Top 100 Single Player PS3 Games: Part 8 (30-21)

I can’t believe we’re almost at the top ten, it seems like quite a while ago now I started compiling this list!

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

Part One (100-91)

Part Two (90-81)

Part Three (80-71)

Part Four (70-61)

Part Five (60-51)

Part Six (50-41)

Part Seven (40-31)

Please bear in mind this list doesn’t take into account multiplayer aspects of games, it’s based solely on single player experience.

Let’s get into the Top 30…

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30. Hitman Absolution

Hitman1

In Hitman Absolution, Agent 47 has gone rogue after carrying out a mission in which he kills his former handler ‘Diana’. As a complex plot unravels you will be tasked with using all of your Hitman skills to track and eliminate targets to get information.

The controls are tight and Agent 47 handles well. I liked the feel of the shooting and felt that they did a good job of making your shots seem like they were landing with a suitable punch.

I can’t recommend Hitman Absolution enough. There are a range of difficulty levels (the higher ones remove instinct etc) so whether you want to get into Hitman or are a long time fan of the series, this game has a lot to offer. It’s not perfect and sometimes a little wonky AI or level design comes into play but this is a great title that you can have a whole heap of fun with.

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29. Portal 2

Portal 2 is essentially a puzzle game – a series of rooms that you have to work your way out of using a gun that shoots portals. Once you have shot two portals you can use them to travel between and (hopefully) escape the room.

The story that runs alongside the puzzles is interesting and while it’s a device to get you through puzzle rooms I found it to be enjoyable, especially considering the small amount characters in the game. It has a great sense of comedy, with a fair few jokes that had me chuckling out loud.

Further down the line you’ll have plenty of other elements thrown into the mix and you’ll need to use everything at your disposal to get out of the rooms. Definitely one to try.

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28. Assassin’s Creed II

Assassin’s Creed II picks up with Desmond Miles after the conclusion of the first game as he escapes with Lucy Stillman from the Abstergo Industries building and finds himself in a safe house with a new Animus, delving into another set of ancestral memories.

This time you’ll be playing as Ezio in Italy in the 1400′s. This is a glorious setting as you move between Tuscany, Florence, Venice and more. The difference in areas is apparent and they have gone to a lot of trouble to make each feel individual.

As well as the main plot missions there are a wealth of side missions and collectibles – this freedom of choice means you never feel railroaded into anything and delivers a wonderful gaming experience.

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27. Bayonetta

Bayonetta is an action adventure game very much in the mould of Devil May Cry and God Of War 3. It’s fast paced and the emphasis is most definitely on Bayonetta – for everything except boss battles you will easily be the most powerful being in the fight.

The combat is astoundingly good. Better in my opinion than God Of War or any similar title. There is just so much you can do, with gun attacks on hand & feet (yep, the heels of her shoes are guns), samurai sword, torture attacks (special moves focusing on one enemy – for example magically creating a guillotine and throwing one enemy into it) and climax moves (where Bayonetta’s hair, which is also her costume, flows upwards and forms itself into a massive demon to beat bigger enemies).

Yes you read that last bit right… her HAIR is her costume that can also turn into giant demons!

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26. Battlefield: Bad Company 2

BFBC2

The single player campaign of Bad Company 2 is a wonderful blast through several impressive set pieces and the feeling of being in ‘B’ Company really adds to the experience.

That sense of community and closeness to the characters is a big bonus and probably the main reason Battlefield’s campaign stands head and shoulders above Modern Warfare 2.

Clocking in at around 8/9 hours it’s also almost double the length of Infinity Ward’s offering but it occasionally lacks the polish of Call Of Duty – perhaps down to the fact that everything is destructable in the environment. Overall though this is a great single player experience.

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25. Infamous 2

Infamous 2 is a more polished version of the original – if you’re looking for a vastly different game then this isn’t it. But with the first game being so enjoyable why change the formula?

I thought the story was excellent and the characters feel a lot stronger than the original. As before you can upgrade your powers depending on various factors and there are certainly some fun ones in there.

The Karma system returns and for the big choices is as obvious as before but it’s a nice touch to have the choice of approaching a handful of missions as either good or evil, regardless of your current karma level. I must say the final choice of the game had me sitting there for about 5 minutes fighting with myself over what to do.

If you liked the first game you will love this. If you haven’t you don’t need to have played the original (though I’d recommend it) to get the sequel. Infamous 2 was one of the stronger single player games I blasted through that year.

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24. Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune

UCDrakesFortune

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

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.

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23. Killzone 3

Picking up the story directly after the events at the end of the last game, you reprise your role as Tomas ‘Sev’ Sevchenko with the ISA (Interplanetary Strategic Alliance) trying to get off the planet Helghan – only to be met with the full force of the Helghast, who have regrouped following the climax of Killzone 2.

If you’re looking for a game to redefine or revolutionise the first person shooter genre then you are looking in the wrong place. Killzone 3 brings very little to the table in terms of new ideas but most people picking this up won’t be expecting it to.

This game is about taking down the Helghast, even if you are on the back foot. And what a blast it is.

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22. Batman: Arkham Asylum

Batman AA 2

With some wonderful voice acting from the cast of the animated series, Batman: Arkham Asylum’s story moves at a good pace and familiar enemies are used to good effect throughout.

With such a vivid setting and a memorable selection of bad guys from Batman’s career it’s no surprise that Arkham Asylum is such a great game.

Despite the odds being stacked against it, Batman: Arkham Asylum is a quality title that has had a lot of care put into making it. I’d recommend this to anyone.

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21. God Of War III

God Of War III picks up exactly where God Of War II ended and the opening is stunning in it’s sheer scale.

The first part of the level sees you fighting enemies on a Titan’s back before you quickly move onto a boss battle that, quite frankly, would appear at the end of most other games. From there on out Kratos’ rampage against the Gods continues at full speed.

Most of the highlights of the game come from the boss battles, unless perhaps you are a fan of puzzle based gameplay – if so you’re well catered for here.

If you’re a fan of the other games in the series or have never tried a God Of War title before then jump straight in and get ready for a bloodbath… this is a game you have to play if you own a PS3 and is one of the best single player experiences out there.

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So another ten games down as we get set to make an assault on the Top 20 – check back next week for the penultimate edition of the Top 100!

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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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Top 50 Single Player Games: Part Three (30-21)

So we’re continuing the look at my Top 50 Single Player Games with Part Three (Click here for Parts One and Two). We’ve hit the Top 30!

As previously highlighted I’m mainly focusing on good story based experiences, so things like FIFA or Madden won’t be appearing on the list.

Let’s get going:

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30. FIGHT NIGHT CHAMPION (NE)

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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29. RAINBOW SIX VEGAS (20)

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.

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

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28. RESIDENT EVIL 5 (19)

For all it’s faults Resident Evil 5, taken as a whole, is a brilliant game and one that I would recommend. Graphically it’s stunning and while it isn’t a hugely difficult game you’ll enjoy playing through and unravelling the story.

It survives the huge expectation of following Resident Evil 4… just. This is a game that everyone should play as Resi comes to the new generation of consoles.

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27. DRAGON AGE: ORIGINS (18)

Dragon Age: Origins sees you create a fantasy character to take on an epic journey – starting with your very own prologue.

After playing the backstory your character is enlisted to become a Grey Warden – an elite group of fighters whose main role is to destroy the Darkspawn – evil creatures that have begun to overrun the world.

I really enjoyed the storyline of Dragon Age: Origins and it was nice to see characters develop over such a large amount of time – of course I understand that this may be the norm for you regular RPG players but for me it was a nice change of pace.

This is a mammoth game (over 25 hours) but it is certainly worth your time if you’re willing to lose yourself in it.

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26. KANE AND LYNCH: DEAD MEN (17)

You take control of Adam ‘Kane’ Marcus, a criminal on his way to death row for crimes committed in Venezeula. 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…

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25. ALPHA PROTOCOL (NE)

Alpha Protocol is a glitchy mess of a game on the whole – bugs, enemies not loading or getting stuck in walls, it’s all here.

And from reading those initial negative points you may be thinking you’ll give Alpha Protocol a miss, that it may be too annoying to play through? Well in my opinion that would be a mistake. And here’s why.

The game Alpha Protocol reminds me of the most? Heavy Rain.

Unlike a game such as God Of War 3 or Mafia II where you character’s destiny is pre determined and you are playing through *their* story, with Alpha Protocol you are creating your own version of Michael Thornton’s life. And if you stick with it and can see past the glitches you’re in for a treat.

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24. BATTLEFIELD: BAD COMPANY 2 (16)

The single player campaign is a wonderful blast through several impressive set pieces and the feeling of being in ‘B’ Company really adds to the experience.

That sense of community and closeness to the characters is a big bonus and probably the main reason Battlefield’s campaign stands head and shoulders above Modern Warfare 2.

Clocking in at around 8/9 hours it’s also almost double the length of Infinity Ward’s offering but it occasionally lacks the polish of Call Of Duty – perhaps down to the fact that everything is destructable in the environment. Overall though this is a great single player experience.

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23. HEAVENLY SWORD (15)

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

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

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22. GHOSTBUSTERS: THE VIDEO GAME (14)

Ghostbusters: The Video Game’s plot is essentially the third movie – set in 1991 you’re a rookie who’s been drafted in to help with the ever increasing ghost workload. A huge paranormal blast sets off a chain of events that only one group of guys can deal with…

For me Ghostbusters was a short (5 hour) game that had me chuckling and geeking out despite it’s flaws – it won’t be to everyone’s tastes but it has a good single player storyline.

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21. PORTAL 2 (NE)

Portal 2 is essentially a puzzle game – a series of rooms that you have to work your way out of using a gun that shoots portals. Once you have shot two portals you can use them to travel between and (hopefully) escape the room.

The story that runs alongside the puzzles is interesting and while it’s a device to get you through puzzle rooms I found it to be enjoyable, especially considering the small amount characters in the game. It has a great sense of comedy, with a fair few jokes that had me chuckling out loud.

Further down the line you’ll have plenty of other elements thrown into the mix and you’ll need to use everything at your disposal to get out of the rooms. Definitely one to try.

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So there we go, another installment finished.

Please feel free to leave comments below and we’ll hit up the Top 20 next week!

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Portal 2 – Review (PS3)

Portal was one of those games that I never got around to playing and eventually it got to the stage where the second game arrived and I thought I might as well just play that instead.

It’s essentially a puzzle game – a series of rooms that you have to work your way out of using a gun that shoots portals. Once you have shot two portals you can use them to travel between and (hopefully) escape the room.

It’s a difficult prospect to explain and until you’ve played it yourself it might not fully make sense but here is the trailer for the game to give you more of an idea.

I haven’t ever played anything like it. As much as I dislike puzzle elements in my games (Uncharted and God Of War are about my limit) I thoroughly enjoyed Portal 2. After all a great game is a great game, regardless of how much puzzling it features 😉

There is a story that runs alongside the puzzles but this is essentially a sequence of 60 odd rooms that you need to get out of – each more fiendish than the last.

Further down the line you’ll have plenty of other elements thrown into the mix and you’ll need to use everything at your disposal to get out.

On a personal level I got through the first half of the game without help but the latter half required some vigorous checking of GameFaqs to uncover the route out of some areas. Whilst I enjoyed some of the challenge of discovering the exit to rooms I’m afraid I wasn’t willing to spend 45 minutes trying to work out what to do.

The voice acting is superb and the game has several funny moments – even if you haven’t played the first game you will enjoy the experience.

There is also a co-op online mode, though unfortunately I haven’t tried this due to the PSN being down. It’s the same formula as the main game though, except you’ll have twice as many portals!

Portal 2 is definitely a game you should try – there simply isn’t anything like it out there. How much you enjoy it, and whether or not you’ll stick with it to the end, will be down to how much you enjoy solving puzzles.

Rating: 8/10

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Hacksville: Population 70m+

Unless you’ve been under a rock for the last three weeks you’ll have noticed that the PS3 has been without it’s online component, the PSN.

Someone hacked into the network and stole users personal data so Sony shut down the entire online aspect of it’s service to investigate.

It took a week or so for them to fill gamers in because they were waiting for the investigation to be completed by a third party. Once they had the confirmation they let us know the following day.

Online is a big part of the gaming experience for a lot of people.

This is apparently standard procedure (see here for more details) but it was the announcement that the hackers could also have got hold of users credit card details that ruffled feathers.

It usually takes something controversial for gaming to appear in the mainstream news, let alone make the headlines, so the theft of over 70m users credit card details was just what the media ordered.

The truth of the matter is that, at present, Sony has nothing to prove that credit card details were taken and no-one has reported any unauthorised activity on their cards.

Killzone 3 was a recent flagship online game for Sony, will people return to it or play fresher titles?

From a personal perspective I immediately cancelled my card and ordered a new one. Any concerns from my end were then finished.

Sony vowed to increase security and apologised for the breach. They have also offered some compensation in the form of some free games and a month of Playstation Plus for free.

As time rolled on and a few days turned into a week, which turned into two weeks… gamers seemed to be getting overly irate.

What impact will the outage have on the sales of a game heavily based around multiplayer, like Brink?

Now I accept that Sony has to shoulder some blame for this but someone breached the security they had in place and attacked them. I’m presuming this was a data theft issue because any group, such as anonymous, that attempted this to inconvenience Sony will have lost any support from PS3 gamers.

In terms of getting back online I would much rather the PSN was down an extra week or two now with better security than have it back up and running now, only to see it taken down again a few weeks later with problems.

Sony’s initial response was by the book according to people in the know, so waiting until the investigation was complete before commenting was ok with me. But the handling of it over the last few weeks has been ridiculous. The phrase ‘a few more days’ has been wheeled out at every opportunity, when realistically they must have known they were looking at weeks rather than days.

Were some gamers really desperate enough to play Call Of Duty that they would trade in their PS3?

There have been plenty of claims of people trading in their PS3 for an XBox 360 so they can play online, which I find hard to believe. Buying a 360 as well? Can see that as an option for people with the cash to do so. But trading in your PS3? What about the exclusives coming up such as Infamous 2, Resistance 3, Uncharted 3 or the just announced Starhawk?

The time the PSN has been down has been a blessing in disguise for me as I’ve knocked out a huge chunk of my single player backlog before the arrival of L.A Noire.

Over the last three weeks I’ve made my way through Bulletstorm, SOCOM 4, the first episode of Back To The Future: The Game, Stacking, Crysis 2, Portal 2 and X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Not to mention throwing countless hours into Mass Effect 2.

The outage meant I cleared a big chunk of my game backlog.

I rediscovered my love of single player gaming. With the PSN showing signs of life this week it might be time to rediscover my love of online gaming.

What did you guys so in the downtime? Play much? Turn to other pursuits? What did you think of Sony’s handling of the situation – from the actual security itself to the response and release of information?

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E3 2010 – The GregHorrorShow Wrap Up

 

So E3 has been and gone, leaving us to pick through the huge mass of info and game news that it’s left in it’s wake.

Not all of us were lucky enough to go to the actual show but fortunately Gametrailers.com and the like have managed to bring us footage and interviews from the show.

For a more in-depth look at some of the games from someone that was at E3, check out @Zvolen’s website Beyondthedpad.com

Well there’s a hell of a lot of stuff to get through – so let’s get started!

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MEDAL OF HONOR

Looks pretty interesting, especially in single player. On the multiplayer front it seems very similar to Battlefield, which is a good thing in one way but slightly disappointing in another.

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DEAD SPACE 2

More of the same from Issac Clarke and this is one I can’t wait for. Not a fan of jumpy horror stuff but the whole Dead Space universe is so rich I’m in!

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LITTLEBIGPLANET 2

Make your own games? Sounds like a win to me. Hopefully another decent story mode to work through before downloading loads of great user generated content.

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SONIC THE HEDGEHOG 4

I’m fairly hopeful that this reboot will be decent enough – it looks great but it’s hard to tell without having actually played it. Looking forward to some sort of demo at a later date.

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INFAMOUS 2

Oh Sucker Punch. What have you done to Cole? 😡 The brooding, cool badass of the original has been replaced with a boyband reject – not a good look. Hopefully the game itself will live up to the standard of the first.

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TWISTED METAL

Really pleased about this announcement, been waiting for a new Twisted Metal for a long time and the team based mechanics look solid. Could be very cool indeed.

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KILLZONE 3

Looks like the clash between the ISA and the Helghast continues apace, which is great news for us fans of Killzone. 😎 3D has been added as well, though that isn’t of much interest to me.

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MOTORSTORM APOCALYPSE

I was sceptical about shifting the series to a city but am glad to have been proven wrong. With the option to drive under, over and even through buildings Motorstorm Apocalypse is one to watch out for.

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SPEC OPS: THE LINE

Great trailer huh? Initially shown off back in December, Spec Ops: The Line has stepped up to the plate and looks to have some nice tricks up it’s sleeve.

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ASSASSIN’S CREED – BROTHERHOOD

Wasn’t 100% sure how multiplayer would work in Assassin’s Creed but having seen some of the footage from E3 it seems to be pretty well implemented. Story wise we play as Ezio again which is definitely ok with me.

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GRAN TURISMO 5

Gran Turismo 5 – we’ve been waiting for this for about 6 years 😮 Hyper realistic driving sim – graphics do look truly amazing.

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BULLETSTORM

Was not sold on this game at all previously but the stuff I’ve seen from E3 looks cool as a single player game. Still not interested in this as a multiplayer experience but I’ll wait and see how it develops before making a decision on whether it’s one I’ll pick up.

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HOMEFRONT

Hadn’t heard much about this but I’m a sucker for alternate timelines so this ‘US-has-been-invaded’ story sits well with me. One to watch.

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KINECT / MOVE

Motion control has obviously played a big part at E3 this year with both Microsoft (Kinect) and Sony (Move) looking to gatecrash Nintendo’s (Wii) party. In my opinion Move is already head and shoulders above Kinect, and probably Wii, with regard to proper games… Killzone 3, LittleBigPlanet 2, Heavy Rain (patch), SOCOM 4, Resi Evil 5 and Time Crisis all confirmed. Even if I don’t wanna play them with Move at least the option is there and they are REAL GAMES that don’t involve sports resorts or yoga.

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SOCOM 4

More interested in this than previous instalments, mainly because they have boosted the single player aspect (ie there is one :lol:) and also the fact that via Battlefield: Bad Company 2‘s multiplayer I’ve learnt the value of teamwork. Could be a really good experience.

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DEAD RISING 2

Quite excited to get my hands on this one as the first game was an XBox exclusive and I’ve only heard good things about it. My only concern is will there be enough variation to keep me playing?

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FALLOUT: NEW VEGAS

I lost 25 hours of my life to Fallout 3 – I’ve already pencilled in at least another day for New Vegas 😆

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MORTAL KOMBAT

I’m not a huge fan of fighting games but I loved the original Mortal Kombat and this new reboot is taking it back to the franchise’s darker, gory roots. Expect plenty of fatalities upon release.

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GHOST RECON: FUTURE SOLDIER

Like Bulletstorm, I pretty much had no interest in this prior to E3 but the thing that’s hooked me here is the potential for online co-op play. The gadgets look pretty cool as well. 😎

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RAGE

Still not sure on this game – looks like Borderlands? Guess that’s not a bad thing but how many Mad Max type games can you have?

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CRYSIS 2

This looks pretty sweet as a single player experience. Liking the style and the graphics are great.

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PORTAL 2 

VALVE even being at the Sony conference was a shock, especially having Gabe himself up there after all his slagging off of PS3 in the past. But Portal is a hugely respected game so I’ll make sure I work my way through that before approaching the sequel.

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METAL GEAR: RISING

NB. This trailer features graphic sword cutting – avoid if easily offended!

Metal Gear: Rising looked brilliant. Looks like a better version of WET‘s sword mechanics. Raiden as a bad ass? Who’d have thought it back in the MGS2 days 🙂

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GOD OF WAR: GHOST OF SPARTA (PSP)

Wow. Ready At Dawn look set to continue where they left off. Ghost Of Sparta looks tasty and I suspect will be full of awesomesauce (as DK money shizzle might say :lol:)

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Disapointment-wise, I’d say CASTLEVANIA which I thought might be cool but looks like a poor man’s Bayonetta/God Of War 😦

DRIVER, with it’s car jumping mechanic looks a bit too gimmicky.

I was very disappointed there is no sign of a new HITMAN game 😥

Also whilst CALL OF DUTY: BLACK OPs looks good graphically I’m not sold – especially as that rappel bit from the trailer was nicked wholesale from RAINBOW SIX (now that’s a game I’d like to see announced! :cool:)

Would’ve liked to have seen new information on Last Guardian, Batman 2, Resistance 3 (an announcement that it’s actually coming) or Agent but suspect we’ll have more info on those at the Tokyo game show in August.

Also no PSP2! Though perhaps with hindsight they were wise – if they are gonna do it – not to put it up against the Nintendo 3DS (which I won’t be getting but does look like a great bit of kit).

But you can’t have everything.

So to sum up, in order, my Top 10 MOST WANTED of E3:

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1 Killzone 3

2 Dead Space 2

3 Metal Gear Rising

4 Twisted Metal

5 Crysis 2

6 God Of War: Ghost Of Sparta

7 Medal Of Honor

8 LittleBigPlanet 2

9 Infamous 2

10 Motorstorm Apocalypse

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Let me know what you guys are most looking forward to!

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