100 PS3 Games of 2010 – Part 3

Another day, another ten PS3 titles of 2010 to catalogue for your prognostic pleasure.  We reckon there’s something for everyone in today’s motley of gaming mayhem. From a renown FPS making its console debut to a sci-fi game which, so far, has been more smoke and mirrors than anything substantial to actually get excited about, we also feature a game with a jet-pack. And boy do we like jet-packs (you’ll see).

Of course, if these don’t float your boat, there’s always the rash of “Dead” titles that should appeal to your more baser of instincts.


Here goes.


Crysis 2Developer: Crytek | Publisher: EA | Out: TBC

A strong candidate for the “Game Most Likely To Be Dissected By Pixel-Counters In An Effort To Justify Their Lives” award, we are in no way underestimating what the arrival of a Crysis game on consoles means to the wider FPS arena.

The original Crysis on the PC was a powerhouse in the graphics department. But, just like that pretty girl you lusted after only to then get and discover she had the personality of a step, some people didn’t want to stick around and actually play Crysis. That’s not to say the game doesn’t have its supporters, but there are those who consider Crysis’ gameplay to be simply not on par with its visuals. This is not meant as a slur on Crytek by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, it’s more a testament to just how beautiful the game is.

Crysis was a wonderful achievement and we’re more than optimistic that their next venture, Crysis 2 – due to launch on multiple formats next year – could really shake up the FPS genre for years to come. The source of this hope lies in the studio’s groundbreaking CryEngine 3, an engine (really?) capable of producing some startling graphics no matter what hardware it’s running on. We reckon CryEngine 3 would dazzle on the ZX Spectrum. Of course, we’re kidding. Who’d want to play an FPS with rubber keys? You’d get owned in no time.


Dante’s InfernoDeveloper:Visceral Games | Publisher: EA | Out: February 12th

If imitation is the highest form of flattery, the crush the guys over at Visceral Games have on Santa Monica Studios and their God of War III title is so big that if I was a wife or husband of one of Dante’s Inferno’s producers, I’d be checking their phone for incriminating text messages. It’s not that we’re saying the games are quite similar, we’re saying they’re practically identical. In fact, we’re pretty sure if you pre-ordered God of War III and Dante’s Inferno from the same online retailer, you’ll never receive that package. At least, not according to temporal mechanics which dictates the two would cancel each other out. Of course, this is Jean-Claude Van Damme in Timecop type quantum physics so, who knows?

Admittedly, there are differences between Dante’s Inferno and the God of War series. For instance, while Kratos’ tale is a twisted bastardisation of Greek mythology, Visceral have chosen to corrupt something slightly more recent in Dante Alighieri’s 14th century epic poem, The Divine Comedy. The point is: if early footage and imagery hasn’t already convinced you,  the recent demo should demonstrate just how close these two games really are. From the relentless combo chains to the Quick Time Events, Dante is even faced with inexplicable barriers preventing him further progress until certain baddies are vanquished.

So, we think it’s going to tank then? On the contrary, just because a game is (incredibly!) similar to another, that’s not to say it can’t still be a worthwhile investment of time, money and effort. Not to mention the technical feat Visceral have achieved by locking the game in at a consistent 60 frames per second – one of the Holy Grails of this generation. Dante’s Inferno also possesses some unique elements from utterly grotesque levels to its own finishing moves that will curdle your blood. It also looks like mindless fun as you descend into the many strata of Hell in search of boobies. Oh wait, God of War has boobs too. Scratch that.


Dark VoidDeveloper: Airtight Games | Publisher: Capcom | Out: January 15th

The gaming business is all about innovation. Whether it’s squeezing more juice out of finite resources or presenting a challenge to gamers with new and abstract gameplay methods – studios consistently find themselves in a constant struggle to keep things as fresh as possible for a discernible audience. Airtight Games are such innovators.

Looking at the gaming spectrum and realising that it needed a good shake-up, the Dark Void creators decided to introduce the concept of the “vertical shooter.” Of course, this is not the first time we have heard this particular expression, but let’s be honest, Damnation wasn’t any damn good. From the recent footage of Dark Void, however, we get the feeling that this time it might be a tad different. Where “different” is synonymous with “not pants” in this case.

Dark Void has all the hallmarks of a budding franchise. An interesting premise, high-velocity action sequences, and a protagonist who has access to what is essentially a jet-pack. Actually, discard everything here before those last two wonderful and suitably hyphenated words. We’ll start again. Dark Void shows promise purely based on the fact that its protagonist has access to what is essentially a jet-pack. Plain and simple. In this crazy gaming world full of stealth elements, insane weaponry and treasure hunters who can climb mountains while never getting tired, sometimes the kid in us just wants a guy with a jet-pack.

And we’re not the only ones. Brad Pitt’s production company, Plan B, also liked what they saw in Dark Void (*ahem* jet-pack) and immediately snapped up the movie rights. Will the game actually be any good? Well, we don’t have that long to wait to find out, but we have a sneaky suspicion that this could be the dark jet-pack horse of 2010.


Darksiders Developer: Vigil Games | Publisher: THQ | Out: January 5th

If Dante is spinning in his grave after what Visceral Games have done to his beloved canticle, imagine what subterranean breakdancing moves the guys who wrote the Bible will be doing when they discover the changes Darksiders’ Vigil Games have inflicted on the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

The source of the issue is the face-lift the harbingers of destruction have received in the upcoming title. Gone are Conquest and Famine, two of the respected founding members of the ruinous Fab Four, replaced instead by two new upstarts, Strife and Fury respectively. But, come on, who really cares about biblical canon? (Don’t even ask what happened to Pestilence.)

Players take on the role of War, probably the most famous of the grim quartet, and with your trusty steed, Ruin, you attempt to seek out who prematurely triggered the Apocalypse and thus destroying the world. In your quest you’ll search for your fellow Horsemen above and below ground, solving puzzles while you layeth the smacketh on anyone that even looks at you sideways. After all, you are War. It’s kinda in the job description.


Data-FlyDeveloper: ORiGO Games Ltd | Publisher: TBC | Out: TBC

Deemed vaporware for what must be a number of years now, the appearance of a new image a couple of months back from what we’re assured is ORiGO’s upcoming Data-Fly injected a modicum of plausibility that this game might actually see the light of day. Of course, that graphic was a lizard sitting on a rock so, well, don’t hold your breath.

The premise of the game is admittedly intriguing. Taking on the role of FLY, a nymph-esque female character we’re told is actually a nanotech enriched AI cyborg … type … thing, you attempt to rescue your creator, Azadeh, from a military base. The trailer (below and an exclusive to PlayStation Universe) pushes all of our geeky sci-fi buttons, despite the fact that it’s obviously just pre-rendered fanciness. But the themes of evolution and science run amok suggested in the footage may be enough for us to keep one genetically modified eye on this. Just in case, you know, it actually gets a release date.


DC Universe OnlineDeveloper: Sony Online Austin | Publisher: SOE | Out: TBC

The MMOs are coming! The only question is: when?

The first of a number of massively multiplayer games on our 100 PS3 Games of 2010 list, DC Universe Online has a number of obvious winning factors going for it.

Probably the most salient of these is the fact that the property is absolutely teeming with recognisable characters people already possess some sort of affinity with. From the Man of Steel to firm fan-fav Batman, DC Universe Online takes the DC comics pantheon of superheroes and invites you to join their ranks.

Other positives include the pedigree of SOE when it comes to pulling off such a venture. After all, everyone might hark on about World of WarCraft these days, but SOE’s Everquest launched five years before the mammoth life-stealer and is still extremely popular among its fans. Of course, we should mention that for every Everquest there’s a Star Wars: Galaxies, an MMO you don’t hear much about these days.

Another plus is Jim Lee’s involvement in the property as Executive Creative Director. Comic-book fans will immediately recognise Jim’s name, knowing all too well that the super-artist was at least some way responsible for Marvel’s turnaround in the early ’90s thanks to his groundbreaking (although brief) stint on the rebooted X-Men comic. What all this means is that when it comes to the design of the core characters of the universe, they’ll at least look absolutely kick-ass.


Dead NationDeveloper: Housemarque | Publisher: SCE | Out: TBC

Hailing from Finland’s Housemarque – the same studio that gave us twin-stick shooter Super Stardust HD – Dead Nation, (considering Zombie Apocalypse and Burn! Zombie Burn! are already drinking all the free booze) is admittedly quite late to the PSN undead party. But we absolutely love zombies. Well, more accurately, we absolutely love killing zombies. Expect undead carnage dispensed with two thumbs of directional destruction from the Fins sometime next year.


Dead Rising 2Developer: Blue Castle / Capcom | Publisher: Capcom | Out: Q1 2010

Dead Rising was a fun no-holds barred zombie-basher for the Xbox 360. However, the fact that a million minds didn’t cry out at once when its sequel was announced as a multiplat title, should give you some idea of how integral it is in the mindset of 360 zealots. In other words, it was fun. It’s just not viewed as a Sacred Cow or anything. Though this is likely more to do with the fact that it was more a launch title for the Xbox 360, so it’s not like the original could have simultaneously graced the PS3 even if it wanted to. Then again, it’s not like we ever saw a port either.

Dead Rising 2 returns you to a world overrun with the undead. As Frank West, a photojournalist who seems more at home with a baseball bat than a Nikon, the object is to stay alive – and have some fun in the process. Considering this time you’re in Fortune City, an obvious gaming-universe version of Las Vegas, that might be harder than you think.

The sequel is now under the auspicious care of Blue Castle Games but with Capcom and creator Keiji Inafune still heavily involved. In fact, many of the original Dead Rising Capcom team now work at Blue Castle so we’re not seeing any real issue here. But let’s get down to brass tacks. You can brain zombies in this game with the head of a moose. I’d repeat that sentence again for emphasis if I wasn’t still in shock from writing it in the first place.


Dead Space 2Developer: Visceral Games | Publisher: EA | Out: TBC

The first Dead Space was a welcome respite from the incessant sequels we were bombarded with this year. Sometimes it’s just nice to pick up something that comes with no expectation or frame of reference whatsoever. Along with Mirror’s Edge, Dead Space went someway in introducing the concept of an EA finally shaking off the shackles of its Industry Bad-Guy persona; a publisher willing to take a chance on new IP and proffer something different to a user-base slowly becoming jaded by sequelitis.

Dead Space was not a perfect game but it was damn enjoyable. With a sequel now officially on the cards, we’re hopeful that space engineer Isaac Clarke’s next encounter with the Necromorphs will be even better than his first. This time out Isaac overcomes his inherent shyness, and instead of being his usual reticent self, will actually have a voice in the sequel. Gone is the stricken Ishimura ship as a location, with a station near Saturn called Sprawl now taking on duties as a deadly playground overrun with alien nasties.


Dead to Rights: RetributionDeveloper: Volatile Games | Publisher: Namco Bandai (America) | Out: TBC

2002’s Dead to Rights brought new meaning to the expression “One man and his dog.” With his faithful hound, Shadow, no-nonsense cop Jack Slate patrols Grant City, a corrupt cesspit inhabited with more criminals than citizens.  One of the most vicious yet totally obedient dogs we’ve ever seen – kinda like a bizarre mix of Cujo and Lassie – the availability of having Shadow to run into the fray and bite enemies in the nethers might be a tad gimmicky, but it does offer something different.

The original Dead to Rights made heavy use of Max Payne-esque Bullet Time shenanigans and presented a plot very much along the lines of a John Woo Hong Kong action flick. Recent footage of the sequel also shows why the censors were getting a little hot under the collar with certain elements of the game. Apparently it’s OK to blow someone’s head clean from their shoulders, but controlling a dog to chew their face off is a big no-no.

Same place, same time tomorrow? We’ll be here.