Top 100 Single Player PS3 Games: Part 2 (90-81)

Top 100 Part 2 Main

Well, we’re here for the second part already of the Top 100 Single Player games on PS3.

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 begin:

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90. Far Cry 2

FarCry2

Far Cry 2 was my first experience with the Far Cry series. A first person shooter set in Africa, it puts you on the trail of The Jackal, an arms dealer causing chaos in the region. The game gives you a great deal of freedom to drive around and explore the area, as well as doing main missions to complete the story.

Not content with giving you rebel groups and a harsh environment to deal with, in Far Cry 2 you’ll also have to deal with the fact your character has Malaria and needs to keep taking medication to avoid destabilising attacks.

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89. Metal Gear Solid Rising: Revengeance

MGR3

Set 4 years after the events of Metal Gear Solid 4, Rising sees you take control of Raiden once more – though he has changed somewhat since the Metal Gear Solid 2 days 🙂

Unfortunately, a lack of flexibility killed the game for me. At times I just felt drained and, to be honest, that kind of typifies my experience with Metal Gear Rising. For the majority of the game I was comfortable, in control and having fun. Then I would hit a crazy difficulty spike and just end up frustrated.

My advice, unless you love a hugely challenging experience, would be to just play this through on Easy first time out and enjoy the ride. Rising is a fun and over the top action game, I just didn’t enjoy playing all of it.

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88. Assassin’s Creed

AC 1

The original Assassin’s Creed plays a bit like a tech demo that outstays it welcome compared to the games in the series that followed it. However at the time it was like nothing else out there – interesting game mechanics, good characters and a great, historical setting gave us value for money.

The assassinations were the high point of the game but unfortunately these were padded out with lots of repetitive missions to gain intel on targets. Gameplay itself was strong and it was refreshing to play something with well designed sword-play. Not as strong as some of the other Assassin’s Creed games but worth checking out if you can stomach the grind of gathering intel.

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87. Far Cry 3

Far Cry 3 Main

Far Cry 3 puts you in the shoes of Jason Brody, a rich kid who is partying with his friends on a tropical paradise island near Bangkok. However, as becomes apparent in the game’s opening, everything is not quite as idyllic as it seems.

The story itself starts strongly, wavers in the middle and finishes well – though it felt like there were different directions Far Cry 3 could’ve gone in that might’ve been better suited to the early story stuff.

After initially being impressed with Far Cry 3 by the end of the game I felt a little let down by the way the story developed. Added to that were the technical issues that disrupted my playthrough and it made for a slightly disjointed experience.

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86. Rainbow Six Vegas 2

rsv 2

Rainbow Six Vegas 2 was a great follow up title featuring more of the same tactical SWAT style shenanigans. If you like your shooters fast and furious (ala Call Of Duty) then this won’t be for you.

You’ll be taking control of the Rainbow Six teams as they try to stop a terrorist attack and you’ll need all the tactical skills you have to orchestrate the mission and get success. But you also have a few nifty tricks up your sleeves – whether that’s something as simple as a flashbang or a small camera that can be used to see what’s on the other side of a closed door.

Methodical planning and several ways to strike make this a tactical dream. But it’s still a FPS at heart and there are a few frantic firefights waiting for you as you return to the Strip.

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85. Bulletstorm

Bulletstorm

Telling the story of Grayson Hunt, a space pirate in the 26th century, who crash lands his crew’s ship on an alien planet following a (failed) drunken attempt at revenge on a huge spaceship. As you try to battle your way off the planet all hell breaks loose, with various factions taking each other on as well as fighting with you.

The game mechanics work well and some of the ways you can dispatch foes have to be seen to be believed. Environmental kills and lots of creative weapons make for a fun, and different, experience.

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84. Need For Speed: The Run

NFSTheRun 2

Need For Speed: The Run is a ‘Cannonball Run’ style chase across the US, minus the wacky characters (sadly). The cars handle well and this is definitely the arcade style of driving. You’ll have great fun power sliding a Porsche through corners as you swerve to avoid oncoming traffic.

The story is much of a muchness and was a bit too serious for my liking. If they’d taken a bit more inspiration from ‘Cannonball Run’ this could’ve been a great title.

Don’t get me wrong, The Run is a fun game and you’ll have a good time playing it for the most part. The load times and odd difficulty spike do have an impact but the biggest issue I had with the game was walking away from it thinking it was one hell of a wasted opportunity to create something a little more unique.

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83. Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Future Soldier

FutureSoldier Main

Ghost Recon: Future Solider puts you in the boots of Cedric Ferguson, the Captain of the Ghost Recon squad ‘Hunter.’ After a bomb denotes and wipes out another squad, ‘Predator’, you are assigned the task of finding out who set the bomb off and where it came from.

The gameplay is solid, this is a third person based shooter that also features an iron sight view for those that want it. It reminded me of SOCOM 4 in terms of control and feel but obviously having lots of extra gadgets (active camouflage/UAV’s/Cyborgs etc) makes it a different beast to play through.

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82. Battlefield 3

BF3

Battlefield 3 had been one of my most anticipated games of 2011 and the developers incorporated lots of things from Bad Company to help improve the all round gameplay.

I did thoroughly enjoy the multiplayer aspect of the game. However we’re here to discuss single player games and sadly Battlefield 3’s campaign is a decent, linear shooter that doesn’t really do much to break new ground. Graphically it’s very impressive and it’s not bad to play through but it just doesn’t do enough to stand out from any of the other FPS campaigns out there.

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81. Syndicate

Syndicate Main

Syndicate is a first person shooter which is set in 2069. You play as Agent Miles Kilo, one of EuroCorp’s newest members. In the world of Syndicate corporate espionage is where the great power struggles happen. The corporations are the ones running everything and information is vital.

While I didn’t think the game was amazing, it was certainly above average and brought some interesting gameplay ideas forward. It’s a shame the sales were low as I’d actually be up for playing a sequel that was set in that universe and was, perhaps, a bit more refined.

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So that’s part two done and dusted – we’ll be hitting 80 through to 71 next week so come back then 🙂 As always let me know in the comments if you’ve played any of these titles and what you thought of them…

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GregHorrorShow: Game Awards 2012

GOTYMain

So another fantastic year of gaming draws to a close and it’s time to look back to see what’s impressed in 2012:

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BEST GAME INNOVATION

GOTYInnovation

WINNER: Spec Ops ‘Degradation Of Characters’

It’s crazy to think that this has never been done before. In Spec Ops: The Line as well as physical changes, you and your squad also take a psychological beating. Later in the game as your character starts screaming his orders instead of calmly giving them it makes a huge difference. Even reloading calls are shouted through gritted teeth. It just makes the game feel incredibly visceral. Big shout outs to both Dishonored and Hitman: Absolution for bringing some new, inventive mechanics to the stealth genre. I expect both Blink and Instinct will turn up in other games at some stage.

RUNNERS UP:

  • Dishonored – Blink
  • Max Payne 3 – Bullet Time in Online Matches
  • Hitman: Absolution – Instinct

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BEST DLC (CONTENT)

GOTYDLCCon

WINNER: Battlefield 3 – Close Quarters

While Borderlands 2 gave us a substantial chunk of gameplay with Captain Scarlett’s Booty and Uncharted 3 delivered some clever, new maps, for sheer awesomeness this award has to go to Battlefield 3 for Close Quarters. This map pack with two new game modes was a brilliant addition to the Battlefield package. The maps in here are some of my favourite in the entire game’s roster – Operation 925 and Ziba Tower are so well designed it hurts. Sure these maps slightly favour a shotgun but when has that ever been a problem 🙂

RUNNERS UP:

  • Uncharted 3 – Map Pack
  • Mass Effect 3 – From Ashes
  • Borderlands 2 – Captain Scarlett’s Booty

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BEST DOWNLOADABLE GAME

Journey 1

WINNER: Journey

Journey is unlike anything I’ve ever played – it truly is a game that needs to be experienced rather than discussed but if you’d like to read more, check out my review from earlier in the year. A truly stunning game. Also have to congratulate the guys at Evolution on Motorstorm RC – when I first saw the reveal I wasn’t hugely impressed but the game turned out to be fantastic.

RUNNERS UP:

  • Motorstorm RC
  • Sound Shapes
  • When Vikings Attack!

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MOST ANTICIPATED GAME OF 2013

GOTYMostAnt

WINNER: Grand Theft Auto V

Rockstar continue to deliver top quality games – since the last GTA we’ve had L.A Noire, Max Payne 3 and the superlative Red Dead Redemption. Grand Theft Auto V looks set to continue that (check out the trailer in the next section) and I can’t wait to see what advances have been made since the last game back in 2008.

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BEST GAME TRAILER

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WINNER: Borderlands 2

I love this trailer. It completely sums up the game and when Claptrap… well I won’t spoil it but check it out.

I’ve also included the runners up below so you can check them out as well.

RUNNERS UP:

  • Grand Theft Auto V
  • Beyond: Two Souls
  • Bioshock Infinite

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BEST PS VITA GAME

GOTYVita

WINNER: Motorstorm RC

There have been some fantastic games for the Vita in it’s first year and I certainly don’t think the console is lacking in titles. Assassin’s Creed III: Liberation came close to making this list but was edged out by the excellent Need For Speed: Most Wanted. Sony Bend Studios delivered a great Uncharted game and Gravity Rush was a blast, despite some frustrating combat issues. However the award in 2012 goes to Motorstorm RC, a completely addictive racer that took up far too much of my time. Beating friend’s scores on the tracks gave everything a competitive edge and I enjoyed it so much I bought all the DLC to get more tracks. In my opinion a perfect title for the Vita.

RUNNERS UP:

  • Uncharted: Golden Abyss
  • Need For Speed: Most Wanted
  • Gravity Rush

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BEST GRAPHICS

GOTYGraphics

WINNER: Max Payne 3

Usually best graphics is one of those categories where you can immediately arrive at a shortlist and the tough part is narrowing that down to a winner. But this year we’ve had a number of games that shone in various different styles. It’s been extremely difficult and titles like The Darkness II, Need For Speed: Most Wanted, Hitman Absolution and Gravity Rush have all failed to make the cut. For me, although it was a linear experience, Max Payne 3 really delivered a mix of great technical work and graphical style to create a fairly unique and stunning looking game.

RUNNERS UP:

  • Journey
  • Assassin’s Creed III
  • Borderlands II

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BEST STORYLINE

GOTYStory

WINNER: Spec Ops: The Line

I had been keeping an eye on Spec Ops: The Line ever since it’s first reveal back at the Video Game Awards in 2009, so I was most pleased to see it finally get released in the summer. Promising tough moral choices, an interesting story and some good use of desert sand to trap enemies it looked like Spec Ops might dominate the barren Summer release schedule. It didn’t quite work out that way but Spec Ops: The Line tells one of the more engrossing stories in games of the last few years. The way things unfold is well choreographed and having seen some of the conversations with the writers of the game it seems almost everything in the game was planned that way from the beginning. It’s a slow start but well worth sticking with – one of the best storylines for a while.

RUNNERS UP:

  • Max Payne 3
  • The Darkness II
  • Dishonored

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BEST SOUNDTRACK (SCORE)

GOTYScore

WINNER: Max Payne 3 – Health

There have been some fantastic scores this year, from the usual military bombast of Call Of Duty: Black Ops II through to the quirky and lovable Sound Shapes on Vita. But most would be hard pressed to match Health‘s score for Max Payne 3, which fitted the game so well it was pretty much another aspect of Max’s character. Journey probably ran it closest, the sweeping joy and sorrow of Austin Wintory’s music really bringing a depth of emotion to the game. Big shout out as well to Hotline Miami, I haven’t even played that game but the soundtrack is fantastic in it’s own right.

RUNNERS UP:

  • Journey – Austin Wintory
  • Gravity Rush (Vita) – Kohei Tanaka
  • Sound Shapes (Vita) – Various

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BEST SOUNDTRACK (LICENSED)

GOTYLicensed

WINNER: The Darkness II

It’s also been a great year for licensed music uses in games – in fact it’s the first year I’ve truly struggled to get a shortlist, never mind a winner. FIFA continues to impress by delving into indie territory and Sleeping Dogs ‘Grand Theft Auto-esque’ radio station approach threw up some great tunes to cause carnage to. Eventually it was a two horse race for this award and despite a few excellent choices (Martha Reeves and the Vandellas – “Nowhere to Run” and Deep Purple – “Hush” in particular) by Spec Ops: The Line, The Darkness II steals it with tracks like Ram Jam – “Black Betty”, Metallica “Some Kind Of Monster”, Stereo MCs – “Connected”, The Flamingos – “I Only Have Eyes for You”, Dean Martin – “In the Chapel in the Moonlight”, The Offspring – “Self-Esteem” and of course, Tone Loc – “Wild Thing”. Fantastic stuff.

RUNNERS UP:

  • FIFA 13
  • Sleeping Dogs
  • Spec Ops: The Line

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BEST VOICE ACTING

SleepingDogs 3

WINNER: Sleeping Dogs

Square Enix assembled an all star cast including Hong Kong actor Will Yun Lee, Tom Wilkinson, Lucy Liu and Emma Stone to bring the characters of Sleeping Dogs to life. They do a great job and really help to pull you into the world the game creates. Nolan North again pulls a Nate Drake performance out of the bag, this time on the small(er) screen of the Vita. He also took on the main role of Martin Walker in Spec Ops: The Line – you can see why he’s one of the most in demand, and best, voice actors in gaming.

RUNNERS UP:

  • Uncharted: Golden Abyss
  • Max Payne 3
  • Spec Ops: The Line

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SINGLE PLAYER GAME OF THE YEAR

Journey Main

WINNER: Journey

Journey is a gaming experience like no other. As you make your way across desolate, sandy dunes the game will run you through a gamut of emotions. It’s such a wonderful game, play it online and in one sitting (it’s 2-3 hours long) – you won’t regret it. While in some respects Mass Effect 3 was disappointing, overall I thought it was a solid, enjoyable game. There were some interesting missions and choices you could make that meant, while the ending might not have been different, how you got to the conclusion of the story varied depending on your actions. Sleeping Dogs was so much fun I think I played almost the entire thing with a smile on my face but the dark horse in this race, sneaking up on the others with a fibre wire, is Hitman: Absolution. After a mis-step with Kane and Lynch 2, IO Interactive really delivered with Hitman. Accessible and challenging – definitely one of the best single player games out there this year.

RUNNERS UP:

  • Hitman: Absolution
  • Mass Effect 3
  • Sleeping Dogs

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MULTIPLAYER GAME OF THE YEAR

GOTYMulti

WINNER: Borderlands 2

It hasn’t really been a great year for online multiplayer in my opinion – too few new games grabbed our attention and it was far too easy to jump back into titles like Battlefield 3 or Uncharted 3. However Borderlands 2 would be a worthy winner any year. Getting online with 3 of your friends and blasting through madcap missions was insane fun and the dash for spilled loot only added to the comedy. Mass Effect 3 successfully introduced multiplayer, it was only a horde mode of sorts but most enjoyable and the added depth of different character races gives it some longevity. Call Of Duty: Black Ops II was the most accessible and flexible yet, with some really great maps to boot. Max Payne 3 adds something different with modes like ‘Payne Killer’ and ‘Gang Wars’ but stands up as a third person action shooter in standard modes like Team Deathmatch as well. I was quite impressed with Max Payne’s online, especially the way the developer factored in bullet time but it didn’t seem like that many people were playing it beyond the first couple of weeks of release.

RUNNERS UP:

  • Mass Effect 3
  • Max Payne 3
  • Call Of Duty: Black Ops II

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GAME OF THE YEAR

GOTYGame

WINNER: Borderlands 2

If you’ve been keeping up with the blog or following me on Twitter it’s probably not too hard to guess this year’s winner. For Borderlands 2, Gearbox Software ramped up the game and refined it to such an extent that it is genuinely hard to find fault with it. It’s fun on your own but truly comes to life in online co-op. Memorable characters compliment the game’s wicked sense of humour and an outrageous amount of classes, guns, shields, mods and relics just add to the chaos. Borderlands 2 is a huge game that you will love playing through.

RUNNERS UP:

  • Sleeping Dogs
  • Hitman: Absolution
  • Journey

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So there you have it, another great year for gaming and the above is only the tip of iceberg. There were some great titles that didn’t make the shortlists but are still worth checking out. Things like Syndicate, Binary Domain, X-Com: Enemy Unknown and Need For Speed: Most Wanted for a start. Or how about Unit 13, Everybody’s Golf and LittleBigPlanet for the Vita.

I never got around to playing a few of the big games from this year, most notably The Walking Dead and Resident Evil 6 but I’ll hopefully get a chance to experience those soon.

There’s been plenty to play this year and 2013 looks interesting, especially with new hardware on the horizon.

What is your game of the year? Let me know what you agree/disagree with in the above and what titles you would’ve had in there.

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Syndicate – Review (PS3)

For those of us whose memories stretch back to the 1990’s, Syndicate was a tactical type affair which I remember owning for the Sega Mega Drive as part of some sort of EA Collection. I never played it. No idea why, perhaps it was too in-depth for my more simple tastes back then.

EA decided to reboot the franchise and turn it into a first person shooter instead. Now as is always the case for this type of thing people seem to either love it or hate it, thinking it’s a breath of fresh air for the series or a complete let down of the heritage of the previous games.

I personally applaud EA for having the guts to give it a shot. As it turns out the reboot of Syndicate didn’t sell much (estimates put sales at under the 200,000 mark, which is pretty poor) but that doesn’t necessarily make it a bad game. So did the switch to first person suit the series?

Set in 2069 you play as Agent Miles Kilo, one of EuroCorp’s newest members. In the world of Syndicate corporate espionage is where the great power struggles happen. The corporations are the ones running everything and information is vital.

Over the course of the game you’ll be tasked with retrieving, or indeed destroying, enemy intel. Which could mean data, files or even people.

The story of Syndicate is pretty interesting and certainly the setting is very cool. I enjoyed the style of the game and found some of the dialogue very well written – Rosario Dawson and the ever excellent Brian Cox do a great job – although I found Merit (your colleague for some of the game) to have one of the most grating voices I’ve had to play alongside for quite some time!

The fresh gameplay aspects that Syndicate brings to the table are impressive, things like forcing an enemy to commit suicide or ‘turning’ them temporarily to fight for you are inventive and fun. It also gives you a few more options in gun fights, although I’d have liked to have seen some more of these added.

The shooting itself felt nice and weighty, with player movement balanced quite well. My biggest disappointment was that the game fell into the exact same trap as Deus Ex: Human Revolution by including boss battles. These were more of an annoyance that anything else but on a couple of occasions I really had to will myself to keep playing through the frustration.

So overall Syndicate was a bold step for EA and while I didn’t think the game was amazing, it was certainly above average and brought some interesting game play ideas forward. It’s a shame the sales were low as I’d actually be up for playing a sequel that was set in that universe and was, perhaps, a bit more refined.

Rating: 7/10

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