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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Army Of Two: 40th Day – Demo Impressions (PS3)

Well that was hard work. 😦

And I didn’t even finish the demo.

After freezing my PS3 for the second time during play I decided to leave it there.

Army Of Two: 40th Day plays pretty well, the mechanics seem improved from the first game and there are plenty of new co-op moves to get stuck into.

The aiming was more sensitive than I’d like (even at the lowest setting) but after a while I found I’d adjusted to it ok.

But it seems to be pot luck as to whether you can actually play the demo or not.

Initially I decided to play with a friend and about 5 minutes into the demo we both got kicked off the EA servers. So I tried again yesterday with a random onliner and we made it to the pre demo loading screen where I was met with a please reconnect controller 2 screen until I quit out and reloaded the demo.

Then I managed to get into the demo – only for the game to freeze up about 5 minutes in. 😡

One last try I thought and this time made it a fun filled 15 minutes in before it froze up.

At that stage I gave up.

I love the idea of a great co-op game with loads of cool ideas and tactics to use against your enemies. But if the full game is as blighted with connection/freeze issues as the demo is I certainly won’t be picking it up – or if I do I’ll be playing it offline.

*EDIT* Appears I’m in the minority with the issues I had on the demo. As I said above the actual gameplay was really good so fingers crossed everything will be good for the final version!

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EA – A Serious Return To Form

Electronic Arts was a powerhouse of great gaming during my formative gaming years. Classics such as Road Rash, Desert Strike, FIFA, the Mutant League series, PGA Tour Golf and James Pond to name a few, were always innovative and a delight to play.

But somehow over time EA became the ‘bad guy’ – the heartless corporation who were happy to churn out yearly updates of average games, often with little or no improvement.

Suddenly we had Burnout, Need For Speed, Harry Potter, SSX, the Def Jam fighting games 😡 and a host of annual sports updates. The difference being that these games (possibly excluding a few Burnout titles) were just not that great.

They started buying smaller, rival studios and created big rifts in the industry by often closing the studios down and taking their best talent.

And then all of a sudden things changed a few years ago – as well as the usual updates they announced two games which turned people’s impressions of EA on their head: Dead Space and Mirror’s Edge.

Two games which were highly polished, innovative, produced to an extremely high level… and were original ideas. Not a sequel or prequal – or even a film tie in. Just cleverly made great games.

Now I’m the first to admit that maybe Mirror’s Edge had it’s faults but that isn’t the issue here – what I’m talking about is EA’s willingness to take a shot at launching a new brand, based on something no-one had tried before.

Brutal Legend is another fine example – while the game appears to have tanked at retail, which is a shame, EA backed it all the way with marketing and promo. Not all of their new ideas come off so to speak.

The other shift was that the year updates, sporting especially, got good again. The Fight Night series was a serious return to form, culminating in Round 4’s superb simulation of the sport. Likewise FIFA – which has now overtaken long standing champion PES as the best football game around.

With Rock Band they are looking to take on Activision (the new ‘bad guys’ apparently) and Guitar Hero, a battle which will rage for years to come.

The standard of games forthcoming as well looks really positive with Army Of Two: 40th Day, Dante’s Inferno, Mass Effect 2 (not for us PS3 folks… yet :wink:) and Battlefield Bad Company 2 (the Beta of which is truly stunning) all arriving in the first quarter of 2010!

When I think back to 5 or 6 years ago it seems insane that EA of all people would be pushing the envelope and delivering top quality, fresh and innovative titles – long may it continue!

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