You want a PS3 for Christmas? Why? We can’t think of a single reason to buy one. That’s right, not one: We can think of four or five or six, so sit back, relax, and enjoy the read.
If clothes maketh the man, then the exclusive togs the PS3 wears would make it the mightiest of all. It’d be like Achilles without that pesky heel, like Mike Tyson before jail and cannibalism. We’re talking mighty with an M more capital than the punishment Baby P’s murderers deserve. Since day one, when the PS3 hit the UK with the twin onslaught of Resistance: Fall of Man and Motorstorm, the PS3 has seen a superb range of exclusives, both launched, or teasing us with their development.
Michael: Resistance: FoM showed not only the potential of the PS3, but planted Insomniac right at the top of the PS3 development food chain – a place they would later consolidate with two riotous Ratchet games and a Resistance sequel. FoM served up a debut FPS some would class as peerless, as you raised hell across British landscapes in your war against the Chimera. The excellent online aspect has been bettered by the sequel, with online co-op and 60-player battles rounding out the single-player. If you thought there was only one console with an FPS exclusive worth having, think again. And the PS3 isn’t done yet.
Nofi: Yep, I’d agree – the first time I played the epic Manchester battle was astonishing, and it still looks great today. Sure, the sequel has upped the ante but as far as exclusive shooters go, you’re not left wanting with the PS3.
Michael: Killzone 2 is on the way in early 2009. Trailers and betas have pushed it right into the psyche of the PS3-owning world, and as the graphical beauty gets nearer and nearer the initial CGI of E3, the anticipation is ramping up.
Nofi: Again, it’s another shooter, but Killzone has more on it’s shoulders than all the giants in the world – after that E3 all eyes have been on everything Killzone, and I’ve even played through the PSP version in anticipation. Not that it was particularly enjoyable, mind, but it’s more playable than the PS2 game.
Michael: In the lead up to the PS3’s launch there was one game whose graphical style was so distinctive and beyond anything else at the time: Motorstorm. The sheer brutal beauty of the vehicles, coupled with the bone-rattling crash physics made it an awesome sight. That the gameplay matched this with its emphasis on brash, knockabout fun was testament to Evolution’s brilliance with the PS3 hardware. The recent sequel – Pacific Rift – offers more of the same amid different environments, and if fun, chaotic, beautiful racing is your thing the PS3 delivers.
Nofi: Someone once asked me what the PS3 launch games were like in comparison to stuff around on the 360. I said everything was about the same, except Motorstorm, which was leaps and bounds ahead of every other arcade racer at that point in time and still continues to impress despite a slightly lack-lustre and lazy sequel. Ridge Racer 7 is also a smashing PS3 exclusive, even though it’s really just Ridge 6 with a few extra bonuses.
Ratchet and Clank
Michael: One of the success stories of the PS2 was Ratchet and Clank, and the PS3 installment was one of the most eagerly awaited games of 2007. When Tools of Destruction finally hit the shelves, those eager for some action-platforming were treated to the best Ratchet yet in every department. Awesome graphics, awesome sound, awesome story-telling, awesome platforming-blast-em-up action. Awesome. Insomniac are peerless on PS3, and no platform has a game touching Ratchet and Clank. Insomniac followed up ToD with the PSN-downloadable Quest for Booty, which continued to showcase their talent.
Nofi: Loved Ratchet and Clank from start to finish, stunningly beautiful in places, laugh out loud funny and stacks of hidden stuff to find. Quest for Booty wasn’t as good, but you can pick up both now for about £25 in total, so it’s cheap as chips too.
Michael: Naughty Dog and Insomniac have been mates for years, and they both had stellar reputations on the PS2. For their PS3 debut Naughty Dog didn’t stick to their PS2 juggernaut, Jak and Daxter, but created a new IP fronted by the hero, Nathan Drake. Uncharted – an action, platform, puzzle game – wowed gamers with its stunning looking environments. When we first got to play in them – traversing dizzying heights or running and gunning amid massive stone ruins – we were hooked. It’s like all those bad Tomb Raider games never happened. Uncharted was a stunning opener for Naughty Dog, and the PS3-exclusive sequel is in production. If it’s a film-like adventure game, with better gameplay than Lara that floats your boat, then there’s only one place to be.
Nofi: It’s all about the adventure, combining Indiana Jones-esque exploration, ancient ruins, big guns and a great lead character, Uncharted is still an incredible game. The textures are still unrivalled on a console and the twist at the end is worth the entry fee alone. If you’re looking for a third person adventure the PS3 has everything you’d want.
Michael: Just over a year ago, Nofi sent me an email containing a short passage of prose from a fictional war book. It was far-fetched, seat of the pants stuff, with more intense excitement than I thought possible in a book. When the email signed off with “And that was just the first 5 minutes of the first game”, and I realised he was describing his first Warhawk outing I knew it was something special.
Nofi: I think that was one of my first games of Warhawk, trapped, low on bullets, with two tanks rolling my way when a friendly Warhawk popped up over the ledge and took them both out. Warhawk is filled with moments like this every 2 minutes and despite being multiplayer only has provided more longevity (and some great downloadable expansions) that most other games put together.
Michael: Warhawk is the best online game ever made. And it’s exclusive to PS3. It’s the first online game where newbies can co-exist with pros and still contribute to the outcome of the game. It features many playing styles – flying, running, driving, stealth – which enable this to happen.
Michael: A more inventive, funny, ingenious romp you will not find on any other console. Not even Nintendo has anything to rival the joy that playing LBP brings. The irrepressible SackBoy is the mascot for a generation, and the world he plays in is like being in a Pick n Mix as a 5-year old kid. Platforming has never known anything like this, and the most amazing thing of all is that everything in the game has been created using the level editor that ships with the product.
Nofi: Loved the beta, and the full game is divine. Sony were right to give Media Molecule the chance to make LBP as good as it could be, and once they fix a few online niggles it’s probably going to be the best game so far this generation, and naturally exclusive to the PS3.
Michael: Yep. In fact, LBP is as much about the Create as it is the Play. It’s already got an online community producing amazing levels that rival the stuff on the Blu-Ray, and with continued support from the creator’s, Media Molecule, its long-term health is assured.
So there you go – the PS3’s finest exclusives in a nutshell, but don’t forgetthe stunning Folklore (third person adventure), the massive Metal Gear Solid 4, the upcoming God of War 3, the superfast Wipeout HD, the lovely Valkyria Chronicles, Heavy Rain, Gran Turismo 5 and some stunning PSN stuff like Super Stardust HD and the PixelJunk series.