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

DriverSF3

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

resistance-3

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

InfamousFestivalOfBlood2

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

Resistance

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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Infamous: Festival Of Blood (PS3) – Review

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 (which doesn’t require a copy of either game to play).

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.

While investigating screams from the catacombs under a church, Cole is bitten by Bloody Mary herself and he only has until sunrise to find a cure.

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.

You’ll need blood to activate this ability though and Cole is able to feed on the citizens of New Marais as often as you need/like. Slightly troubling after I’d played through Infamous 2 as a hero but it’s set me up nicely for my second playthrough as an evil Cole 🙂

Cole can also use a type of Vampire radar that allows him to enter an x-ray vision mode – normal humans are shown with red internal organs and a beating heart while fellow Vampires in disguise are just a blue skeleton. Cole can then attack the Vampires with a one hit kill if you’re close/quick enough.

This is a fantastic downloadable game, one of the better ones I’ve seen – certainly in terms of scope/gameplay. It seems crazy to me that you don’t need a disc to run it but Sucker Punch have done a great job here.

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.

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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