Following suit with Microsoft, Sony seemed to rely heavily on third party contributions this past year. 2013 actually seems to remedy that somewhat but that’s a conversation for another day. While 2012 may have skimped on first party offerings, there were still plenty of exclusives to pick from and I’ve compiled my list below for Best Playstation 3 Game of 2012. Lets dive right in.
And the nominees are….
I’ve already written about Sound Shapes at length in a few other awards so I won’t rehash too much of that. Frankly, I love this game because of how it integrates music into the actual gameplay. It’s such a fresh take on platforming and even the music genre. Plus, it also helps that it has a star-studded soundtrack featuring the likes of Beck and Deadmau5. Add in a level creator, community levels, and 2 additional game modes and you have a game with a large amount of staying power.
David Jaffe and the Eat Sleep Play team revived a classic and long dormant vehicle mayhem franchise in Twisted Metal. With different cars and weapon variations available each bringing different pros and cons with them, each play brings a unique flavor to the table. Bringing back the classic vehicle combat mixed with interesting boss battles, plus a very well made and compelling multiplayer aspect, Twisted Metal is a unique and old school fun arcadey experience. Plus, who doesn’t love another car combat game?
A spiritual sequel to the beloved online only game Warhawk, Starhawk gives players a solo campaign in addition to the addictive multiplayer mayhem. Set in space on a distant planet, players take up arms as Emmett Graves as he is a mercenary for hire protecting Rift miners against the mutated Outcasts. The real draw here is the multiplayer and the “Build n’ Battle” system which gives this third person shooter an RTS style element. With enough rift energy built up, players can open a menu and call down all sorts of structures ranging from bunkers to armories to other defenses. Battles typically take place in three ways, either on foot, in a vehicle, or the main attraction: the mech like Hawk. With addictive 32 player battles, Starhawk is one of the more popular shooters on the PS3.
Journey (and the Collector’s Edition)
Another stunner from the folks over at Thatgamecompany who always manage to push the boundaries of what type of experience a gamer can have. With Journey, players play as a hooded figure, travelling through the desert sands (and many unique settings) towards a bright light on the top of a nearby mountain. Creating a sense of wonder and smallness, the game doesn’t focus on story or danger. It’s that sense of wonder and surprise that compel you forward. The interesting aspect is the co-op feature. Players may connect with another player on their journey, though no communication can be made outside of a “chirp” noise. Taking away communication really provides some unique experiences to take place. While short, Journey is a fantastic and unique experience on the PS3.
Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale
While many wrote off this brawler as a Smash Bros clone, All-Stars proved that it offers something new as well. With a roster that spans the years through the Playstation archive, All-Stars is a well made fighter that tasks players with building a super meter upon which will allow them to unleash a devastating attack. The player with the most knock offs wins. The stages also manage to draw on the history and even mash to game’s worlds together with a transition taking place about midway through a match. It never gets old seeing Metal Gear Ray burst through the LocoRoco world or seeing Hades try to fend off an army of Patapons. With an addictive online suite of options, solid controls, and a fun premise, All-Stars is a force to be reckoned with on the PS3.
And the winner is….
Thatgamecompany has another breathtaking game on their hands. They create such unique gameplay experiences with titles like flOw and Flower and now with Journey. Easily one of the best looking games on the system, I was constantly stunned by the beauty and diversity of the levels. While the campaign is on the shorter side, I felt the experience was far greater than things like difficulty or story. Not only that, I was intrigued by the innovative multiplayer aspect and witnessed amazing things happening between players that resulted from not being able to communicate. It’s interesting to see what happens to player behavior when the ability to communicate with some is removed. Journey is a journey that’ll stay with me for a long time. Play It.