Even though Sony suffered through some rough times in 2011, including the hacking and PSN fiasco, they still managed to give us some great exclusive titles this year.
And the nominees are…
The follow-up to one of the PS3 most beautiful looking games, Killzone 3 continues the struggle between the now scattered ISA forces as they try to survive against the menacing Helghast. Once again Guerilla has a fantastic looking game on their hands and many of the innovations from KZ2 makes its reappearance here. This time around, they’ve also added in jetpacks, fantastic voice acting from Ray Winstone and Malcolm McDowell, and a new melee system. On top of that, the multiplayer is as addictive as it ever was now offering split screen support and an offline bot match as well. Operations is a new mode which introduces objective based gameplay with cut scenes between rounds detailing the events of the match and top players from each team.
Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception
Naughty Dog returns again with a fantastic follow-up to one of the PS3’s best games in Uncharted 2: Among Thieves. This time around, we see Drake looking to his ancestor Sir Francis Drake to figure out where the mysterious Iram of the Pillars is located. The story focuses more on the father/son, mentor/student relationship between Drake and Victor Sullivan giving it a more personal feeling. All of your favorite characters are back including some new ones and quite possibly the best villain they’ve put our yet in Katherine Marlowe. Multiplayer returns with new options, new modes, added cinematic cut scenes, a more robust co-op offering, and addictive third person gameplay. With impressive set pieces, stunning twists, and an addictive multiplayer mode, Uncharted 3 has everything you could want.
Originally planned as a holiday 2010 release, LBP 2 got pushed into January 2011 so that’s why you’re seeing it here. LittleBigPlanet 2 took the already solid foundation from the first game and just expanded upon it ten fold with a more robust level creator, new gadgets, and a more story focused campaign. It managed to retain a fantastic soundtrack, the strong sense of community involvement, and fantastic level design. Being able to add cut scenes and the ability to create different genre’s of games lead off a list of many new ideas and features given to the community to use in custom levels. This ultimately made the quality of those user levels rise even further and potentially makes LBP2 a game which will remain fresh for years and years to come.
The sequel to one of my favorite PS3 games, Sucker Punch aspired to deliver a more robust game and also give players the ability to craft their own missions introducing the User Generated Content designer included with the game. Cole MacGrath is now on the run from The Beast and has taken up residence in the fictional city of New Marais which has a very New Orleans feel to it. The morality choices make their return and even give options to Cole with augmenting his powers further including adding Ice or Fire type abilities. The climbing/exploration once again feels fantastic and there’s plenty of side content to keep you playing for quite a while. Sucker Punch delivers again.
Essentially, the final piece in the core PS3 Resistance trilogy, R3 picks up the storyline with former member Joe Capelli as he and a group of refugees look to survive against the Chimeran threat. Humanity is on the ropes and soon Joe is reluctantly pulled back into the conflict seeking desperately to end the war so his family can live to see a better future. With Insomniac’s signature crazy weapons on full display and the added ability to upgrade them through use, this is easily the most satisfying title of the bunch. While a darker tone takes hold in this game’s story, there’s so many twists and turns that you won’t want to stop playing to find out what happens next. An addictive multiplayer mode strips away the fat from R2 and is very satisfying to dive into as well making this a complete package.
And the winner for best PS3 game is…
Winner: Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception
There’s just no denying the talent over at Naughty Dog’s kennel. Continuing the excellence that Uncharted 2 established, Uncharted 3 brings gamers even crazier set pieces like navigating through a sinking ship and raiding a convoy on horse back (to name a few), a very personable storyline and absolutely fantastic character design. Seriously, the people at Naughty Dog know what they’re doing. Rounding out the package this time is an even better online package that sees the return of the very addictive and satisfying competative modes and a more robust co-op section including a horde style “arena” mode in addition to the co-op story. You’re basically unlocking things fast and furiously and you can even customize your own character if the suite of options don’t impress you. At Naughty Dog, the pedegree of excellence continues with Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception.