Beyond: Two Souls – Review (PS3)

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David Cage tends to have a polarising effect on people. Some hate his games and his constant talk of ’emotions’ while others think he is doing something different and interesting in the medium.

I tend to fall in the latter category, although I’d be the first to admit that he could probably do with someone working alongside him to reign him in a bit. Regardless of that I enjoyed Fahrenheit and found Heavy Rain to be a great experience, so I was looking forward to Beyond: Two Souls.

Aside from anything else the casting of Ellen Page and Willem Dafoe in the main roles had me intrigued and having seen from the trailers how good the motion capture looked, Beyond seemed like something I’d enjoy.

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And I did enjoy this game. Very much so but it definitely had a few issues that affected the overall experience.

Beyond: Two Souls tells the story of Jodie Holmes, a character who has always had an supernatural entity connected to her. During the game you will play as Jodie (and her entity) from when she is a child until she is a fully grown woman. The story doesn’t play out chronologically and so you’ll be jumping around Jodie’s timeline – which lends the game a ‘Memento‘ vibe. Because of her ability Jodie is placed into the care of scientists Nathan Dawkins (Dafoe) and Cole Freeman (Kadeem Hardison) who investigate her and, over time, become father figures for Jodie.

As things progress you are given various choices, both in terms of action and conversation which means it’s unlikely two playthroughs of the game will be exactly the same. You can also play the game in local co-op, with one player controlling Jodie and the other controlling Aiden (her entity).

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My biggest gripe with Beyond came in the form of the controls, especially with regard to combat situations. At certain times during a fight or attempted escape the game will slow and you are required to push the right analogue stick in the direction of Jodie’s momentum. There is no on screen prompt, you just naturally follow her movement. Which works great with punching or kicking, where there is clear movement and you can judge the direction easily. Not so much for more complex movements such as ducking or rolling to one side – especially if the camera is positioned at an off angle etc.

The general controls are a little more refined than Heavy Rain, with a small white dot indicating something that you can interact with and button prompts for conversation options. Movement still feels clunky on occasion but the motion capture here is excellent – with character movement looking realistic for the majority of the time.

Overall the graphics are fantastic and there are even a few scenes that rival stuff I’ve seen on the PS4. Quantic Dream also manage to avoid the uncanny valley for the most part, which I think comes down to a mixture of improved graphics and the acting of the cast.

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Ellen Page does a superb job here as Jodie Holmes, with her role stretching across Jodie’s entire adolescence. She brings believability to the character and along with Willem Dafoe does a sterling job of making their characters feel well rounded and fleshed out.

Like Heavy Rain, Beyond: Two Souls is a game about choices. And a lot of the time you might not even realise your story has branched off – there are chunks of the game you won’t see if you choose one option over another. It’s handled fairly seamlessly and it’s refreshing to chat to others who have finished the game and compare notes. You will probably be quite surprised at how differently some parts played out!

My other issue with the game (which I’m hoping can be patched at some stage) is that for some unknown reason Beyond doesn’t save your option settings? Meaning that I had to go into the options menu and invert my y axis/turn down the sensitivity EVERY time I booted the game up. It was more infuriating than game breaking but I’m unsure how that slipped through the net on a game with such polish.

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On the whole Beyond: Two Souls is a game I’d recommend to anyone – it does have a few problems and if you’re not a fan of Cage’s previous work you may find it follows too similar a pattern to his other titles but I feel it offers a different, engaging experience. Another fantastic title to add to the PS3’s impressive roster of exclusive titles.

Rating: 8/10

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Crysis 2 – Review (PS3)

Crysis 2 was one of the games I had played last year at Eurogamer and had been extremely concerned by the quality of the build. It repeatedly froze up or had massive amounts of pop in. So it was with a little apprehension that I put the disc into my PS3.

Thankfully Crytek had done a superb job of tidying up the mess I played. During my playthrough I experienced a few minor issues here and there but nothing out of the ordinary.

Graphically the game looks cool, although there was still some random pop in on a few occasions. A few times stuff ‘popped in’ while I was actually in a room! On the whole though Crysis 2 is a great looking game, though according to a few articles I read it doesn’t quite match up to the graphics of the original PC only game.

Storywise the game takes place in New York in 2023. The city has been overrun by aliens and a military group ‘CELL’ has been drafted in to try and police the anarchy that has erupted.

Following a botched rescue attempt on Nathan Gould, you (Alcatraz) end up wearing a new Nanosuit and head out to meet up with Gould.

Along the way you’ll be taking on both the aliens (Ceph) and CELL members and the story plays out around you. Everyone thinks you’re the suits previous owner and you end up as everyone’s target.

The Nanosuit is a cool idea, giving you lots of options to approach situations (Stealth and Armour being the main two) and as you upgrade it more features, such as bullet trails so you can see which direction you’re being fired at or the ability to walk silently, are available.

It’s great in theory but in practice you probably won’t ever explore the features that much as you’ll find your system and stick to it.

There isn’t much direction from the game on how you should approach situations – freedom is a great asset to a game but here, with no guidance at all, it becomes the game’s biggest stumbling block.

As you’re not forced to experiment there is no need to change your tactics. The moments where you stand on higher ground, bring up your visor interface and the game gives you some options on how you can tackle the situation *should* be great. But this is the only game I’ve known where those areas are open and the enemies below have super sight/hearing.

The amount of times I was considering what to do and was forced to take the opposition on with brute force because I’d been spotted was unreal. Sure you have your stealth cloak but, in my opinion, the game would’ve been stronger if it wasn’t reliant on you cloaking yourself for those parts.

The online multiplayer is fun, with everyone having the Stealth/Armour abilities right from the off and the maps are pretty cool – especially as many of them stretch over many levels. There is your usual upgrade / rank up system in place but I’m afraid the game just didn’t grab me that much on the multiplayer front.

Overall Crysis 2 isn’t a bad game, it just needed to guide the player a little more. Force them to use a few of the different powers so they would be tempted to switch them in and out. Almost everyone I’ve spoken to that’s played it stuck with a system. It reminds me in a lot of ways of Prototype, which was another ambitious game that could’ve done with reigning in slightly.

Rating: 7/10

Homefront – Review (PS3)

Homefront was one of the titles on my Most Wanted list of late last year and with a heap of marketing around the release date I was really looking forward to the game.

For a start it had a great premise for the single player: that North and South Korea had united and invaded the USA, taking over the majority of the country. You would play as a member of the resistance, with the game set in a burnt out and occupied US.

The well documented opening scene packs a real punch and sets up proceedings brilliantly but from there on out every part of Homefront feels like a mis-step.

What could have been an involving and emotional title quickly descends into a heavy handed war drama that would be better suited to a late night TV movie. It’s a real shame because the story was the aspect I was most looking forward to in Homefront.

The game is very much in the vein of Call Of Duty, so you’ll be right at home if you’ve played that series. My main gripe gameplay wise was that half the time you had an onscreen prompt of who/what to follow but at other times it went to the opposite end of the spectrum and I was left wondering what I was actually supposed to be doing, until I lucked out by finding the right path.

The campaign is pretty short, between 3 and 4 hours – which puts it in the Kane and Lynch 2 bracket as one of the shortest campaigns around. Being completely honest it’s about the right length, as it may have dragged if it had gone on longer.

Homefront’s campaign is not terrible in my opinion, just disappointing. It looks like the game has sold well enough to earn it a sequel so hopefully they can build on this and improve it for the next game.

What turns out to be the games saving grace is the multiplayer. Pitched between Call Of Duty and Battlefield: Bad Company 2, it feels familiar but has enough tricks up it’s sleeve to bring you back to it.

For a start the Battle Points system feels fresh – essentially your actions during rounds earns you Battle Points which can then be used in-game instantly to give you equipment (depending on your class). So after killing a few opponents pressing up on the d-pad may give you a remote controlled drone, or pressing down may give you a rocket launcher etc.

You can also use your Battle Points to spawn in a vehicle rather than on foot when you die. All of this is a nice touch that brings another dimension to multiplayer.

The maps are well designed and while I found the weapons, in single player as well as multiplayer, to lack the weight and ‘feel’ of other titles they at least each feel different to one another.

I didn’t expect to enjoy the multiplayer as much as I did – mainly because while I enjoy COD online it’s not one of my FPS’s of choice. However I’ve already been drawn back to Homefront quite a few times so I suspect I’ll dip back in and put some more hours in!

I would say rent Homefront if you’re interested in the story, it’s worth playing through but I find it hard to recommend it due to it’s length, disappointing story and gameplay issues. Having said that if multiplayer is your bag then you’ll find plenty to get stuck into with Homefront and it feels different enough to other shooters to warrant some serious play.

Rating: 6/10

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Dead Space Martyr by B.K. Evenson – Review (Book)

Set well before the first Dead Space game, Martyr tells the story of Michael Altman, the geophysicist that initially discovered a ‘marker’ and kick started a whole host of trouble for people across the universe.

The book also focuses on the (fictional) Unitology religion from the Dead Space universe and Altman’s role in the origins of that.

As someone who loved the first game and is currently playing through the second, I found Martyr to be a great stop-gap between games and an interesting look back into the world of Dead Space.

While some may suspect they are doing it for the money, I have to applaud EA’s commitment to fleshing out the Dead Space universe with different media, whether that is books, films, games or comics.

Obviously if you have no frame of reference you probably won’t get the most out of this novel but it is still a cracking read. Well written, dark but with some humor and totally believable characters, B.K. Evenson does a wonderful job of bringing everything to life.

I enjoyed the story and as Altman delves deeper and deeper into the murky world of the marker you really get a feel for the way things are falling apart around him.

I would recommend this book if you like quite dark thrillers but obviously you will get a lot more out of it if you’ve played either of the Dead Space games and I would say it’s a universe worth immersing yourself in.

Rating: 8/10

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Machete – Review (Film)

Machete, which made it onto my list of best films of 2010, was born out of one of the fake Grindhouse trailers that were sandwiched between Planet Terror and Death Proof.

Finally getting a full feature release 3 years after it’s trailer debut – Machete is a film very much in the vein of Grindhouse.

I saw it last year but other articles/reviews meant it’s taken me a while to get the review up.

Telling the story of Machete Cortez (the ever awesome Danny Trejo), a Mexican Federal who is now down on his luck in the US after a tangle with a drug lord, Rogelio Torrez (played superbly by Steven Seagal).

After being double-crossed and left for dead Machete is on a revenge mission to take down those who betrayed him.

With some great performances from Cheech Marin, Jessica Alba and Michelle Rodriguez this is definitely a film that you will enjoy if you liked Robert Rodriguez’s Planet Terror.

The story is cheesy and the characters are about as two dinmesional as you can get but there’s a reason for that, it’s the way Grindhouse should be.

Machete is a pure popcorn movie, except it has gratutatious violence, sex and swearing. If you’re easily offended give this one a swerve but if you like these kind of genre films then Machete is well worth checking out.

Rating: 8/10

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2012 – Review (Film)

 

2012 is one of those films that you see advertised and you know that the story is likely to be pretty bad but the special effects look so good you also know you’ll enjoy it.

As a disaster blockbuster 2012 does a great job with various landmarks crumbling under the influence of earthquakes, tidal waves and the like.

The film tells the story of Curtis Jackson (John Cusack), a struggling science fiction writer who has a chance meeting with eccentric conspiracy broadcaster Charlie Frost (Woody Harrelson). Frost tell Jackson about the 2012 phenomenon (short version – the world ends after a series of natural disasters in 2012).

Jackson dimisses this but as events begin unravelling around him he starts to believe that perhaps the old prophecy is coming true and tries to do all he can to save his family and friends.

Interlaced with Jackson’s story are several mini stories of people caught up in the disasters that Jackson crosses paths with.

One of the problems I had with this film that I’ve never had before was the fact that at least one of the frantic, visceral scenes (the car being chased by an earthquake) fell flat because I’d actually experienced this myself. Not in real life obviously but as part of the game Alone In The Dark.

This meant that while I appreciated the polish of the scene it had no great excitement compared to the interactive version I’d played through.

However I do think they did a great job with the effects on this film and it’s certainly an enjoyable watch.

2012 does exactly what you want it to. Entertains throughout and destroys plenty of recognisable landmarks along the way. The story wasn’t great and some of the characterisation felt a little lazy but overall this is worth a watch if you like action films.

Rating: 5/10

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Red Faction: Guerrilla – Review (PS3)

As I said in my demo impressions, the main thing I took away from my brief glimpse of the game was how much fun it was.

And the full game is even more of a riot.

I’m beginning to feel that Red Faction: Guerrilla is a bit of an underrated gem. The guy in the game shop actually said to me ‘that is a great game’ when I bought it which is a first.

It’s your basic David vs Goliath battle with the Red Faction resistance (you guys) taking on the evil Earth Defence Force who have taken advantage of their position in power on Mars.

You’ll be tasked with various missions and side missions to weaken the EDF’s stranglehold on the colonies.

Red Faction isn’t a game you can rush through as to unlock the final main mission for each section you’ll need to perform 4 or 5 side missions (or destruct some serious EDF property).

Luckily the side missions are pretty cool and there is enough variety to stop things getting boring.

You could try House Arrest – getting into a building to rescue hostages and escaping with them – or Guerrilla Raid – taking out a specific building for the resistance. If you like driving you could try Transporter, which is essentially a timed race across the map to a safehouse. There is a lot to choose from.

But the main part of the game is the destruction. Buildings fall realistically and weakening them structurally can often mean a delayed collapse.

In one mission I started taking out a smoke chimney/tower from the base and it flashed up ‘destroyed’. I made a run for it, looked back and saw it was still standing. Noticed a few bits falling at the bottom of it as the EDF troops turned up in jeeps and started firing at me. Then, with a massive creak, the entire tower fell sideways in one piece RIGHT on top of the EDF, killing them all! 😎

The weapons are brilliant, ranging from the standard rifle and timed mines to rocket launchers and the superb Nano Rifle – which effectively disintegrates matter. Awesome for making supporting walls/beams disappear from a distance 😆

You can even unlock a jetpack if you get enough currency, which makes getting around a lot easier, even if you can only use it sporadically.

The carnage continues in multiplayer with your usual modes chucked in amongst the falling buildings. A special word goes to the offline multiplayer which is basically a pass the pad and see who can cause the most damage affair – it’s so addictive that you just have to keep playing it!

Overall then I heartily recommend Red Faction. It’s not massively difficult but it has a good solid story and is insanely fun. You can pick this up for about £15 pre-owned in most places and it will be money well spent.

Rating: 8/10

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Fight For Your Right… To Shoot Some Fools

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I’ve just been reading a disturbing news story from last week in which German game developer Crytek has said that they may be forced to relocate to another country if the German government ban mature games.

And I’m not talking about banning youths from playing them – the German government want to ban mature rated games full stop! 😕

So effectively German citizens won’t even have a choice of whether they’d like to play these games?

Games like God Of War, GTA IV, Manhunt wouldn’t even be released in Germany? 😡

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Surely the German people have the right to choose whether they play these games? They are mature games that are rated as such but are no different to an 18 rated film.

I would hate to think any government would restrict the freedom of choice of their people.

Certainly don’t allow kids to play them but grown adults?

It reminds me of the media here in the UK – always banging on about how bad games are for people. If you sit in a dark room for 18 or 20 hours a day playing games of course it’ll have a detrimental effect on you. But the same can be said of any media.

I know the Australian government have been strict on games in the past, particularily the Grand Theft Auto series but this seems to be on a massive scale.

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Where will they draw the line? What about titles like Resident Evil? Or Killzone? Call Of Duty? Bioshock? Just seems like insanity to me.

And surely at the end of the day gamers in Germany will just be able to import the games anyway? Driving sales underground isn’t the answer here – better education is.

I remember being in Game browsing the shelves and overhearing a conversation between a woman in her fifties and the sales advisor where he was having to explain to her that the ratings on the games ‘were like film ratings, not like the ratings you’d get on a puzzle.’ This woman actually thought the rating was how difficult the game was, not about the content 😦

That is the kind of thing that should be public knowledge – surely some sort of TV ad campaign could highlight this to the parents that don’t understand games? 

Is there no one who could bring the German government up to speed on games?

This is something that could have a knock on effect for the rest of the World’s gaming industry – hopefully German gamers will kick up enough of a fuss to stop this being pushed through by the government.

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State Of Play – Review (Film)

State of Play is a taut thriller based on the BBC TV Mini Series of the same name, which aired in 2003.

The film tells the story of reporter Cal McAffrey (Russell Crowe) and his attempt to solve the suspicious death of a congressman’s research assistant. Added into the mix is the fact that the congressman, Stephen Collins (Ben Affleck), is an old friend of McAffrey’s.

As the pieces of the puzzle unravel McAffrey is teamed with up and coming political blog writer Della Frye (Rachel McAdams) and the clash of McAffrey’s old school journalism and Frye’s new school journalism mean they often have different ideas about how the story should be presented but they work together to break the story.

 

State Of Play takes a sinister turn as the plot progresses and the shadow of the PointCorp operation is cast over the whole story. McAffrey and Frye have to redouble their efforts as they get nearer to the truth and find themselves in deeper than they could ever have imagined.

This is a film full of great acting – Russell Crowe will most likely get the plaudits and rightfully so, this is a very natural performance from him. Affleck really brings a believable character to the screen with congressman Collins as the politican watches his political and personal life unravel in front of the media.

Dame Helen Mirren as McAffrey’s boss puts in a classic ‘ballbreaker’ turn as Cameron Lynne and Jason Bateman is at his best with a restrained and darkly comedic role.

It was great to see Rachel McAdams step out of the rom-com safety zone (Wedding Crashers/Family Stone etc) and her bold perfomance as Della Frye cements her as a potential ‘A-List’ actress from here on out.

I would be interested to see the original mini-series to find out what was changed in bringing the time down from 6 hours to just over 2 hours. It’s been reported that a fair bit of the story was shuffled to reduce the running time and turn the story into a cohesive film experience.

It’s difficult to go too much into the story without giving anything away and it would be a real shame for you to read what happens here rather than watch it for yourself.

State Of Play isn’t your average thriller – it’s been a while since I’ve seen one as well done and with as strong cast performances as this. I really enjoyed The International but State Of Play is Premier League in comparison.

I strongly recommend you check this one out whenever you get a chance.

Rating: 9/10

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TOP 10 SINGLE PLAYER PS3 GAMES

There are a great deal of amazing online games you can play with your mates *coughs* Killzone 2 *coughs* 😆 on your PS3.

While these are often really rewarding experiences it’s true that sometimes you just fancy going solo, staying ‘signed out’ and hitting some single-player action. Or you haven’t got the internet (Andrew (@shandation) I’m looking at you).

So for those of you looking for something a bit more story based that you can enjoy on your own here is my list of the top 10 best single player games:

10) MIRROR’S EDGE

Mirror’s Edge wowed everyone with its crisp, clean graphics and it’s unique first person perspective.

Obviously a lot of games have a first person viewpoint but most of these are ‘shooters’ whereas Mirror’s Edge is more of a parkour style run and jump adventure.

The game takes place in a slightly futuristic setting, in a city that is totally controlled by the government. They keep tabs on the general population by using surveillance cameras and tracking all forms of electronic communication.

You take on the role on Faith, a “Runner”, who uses rooftops and other means to help deliver physical messages between revolutionary groups within the city. Following on from a set of dramatic events Faith finds herself being hunted by the authorities and has to try to stop the government silencing her.

The perspective takes a while to get used to and it had a few really annoying parts where it was difficult to time jumps etc because of the view but Mirror’s Edge is certainly worth playing through as it offers a style of gameplay that is totally unique in the current games market.

9) RAINBOW SIX VEGAS

If you like your first person shooters with a bit of brain behind the brawn then Rainbow Six Vegas may be the game for you.

You play as Logan Keller a member of the elite Rainbow Six team. Initially sent into a small Mexican border town to flush out a terrorist ringleader. Soon after your escapades south of the border you’re deployed to Las Vegas where a new terrorist threat is imminent.

This game is a lot more tactical than your average fps, for the majority of the game you’ll have two AI teammates with you who you can order to move into position and even get them to ‘stack up’ (ie get ready to enter) at unopened doors.

And you’ll need all the help you can get. This isn’t an easy game and Ubisoft have gone for a more realistic tone. You’re probably looking at two shots before death and it’s possible for enemies to catch you with a headshot and kill you with one bullet.

Luckily your team mates are pretty intelligent and commanding them isn’t a problem.

With a good old fashioned SAS vs Terrorists style plot and lots of fun set pieces Rainbow Six Vegas is definitely worth a shot.

8 ) KANE AND LYNCH

The first of two, in my opinion, vastly underrated PS3 games that make this list.

While not setting the world on fire and suffering from some control/camera issues Kane and Lynch was a brilliant gaming experience.

You take control of Adam ‘Kane’ Marcus, a criminal on his way to death row for crimes committed in Venezuela. Kane is busted out of his prison van by a mysterious group called The7 who he worked with previously. They think Kane stole the money from their last job and stashed it somewhere.

If he doesn’t get them the money back in three weeks his wife and daughter will be killed. Kane claims he doesn’t know where it is but he does know who took the cash and will hunt them down. And so begins a thoroughly enjoyable ride into the desperate life of Kane…

My full review is available here: https://greghorrorshow.wordpress.com/2009/01/26/lynch-do-this-lynch-do-that-lynch-stop-murdering-the-hostages/

While this game is fairly linear some of the set pieces are really impressive, the bank job and the jailbreak spring to mind immediately as stand out levels.

You can pick this up for as little as £14.99 pre-owned and it’s certainly worth a play through.

7) HEAVENLY SWORD

Another game that didn’t garner the respect it deserves, primarily because it didn’t live up to the pre-release hype.

I played this a while after it came out and wasn’t really effected by the previous hype so I really enjoyed it.

If you like God Of War you will like this game as it’s similar in style but it looks gorgeous in HD and I believe did a few bits (combos/blocking etc) better than the first two God Of War games.

Heavenly Sword tells the story of Nariko, a brutal female warrior whose clan protects the “Heavenly Sword”, a sword from the god’s that actually drains the life from whoever uses it. King Bohan, ruler of the land, wants to get the sword and use it for his own means.

The battles are frantic, often with hundreds of soldiers onscreen at once and the cut scenes have some of the best production values I’ve ever seen.

Heavenly Sword has a great story but is fairly short by game standards – you’re probably looking at around 5-6 hours to finish it however they will be a fun filled few hours!

6) ASSASSIN’S CREED

Assassin’s Creed is the story of bartender Desmond Miles who is kidnapped by a nameless company and awakens to find himself strapped into a machine (The Animus) that unlocks deeply buried memories from Desmond’s ancestors that are intertwined within Desmond’s DNA.

The memory they are interested in is of a man called Altair, an assassin around the year 1191 in the Holy Land.

Effectively you play through Desmond’s memories as Altair (with brief interludes as Desmond struggling to find out what is going on in the present day). You will need to research targets and carry out assassinations using a variety of options – sword, hidden blade, knife etc.

The only problem I had with this game was the initial scouting – you cannot progress into certain areas (your memory is blocked 😮 ) until you have scaled a huge building and surveyed the surrounding area. I found this a bit boring and repetitive however you must stick with the game past this part to get the best of it.

This game is great fun and I’m looking forward to the sequel which is on it’s way.

5) KILLZONE 2

Don’t need to say much about this game really, my review can be found here: https://greghorrorshow.wordpress.com/2009/02/16/killzone-2-review-ps3/

The multi-player is what everyone has concentrated on and rightly so, however the solo mode is definitely worth playing.

The cinematics are brilliant and some of the set pieces really do feel like you’re there.

While it might not have the best storyline ever written if you have a PS3, whether you plan on getting online or not, this is an essential purchase.

4) GTA IV

One the biggest selling games of this generation GTA IV features the fortunes (and lack thereof) of Niko Bellic – an immigrant arriving in the US at Liberty City to find empty promises and broken dreams from his cousin Roman.

As you work your way up the criminal ladder you’ll encounter all sort of dodgy characters and befriend even more.

The amount of things you can do in GTA IV is mind boggling but never feels overwhelming.

Once you get the hang of the aim and cover systems you will be blasting your way round the city in no time.

This is one of those games you really have to play to believe. The way the world carries on around you, the overheard conversations of other pedestrians, the fact you could play this game for hours experiencing new things without even touching the missions.

Liberty City is a wonderful, if run down, place and Niko Bellic’s story is one you will enjoy playing through so make sure you pick this game up as soon as possible.

3) METAL GEAR SOLID 4

Well, well, well. If it isn’t the Magnum Opus of the PS3.

Hideo Kojima’s tale of Solid Snake’s final mission is a brilliant showcase of the Playstation 3’s power.

Metal Gear Solid 4 is set seven years after the events of the 2nd game (Metal Gear Solid 3 having been a prequel) and sees Snake back in action – but this time as an old man. Because of his accelerated aging process (play the other three games to find out why 😀 ) we find ourselves playing as a hero who is, I suspect, about 60.

Obviously this doesn’t really hamper him too much apart from the odd moan about his back giving him jip 😆 and where the previous games featured mainly stealth, Metal Gear 4 allows you to be a bit more gung ho.

This is a game that often gives you three or four different ways of approaching things – whether you realise it or not.

One thing about the story is that the cut scenes can be long – and I mean long. Some of them clocked in well over half an hour and obviously that’s a fair while to just sit watching.

But this is one game that rewards those patient enough to stick with it by giving them a great gaming experience, with some memorable boss battles, that they won’t forget.

2) DEAD SPACE

Coming on somewhere between Event Horizon and Aliens, Dead Space is a third person survival horror game.

You take on the role of Isaac Clarke, a ship engineer who finds himself trapped onboard a stricken spaceship infested with an alien outbreak which is threatening to take over the ship.

Full review of the game here: https://greghorrorshow.wordpress.com/2009/02/10/dead-space-review/

Needless to say this was one of the best games I played last year and it deserves to be above both GTA IV and Metal Gear 4 for its storytelling and atmospheric setting.

The use of sound is immense and the fear of the unexpected they create is awesome. I am not a big fan of horror movies or being made to jump all the time but Dead Space kept on the right side of all that by being unpredictable enough to be enjoyable as a ‘horror’ experience.

1) UNCHARTED: DRAKE’S FORTUNE

Nathan Drake, the character you control, is an explorer and treasure hunter.

Uncharted maps his journey as he tries to find the lost treasure of El Dorado encountering, among other things, rival treasure hunters and mercenaries.

Initial impressions article here: https://greghorrorshow.wordpress.com/2009/01/26/uncharted-drakes-fortune-quality/

I still maintain this is possibly the best PS3 game I have played as an overall experience.

The graphics are unbelievable and the gameplay is well paced and well thought out. The characters and story and really well conceived and Nolan North, who voices Drake, is absolutely spot on with his irreverent humour and wisecracks.

At its heart Uncharted is an action adventure game much in the vein of Indiana Jones or Tomb Raider but, and I say this as a fan of both of these, it is better than either of them.

There is no reason for anyone not to buy this as it’s now in the platinum range (£19.99) and can actually be bought online for as little as £14.99. Get it.. now!

So there you have it.

This list is obviously based on stuff I have played and enjoyed so there are bound to be a few great games missing (Bioshock, which I must get at some stage, Call Of Duty (although again I’ve heard that is stronger in multi-player?) and Resi Evil 5 but I’ve only played a couple of levels of that so far).

I have to give an honourable mention as well to Fallout 3 – I am nowhere near finishing this as the game is absolutely huge with tons to do and lots of different ways for your character to affect the story. If you’re looking for a game to get lost in for ages, as opposed to the usual 8-12 hours, I would give this a thumbs up.

The list above was formed with shorter bursts of gaming in mind and with a view to gamers who’d rather finish a few 10 hour games than start four or five 30+ hour games and never get to the end of them!

Feel free to add any games you’ve enjoyed in the comments that might have been left off the list.