Top 100 Single Player PS3 Games: Part 5 (60-51)

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Well we’re fast approaching the Top 50 and there are still plenty of great games to come.

If you’ve missed the previous installments, catch up here!

Part One (100-91)

Part Two (90-81)

Part Three (80-71)

Part Four (70-61)

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 kick off Part Five!

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60. Dishonored

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Dishonored puts you in the shoes of Corvo – Royal Protector (Bodyguard) of Empress Jessamine Kaldwin. You arrive back from a trip abroad investigating potential cures for the plague that is ravaging your city, only to find yourself framed for the murder of the Empress and thrown in jail. As you escape, try to clear your name and find Emily, the Empress’ daughter, you’ll take on the role of assassin rather than protector.

Dishonored looked like being one of the freshest, inventive games of the year – unfortunately the design choice of not allowing you to unlock more on your first playthrough hinders things somewhat. It’s a good, solid, rewarding experience but I was just left feeling it could’ve been so much more.

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59. SOCOM 4

In SOCOM 4 you take on the role of Cullen Gray, a Spec Ops Commander and leader of a 5-man NATO special forces squad. Your team is dropped into Malaysia to help deal with the rising threat of both local rebels, the Naga, and a mercenary group called Clawhammer.

While the story is standard Spec Ops fare I found most of the characters likable and it was one of the more enjoyable stories I played through in 2011.

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58. Mass Effect 3

Mass Effect 3 takes place after the conclusion of events in the Mass Effect 2 DLC expansion ‘Arrival’ and now that the Reaper threat is real and imminent Shepard finds herself reinstated and back on active duty.

Your decisions from the previous game carry over and any casualties your crew sustained are also mirrored here. So it’s a similar set up to before as you go about the galaxy recruiting your new crew and trying to do your best to prepare for the upcoming fight against the Reapers.

Whilst the ending proved to be controversial for some (me included for some aspects) this game was definitely still worth playing through.

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57. Max Payne 3

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The third instalment of Max Payne sees Max at rock bottom – drunk and addicted to painkillers while working as low rent security for a wealthy Brazilian family down in South America. As you can imagine things go wrong quickly and Max is left trying to pick up the pieces while fighting his own demons.

Graphically the game looks fantastic, taking in various different areas/scenes as Max’s adventure continues. Some wonderful use of bright colours really makes a difference and reminded me at times of the Uncharted series.

When Max Payne 3 flows it is a wonderful, gritty, dark yet vibrant gaming experience. Unfortunately it doesn’t always flow. I was expecting big things from this game and Rockstar have delivered for the most part but some minor niggles along the way mean Max Payne 3 doesn’t quite hit the heights I’d been hoping for.

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56. Battlefield: Bad Company

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Chock full of explosions and with some really impressive destruction of buildings etc, Battlefield: Bad Company is like a huge big budget Hollywood blockbuster.

It’s a great, mindless blast of a game. Add some memorable characters into the mix and you’ve got yourself a very enjoyable, and playable, package.

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55. Prototype

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In Prototype you take on the role of Alex Mercer as he awakens during his autopsy, wondering what the hell is going on. He quickly escapes, realising he now has various superpowers.

Mercer needs to find out what the hell has happened to him and why New York is infected with a virus that has turned half the population into zombies.

Prototype is definitely a game worth playing despite it’s various faults – it was a blast to play through if a little frustrating at times.

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54. Bioshock 2

Bioshock 2 brings you back 8 years after the events of the first game (1968) to take control of a Big Daddy who has no memory of the last decade and wants to find the Little Sister he was originally paired with.

A sequel to such a unique title was always going to be tricky to pull off. However 2k Marin have done well to recreate the atmosphere of the original game while keeping it different enough that you can tell time has passed.

At the end of the day this is definitely a title that revels in the world created for it by the previous game. You don’t have to have played the original to enjoy this game but you’ll probably get more of it if you have.

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53. Binary Domain

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Set in Tokyo far into the future (2080), Binary Domain tells the story of Sergeant Dan Marshall and his team. They are a ‘Rust Crew’ sent in to investigate and, if needed, eliminate ‘Hollow Children’ – robots that can pass as humans that have been banned by the New Geneva Convention.

Gameplay-wise the game treads familiar ground – it’s a third person action title but with some nice combat ideas. You can dismember the robots to slow them down or disarm them (literally!) and if you can knock their head off they will just attack whatever is closest to them – very handy when faced with large groups of enemies.

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52. Batman: Arkham City

Taking place in a city environment, as opposed to the enclosed Asylum setting of the first game, Arkham City sees Batman facing off against several well known villians. Of course The Joker is the main antagonist here, along with Hugo Strange, but you won’t be short of cameos from familiar faces.

Graphically the game looks great and the atmosphere is nicely set up with ambient noise coming in the form of rain and the chatter of henchmen, among other things.

Arkham City is a really good game. You can tell the developers have tried to think of everything to improve upon the first game and they have delivered a bigger, more open and content packed title. The question is – after Arkham Asylum, was that what you wanted?

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51. The Darkness II

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Jackie Estacado is once again the main character of the game and following the events of the previous title he now finds himself as ‘Don’ of the Franchetti family. The Darkness II is set two years after the last game and Jackie has been doing a great job of keeping the ‘Darkness’ (a hugely powerful supernatural presence) under wraps.

The Darkness II plays like your average first person shooter… right up until the moment your release the Darkness. The power manifests itself as two demon snake-like tentacles. Controlled with L2 and R2 (L2 to grab an enemy, R2 to swipe an attack at them) this means you have twice as much firepower as usual and can hand out some serious beatings to the onslaught of enemy thugs.

The story is well told and I think one of the more interesting campaigns I played last year. I really liked the characters and for me, The Darkness II was a hidden gem in the game releases of 2012. I’d recommend you unleash your inner darkness and give this one a shot.

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So there we go, another 10 down!

As always let me know if you enjoyed (or didn’t!) any of the games in this batch.

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Enslaved: Odyssey To The West – Review (PS3)

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I was a bit late to the party on Enslaved. The game came out in late 2010 and I picked it up last Summer but only got around to playing it during the festive break.

Developers Ninja Theory have a good track record with story based games (they also made the excellent Heavenly Sword) and they don’t disappoint here.

Based on the old Chinese novel ‘Journey to the West’ by Wu Cheng’en, 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.

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Set 150 years into the future following a global war, mechs now prowl the lands – still carrying out their programming to eliminate humans despite the fact there are almost no people left out in the wild.

The game is gorgeous with the wonderfully overgrown cities sprouting plants and wildlife. The characters themselves are rendered and motion captured superbly, carrying on the sterling work Ninja Theory started with Heavenly Sword.

You’ll be doing a lot of Uncharted-style climbing because Monkey’s agility means he can get to places Trip can’t. The combat is better than average but doesn’t stand up to something like Batman or Sleeping Dogs – possibly a little bit of an unfair comparison as the game came out so long ago.

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While you don’t control Trip directly, you have a radial wheel to issue her commands (pretty ironic really considering the slave headband situation). Simple things like ‘move’, ‘press switch’ and ‘distract’ mean this is never too complex and can help you out of some tricky situations.

I’m not familiar with the original novel so I can’t comment on how closely the game follows the book (aside from a shift in time: the novel is set in ancient China). I enjoyed the story though and thought the characters were really well rounded and very well acted. Andy Serkis (Monkey) and Lindsey Shaw (Trip) derserve some praise for helping to bring the characters to life.

There were a few issues with the balance of gameplay – some of the fights felt like they went on too long but at least the game checkpoints during most of these battles. There’s a tricky chase scene that caused me some grief because it required some *very* accurate positioning.

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My main complaint was the last boss – you fight through it in different stages and once you beat it you get a small cut-scene and then have to run over to a platform and press circle to kill it off and end the game. Sadly the game doesn’t checkpoint here so if you die you have to start the 15 minute process all over again. Particularly trying if you die on that last bit three times like I did!

Despite those issues, 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 it’s own among the others in the genre. You can probably pick this up really cheap now and I you see it I’d recommend taking a chance on it.

Rating: 8/10

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Batman: Arkham City – Review (PS3)

Batman: Arkham Asylum blew everyone away upon it’s release in 2009. The thing that caught most people off guard was that this was a great superhero game. Of course we had Infamous, which was brilliant but there hadn’t been a decent game featuring a known comic book star for far too long.

That critical, and financial, success meant that the pressure on developers RockSteady was immense to deliver with the sequel – Arkham City.

Taking place in a city environment, as opposed to the enclosed Asylum setting of the first game, Arkham City sees Batman facing off against several well known villians. Of course The Joker is the main antagonist here, along with Hugo Strange, but you won’t be short of cameos from familiar faces.

The idea is that Strange has cordoned off a section of the city to use as a prison and keep all the inmates locked up there rather than house them within a single building.

Fortunately Batman has his grapple hook and cape to help him get around so you’re never too far away from your next mission. I struggled a little to get to grips with the mechanics for some of the air travel and on occasion it felt a little counter-intuative when compared to something like Just Cause 2.

Graphically the game looks great and the atmosphere is nicely set up with ambient noise coming in the form of rain and the chatter of henchmen, among other things.

There are a few missions of the game where you can play as Catwoman – basically a faster but slightly weaker version of Batman – but I found these to be uninspiring for the most part. Perhaps because I don’t know the character very well? Either way if you didn’t get them with your game (only new copies received the codes for download) I would say maybe give them a swerve unless you desperately want to play them.

The developers have stepped up the number of things you can do on the side – from Riddler trophies (there are now over 400 of them to find!) through to genuine side missions featuring new characters (I stumbled on a great one featuring The Mad Hatter). The amount of stuff to do can be a bit daunting but I would repeat the advice I heard from several sources – stick to the main story missions on the whole and then go back and do side stuff when you’ve finished the main missions.

I felt it took a little too long to unlock some of the better weapons/gadgets – I understand they don’t want to make the game too easy too quickly but at times early on I just couldn’t approach fight situations the way I wanted to.

For me that is a big draw of the game – being able to form a strategy and then strike in your own way. It’s a minor complaint and may not effect you if your play style suits what the game wants you to do at that time. For me it meant a fair few frustrating deaths until I nailed the fight the way the game wanted me to.

One other complaint is the fact that there is an alternative ending and I wish the developers had let you end the game that way. Why give you the choice only to then not let you live with the consequences. I’m not saying don’t give people the option to ‘rewind’ and reapproach the situation again but it would’ve been cool to have the choice to have that as your ending.

But I don’t want to dwell too long on the negatives because Arkham City is a really good game. You can tell the developers have tried to think of everything to improve upon the first game and they have delivered a bigger, more open and content packed title. The question is – after Arkham Asylum, was that what you wanted?

Rating: 8/10

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GregHorrorShow Game Awards 2011

Well I’ve been saying this every Christmas for the past few years but I honestly don’t think there has ever been a better time to be a gamer.

Once again we’ve been spoilt with a wealth of fantastic titles both in terms of first party content and third party.

As well as the big triple A exclusives, the level and standard of DLC and downloadable games has risen – giving gamers even more reason to keep playing older games, or to take a punt on a new downloadable title.

So without further ado – let’s kick things off!

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BEST GAME INNOVATION

WINNER: L.A. Noire – ‘Facial Capture’

I have to say it was pretty tough to pick between these as in their own way they could help move the industry forward. FIFA’s real time physics, while occasionally leading to comedy ‘bundles’, does add another dimension of realism to the game. Fight Night Champion gave us a great, enjoyable story mode *in a sports game*! ‘Operations’ Mode from Killzone 3 brings a touch of co-op style story to main multiplayer (shame there was only a few of them available) but looking back the innovation that stands out as something truly special was Team Bondi’s superb work at facial capture in L.A Noire. Just think, one day maybe faces in all games will look this good.

RUNNERS UP:

‘Operations’ Mode (Killzone 3)

‘Champion Mode’ (Fight Night Champion)

‘Real Physics Engine’ (FIFA 12)

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BEST DLC (CONTENT)

WINNER: Killzone 3 – From The Ashes Map Pack

While the L.A Noire and Mass Effect 2 DLC gave us more content I felt that the job Guerrilla Games did on revisiting the Killzone 2 maps for the third game was outstanding. The maps were recognisable but for the most part completely different – whether it was the crumbling Radec Academy or the overgrown Blood Gracht. Great stuff.

RUNNERS UP:

Mass Effect 2 – Arrival DLC

L.A Noire – Extra Cases

Battlefield 3: Back To Karkand

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BEST DOWNLOADABLE GAME

WINNER: Infamous: Festival Of Blood

Sucker Punch delivered an inspired slice of downloadable goodness with Infamous: Festival Of Blood – a completely stand alone game that requires no knowledge of the Infamous games or indeed no copy of Infamous 2 to play. Infamous’ hero/anti-hero Cole McGrath has been turned into a vampire by Bloody Mary and has until sunrise to save himself. While the main story is pretty short there is enough here to keep you well entertained, especially at the price. Sadly Payday: The Heist was a bit of a disappointment, which may have had more to do with a badly timed delay that meant it’s release slipped even closer to Battlefield 3 and Modern Warfare 3. However if you get the chance definitely check out Stacking, which is a wonderfully charming puzzle game.

RUNNERS UP:

Back To The Future – The Game: Part 1

Payday: The Heist

Stacking

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MOST ANTICIPATED GAME OF 2012

WINNER: Mass Effect 3

This was between Mass Effect 3 and Bioshock Infinite – it was a very close call. While I love the Bioshock games the attachment that formed for my own Shepherd in Mass Effect 2 means that I can’t wait to see her get back into action. Hopefully she’ll be able to avenge those from our team that didn’t make it 😦 as the Reaper’s turn their attention to Earth.

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BEST GAME TRAILER

WINNER: Dead Island

There couldn’t really be a different winner could there? 😆 This trailer came out of nowhere and had one of the biggest, and quickest, en masse responses I’ve ever seen. It’s cleverly made and pulls at the heart strings, while also boasting an amazing piano piece to accompany it. Sadly it didn’t *really* represent the game because from what I’ve seen (I’m yet to pick it up) there isn’t much of an emotional aspect to Dead Island. Nevertheless, one of the best trailers for a while.

RUNNERS UP:

Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception

Assassin’s Creed: Revelations

GTA V

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BEST PSP GAME

WINNER: The 3rd Birthday

There hasn’t been a wealth of new games for the PSP (the fact that one of the nominees was a Mini title says it all) but there was one title in particular that stood out. While The 3rd Birthday is heavily Japanese influenced (crazy story/really hard etc) it’s not too inaccessible and the gunplay itself is very nicely handled. Despite all this I do have say I’m looking forward to the arrival of the dual analogue sticks on the PS Vita!

RUNNERS UP:

Speedball 2 (Mini)

PES 2011

Football Manager 2012

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BEST SPORTS GAME

WINNER: FIFA 12

FIFA takes the title again and this year justifies it more than ever. With a revamped physics engine that means collisions take place in real-time (as opposed to triggering standard animations) and a bold overhaul of the tackling mechanic, EA have taken football games to the next level. Dirt 3 ran this close as it’s a superb game and PES 2012 deserves a mention as it’s a big improvement on last year’s title but FIFA wins this one.

RUNNERS UP:

PES 2012

Dirt 3

Fight Night Champion

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BEST GRAPHICS

WINNER: Battlefield 3

While you’d think (looking at Battlefield’s gorgeous single player and (to a lesser extent) multiplayer) that this would be an easy decision, take a peek at the Runners Up in this category. Killzone 3, Dead Space 2 and Uncharted 3 have some of the best graphics I’ve seen. And that’s not to mention countless others (Batman: Arkham City/Portal 2/L.A. Noire/Resistance 3 and Assassin’s Creed: Revelations to name… well, quite a few actually) that looked great but didn’t make the nominations. However when all is said and done Battlefield 3 impressed me the most. At one stage I found myself ignoring my objective to watch the rain fall on the neon bathed rooftop I was standing on – simply awe inspiring.

RUNNERS UP:

Killzone 3

Dead Space 2

Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception

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BEST STORYLINE

WINNER: Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception

Whereas Uncharted 2: Among Thieves focused mainly on Drake’s relationship with Elena and Chloe, the third instalment in the series shines the spotlight on his bond with Victor ‘Sully’ Sullivan. That’s a plus for me as Sully is probably my favourite character in the game’s universe. In amongst this Drake is, once more, jet setting around the world trying to beat a villianous opponent to the (archeological) punch. With a story packed full of great characters Uncharted 3 continues the high standard of story telling set by the previous titles and I found myself with goosebumps at it’s conclusion.

RUNNERS UP:

Deus Ex: Human Revolution

Killzone 3

Infamous 2

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BEST SOUNDTRACK (SCORE)

WINNER: Killzone 3 – Joris De Man

Joris De Man once again works his magic following the superb Killzone 2 score. Where the second game had the grand scale that accompanied the ISA’s invasion of Helghast, this score – with it’s lamenting strings and intense highs & lows – gives you a feel for the game’s theme of retreat/surrender. Revisiting a couple of pieces from the last game with a different twist is a great touch and really adds to the depth of the music. Special mention to both Uncharted 3 (Greg Edmonson) and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (Jeremy Soule) which were both also amazing scores.

RUNNERS UP:

SOCOM 4

Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

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BEST SOUNDTRACK (LICENSED)

WINNER: L.A Noire

While FIFA 12 delivered it’s usual mix of current flavour tracks, Dirt 3 hit some high points with a few great choices and LittleBigPlanet 2 was close to taking this award with it’s whimsical selection, it was Team Bondi’s ill fated (for them unfortunately, they no longer exist – despite the game being a roaring success) Noir project that snags the award. Featuring the awesome talents of legends like Billie Holiday, Dizzy Gillespie, Louis Armstrong and Peggy Lee you were never short of great music to accompany you as you travelled around L.A in the shoes of Cole Phelps.

RUNNERS UP:

Dirt3

LittleBigPlanet 2

FIFA 12

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BEST VOICE ACTING

WINNER: Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception

There just isn’t another series out there like Uncharted when it comes to voice acting. The guys and girls at Naughty Dog do a fantasic job of bringing the best out of the actors involved and as the series has gone on the actors have become more and more comfortable ad libbing and bouncing ideas off of each other. It shows in some of the wonderful moments the characters share. Everyone involved deserves a pat on the back for another job well done – hopefully going forward more and more games will try and bring more characters to life rather than just getting someone to come in a booth and read lines alone.

RUNNERS UP:

Portal 2

Killzone 3

Batman: Arkham City

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SINGLE PLAYER GAME OF THE YEAR

WINNER: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Mass Effect 2 was nailed on to win this right up until the moment I fired up The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, created a character and set off into the massive world Bethesda have made for you to shape your own story. I don’t think I have ever played a game that feels so organic before. Everything you do feels like a part of the story, indeed there is scope here for you to barely touch the main missions and just create a story of your own to play through. If you’re someone that enjoys single player games and is happy to get lost within a game for hours upon end, this was the title for you in 2011. I also have to give a nod to Resistance 3, which had – in my opinion – the best story of the entire series and seems to have be sadly overlooked by the public at large.

RUNNERS UP:

Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception

Resistance 3

Mass Effect 2

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MULTIPLAYER GAME OF THE YEAR

WINNER: Battlefield 3

As much as I’ve loved the online for Uncharted 3 and Killzone 3 the sheer unpredictability of Battlefield 3 sees it secure the award for best multiplayer. Assassin’s Creed: Revelations deserves praise for managing to refine enough from last year to make a positive difference to the gameplay. However, nothing can touch Battlefield 3 at it’s best. When in a squad with friends… rushing the objective under a hail of debris from multiple explosions… as a fighter jet ploughs into the ground alongside you, the resulting ‘bang’ knocking the sound from the game as bullets come from all directions… as you creep up on an unsuspecting opponent and knife him to steal his dog tags… shooting enemies through walls that would be impervious to bullets on other shooters… the list is endless. It’s been a great year for multiplayer games on the PS3 what with Killzone 3, Uncharted 3, Resistance 3, SOCOM 4 and, for some less serious fun, LittleBigPlanet 2.

RUNNERS UP:

Killzone 3

Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception

Assassin’s Creed: Revelations

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GAME OF THE YEAR

WINNER: Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception

As an overall gaming experience I don’t feel Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception can be touched this year. Despite being runner up for both the single player and mulitplayer awards, the combination of the two sides of Uncharted 3 give it the edge. While Skyrim is outstanding as a single player experience I don’t feel it can compare with the variety of gameplay that Uncharted 3 can provide. Sadly for Battlefield 3 it’s campiagn was a let down and in fact it was Killzone 3 that came closest to Uncharted 3 in my opinion. Guerrilla Games third instalment in the futuristic first person shooter, had a great story and an impressive multiplayer. Uncharted 3’s  stellar campaign that, while similar to second game, provided plenty of new exposition and a few new gameplay surprises alongside a vastly improved and much deeper multiplayer offering means that for me that this is the complete gaming package for 2011.

RUNNERS UP:

Killzone 3

Battlefield 3

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

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So there we go – it’s been a challenge to get through enough of the big titles that arrived in October/November to form an opinion but the job was done in the end.

It’s crazy to think of the games that missed out on nominations – Rage, Bulletstorm, Crysis 2, Mortal Kombat, Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 and Dragon Age II to name a few. In another year games like Dead Space 2, Batman: Arkham City, Portal 2, Resistance 3 and Infamous 2 would probably have walked away with awards and it’s a testament to the high standard of games this year that they have gone home empty handed.

What are your thoughts? Would be great to hear what your picks for the year were!

Thanks for reading through the year and contributing in the comment sections – it’s always appreciated. See you in 2012! 🙂

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Most Wanted 2011/12

While we currently sit in the traditional summer games void, it won’t be long until things start ramping up.

So I thought it was time to take a look at what titles are coming along in the near future and what games have caught my eye.

Kicking things off in just over 3 weeks (August 26th) is Deus Ex: Human Revolution…

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DEUS EX: HUMAN REVOLUTION

The original Deus Ex was a great game and while I missed the other titles in the series it finally arrives on next gen consoles in the form of Human Revolution – a prequel to the first game. You take on the role of Adam Jensen and will be using a mix of stealth and more direct measures to take the fight to Sarif Industries… your former employers. With augmentation upgrades aplenty and lots of scope for choosing how to approach situations this is definitely one to watch.

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UNCHARTED 3: DRAKE’S DECEPTION

While we had a (most enjoyable) bit of time with the multiplayer beta, the single player of Uncharted has always been it’s selling point. This entry in the series is no different. If you haven’t already, check out the trailer above for an idea of what Drake will be facing this time around as he sets off on another adventure with Sully in tow. With a hugely improved multiplayer and proven track record of single player excellence, Uncharted 3 is a must buy for every PS3 owner this November.

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RAGE

Rage has been on the radar for a while now and this post apocalyptic slice of fiction is shaping up quite nicely. It’s a first person shooter with some third person driving thrown in for good measure. It’s running a new game engine called id Tech 5 which allows it to shine graphically. It’ll be interesting to see if this one can live up to the hype – at the moment the gaming community seems to be evenly split between optimism and pessimism.

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HITMAN ABSOLUTION

It seems like an age ago that we last stepped into the shoes of Agent 47 and carried out some well prepared sneaky assassinations/got caught and shot the place up ( delete as appropriate 😆 ). Last time out was on the PS2 and so the balding hitman is preparing to make his PS3 bow. From the trailer above it seems Agent 47 is more deadly than ever.

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GHOST RECON: FUTURE SOLDIER

Future Soldier caught a lot of flak at E3 after what was deemed a lacklustre demo and the game has been pushed back once again. For me personally I liked the look of it. It didn’t blow me away but it reminded me of SOCOM, a solid game I thoroughly enjoyed – so this is one I’ll be keeping an eye on.

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BATMAN: ARKHAM CITY

Arkham Asylum was such a great game that any follow up would have to bear close scrutiny but it appears, based on the opinions of people that have seen it in action, that Arkham City has pulled it off. Moving the action to a bigger, city setting and giving the player a lot more freedom means that this could be a massive step forward for the series. Rocksteady have also added a cast of villains this time, as well as Catwoman and the rumoured Robin as allies to Batman.

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TWISTED METAL

NB. This footage is filmed off of a TV so obviously the game itself will look a lot cleaner in reality.

Twisted Metal is one of those franchises that people either love or hate. I’m in the love camp, having spent hours playing the original on PSOne back in the day. This game looks pretty dark and the sinister vibe gives it a nice edge but this is all about the driving. Some of the arenas look huge and if the online take up is decent Twisted Metal could be absolutely awesome.

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RESISTANCE 3

Another of Sony’s flagship brands, Resistance 3 may not have the graphical prowess of a Killzone or Uncharted but it makes up for it where it counts… gameplay. The insane but well designed weaponry lends itself perfectly to an alternative time line, in which an alien invasion has seen Earth overrun by a species called the Chimera. If you haven’t played the first two games they are currently available as a double pack – well worth investing in to catch up on the story.

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MASS EFFECT 3

Mass Effect 2 was a stellar title and has to be among the front runners for Game Of The Year. Telling the story of Commander Shepard, the game had an overall story arc but you were in control of the character’s main actions and decisions. Decisions which could skew the game in a number of ways. Mass Effect 3 looks to continue this space set drama and with the invasion of Earth as the back drop, it looks like it could be one not to miss.

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BIOSHOCK INFINITE

After creating the original Bioshock, Ken Levine and his team set to work on the prequel – handing duties on Bioshock 2 to a group of the 2k studios (who did a decent job in my opinion). Bioshock Infinite is that game. With the other Bioshock games set underwater in the city of Rapture, Infinite takes to the skies and the flying city of Columbia. You play as Booker DeWitt, an agent sent to rescue Elizabeth – a mysterious girl with special powers who is being held against her will. This won so many awards at E3 I suspect Irrational Games may need a new office building just to house them all.

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BATTLEFIELD 3

Not sure what more needs to said about Battlefield 3. It looks stunning on PS3, it has a single player campaign and the multiplayer boasts a heap of improvements over Bad Company 2. Widely regarded as the game that could break Call Of Duty’s annual dominance (it won’t – but I suspect it’ll put a healthy dent into it), Battlefield 3 is shaping up to be the best first person shooter on the market.

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OVERSTRIKE

Overstrike comes from the makers of the Resistance series (see above) and looks like a whole heap of fun. Hopefully they can transfer the fun weapons from Resistance into this world and it seems co-op will play a big part as well. Overstrike looks to have a good sense of humour and it’ll be nice to have a game lighter in tone to get stuck into.

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PAYDAY: THE HEIST

This is a PSN download title that has really impressed me. Sure it looks a little rough around the edges in places but a co-op game where you have the opportunity to do a bit of planning for the heist beforehand? Hell yeah! Little touches like being able to tell hostages to get down or tying them up to restrain them seems cool so hopefully Payday: The Heist won’t disappoint.

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UNCHARTED: GOLDEN ABYSS (PS VITA)

I can’t wait for the Vita to arrive (although it seems I’ll have to, as the confirmation arrived today that 2012 will be the release date for Europe) and I think the above video speaks for itself. Check out those graphics! Thankfully the touch based stuff can be avoided by just using the control stick and X so we aren’t being railroaded into all that. The game is a prequel to the original Uncharted game and I am very interested to fill in some back story on all the characters and universe.

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ASSASSIN’S CREED: REVELATIONS

A lot of people are beginning to suffer Assassin’s Creed burnout, what with Revelations being the third game in three years. I’m looking forward to seeing Ezio’s trilogy come to a close and finding out how that leaves the franchise. It’s certainly time for a different assassin but one last swan song is the least Ezio deserves. It looks like Ubisoft are tightening up the multiplayer as well, so Revelations could end up being a very attractive package indeed.

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ELDER SCROLLS V: SKYRIM

I’m not big into my fantasy games, although I enjoyed Dragon Age: Origins, but Skyrim is a game that makes you sit up and take notice. A vast world to explore and rumours of hundreds of hours of gameplay have many RPG fans drooling already. It’s not a day one purchase for me but it’s definitely a game I’m looking forward to trying out.

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DUST 514

I haven’t heard of EVE Online – the PC game that this title ties into – but the trailer above caught my eye and I think this could be a decent little shooter. Early days as the above is all we have to go on but this is one I’ll be watching keenly. Hopefully we’ll have some more info soon.

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STARHAWK

Unfortunately Warhawk completely passed me by as I wasn’t online when it came out and none of my friends owned it, so it sank into the abyss. Which is a shame as by all accounts it’s a great game. Starhawk is the follow up and promises more multiplayer mayhem (as well as a single player campaign, which is a first for the series). They have added in some elements of tower defense. I’m intrigued to see how this ends up playing.

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ALIENS: COLONIAL MARINES

Ah Colonial Marines. Promised so many times and *finally* it appears you may be on the horizon. Gearbox is a great games studio with a good rep, which means this could be the stand out Aliens title we have all been waiting for. As you’d expect you’re a bunch of marines investigating a potential problem which turns out to be alien based. The pressure is on and I’m hopeful Gearbox can deliver.

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So there we go – have I missed anything else that you guys are looking forward to?

Let me know!

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E3 2011: Wrap Up

So E3 has been and gone for another year.

While there wasn’t much in the way of big surprises we got to see plenty of great stuff.

Here are my thoughts on this year’s games:

EA had a great press conference, showing off the expected big guns of Mass Effect 3, Battlefield 3 and FIFA 12. Mass Effect 3 looked great and having just wrapped up the second game I can’t wait to get my hands on it.

Same goes for Battlefield 3 – the game looks stunning on PC and it will be interesting to see how close they can get the console versions.

FIFA 12 looks set to be improved greatly by a new physics engine, which essentially means the end of set animations for players. From here on out players will react naturally to where they are hit. If implemented corrected it could be a game changer.

I wasn’t that sure about Need For Speed: The Run which brings QTE’s to the franchise for moments your driver leaves the car. Could be cool if they feature it well – overuse it and it could be the kiss of death for the game. One of the few ‘unknowns’ of the show, Overstrike is the new game from Insomiac Games (makers of the Resistance series) and it looks like lots of fun. Certainly it doesn’t take itself too seriously – check out the trailer below.

Speaking of Insomiac Games, I thought Resistance 3 looked cool. Maybe not as polished as some of the other games but certainly a story I’m interested in seeing continue. DUST514 was another unknown property to me but seems like something different in the shooter market.

Of course Uncharted 3 looked superb and it’s getting to the stage now where I’m considering not watching any more footage for fear of ruining the game for myself! Twisted Metal impressed – while it’ll be a hard sell to the masses, in my opinion, I am definitely on board having loved the original back on the PSOne.

Ubisoft were showing off Assassin’s Creed: Relevations, the final chapter in the Ezio trilogy and while it looks like refinements rather than innovation, I’m cool with that. They also showed a trailer for a new Brothers In Arms title called Furious Four. I thought it looked great, as many others have said it has a touch of the Ingloroius Bastards about it. The only issue I had was the fact that Brothers In Arms games usually take the moral high ground and base themselves on real soldiers experience, so the branding here jars somewhat.

The new Driver title looked like it could be fun but the last few have been fairly poor so I’ll withhold judgement for now. Certainly it was a cool trailer. I also liked the look of Ghost Recon: Future Soldier. It reminded me of SOCOM 4, which I enjoyed a lot, so that bodes well. Far Cry 3 returned with a bang, showing off an impressive trailer that really set the scene. Far Cry 2 didn’t grab me as much as I’d hoped so I have my fingers crossed for the third one.

Batman Arkham City had a reveal at the show, that Catwoman would be a playable character. A nice addition and we got to see some more footage of the game in action. It’s shaping up nicely and the open world setting looks amazing. Finally looks like XBox owners will get a slice of the Uncharted action with Tomb Raider, a reboot of the series that shows a more gritty version of Lara Croft finding her feet on a quest for adventure. From what they showed it looks great so I’m interested to check it out.

Deus Ex: Human Revolution and Bioshock Infinite were both known properties but the new footage shown has raised expectation even higher than before. Deus Ex hits later this year with Bioshock Infinite coming in 2012.

Modern Warfare 3 was also shown and, well, it’s Modern Warfare. No-one is likely to be disappointed with more of the same and it’s understandable with the walk outs the game studio had. I’ll enjoy the campaign and play some multiplayer as I do with each Call Of Duty. Surely this has to be the last outing for this game engine though?

Bethesda’s Skyrim looked stunning and if you like your games based in the olde worlde fantasy setting this will be one you’ll need to pick up. I was also glad to see X-COM make the jump from XBox exclusive to multi-format as I liked the look of that previously. With a 1950’s ‘Twilight Zone’ style setting it’s one to keep an eye on.

It’s been too long since we slipped on the gloves of Agent 47 and IO Interactive are looking to remedy that with Hitman: Absolution. A brief trailer was all that was shown but I can’t wait for this game. On the downloadable game front I thought Payday: The Heist looked like it could be absolutely superb. The idea of running through heists with friends online and it being different each time sounds like a lot of fun.

So there we go – one of the other big parts of E3 was the confirmation of the PS Vita handheld from Sony but I think that deserves it’s own entry so keep your eyes peeled for that sometime this week.

What were your thoughts on E3? Which games surprised you or increased your interest?

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MOST WANTED 2011

I’d already been planning another Most Wanted article over the last month or so but eventually it became apparent that I might as well hold off until after the VGA’s (Video Game Awards) as a lot of big titles are announced there.

It’s a long list and I’ve provided footage where possible. Grab yourself a tea/coffee/beer (delete as appropriate) and get comfortable. 🙂

To see the videos below in HD just click the little YouTube button on the bottom right of the video.

So here we go, GregHorrorShow’s Most Wanted for 2011 – in no order whatsoever… oh alright! the first two are my *most* most wanted…

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KILLZONE 3

Having been fortunate enough to take part in the multiplayer beta and having had a single player hands on at the Eurogamer Expo, I simply cannot wait for Killzone 3. Continuing the story of the second game you now find yourself on Helghan and wanting to get the hell off the planet. The already great multiplayer has been tweaked superbly and although everything I’ve played has been Alpha Code (i.e unfinished) it looks stunning.

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UNCHARTED 3: DRAKE’S DECEPTION

Wow. It was kind of on the cards as Naughty Dog had already done water and snow but setting the third instalment of Nathan Drake’s treasure hunting adventures in the desert is a great idea. The high production values of the single player in Uncharted 2 will hopefully be met (and exceeded) and with the continued support and investment in the second game’s multiplayer (over a year after the game came out) I expect it to excel there as well. My only concern is will the hype kill it? I hope not.

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HOMEFRONT

One of the more interesting takes on the FPS genre, Homefront takes place in an alternate reality 2024 where North and South Korea have unified to invade first China and then several other countries, including the USA. You play as a resistance member desperately trying to get rid of the opposing forces. The twist with this game is that you will be playing as a prisoner in your own country and the developers have promised some familiar places with some unfamiliar appearances. Very promising.

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RAGE

Rage for me is a bit of a mystery. The game looks gorgeous but the majority of footage I’ve seen hasn’t quite sold me. Taking place in a Borderlands-esque post apocalyptic wasteland the game feature vehicular combat as well as first person action. This just about makes the Most Wanted list as one to watch.

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HITMAN 5

Not a great deal is known about this one, other than it’s been outed several times by people working on it. No release date currently might imply a likely 2012 release but it could squeeze into the end of 2011 so it makes the list. I loved ‘Hitman: Blood Money’ so to see Agent 47 carrying out well planned assassinations in HD would be a pleasure. Hopefully with more powerful hardware behind it we’ll see an improvement in the enemy AI as well as the graphics.

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DEUS EX: HUMAN REVOLUTION

I really enjoyed Deus Ex back on the PS2 – it was a brilliantly crafted universe and Square Enix are taking us back to it, albeit to a time before the original game. What isn’t there to like about augmented cyborgs? Seriously though I’m hoping this can be as engrossing and thought provoking as the previous Deus Ex games.

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MASS EFFECT 2 & 3

Well I called it earlier in the year (although I expected the first two games) so it’s no surprise to see Mass Effect 2 on this list now that it’s been officially confirmed as hitting early in 2011. Essentially a space set sci-fi adventure in which your choices shape the story. To this day it remains the only XBox 360 exclusive that I don’t think has a counterpart on the PS3, so it’s a welcome addition to the line up. Bioware have also announced that the third game will also be coming to PS3 so that’s another one to look forward to!

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BRINK

Having actually played this and enjoyed it my concerns about the gameplay have all but disappeared. Now I’m more worried about whether it’s good enough to get more than a few hours of game time in what promises to be a packed year for shooters. Teamwork is the name of the game here as both sides battle to secure various objectives.

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L.A NOIRE

Simply stunning. Now THAT is a trailer! L.A Noire is shaping up to be something special. The facial animation is so good apparently you’ll be looking for facial ‘tells’ to work out if the person you’re interviewing is telling the truth. You play as a 1940’s police detective trying to crack cases. Can’t wait for this 😎

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SOCOM: SPECIAL FORCES

I wasn’t really that fussed about SOCOM after playing the appalling SOCOM Confrontation but getting some hands on time at the Eurogamer Expo with the new game changed my mind completely. Similarly to Zipper’s other game M.A.G, this isn’t the best game graphically but it was definitely a fun experience. There is a rumoured 4 player co-op mode which would be great if true.

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DEAD SPACE 2

Isaac Clarke returns in the sequel to one of my favourite PS3 games ever. Full of atmosphere and with plenty of shocks Dead Space came out of leftfield to surprise everyone. It was often what they didn’t show you in the first game that freaked you out and I’m hoping the story is as strong as the first game, which still sparks animated conversations about what actually went down on the Ishimura.

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MOTORSTORM APOCALYPSE

Another one I was fortunate enough to play at Eurogamer, Motorstorm Apocalypse played really well and seemed to build on what other driving games like Split/Second have done with destructible environments. Tower blocks and huge buildings collapse around you creating different routes around the track. Motorstorm games are always fun and look great, I’m expecting more of the same.

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GHOST RECON: FUTURE SOLDIER

I haven’t really played any of the previous Ghost Recon games as they seemed a little tactics heavy. However having seen the trailer and footage of this game I think it might be the title to turn me onto the series. Set a few years into the future you have a chance to use the latest warfare tech on the planet, hopefully it’ll be as cool as it sounds.

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BATMAN: ARKHAM CITY

Batman: Arkham Asylum was expected to fail by pretty much everyone but turned out to be so good I nominated it for 4 awards in my end of year blog. That it didn’t win one shows you the quality of the products that came to the market last year. Fluid combat and a real sense of power made this a must play and the sequel promises more of the same but with even more classic Batman enemies and the chance to take the fight to the streets of Gotham.

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INFAMOUS 2

Another of my favourite games last year told the story of Cole, a reluctant superhero, that gave you the option of playing as a good guy or a bad guy. Much fun both ways – it’s the only game this generation I’ve finished twice – and the sequel looks like even more of a blast with new power abilities and more insight into the story of the first game. I’ll be looking forward to lightning up some baddies come 2011. 🙂

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RESISTANCE 3

The Resistance series has been a continued improvement from the original PS3 launch title to the bigger and better sequel and now finally what looks to be a triple A title. Taking a much darker tone Resistance 3 sees the Chimera in control and your resistance being just that. Bands of human survivors bunching together to take on enemies as they make their way across the country. Sounds great. Bleak, but great.

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TWISTED METAL

 

The Twisted Metal series has come a long way since the PSOne days. Making its current generation debut next year it’ll see all manner of vehicles and crazy drivers causing chaos on the roads. Sweet Tooth (above) returns as do several other fan favourites. Hopefully this will live up to the legacy of the previous titles, which were great. The original was a top multiplayer title so with the boom in online gaming I think this will be an interesting proposition for gamers when it’s released.

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So there you have it. And that’s not even including other great titles like LittleBigPlanet2, Dirt 3 and the Mortal Kombat reboot.

Quite a list and I’m sure I’ve missed some stuff off – feel free to highlight anything that’s missing that you are looking forward to in the comments below.

Will any of you be picking some of these titles up? Are any of them a must buy for you?

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