Top 100 Single Player PS3 Games: Part 3 (80-71)

Top 100 Part 3 Main

Welcome back folks! Time for the third instalment of my Top 100 PS3 single player games. We are hitting the 70’s this week.

Please bear in mind this list doesn’t take into account multiplayer aspects of games, it’s based solely on single player experience.

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80. Driver: San Francisco

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John Tanner returns to the Driver franchise, along with Tobias Jones (his partner). The villain of Driver 3, Jericho, finds himself locked up in prison in San Francisco. He is being transported from prison when he escapes and Tanner ends up chasing him in his car. Just as he is about to catch him, Jericho rams Tanner’s car into the oncoming path of a truck – leaving Tanner unconscious.

This plot device leads to the introduction of the ‘shift’ mechanic – a means for Tanner to zoom out of the vehicle he is in and select a different car to ‘shift’ back into. Much like Quantum Leap everyone else still sees the original driver of the car rather than Tanner, leading to some great comedy moments.

Driver: San Francisco is by far the best game in the series for a long, long time and it’s one you should definitely give a spin. It’s a bit bloated in terms of length but the driving is good and the story is fun as well.

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79. Resistance 2

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After saving England in the previous installment Hale is back in business to rescue the U S of A – since his incapacitation the Chimera have launched a full attack on America and Hale, as part of the Sentinal squad (made up of soldiers injected with the Chimera virus but kept under control), have to step in and stop them in their tracks.

Some of the boss encounters here are epic – even the opening is grand in scale and you feel a great sense of achievement getting through some of the battles ahead. Graphically the game is good, no slowdown – even with tons of enemies on screen – and they have gone for a sort of comic book realism which sits well with the content matter.

A hard hitting but fun first person shooter.

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78. Borderlands

Borderlands has a distinctive cartoon, tongue in cheek style that is perfectly suited for the game and while the story isn’t particularly amazing, the colourful characters will have you chuckling along.

Borderlands is all about the loot. The game creates random weapons as you go along so it’s unlikely two people will ever get the same set of weapons throughout a playthrough, which is pretty cool.

It’s one of the longer games I’ve played recently – clocking in more towards 20 hours for a first playthrough – but it’s definitely a universe that should be experienced.

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77. Mortal Kombat

After a fair few lacklustre versions, culminating in the widely derided Mortal Kombat Vs DC, Nether Realms Studios decided to go back to basics for this, the ninth Mortal Kombat game.

For the first time in a long time the storyline of a fighting game ties together nicely. Rather than choosing a fighter and playing through their story, in Mortal Kombat you play as various characters (usually for 3 or 4 fights each) as the story progresses.

This is a great idea. Firstly because it means the overall story is the focus as opposed to one character, and secondly because it forces you to use characters you may never have chosen and therefore before a better all round player. Recommended, even for people with only a passing interest in fighting games.

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76. Army Of Two: 40th Day

In Army Of Two: 40th Day we still follow the exploits of Salem and Rio, picking up a few years after the first game ended. This time they are in Shanghai as the city burns around them having been invaded by a terrorist force.

The story is pretty nonsensical and at times I had no idea what was going on. One nice touch were the Morality Decisions where you had to make a choice on how to deal with certain enemies/characters. These often played out differently than expected which was a welcome twist.

Unfortunately the game has several issues which hold it back – mainly poor AI and terrible checkpointing. Army Of Two: 40th Day isn’t a great game but is most definitely great fun, especially if you like blowing things up.

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75. Infamous: Festival Of Blood

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Having thoroughly enjoyed both Infamous and Infamous 2, I was really interested in seeing what Sucker Punch would come up with for this stand alone downloadable game. Festival Of Blood tells the story of Cole’s night as a vampire. The story is told by Zeke, Cole’s friend, as he looks to keep a woman in a bar interested in him.

The game takes place during ‘Pyre Night’ a festival held in New Marais every year as a way of warding off vampires and celebrating the death of ‘Bloody Mary’ – a vampire allegedly burnt at the stake long ago. If you’ve played either of the Infamous games previous to this you’ll find yourself in familiar territory as Vampire Cole parkours his way across the terrain of New Marais… but there is a nice twist in traversal because Cole can now transform into a swarm of bats to travel extremely quickly over the city.

Clocking in at under 4 hours and with a price tag of £7.99, I’d recommend this to anyone. Obviously it’s not as long as a full Infamous title and one of the main elements (player choice re: Karma) is missing but Infamous: Festival Of Blood is well worth a playthrough.

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74. Resistance: Fall Of Man

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Another Resistance title graces the Top 100, just ahead of the game that followed it.

Resistance: Fall Of Man was probably one of the best launch titles the PS3 had. The game was impressively graphically but it was the inventiveness of the weapons – the Bullseye in particular that struck me. The Bullseye had a secondary fire mode whereby you could ‘tag’ an opponent. If you hit them with the tag you could fire you gun in any direction and the bullets would redirect straight at the target – brilliant.

The storyline was cool and the gadgets you got were fun to use, generally an interesting and fun game.

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73. Fight Night Champion

It was one of those announcements that prompted a double take – EA Sports latest instalment of the Fight Night series would contain a Rocky-esque story mode in which you take on the role of Andre Bishop, a former Gold medalist who finds himself wrongly sent to prison.

Story-wise, it’s a nice little tale – if a bit predictable – with some good voice acting and writing. The story mode isn’t just straight up fights all the time, it will also throw you into various scenarios (only use one hand, defend your cut eye etc) which helps add to the drama and spectacle. Well worth a play through.

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72. Shadows Of The Damned

In Shadows Of The Damned you take on the role of Garcia Hotspur – demon hunter – as he attempts to rescue his girlfriend Paula from the clutches of a demon in hell.

My main problem was the marmite humour – it’s very much a case of lowest common denominator. While there were a few funny moments the fact that one of his weapons is called ‘The Boner’ says it all really.

The actual story was interesting and eventually asked some great questions – which I’m guessing we’ll now never find out about due to the poor sales of this title.

And that is a sad state of affairs – Shadows Of The Damned might not be the best game I’ve played this year but it was something different and by the time I got to the end I would’ve been tempted to pick up a sequel had one been announced.

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71. Mercenaries 2: World In Flames

Mercenaries 2 takes place in Venezuela and sees you take control of Chris Jacobs, Jennifer Mui or Matthias Nilsson. It’s only a cosmetic choice as the story/dialogue all remains the same. You’re tasked with taking down Ramon Solano, the man behind the current military coup.

While this game has a few glitches (one a game breaker unfortunately) it remains a resolutely fun experience. Being a Mercenary you can call in all kinds of crazy weapons and firepower.

At times you won’t believe the destruction you can wreak on the world around you – whether it’s guns, cars or helicopters you’ll find yourself smiling insanely as you blow up as much stuff as possible. Not a great game then but certainly a fun one.

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So there we go! As we edge towards the Top 50 the games are coming thick and fast!

As always comments are welcome, look forward to hearing what you guys think.

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Bioshock Infinite: Clash In The Clouds DLC – Review (PS3)

Bioshock Clash In The Clouds 1 Duke

*This piece originally appeared on TheSixthAxis and can be viewed HERE*

I loved BioShock Infinite. While I thought the story was intriguing and well executed, I also enjoyed the combat for the most part (barring a certain Zeppelin-based slog), with the mix of weapons and Vigors keeping things fresh throughout.

When Infinite’s long-awaited DLC was finally revealed last month, needless to say I was excited. However, it seemed as though wherever I turned for information – be it websites, or Twitter – everyone was labelling Clash In The Clouds as tacked-on Horde mode.

And so I fired up the combat-based portion of the DLC with a few concerns, the biggest being ‘can a horde mode be fun on your own’? My only experience of this type of mode has been in Uncharted 2 and Mass Effect 3, which were both co-operative multiplayer experiences that see you fending off waves of enemies while screaming that you need to be revived (or maybe that’s just me).

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In the end I need not have worried; Clash In The Clouds isn’t really what I would call a Horde mode add-on. In fact it reminds me most of the VR missions from the Metal Gear Series. Yes, you do have ‘waves’ of enemies, but they’re static and non-procedural with enemies only dropping into the fray at the beginning of each round. My memories of Horde mode are that you’d have a small group to start with and more would come to your location as the wave played out. Here everyone is in the area to begin with and won’t attack until you’re seen or do something to attract their attention.

This means you have a few seconds to plan your attack and check out your tactical options, rather than just hunkering down and waiting for enemies to come to you. While that may also be a viable option to start off with, you’ll definitely need to use everything at your disposal to get through some of the tougher waves. Weapons, Vigors, dimension tears and, of course, the Skyhook all play a big part. Elizabeth joins you again and is as helpful as ever, throwing you salts, ammo or health when needed.

It wasn’t long until I fell back into patterns I’d developed during the main portion of BioShock Infinite and my trusty Carbine was taking out soldiers left, right and centre. While that was effective a lot of the time, it also made me realise that I’d been quite one dimensional in my combat approach in the main game – now I was using the Skyhook a great deal more and also thinking a lot more about mixing Vigors to create more powerful attacks, something I hadn’t done a lot of during the story mode.

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You have four different areas to play in, each containing 15 waves, so you get plenty of bang for your buck. There are leaderboards for each level which adds replay value if you like to score chase with friends. If you die you have the option of restarting from the first wave or forfeiting your place on the leaderboard to pick up where you left off and carry on.

There isn’t much in the way of story content here though you can visit the museum and unlock various videos and music, as well as character renders that give the museum a waxworks feel. You can also access some additional voxophones via a tear in the museum and while these are nice extras, there is nothing ground-breaking in terms of the overall BioShock Infinite narrative.

Clash In The Clouds is a nice addition to the game, giving players a chance to jump into combat without worry about missing any collectibles or story beats. I found it quite helpful in getting me to vary my tactics and experiment with different ideas to take out enemies. I came into this thinking it would be a simple ‘run and gun, survive as many waves as possible’ affair and was pleasantly surprised by its tactical nature.

Bioshock Clash In The Clouds Museum

I actually think this would’ve been great content to have as part of the original game – having somewhere to hone your combat skills outside of the main story arc would have definitely benefited players in the long run, making the gun fights varied and even more enjoyable.

Rating: 7/10

Top 100 Single Player PS3 Games: Part 2 (90-81)

Top 100 Part 2 Main

Well, we’re here for the second part already of the Top 100 Single Player games on PS3.

Please bear in mind this list doesn’t take into account multiplayer aspects of games, it’s based solely on single player experience.

Let’s begin:

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90. Far Cry 2

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Far Cry 2 was my first experience with the Far Cry series. A first person shooter set in Africa, it puts you on the trail of The Jackal, an arms dealer causing chaos in the region. The game gives you a great deal of freedom to drive around and explore the area, as well as doing main missions to complete the story.

Not content with giving you rebel groups and a harsh environment to deal with, in Far Cry 2 you’ll also have to deal with the fact your character has Malaria and needs to keep taking medication to avoid destabilising attacks.

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89. Metal Gear Solid Rising: Revengeance

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Set 4 years after the events of Metal Gear Solid 4, Rising sees you take control of Raiden once more – though he has changed somewhat since the Metal Gear Solid 2 days 🙂

Unfortunately, a lack of flexibility killed the game for me. At times I just felt drained and, to be honest, that kind of typifies my experience with Metal Gear Rising. For the majority of the game I was comfortable, in control and having fun. Then I would hit a crazy difficulty spike and just end up frustrated.

My advice, unless you love a hugely challenging experience, would be to just play this through on Easy first time out and enjoy the ride. Rising is a fun and over the top action game, I just didn’t enjoy playing all of it.

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88. Assassin’s Creed

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The original Assassin’s Creed plays a bit like a tech demo that outstays it welcome compared to the games in the series that followed it. However at the time it was like nothing else out there – interesting game mechanics, good characters and a great, historical setting gave us value for money.

The assassinations were the high point of the game but unfortunately these were padded out with lots of repetitive missions to gain intel on targets. Gameplay itself was strong and it was refreshing to play something with well designed sword-play. Not as strong as some of the other Assassin’s Creed games but worth checking out if you can stomach the grind of gathering intel.

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87. Far Cry 3

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Far Cry 3 puts you in the shoes of Jason Brody, a rich kid who is partying with his friends on a tropical paradise island near Bangkok. However, as becomes apparent in the game’s opening, everything is not quite as idyllic as it seems.

The story itself starts strongly, wavers in the middle and finishes well – though it felt like there were different directions Far Cry 3 could’ve gone in that might’ve been better suited to the early story stuff.

After initially being impressed with Far Cry 3 by the end of the game I felt a little let down by the way the story developed. Added to that were the technical issues that disrupted my playthrough and it made for a slightly disjointed experience.

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86. Rainbow Six Vegas 2

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Rainbow Six Vegas 2 was a great follow up title featuring more of the same tactical SWAT style shenanigans. If you like your shooters fast and furious (ala Call Of Duty) then this won’t be for you.

You’ll be taking control of the Rainbow Six teams as they try to stop a terrorist attack and you’ll need all the tactical skills you have to orchestrate the mission and get success. But you also have a few nifty tricks up your sleeves – whether that’s something as simple as a flashbang or a small camera that can be used to see what’s on the other side of a closed door.

Methodical planning and several ways to strike make this a tactical dream. But it’s still a FPS at heart and there are a few frantic firefights waiting for you as you return to the Strip.

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85. Bulletstorm

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Telling the story of Grayson Hunt, a space pirate in the 26th century, who crash lands his crew’s ship on an alien planet following a (failed) drunken attempt at revenge on a huge spaceship. As you try to battle your way off the planet all hell breaks loose, with various factions taking each other on as well as fighting with you.

The game mechanics work well and some of the ways you can dispatch foes have to be seen to be believed. Environmental kills and lots of creative weapons make for a fun, and different, experience.

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84. Need For Speed: The Run

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Need For Speed: The Run is a ‘Cannonball Run’ style chase across the US, minus the wacky characters (sadly). The cars handle well and this is definitely the arcade style of driving. You’ll have great fun power sliding a Porsche through corners as you swerve to avoid oncoming traffic.

The story is much of a muchness and was a bit too serious for my liking. If they’d taken a bit more inspiration from ‘Cannonball Run’ this could’ve been a great title.

Don’t get me wrong, The Run is a fun game and you’ll have a good time playing it for the most part. The load times and odd difficulty spike do have an impact but the biggest issue I had with the game was walking away from it thinking it was one hell of a wasted opportunity to create something a little more unique.

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83. Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Future Soldier

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Ghost Recon: Future Solider puts you in the boots of Cedric Ferguson, the Captain of the Ghost Recon squad ‘Hunter.’ After a bomb denotes and wipes out another squad, ‘Predator’, you are assigned the task of finding out who set the bomb off and where it came from.

The gameplay is solid, this is a third person based shooter that also features an iron sight view for those that want it. It reminded me of SOCOM 4 in terms of control and feel but obviously having lots of extra gadgets (active camouflage/UAV’s/Cyborgs etc) makes it a different beast to play through.

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82. Battlefield 3

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Battlefield 3 had been one of my most anticipated games of 2011 and the developers incorporated lots of things from Bad Company to help improve the all round gameplay.

I did thoroughly enjoy the multiplayer aspect of the game. However we’re here to discuss single player games and sadly Battlefield 3’s campaign is a decent, linear shooter that doesn’t really do much to break new ground. Graphically it’s very impressive and it’s not bad to play through but it just doesn’t do enough to stand out from any of the other FPS campaigns out there.

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81. Syndicate

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Syndicate is a first person shooter which is set in 2069. You play as Agent Miles Kilo, one of EuroCorp’s newest members. In the world of Syndicate corporate espionage is where the great power struggles happen. The corporations are the ones running everything and information is vital.

While I didn’t think the game was amazing, it was certainly above average and brought some interesting gameplay ideas forward. It’s a shame the sales were low as I’d actually be up for playing a sequel that was set in that universe and was, perhaps, a bit more refined.

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So that’s part two done and dusted – we’ll be hitting 80 through to 71 next week so come back then 🙂 As always let me know in the comments if you’ve played any of these titles and what you thought of them…

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Guacamelee! – Review (Vita)

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Guacamelee! harks back to an older generation of gaming – not only with a similar style to the old Metroid games but also with a level of difficulty (on Normal) that is a strong challenge at times.

The game tells the story of Juan, a farmer who dreams of being a luchador but has never got anywhere near his goal. When the President’s daughter is kidnapped by an evil skeleton named Carlos Calaca, Juan sets off to rescue her.

Soon he has inherited a luchador mask which gives him powers that can help him on his way. You don’t have all of these powers to begin with though, you will need to earn them as you progress through the game.

Juan’s mask gives him a lot of wrestling moves that can be used to take out opponents, ranging from punch attacks right through to Suplexes and Piledrivers. You can string basic moves together fairly easily but to really master the combo moves takes a lot of practice (or at least it did for me).

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The biggest power you’ll use is Juan’s ability to switch between the living world and the dead world, which brings some interesting mechanics into play. For example you might need to jump off the platform you’re on and switch to the other world before you land so that the next platform appears. This leads to some challenging, and frustrating, moments because you really do need to get the timing perfect to beat these sections.

Enemies also use this mechanic so there might be four enemies on screen but two of them might be in the living world and two in the dead world. You’ll need to switch between the two worlds as you fight, which is cool and keeps things interesting. Items or enemies in the other world are shadowed out so you can plan your strategy accordingly.

Graphically Guacamelee! is stunning. I loved the cartoon style and it looks super sharp on the Vita’s OLED screen. With lots of vibrant colours and interesting character design, this is a game that delivers on style. It has a great sense of humour and contains a host of in-jokes for the gaming community.

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You can tell a lot of love has gone into making Guacamelee! and the game is a fantastic addition to the Vita line up. It’s available on PS3 as well (on Cross-Buy, so whichever version you buy you get both) so if you don’t have a Vita you can still check it out. Be warned though, Guacamelee is no push over and you will need skill and patience to make it through to the end of the game.

Rating: 8/10

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Top 100 Single Player PS3 Games: Part 1 (100-91)

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Ok, so it’s been a bit of an undertaking but with the Playstation 4 on the horizon I thought it would be a good time to re-evaluate my single player games list and extend it out to a Top 100. Games will be coming in batches of 10 to begin with and I look forward to seeing everyone’s thoughts on the games included on the list.

This list doesn’t take into account multiplayer aspects of games, it’s based solely on single player experience.

So let’s get going!

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100. Payday: The Heist

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We open our list with Payday: The Heist. This is a cracking downloadable game from developers Overkill, in which you take part in a series of thefts/heists involving guns, helicopters and cash.

Made to be played in 4 players in online co-op, Payday can also be played solo with three AI controlled characters. While it’s not half as much fun on your own, Payday is still a solid shooter with some interesting mechanics when playing solo.

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99. Rage

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Rage is probably closest in scope to Borderlands but rather than the cell shaded look Gearbox’s title went for, it really goes to town on the graphics front. Sure it’s also a stylised cartoon look but it’s much more realistic looking.

The shooting is solid and some great weapon design means things don’t feel too stale when choosing your armoury. Shots pop nicely, the weapons have a decent weight to them and the recoil is well balanced so that each shot counts.

Rage is an above average shooter that fizzes when at its best, unfortunately there is too much filler in the first half of the game. This means it doesn’t quite hit the lofty expectations most people had for it.

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98. Enslaved: Odyssey To The West

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Enslaved tells the story of Monkey and Trip as they make their way across a devastated World. After managing to escape from a ‘slaver’ ship Monkey awakes to find Trip has attached a ‘slave headband’ to him and he must do as she commands. If he doesn’t do as she says, goes too far away from Trip or Trip herself dies then the headband will inflict pain or even kill Monkey.

Enslaved is a really good game and definitely an enjoyable third person action adventure. It’s not quite up there with the Uncharted series or Red Dead Redemption but it can hold its own among the others in the genre.

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97. Joe Danger

Joe Danger Guide

Joe Danger is a wonderfully charming PSN title that sees you take on the role of bike stuntman Joe Danger. Out of retirement and looking to recapture his glory days, Joe needs you to guide him through jumps, flips and other obstacles.

Easy to play and great fun. This is also a top title for younger kids who can play with only a few button presses.

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96. God Of War: Ascension

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The latest instalment of God Of War was a prequel rather than a continuation of the Kratos story. Control wise it’s business as usual and you’ll be dismembering figures from Greek myth all over the place.

Unfortunately, while the combat was good it meant that the story didn’t really impress and it felt a bit like filler. Not to mention the utter frustration of the Trial Of Archimedes. An enjoyable game but not Kratos at his best.

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95. Dead Space 3

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Set some time after the events of the second game, Dead Space 3 brings together the usual necromorph threat with a much higher Unitologist presence than before. And they’re armed, military units. Hell at one stage some of the necromorphs have guns!

Taking out the necromorphs still feels satisfying but the human enemies didn’t quite have that quality. I liked the story but I am a sucker for this universe.

Make no mistake, Dead Space 3 is an action game with horror parts added. The balance between horror and action had teetered with the second game but has now tilted fully in favour of run ‘n’ gun action. It isn’t a bad game at all. It’s just not what I really want from a Dead Space game.

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94. Alien V Predator

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Alien V Predator gives you three separate campaigns to play through; Alien, Predator and Marine. Unfortunately the Marine campaign is the best of the bunch, which feels a bit like an opportunity wasted.

The balancing of the species is handled really well, each feeling suitably powerful but having their vulnerabilities. The times when it worked with Alien or Predator it was very satisfying but more often than not the controls/mechanic let it down.

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93. 50 Cent: Blood On The Sand

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Despite appearances to the contrary, Blood On The Sand is actually very playable. It’s not too taxing a game, more of a run and gun than a tactical shooter. There are a few frustrating parts but overall the game is fairly well balanced.

A surprise then, one of those rare occasions where a game is actually quite a bit better than you thought it would be. It might not be a world beater but it caters to its audience and is accessible for everyone who plays it.

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92. Crysis 3

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Crysis 3 is a sci-fi first person shooter that delivers big on graphics but is slightly lacking in terms of story.

You wear a ‘nanosuit’ which delivers different abilities. You can either try to just blast your way through trouble using the armor ability to soak up more damage, use your suit’s super jump ability to get yourself out of a situation or avoid the situation altogether by activating your cloaking ability and sneaking past the enemies.

I liked some of the characterisation and graphically it looked great. It’s just that the rest of it was, well… average. This is a title that would be best suited to a rental as opposed to a purchase.

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91. Dante’s Inferno

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Taking it’s cue from the novel of the same name, but making it clear it’s inspired by rather than true to it, Dante’s Inferno see you play as Dante who upon returning from the Crusades finds an unsavoury fate has befallen his loved one.

The gameplay is very similar to other third person action brawlers, with a light attack, heavy attack and ‘magic’ in the form of Dante’s Holy Cross – which can be used to smite enemies and tortured souls.

Sadly while there are some great ideas in here a lot of the gameplay is lifted almost directly from God Of War. Worth a play through then but if you fancy some hack and slash you’d be better off sticking to God Of War III.

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There we have it then, the opening selection of games – have you played any of these? Let me know what you thought of them in the comments below.

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