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Nerd Alert: Top Five Upcoming PS3 Games – Fall/Winter 2011

October 29, 2011

This season’s crop of platform video game releases is looking to be a wonderwall of opportunity for seasoned gamers to get their grooves on.  Between RPG giants and action-adventure sequels, there’s something for everyone out there.  Here are my top five Fall/Winter releases that I can’t wait to get my hands (or thumbs) on…

5.) Arkham City

Although Arkham Asylum drove me crazy for a variety of reasons (buggy controls, weird camera angles, limited takedown moves), it was still a visual delight and the characters were well-drawn and voiced.  This fall, Batman will enter a more open-ended world with new characters (Catwoman, anyone?) and yet another showdown with the Joker.  Although I get frustrated with Batman’s moral compass (since he can’t kill anyone, you spend hours hanging from gargoyles trying to swoop down on the Joker’s minions undetected), the showcase is really the baddies, and no one does bad guys like the Batman franchise.

4.)  Final Fantasy XIII -2

Although XIII on the whole was disappointing for its lack of open-ended gameplay (the entry was one of the most linear and least engrossing of the series), it did have a fantastic lead character in Lightning, who is back for the sequel with a whole new look.  Developers have listened to fans’ complaints and are re-designing the overall battle tactics, which should make XIII-2 more user-friendly.  Not many clues are out there regarding the story line, but that intrigues me all the more…

3.)Silent Hill: Downpour

I haven’t played the series since Silent Hill 2, mostly because it scared the pants off of me with those creepy, slow approaching, faceless monsters.  Silent Hill, that abandoned town on top of a still-burning coal fire, has been trapping hapless tourists for over a decade now. The games’ emphasis has always been on puzzle solving rather than mindless hack and slash, and for setting a mood, the games are second only to the Resident Evil series.  The most recent edition follows the path of an escaped prisoner when he unfortunately lands in the title town.

2.) Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception

Playing the Uncharted games is as close as you get get to feeling like you are an active part of a living movie world.  The first two installments were virtually flawless, containing great characters, viable and changing landscapes, and top notch storylines.  The only complaint I’ve ever had about this series is that each game is too short.  Still, since I’ve played each one multiple times, it is easy to get your money’s worth.  Uncharted 3‘s plot hinges on Nathan Drake’s search for the lost city of Iram of the Pillars.  Developer Naughty Dog promises new changes in terms of the characters’ interaction with the environment, and the multi-player beta test has been a rousing success.

1.) Elder Scrolls: Skyrim

Developer Bethesda is the undisputed King of RPG, from the post-apocalyptic (Fallout) to traditional (Elder Scrolls).  The last installment, Oblivion, was hours of in-depth gameplay and character development that satisfied even the most critical fan.  This year, Bethesda launches the latest in their popular Elder Scrolls series, set in the universe known as Tamriel, in its northernmost province.  Skyrim‘s plot sounds vaguely Nordic – having to do with the main character’s discovery of dragons in a frosty northern world.   Skyrim is reputed to contain over 150 dungeons, to every gamer’s plundering delight.   Skyrim will use Oblivion‘s system of “Radiant AI” – where the player’s actions and decisions directly impact the plot and landscape of the story.

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