Every December we whittle down a list featuring hundreds of different titles to offer the definitive line-up of games which you should look forward to over the coming twelve months, yet we struggle to remember a year which holds as much promise as 2011.
Any gamer who owns a PlayStation 3 will be guaranteed an excellent year’s worth of play, as long as each of the following games manages to meet expectations.
Without further ado here are 2011′s biggest games on PlayStation 3.
Fumito Ueda has produced some of the most intriguing and heart wrenching games of all time with Shadow of Colossus and ICO still providing some of the most powerful yet subtle storytelling offered by our medium. So far we’ve only witnessed brief glimpses of The Last Guardian, but seeing as its release is under a year away it isn’t surprising. Gamers should expect soft pastel coloured-visuals, third person melee combat and a giant animal ally named Trico, who is best described as a thirty foot chicken spliced with a coyote. It looks assuredly different from anything we’ve seen before and is definitely worth its place on the list.
Portal 2 -
Valve’s head-honcho Gabe Newell infamously dubbed the PlayStation 3 a "total disaster" in an interview in 2007, but this year his opinion took a sharp u-turn as he announced that not only would Sony’s console be getting Portal 2 the same day as other platforms, but also that Steamworks would arrive on the PS3. It’s still unclear how exactly Steam functionality will be implemented, but it is a massive coup for Sony. Portal 2 will still have all of the elements which made the original such a smash hit, but this time with a lengthier campaign and co-op functionality. Best of all, even Newell himself admitted that the PS3 edition will be the best available on any console.
Mass Effect 3 -
PlayStation 3 owners are very fortunate, as next year they will be getting not one but two helpings of Commander Shepard, with Mass Effect 2 appearing only months before the concluding chapter in this critically acclaimed sci-fi trilogy. The VGA trailer confirmed that Earth will be a major focal point for the franchise, but seeing as the many of you have yet to experience the excellent second chapter we won’t spoil any of the fun. We’ll save that for another blog!
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim -
Another reveal care of the VGAs. Skyrim is the direct sequel to Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion and features an all new engine. The fifth entry in the franchise will feature the most northern region of Tamriel and a plot which positions the player as the world’s last hope to fight back against the darkest of all evils. Oblivion is still one of the few PS3 launch titles we play to this day and if Bethesda can continue that game’s grand open-world setting we have no doubt this sequel will prove superb.
Another exclusive title, Sucker Punch’s sequel will take gamers to a new city dubbed New Marais and introduce new ice abilities for the unlikeable yet memorable hero Cole. This is shaping up to be a very ambitious sequel with a level of visual polish which far outshines the original. Plenty more has yet to be revealed, but we have no doubts this will be a massive hit.
Ever since a certain conspicuous billboard appeared in Louisiana foretelling the existence of this FPS sequel, Insomniac Games has been suspiciously quiet. However after a glitzy VGA reveal, the cat is now out of the bag with the developer confirming that the single-player campaign, which sees Joseph Capelli journeying throughout America to escape the Chimera threat, is now feature complete and can be played from start to finish. Multiplayer will also be a big draw with a more focused, progression-based experience featuring maps from all around the globe. Resistance has always played second fiddle to Sony’s more popular franchises, but we’re hoping the third entry will mark this series’ rise to prominence in gaming as a whole.
Batman: Arkham City -
Another late 2011 arrival, Arkham City sees the return of Batman with a plethora of new allies and menaces including Two-Face, Hugo Strange and Catwoman. The voice of the ‘Bat’ Kevin Conroy has already confirmed that the plot is going to be "really, really dark" and with the recent trailer alluding to Batman’s true identity being known by a key antagonist, this is sure to be a very intriguing sequel.
LittleBigPlanet 2 -
Creatively-minded gamers will be in their element when Media Molecule release the follow-up to the ambitious yet disappointing original in January. The creative tools are more powerful, the controls are tighter and all of the 3 million user-created levels will be fully compatible with the sequel. As with any release which relies on the community to create compelling content, LBP 2′s fate relies solely on its fans, but every PS3 owner will want a copy of this sequel just so they can sample the numerous zany creations the community has come up with.
Killzone 3 -
It seems only yesterday that we were marvelling at the FPS tour-de-force that was Killzone 2 and yet here comes another. Currently being put through its paces in beta form, everything is sure to be rosy with the online component of this franchise. Mowing down Helghast is just as fun and beautiful as it was before, but crucially Guerilla has finally fixed the weighty controls which bogged down this franchise before. Some may complain that the third entry seems like more of the same, but when the second game was so good already that certainly isn’t a problem.
Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception -
The highlight of December’s VGAs was undoubtedly Nathan Drake’s long-awaited return. The two minute trailer revealed very little other than the new desert setting and some kind of turmoil with Drake’s mentor Victor "Sully" Sullivan, however it was the only reveal which consisted entirely of in-engine footage and it looked extraordinary. Naughty Dog’s forthcoming sequel is going to be hard to beat and judging from past form it is one title which no gamer, no matter their platform preference, will want to miss.
Broken Sword 5: The Serpent’s Curse, Diablo III: Reaper of Souls and Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare all featured inside this months issue of FirstLook.Download Now!