GregHorrorShow’s Top 30 Multiplayer Maps (Part One: 30-16)

Maps Part 1

It’s been a while since I ran down my favourite multiplayer maps, three years in fact, and I thought it would be a good time to revisit the idea. Having gone through all the games released since the last time I made a list I’ve had to extend the list out from 20 maps to 30.

This extension also means I’ll put these up in two parts as 30 videos is quite a lot for one post! If you have any trouble with the video quality on the clips below just click on the YouTube logo on the video to view them on YouTube direct, which may be smoother.

There were plenty of other maps that I love but didn’t make the cut and I did try to stick to only having two maps per game, which was tougher than you might think!

So without further ado, here we go with Part One…

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30. FRINGE (Call Of Duty: Black Ops III)

I’m not the biggest fan of Call Of Duty’s fast paced online action but I usually get a fair few hours of enjoyment from each new title. It didn’t take long for Fringe to cement its place as my favourite map from Black Ops III. The increased movement and different abilities that the game brings to the series has meant the developers have had to plan accordingly. Several levels of verticality, along with window access to ground floor buildings and the open central area led to plenty of great battles.

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29. DRONE (Call Of Duty: Black Ops II)

I’ve found that my taste in Call Of Duty games tend to favour the Black Ops side of things rather than the Modern Warfare series. In terms of multiplayer I’d say Drone is my favourite of any Call Of Duty map. Tightly designed with plenty of ways in (and out) of buildings, you’ll need to keep a constant eye in all directions to avoid enemies flanking you. The main room with the slide doors will have you second guessing yourself – everytime you hear the ‘swoosh’ of the door opening you have milliseconds to decide… friend or foe?

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28. SEASIDE – GLAMORGAN, WALES (Resistance 3)

I still maintain that Resistance 3 was a hugely underrated game and that extends to the online. Glamorgan’s mix of small one floor barns/buildings makes for a strong map and while the bridge in the centre can be a choke point, the fact that you can also go around the sides means it never becomes too much of an issue. Raised platforms at each end also offer the opportunity for sniper fire but it’s when up-close and personal that the map thrives.

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27. PARACEL STORM (Battlefield 4)

Battlefield 4 didn’t quite live up to expectations in the online department, although I did have a lot of fun with it. One thing it did right though (despite the terrible name they gave it) was the ‘Levolution’ aspect of maps, where a huge event would change the layout of the map while you played. Paracel Storm was a close knit set of tropical islands that had you engaged in both long and short range firefights. It was already a great map but when you heard the siren sound… well, you knew there was trouble afoot. Suddenly the environment would be rocked by a tropical storm – heavy rain and huge crashing waves. As if that wasn’t enough, sometimes a massive navy ship would run aground and smash into one of the islands. Really cool stuff.

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26. SAO PAULO BUS DEPOT (Max Payne 3)

Max Payne 3’s gritty, dark universe comes through in the multiplayer as well as the single player and Sao Paulo’s Bus Depot is a prime example. Run down and seemingly abandoned, the design of the map is fantastic. There are so many different ways in (and out) of the depot itself, as well as vertical levels, that you’re never far from trouble. Perfect for settling those Vendetta’s 🙂

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25. RICHMAN MANSION (Grand Theft Auto Online)

A lot of the areas used for battles in Grand Theft Auto Online are small stretches of street or perhaps, an abandoned trainyard. None of them really grabbed me but the close quarters of the mansion map meant you had to stay on your toes. Although it was small in size there were plenty of low walls and alcoves to hide in and I have lots of happy memories of great, intense shootouts on this map. The video above is an example of one of the rare occasions I came out on top… for a while at least!

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24. THE HANGAR (Killzone: Shadow Fall)

The Hangar was a free map that arrived as part of one of the games updates (thank you Guerrilla Games for all the free content! That’s how DLC should work). It soon became a firm favourite, with a huge open area in the middle, corresponding walkways at the side and various alleyways on the lower floor underneath. Clever placement of mission objectives meant that while there were a few chokepoints, they were only clogged while specific missions were in play. Did I mention it also looks glorious?

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23. SYR DARYA UPLINK (MAG)

Sadly MAG is long gone but this was always my favourite of the huge maps on offer in the game. The initial capture points are perfectly placed and having them upstairs means it’s difficult to take but equally as difficult for the enemy if you do manage to secure it. The final point in the warehouse has so many twists and turns that it housed some epic battles for me.

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22. HOTH REBEL BASE (Star Wars: Battlefront)

There has been some grumbling about Star Wars: Battlefront’s lack of maps – different variations on 4 areas at launch – and while I think more environments should’ve featured, what we do have looks absolutely stunning. My pick of the bunch is the Rebel Base on Hoth. Bright white, almost antiseptic, walls inside the base make way to icy caves and pathways. You’ll find yourself fighting among parked spaceships and even using them for cover! While it is narrow in spots there are so many options to traverse the map that it never feels like too much of an issue. Great map design.

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21. GRAY RAMPART (Metal Gear Solid V Online)

Metal Gear Solid Online isn’t a game busting with content. There aren’t a great deal of maps available but what is there, for the most part, is very enjoyable. My pick of the bunch is Gray Rampart, which I’ve found to be super well designed and big enough to host the madness that is Metal Gear Online. There are buildings scattered throughout that give hiding places or somewhere to regroup and plan your next move. Taking place in the shadow of a huge dam, it’s a vast map with lots of ways to get around and just the right amount of open space. Do you chance going over the bridge and getting sniped? Or head underneath to try and sneak around?

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20. OPERATION 925 (Battlefield 3)

The Close Quarters DLC for Battlefield 3 is among the best DLC I’ve ever played. And the map design of the levels is the main reason for this. Operation 925 contains a host of destroyable walls/glass which means no-where is safe to hide! The video above is an excellent look around the level. As well as the two levels of the building you also have the underground car park to contend with, which opens out nicely after the tight corridors leading to it.

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19. VALPARAISO (Battlefield: Bad Company 2)

With plenty of hills to fight up/down on, this is a wonderfully varied map boasting four differently styled bases that will keep you entertained for ages. The mixture of jungle environments just within this map is a testament to how well made it is – you’ll start in dense jungle before breaking into the open for a while until eventually you’ll find yourself in another dense jungle setting for an enclosed final base.

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18. HIGHRISE (Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2)

Call Of Duty’s multiplayer is pretty fun in short bursts and the Highrise map is one of the highlights of the series. Set, essentially, in the upper floor of two buildings and on another building’s rooftop inbetween – this is a close quarters map with plenty of scope for sneaking into the enemies’ tower. One of my favourite tactics was using the lower walkways to get into the opposite tower and launch an attack behind the enemy – that is of course if I could get in without being spotted… easier said than done.

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17. THE PARK (Killzone: Shadow Fall)

Killzone, as a series, has always had superbly designed maps that work vertically on many levels. The Park is another great addition to the collection, adding in a few chokepoints to fight over and capture. If you can keep the enemy from coming through the central corridor on the upper floor (a VERY popular flashpoint) then you can force them to use alternative routes. Having said that, it’s rare for one team to keep hold of that corridor for very long! There is also a cool underground network of tunnels that are very tight but can be used to get across the map of needed.

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16. LONDON UNDERGROUND (Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception)

Like almost all Uncharted online maps London Underground is based upon a single player campaign level. And this one runs the full gambit. Three vertical levels of fun and a speeding train that passes through the level, killing anyone in it’s path. Fortunately Naughty Dog also put some of the objectives on the tracks or near where the train passes, just to add to the chaos! This is a really well designed map with lots of entrances/exits to all rooms, meaning you’ll need to stay focussed to keep hold of objectives.

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So there we go, the first 15 maps done and with 7 new entries there is plenty of new stuff in the mix. The Top 15 should be up next week hopefully, that also has some new entries so keep an eye out for it.

Have you enjoyed any of the maps above? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter (@greghorrorshow).

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GregHorrorShow’s Top 20 Multiplayer Maps

Maps Main

I was looking back through some old blogs a couple of weeks ago and stumbled across my Top 10 Multiplayer Maps feature – I could not believe that was published way back in 2010!

Since then we’ve had lots of great online games featuring some superb level design – so here’s an update, with the 10 now 20:

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20. SAO PAULO BUS DEPOT (Max Payne 3)


Max Payne 3’s gritty, dark universe comes through in the multiplayer as well as the single player and Sao Paulo’s Bus Depot is a prime example. Run down and seemingly abandoned, the design of the map is fantastic. There are so many different ways in (and out) of the depot itself, as well as vertical levels, that you’re never far from trouble. Perfect for settling those Vendetta’s 🙂

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19. SYR DARYA UPLINK (MAG)

I haven’t played MAG for far too long but this was always my favourite of the huge maps on offer in the game. The initial capture points are perfectly placed and having them upstairs means it’s difficult to take but equally as difficult for the enemy if you do manage to secure it. The final point in the warehouse has so many twists and turns that it housed some epic battles for me.

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18. COURTYARD (Resistance Burning Skies)

BurningSkies Maps

Sadly because of the lack of video for Vita games I don’t have footage for this one – but it’s probably the map I enjoyed most throughout my time with the Burning Skies multiplayer. Set in and around a two storey building, including the street it’s on, Courtyard is a mixture of up-close indoor gunfights and some longer range firefights on the street and surrounding areas. Perfectly designed for smaller 4v4 online battles.

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17. OPERATION 925 (Battlefield 3)

The Close Quarters DLC for Battlefield 3 is among the best DLC I’ve ever played. And the map design of the levels is the main reason for this. Operation 925 contains a host of destroyable walls/glass which means no-where is safe to hide! The video above is an excellent look around the level. As well as the two levels of the building you also have the underground car park to contend with, which opens out nicely after the tight corridors leading to it.

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16. VALPARAISO (Battlefield: Bad Company 2)

With plenty of hills to fight up/down on, this is a wonderfully varied map boasting four differently styled bases that will keep you entertained for ages. The mixture of jungle environments just within this map is a testament to how well made it is – you’ll start in dense jungle before breaking into the open for a while until eventually you’ll find yourself in another dense jungle setting for an enclosed final base.

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15. SEASIDE – GLAMORGAN, WALES (Resistance 3)

I still maintain that Resistance 3 was a hugely underrated game and that extends to the online. Glamorgan’s mix of small one floor barns/buildings makes for a strong map and while the bridge in the centre can be a choke point, the fact that you can also go around the sides means it never becomes too much of an issue. Raised platforms at each end also offer the opportunity for sniper fire but it’s when up-close and personal that the map thrives.

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14. HIGHRISE (Call Of Duty:Modern Warfare2)

I’m not a massive fan of Call Of Duty but the multiplayer is pretty fun in short bursts and the Highrise map is one of the highlights of the series. Set, essentially, in the upper floor of two buildings and on another building’s rooftop inbetween – this is a close quarters map with plenty of scope for sneaking into the enemies’ tower. One of my favourite tactics was using the lower walkways to get into the opposite tower and launch an attack behind the enemy – that is of course if I could get in without being spotted… easier said than done.

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13. LONDON UNDERGROUND (Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception)

Like almost all Uncharted online maps London Underground is based upon a single player campaign level. And this one runs the full gambit. Three vertical levels of fun and a speeding train that passes through the level, killing anyone in it’s path. Fortunately Naughty Dog also put some of the objectives on the tracks or near where the train passes, just to add to the chaos! This is a really well designed map with lots of entrances/exits to all rooms, meaning you’ll need to stay focussed to keep hold of objectives.

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12. FIREBASE GODDESS (Mass Effect 3)

Another multiplayer that I really need to spend some more time with is Mass Effect 3. Firebase Goddess is a great map with lots of ins-and-outs and a cool exterior section showing the destruction that has occurred at the base. With the play in Mass Effect 3 being horde-based the numerous entrances make for some tense moments and you’ll need a good squad of players to hold down locations and complete objectives on this one!

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11. DRONE (Call Of Duty: Black Ops II)

I’ve found that my taste in Call Of Duty games tend to favour the Black Ops side of things rather than the Modern Warfare series. In terms of multiplayer I’d say Drone is my favourite of any Call Of Duty map. Tightly designed with plenty of ways in (and out) of buildings, you’ll need to keep a constant eye in all directions to avoid enemies flanking you. The main room with the slide doors will have you second guessing yourself – everytime you hear the ‘swoosh’ of the door opening you have milliseconds to decide… friend or foe?

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10. MAWLR GRAVEYARD (Killzone 3)

Killzone 3 has a lot of maps that revolve around a specific feature and MAWLR Graveyard is no different. The central route through the map means going through the path of a metal crusher – activated by a button on a raised platform. It’s very satisfying to spot a group of enemy soldiers making a run for it, hit the button and watch the kills stack up. But you also have other ways around, with two rooms on each side for close quarters action – which are linked by an underground tunnel. Fantastic stuff.

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9. CASTEL GANDOLFO (Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood)

The majority of levels in the Assassin’s Creed series have been effective but nothing special in my opinion. However Castel Gandolfo (a real province in Italy) is a fantastically made map that generates an amazing amount of tension during games. Set across two floors of the building, including some of the exterior as well, it’s crowded enough to lose your pursuers but not so busy that you can’t get a good chase on. Great placement of Trap Doors’ adds a further edge to proceedings.

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8. GRAND BAZAAR (Battlefield 3)

Battlefield 3 has given us some of the biggest maps ever seen on a console shooter and Grand Bazaar is a stunning example of how good design can enhance the player’s experience. Basically an alleyway with lots of entrances/exits and the ability to flank around both sides, this is a map that makes it easy to get caught up in the choke-point of the alley but gives you the option of stepping back from the carnage and making a dash via a different route to try and claim a flag. It’s this freedom of choice that makes Grand Bazaar such a strong map.

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7. THARSIS DEPOT (Killzone 2)

Set on the same refinery as the single player mission, Tharsis Depot is full of steel and has an elogated bottleneck between the bases down one side of the map. Co-incidentally that is also where one team has to defend in search and destroy – which usually leads to all kinds of chaos. With two floors to choose from there are plenty of ways to surprise your enemies and I am a HUGE fan of holding down the corridor just off the main room in the middle to shotgun any enemies that come my way.

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6. THE SANCTUARY (Uncharted 2: Among Thieves)

This map is my personal favourite from Uncharted 2. Whether it’s plunder, elimination, deathmatch or whatever – The Sanctuary almost always throws up a great match. The underground tunnels are a fantastic addition in that they effectively add a third layer to proceedings and the risk/reward of positioning the Hammer on the exposed ledge is a stroke of genius. In fact you can also climb to the top of the tower in each base, above the main rooftops so technically The Sanctuary has FOUR levels to play with. A monster of a multiplayer map considering how compact it is.

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5. PORT VALDEZ (Battlefield: Bad Company 2)

This was one of the maps from the Battlefield: Bad Company 2 beta and it is still one of my favourite maps on the game. The balance between defence and attack (in Rush mode) in terms of positioning of buildings etc is truly superb. The last few bases of this massive map are fantastic and you really do have to consider your tactics. Making a run for it is all well good but you can almost guarantee a host of snipers will have their sights trained on the entrance of whichever base you’re at. A really well designed map, especially considering the size and amount of bases in it.

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4. CHATEAU (Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception)

Chateau is one of those maps that creates it’s own centrepiece as the game progresses. At the start of the round the roof is set on fire and soon enough the rooms in the upstairs of the building catch alight, the floor crumbles as it burns and flames lick the walls. It is some truly stunning stuff. And that’s to say nothing of the zipline from a hole in the top floor down to the adjacent garden or the downstairs room with overturned furniture that can be used as makeshift cover. A well designed map full of character.

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3. CASPIAN BORDER (Battlefield 3)

There are so many great maps in Battlefield 3 that I could probably do a Top 10 list just based on that title alone but the one that stands out above the rest for me is Caspian Border. Finely placed objectives and a wonderful mix of high and low positions mean sheer fun. The four main areas are far enough apart that it makes sense to grab a vehicle but if you find yourself stranded it isn’t too far to run. Add jets and helicopters into the mix and you have a recipe for some seriously amazing mutilplayer action. Outstanding.

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2. LENTE MISSILE BASE (Killzone 3)

This is a map that I simply love playing on. The way Lente Missile Base spans so many levels is brilliant and, of course, the fact that missiles actually take off from the basement (and you can get killed if you’re foolish enough to be down there) make this one of Killzone 3’s best experiences. Like some of the other centre-pieces in the game’s online offering there is a switch you can push to cancel the missile launch. It’s the little touches like that which really give the level a touch of character. From tense fights in the main tower through to open battles in the courtyard and below to tight skirmishes in the tunnels under the base, there is always something going on in this map.

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1 RADEC ACADEMY (Killzone 2)

Yep *still* the daddy of all multiplayer maps, Radec Academy is a superbly designed map with both open areas and some really tight corridors/stairways which leads to some intense firefights. The positioning of the search and destroy targets (for both teams) is inspired – essentially requiring you to hold a room that has three or four different entrances. Meanwhile there is the opportunity to snipe from the balcony overlooking the square – but you’ll have be quick to take those chances as people don’t hang around… unless you’re lucky enough to find an unsuspecting soul taking stock in one of the doorways opposite. Then of course you have the tunnels that run between each base and the building at the back of the map which can get quite crowded if a speaker spawns down there. Overall for me personally, it’s tough to think of what more they could’ve done to improve Radec Academy…

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And there you have it – an updated list featuring the latest and greatest multiplayer maps… well certainly the ones I enjoy playing the most.

Because it’s such a divisive subject and because of the sheer number of maps out there across a huge amount of games, I fully expect you guys to have lots of maps that you love and feel should’ve been on the list.

So light up the comments and let me know which of the above are your favourites and which maps you’d add to the list!

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GregHorrorShow Game Awards 2010

Well it’s that time of year again and 2010 has seen some immense games roll around – as well as continued support via DLC for some of 2009 biggest titles.

Sadly I didn’t have time to play every game that was released so if I’ve missed anything worth checking out shout me in the comments and if it’s not already in my ‘to play’ pile I’ll get it added.

Right, let’s go!

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BEST GAME INNOVATION

WINNER: Destruction 2.0 (Battlefield Bad Company 2)

This was a tough one to call this year but I definitely think Destruction 2.0 is something that has helped put Battlefield head and shoulders above most other shooters out there. Enemy hiding in a house? Just blow the wall up in front of them and it’ll leave a nice big hole to shoot them through. Or just blow the building up completely and have it crush them to death.

RUNNERS UP:

Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood (Online Assassination Multiplayer)

Modnation Racers (Easy Track Creation)

Playstation Move

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BEST DLC (CONTENT)

WINNER: Undead Nightmare (Red Dead Redemption)

 

No question of the winner here – with around 6 hours of single player and the fantastic Undead Overrun & Land Grab online modes, Undead Nightmare packs a lot of bang for your buck. This is one of the more comprehensive DLC packs out there and if you liked Red Dead Redemption then this is a must have. Props to Uncharted and Battlefield though – two strong modes added there but Undead takes this one.

RUNNERS UP:

Heavy Rain: The Taxidermist

Uncharted 2 Seige

Battlefield: Onslaught

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DOWNLOADABLE GAME OF THE YEAR

WINNER: Dead Nation

I honestly didn’t see anything taking this award away from the excellent Joe Danger and then Housemarque’s Dead Nation arrived at the beginning of December. Dripping in HD visuals comes a twin stick shooter that makes you think about your every move. When to use the SMG and how much Shotgun ammo to conserve become regular questions. Your score gets added to total score for your country and you can keep a tab on which country is the best at fighting the Zombie invasion. Very cool indeed.

RUNNERS UP:

Joe Danger

Shank

Scott Pilgrim Vs The World

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MOST ANTICIPATED GAME OF 2011

WINNER: Killzone 3

Wow, this was a tough call – it had to be Killzone 3 or Uncharted 3. I’m sure Uncharted 3 will be awesome but having played Killzone 3 I can’t wait for this to arrive in February. Continuing the story from the second game and adding substantially to the multiplayer, I think this could be a game of the year contender.

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BEST GAME TRAILER

WINNER: L.A Noire

The standard of trailers has been so high this year I’ve decided to pop the runners up on here as well for you to have a look at. L.A Noire takes the crown though and man, those Rockstar guys know how to make a trailer! Another contender for most anticipated, L.A Noire sees you take on the role of Cole Phelps, a detective in 1940’s America. Great stuff and the trailer really captures that feeling of the time.

RUNNERS UP:

Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood

Spec Ops The Line

Battlefield: Bad Company 2 – Vietnam

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PSP GAME OF THE YEAR

WINNER: Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker

Unfortunately I haven’t had a chance to pick up God Of War: Ghost Of Sparta yet so that hasn’t made the cut. I’m sure it would’ve been a close call regardless as Metal Gear also oozes quality and is such a deep game that there is always something different to do. Whether it’s going on missions or recruiting more soldiers for your army, Peace Walker will keep you entertained for hours. My play through clocked in at 16 hrs, which puts a fair few PS3 titles to shame.

RUNNER UP:

Half Minute Hero

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BEST SPORTS GAME

WINNER: FIFA 11

FIFA 11 is more of a refinement than anything else but it’s amazing the difference the changes make. While FIFA continues to dominate it’s interesting that PES gets a nomination this year – it shows that the series has made great strides this year to try and close the gap.

RUNNERS UP:

Formula 1 2010

Modnation Racers

Pro Evolution Soccer 2011

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BEST GRAPHICS

WINNER: Heavy Rain

No doubt on this one as Quantic Dream’s stunning thriller has some of the best motion capture and facial animation ever seen in a game. Whether it was evading masked men as Madison, talking down a robber in a shop with Shelby or shouting ‘JASON!’ repeatedly in a mall as Ethan, Heavy Rain looked gorgeous. Gran Turismo 5 certainly deserves a heads up in this category as when it all comes together it looks stunning however Heavy Rain was far more consistent.

RUNNERS UP:

God Of War 3

Red Dead Redemption

Gran Turismo 5

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BEST STORYLINE

WINNER: Red Dead Redemption

Unexpected. Not a word you’ll often type when talking about the story of a game but that’s what you get with Red Dead. John Marston’s story of gunslinger gone good who is brought in by the government against his will to track down his old gang trundles along at a pace and has plenty of stand out moments but it’s the final third of the game that stands out as some of the best I’ve played in a game. Not to mention the ending, which is one of the most impressive I’ve ever experienced in a game. Genius. 😎

RUNNERS UP:

God of War III

Mafia II

Heavy Rain

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BEST SOUNDTRACK (SCORE)

WINNER: God Of War III

The final part of Kratos’ epic trilogy hit PS3 owners with everything it had back in March and as usual Gerard K Marino’s score didn’t disappoint. Dipping and soaring in the right places this was the perfect accompaniment to the on screen carnage. The score really does push the story on and is definitely well suited to Kratos’ character.

RUNNERS UP:

Heavy Rain

Red Dead Redemption

Bioshock 2

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BEST SOUNDTRACK (LICENSED)

WINNER: Mafia II

The music in Mafia II is a huge part of what makes you feel like you are actually back in that era. I remember the first car I got into had “At The Hop” by Danny and The Juniors playing. It was one of the coolest things I’d had happen in a game for ages. A wonderful selection of old tracks that are well worth checking out in their own right but that combined with gameplay help make for a memorable experience.

RUNNERS UP:

Bioshock 2

FIFA 11

Call Of Duty: Black Ops

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BEST VOICE ACTING

WINNER: Red Dead Redemption

Rockstar usually deliver on the voice front with the GTA titles and Red Dead Redemption certainly doesn’t disappoint. Every character feels well rounded and has a voice to suit them perfectly. Even the supporting cast: Bonnie McFarland, Seth, Irish and, of course, West Dickens. This was a strong category this year with Mafia II in particular impressing but with such strength in depth it has to be Red Dead Redemption.

RUNNERS UP:

God Of War III

Mafia II

Heavy Rain

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SINGLE PLAYER GAME OF THE YEAR

WINNER: Red Dead Redemption

Red Dead Redemption tells a well crafted story in a beautifully rendered environment. There is so much to do and see that I still don’t feel like I have fully explored the world of the wild west. Rockstar have created a varied and expansive playground with enough going on to keep even the most hardcore of gamers entertained for hours and hours.

RUNNERS UP:

Heavy Rain

Mafia II

Alpha Protocol

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MULTIPLAYER GAME OF THE YEAR

WINNER: Battlefield: Bad Company 2

It was nice for me personally that my most anticipated game of 2010 lived up to expectations and Battlefield: Bad Company 2 nailed team based multiplayer like no other game I’ve ever played. The sense of satisfaction at winning a tense round of Rush and the feeling of being part of a bigger team is hard to beat. With the upcoming Vietnam expansion pack this game will only get better and better.

RUNNERS UP:

Modnation Racers

Red Dead Redemption

Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood

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GAME OF THE YEAR

WINNER: Red Dead Redemption

There could really only be one choice this year, with Rockstar’s Western epic taking the title of Game Of The Year. With a brilliant single player campaign and an ever improving multiplayer mode, Red Dead Redemption is a title that will keep you entertained and provide you with plenty of value for money. Battlefield: Bad Company 2 comes a close second as that has been my most played multiplayer title but overall Red Dead pips it.

RUNNERS UP:

Battlefield: Bad Company 2

Heavy Rain

Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood

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So there we go. Another year of gaming done and dusted with Red Dead Redemption taking home an unprecedented FIVE awards!

Some great games didn’t even make the nominations – that’s how tough it’s been to make decisions.

The likes of MAG, Bayonetta, Just Cause 2 and Vanquish unfortunately didn’t make the grade but goes to show how strong the line up of game releases has been in 2010.

So what games would you guys have given awards this year?

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MAG – Review (PS3)

 

MAG (or Massive Action Game to give the game it’s full title) is an online only first person shooter where the aim isn’t simply killing the opposition but to beat them in warfare.

Essentially there is a giant war going on between three factions SVER (my choice :cool:), VALOUR and RAVEN. Each faction has it’s own weapons/abilities and every battle you play through affects the picture of control in the overall war.

It’s an interesting concept – essentially a never ending online war which will, no doubt, swing between the factions as time passes.

Likewise the concept of levelling up/ranks is also innovative. With the bigger battles featuring 128 v 128 online players the sides are organised into squads of 8. Once you level up enough you can take control of a squad and eventually handle several squads at once.

MAG is a game that requires your time. This isn’t like Modern Warfare 2 where you can level up and unlocks lots of stuff in a short time frame – you do unlock things in MAG but it’s much slower paced.

And the stroke of genius that keeps you coming back is that you don’t get all the game modes to start with. If you want to take part in the biggest battles you’ll need to accrue the necessary level.

This also combats the potential problem of having a lot of trash talking idiots involved. Most of those guys won’t want to put in 7/8 hours just to unlock the biggest games.

The actual gameplay is good, I still prefer Battlefield BC2, and once you start getting into the mindset of sticking with your squad and doing objectives it is a rewarding experience.

A few gripes though, firstly body armour is a bit excessive – sometimes an entire round to the body isn’t enough to kill someone – and the combat knife seems ridiculously overpowered. It’s usually a one hit kill and when you combine the above it can be frustrating to unload a clip into an oncoming enemy which not only doesn’t kill them but they then kill you in one hit with the knife.

I’ve yet to experience any lag but have lost the connection to the server a few times but I suppose is inevitable when dealing with this many players online?

Overall MAG is a great accompaniment to Modern Warfare 2 or Battlefield BC 2 – I don’t think it will be my FPS of choice but it offers something different and is a change of pace to other FPS games. For that reason I can see myself investing time in MAG.

Rating: 7/10

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MOST WANTED GAMES 2009/10 – PART ONE

This list started life as a Top Ten but as I began putting it together I thought I might as well just list everything that PS3 owners can look forward to in the future.

There were too many to fit in one blog so I’ve broken it down into two parts. The second part will be in the next week or so and will feature games that are further away on the horizon.

And so in no particular order, here’s what’s hot on the radar:

 

Terminator Salvation

Release Date: 19/05/09

I’ve read several previews of Terminator Salvation saying the game has ripped off Gears Of War and is similar is style. It certainly looks like Terminator has taken it’s inspiration from there.

And is this a bad thing? Obviously it’s great to have groundbreaking titles with fresh ideas but film licences are notoriously bad games (Iron Man anyone? :lol:).

If they can make a game half as good as Gears Of War with Terminators in it then I for one think that’s cool.

My only reservation is that the footage I’ve seen looks a little repetitive in parts but hopefully that won’t be a problem.

At the end of the day it’s been too long since we had a chance to shoot up some Terminators!

Here’s hoping for a downloadable Arnold skin for the main character at some stage!!!

Will certainly check the demo before buying though!

 

InFamous

Release Date: 26/05/09

InFamous has crept into this list at the last minute and the main reason I was reluctant to include it is the game’s apparent similarity to the forthcoming Prototype (see below).

Now I understand these two aren’t exactly the same but I do feel InFamous may not have the same impact as Prototype because the character is limited to a superpower based on electricity rather than a selection of powers.

Your character is called Cole, a man who not only survives a huge electrical explosion but actually gets powers from it. You’ll be chucking balls of electricity at enemies and using your electrical charge to glide through the air among other things.

Recent trailers & footage have hinted at some cool features and the good/bad karma angle seems interesting.

Graphically it looks great and it’s a PS3 exclusive so I suspect I’ll check it out at some stage depending on how much I enjoy the demo.

 

Prototype

Release Date: 09/06/09

Well it always seems the way – a style of game doesn’t get touched for ages then two come along at once.

I see absolutely no reason not to own both Prototype and InFamous if they are good enough. Both have a different story to tell and have been made by different people.

You play as Alex Mercer, waking up in the morgue and wondering what the hell is going on. You have no memory but luckily for you (not for everyone else :lol:) you can absorb other people’s appearances and memory by killing them 😮

And so the story begins as you try and piece together what the hell is going on and where your superpowers have appeared from.

Prototype seems to take itself less seriously than InFamous (performing an elbow drop on a tank :cool:) so I’m not sure how the story will play out.

Either way I’ll be getting this when it comes out in the Summer.

 

Batman: Arkham Asylum

Release Date: 09/06/09

I don’t think we’ve ever really had a great Batman game, although a friend vouches for Batman Begins, but Arkham Asylum looks like it could be something special.

Not restrained by being tied to a film the game has a level of freedom in design and story that isn’t often present in licensed games.

Basically Batman falls into the Joker’s trap by arresting him and taking him to the Asylum. The Joker escapes his chains and releases the inmates to take over the Asylum.

It’s up to Batman to punch, kick and batarang his way through.

It all looks great and the options for stealth or attack look pretty cool but I feel this one will come down to how they implement the control system.

Hopefully it’ll be easy enough to play and I’m looking forward to the demo, which should be with us in the next few weeks.

 

Red Faction

Release Date: 09/06/09

Another one that has crept into the list, Red Faction: Guerrilla makes an appearance based on how much fun the demo was.

I watched plenty of trailers and footage for this game without being overly impressed. The main selling point seemed to be the way everything destructs realistically and to me that wasn’t something of great interest – as long as it crumbles I don’t mind how it goes down. 🙂

But I’d underestimated how much fun it is to destroy things. Especially with an oversized hammer 😀

Might be worth a rent before I decide whether to invest but I’ll be keeping an eye on the reviews for this one.

 

Ghostbusters

Release Date: 16/06/09

Well we’ve certainly waited long enough – after being dropped by Activision Ghostbusters is almost upon us.

From the footage I’ve seen this could be a great game and to be honest with the original cast and the sound effects of the proton pack, Ecto 1 etc it could be a re-skinned version of any generic third person shooter and I’d be happy. 🙂

As it is the game seems to be getting ok feedback, maybe just above average, and apparently the script and delivery are excellent.

As someone who grew up with the films and cartoon TV series a decent Ghostbusters game has been a long time coming.

My inner child cannot wait to fire up his proton pack and bust some ghosts 😎

*sings On Our Own by Bobby Brown*

 

Call Of Juarez – Bound In Blood

Release Date: 30/06/09

And so we have the second of the Western themed games and this one seems a lot more linear and story driven than Rockstar’s Red Dead Redemption (featured in Part Two).

You control two brothers and have the option to use either as you progress through the levels.

Both of them have different special abilties, one is great with long range weapons and the other can target multiple opponents before letting loose with both barrels.

I like the look of this and while the game looks to lack a degree of freedom I think that in some cases it’s nice to play a game and be led by the story.

Again one to check the demo first but a probable purchase.

 

Fight Night Round 4

Release Date: Summer 2009

I enjoyed Fight Night Round 3 but, quite frankly, it was just the PS2 version with shiny graphics.

This is a whole new game engine built from the ground up and based on physics.

It looks incredible and the movement of the fighters is much improved. Also the boxers can now get right up close, the ‘invisible wall’ from Round 3 has been removed.

The knockdowns are much better, the repetitive knockdown animation is gone and each knockdown will happen in real-time, which looks brilliant.

The roster has been increased and Lennox Lewis & Mike Tyson are both welcome inclusions.

This will be great to play with your mates and I should imagine online will be great (EA certainly does online very well) but I’m hoping for an extended career mode in single player.

A demo is pencilled in for mid May so it’s not long until we get a chance to try it out.

 

Alpha Protocol

Release Date: October 2009

Alpha Protocol is a spy-RPG (Role Playing Game), meaning effectively that you have a say in how your characters statistics develop through the game.

Want to be a crack shot? Level up your gun skills. How about a deadly weapon with your hands? Level up your martial arts skills.

You take control of an agent who is so deep under cover even your fellow agents don’t know about you. You get to mould his skills to suit your style of play as you go from location to location completing missions.

This game sounds like it could be really fun.

Added into the mix is what sounds like an excellent decision making mechanic whereby you are given three answers to choose from when asked a question but instead of sitting deliberating (“well if I say that x might happen but if I say y this might happen”) you get 5 seconds to answer or (I believe) it picks a passive answer for you.

It’s nice to see developers putting out games that don’t necessarily sit in one genre and I think Aplha Protocol could be an awesome story-based gaming experience.

 

M.A.G

Release Date: TBC 2009

MAG stands for Massive Action Game. It would have to be a pretty big game to actually label itself ‘Massive’ wouldn’t it?

Most games have 32 online players, there are a few that can support 64 players at a time. So what would constitute ‘Massive?’

80? 100? 150 surely? 200?!

Try 256. All human opponents. 128 players a side.
We are pretty much talking an actual war here 🙂 and judging from the trailer above this could be great fun, complete chaos but fun nonetheless.

I’m interested to see if they can actually pull It off successfully. This could be the game SOCOM wanted to be.

 

Heavy Rain

Release Date: TBC 2009

Now this is an interesting one, Heavy Rain is aiming to be a whole new gaming experience – more interactive and filmic than ever before.

Very little is known about the story itself and several rumours have been flying around regarding gameplay etc

The most interesting of which is the idea that the story continues until the end regardless. If you die you don’t replay the level you switch to another (different) character and continue the story from their perspective.

If that’s true it sounds awesome. Regardless of the rumours the game is shaping up to be one of the best looking and innovative title that is on the horizon.

 

God Of War 3

Release Date: TBA (2009/10)

Do I need to write anything here? 😆

Seriously it’s shaping up to top the previous two games, which is really saying something.

This is one of the jewels in Sony’s crown. Critically acclaimed and loved by gamers, the God Of War franchise is edging ever closer to it’s next-gen debut.

The footage above is obviously from a conference on a big screen but it still looks great – the movement of Kratos has obviously been improved and the the gameplay seems to flow better.

This will be massive and I cannot wait for it to arrive.

 

So there you have it – the first part of my most wanted games. I honestly don’t think there has been a better time to be a gamer – whether it’s on PS3, X-Box or Nintendo.

The scope, scale and production values on games is immense and there is a real value for money feel to most games nowadays, with almost all titles clocked in between 8 and 10 hours of gameplay in solo player campaigns. Not to mention multi-player.

Hope you enjoyed the list and Most Wanted – Part Two should be up next week.