something I don’t want to do. Would it be that Cortez would now jump? Would it be the lack of the in game scoreboard? Would it simply be the lack of an amazing story?
I hope for the sake of video gamers everywhere this does get released, but for my own personal preference, I hope it doesn’t.
And, that’s that. 5 wonderful years, filled with laughter, misery, fun and the occasional rage fit. From this we can tell, Resistance and F.E.A.R are the only series that have constantly delivered top gaming. PS3 exclusives were much better at the start of the systems life, whilst I may hate online multiplayer and everything it brings, or doesn’t bring in most cases, I still find the time to enjoy it immensely and the shooter genre maybe considerably over-done, but remains the ‘best of’ staple of any consoles line-up.
So here’s to another 5 years of happy times with occasional dash of disappointment, and plenty more bad games for me to enjoy.