Every Friday we’ll be rounding up the best of the PS3 releases alongside brief playtests of as many of the games out that day as we can, starting today. Despite Metal Gear Solid 4 still riding high in the charts publishers are taking their chances with a few key titles, notably EA and SEGA, although naturally there aren’t any third person stealth-em-ups releasing this week.
Battlefield: Bad Company
We’ve only spent 4 or 5 hours so far in Bad Company, but what we’ve played so far has been a blast, with DICE’s first person shooter attempting to actually focus on the shooter part of the genre. With a meticulous attention to detail, every single shot sounds and feels as close to firing a real gun as possible on a videogame, and with accurate hit-mapping and great visual feedback the immersion is unmatched. Thankfully, the visuals are just as good, with some astounding textures, a locked 30fps frame rate and convincing animation. The storyline is hammy and contrived, in that over the top Gears-of-War mould, but it’s enjoyable all the same. Full review soon, but we can heartily recommend the new Battlefield to all FPS fans without question.
We’ve got high hopes for Beijing 2008, and as we said in our preview the game encompasses most of the Olympic sports on offer this year, with new analog controls, decent looking graphics and full online play for the ultra competitive. Button bashing is always a casual favourite, but with tuned control and an added layer of complexity there’s much more to this sports title than you might at first think. We’ve been told by SEGA that there’ll be a playable demo soon on PSN, so look out for that.
Guitar Hero: Aerosmith
We weren’t sure about this, but with a track list that’s really only about 60% actual Aerosmith it’s not nearly as bad as you might think, and most of the covers are nicely done too unlike some of those in GHIII. Sure, it’s all themed around aging 80s rockers, but then that’s been the hallmark of the series so far anyway. No new features as far as we could see in our brief playtest over the last couple of days, but this is a solid release if you’ve already got the guitar. If not, get the bundle and have some 2 player fun.
Kung Fu Panda
An ‘epic, action-packed adventure’ based on the Dreamworks movie, which actually looks hysterically funny. Not sure about the game, but expect the same slapstick humour as the story takes you through the events of the movie ‘and beyond’ as you make your way to becoming the legendary Dragon Warrior. We’ve heard the game isn’t the longest, but if you’re looking for a light-hearted Heavenly Sword, with Pandas, you’re in luck.
Jason Bourne starred in a couple of good movies (and one dodgy one) so that was clearly enough for Sierra to pick up the tab on this third person stealth-em-up (whoops). However, full enjoyment of this game relies on having viewed and digested the Conspiracy movie, being that most of the events take place in the canon of the film but without much exposition in between. So, you’ll recognise bits, and have to piece together the storyline from memory of the film. Graphics are servicable, with nice animation but the highlight is the hand-to-hand fighting, which has to be the best we’ve ever seen.
If you like only turning left four times a lap in cars built like tanks, NASCAR is for you. Inexplicably massive in the States, to us it’s like watching paint dry. Apparently this year’s NASCAR game features a certain Jeff Gordon who takes you through an all-new career mode and 3D menus. Yeah, 3D menus. Look, we don’t like NASCAR, only ever talked about it in public once and that was because someone called Dick Trickle was racing, which was clearly the highlight for anyone outside of Texas. It might be the best game on the PS3, but we’re not touching it with a bargepole, sorry.