Feature: Games of the Generation - Robert's Five Favourites
Posted by Robert Ramsey
Putting it out there
Welcome to Push Square’s all-encompassing Games of the Generation series. In the lead up to the PlayStation 4’s release later this week, we’ll be rounding up our writers in an effort to look back at some of their favourite PlayStation 3 games. These titles have been hand-selected personally by each individual author. It's time for Associate Editor Robert Ramsey to state his opinion like it's fact.
This generation has had its fair share of drama, but overall, it's been my favourite. I've been near inseparable from my PS3 for almost seven years, and the adventures that I've had the pleasure of taking part in have defined my gaming life. I feel as though game design has taken a massive step forward throughout the generation, and this feeling is reinforced further by the fact that I'm finding it increasingly difficult to go back to previous consoles and their respective libraries. The five titles that I've chosen for this list are not only reflective of the diversity on offer when it comes to Sony's system, but they're also largely responsible for my pale complexion and powerful thumbs – I don't want to think about how many hours I've spent playing just these favourites alone.
Yes, the ending is undoubtedly rubbish, and yes, Mass Effect 2's campaign is just as good – but it's Mass Effect 3's initially controversial co-op component that elevates it above its predecessor. Teaming up with friends and strangers alike in order to protect the galaxy is brilliant, and is only emphasised by the incredibly well-realised universe that developer BioWare has crafted. With an N7 rank of 2400 and a custom Salarian Infiltrator armed with a Lancer assault rifle, I've survived thousands of suicide missions and pulled countless newbie squads from the jaws of certain death – it's safe to say that it's my favourite multiplayer mode of all time. Mass Effect 3 is also one of the very few games that I've played through more than ten times thanks to its fantastic new game plus options. At this point, I probably know the crew of the Normandy better than most of my real life friends. Sorry Garrus – er, I mean Sammy.
Picture this: it's spring 2012 and you're 90 hours into The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim – and you've yet to come across any of the dreaded technical problems that people have been raving about online. Then it happens – one seemingly random crash, and it's all downhill from here. The Dragonborn's adventure became unplayable, and desperate for fantasy adventure, I grabbed a copy of the terribly named Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning. Not expecting anything particularly special, I dived into the colourful title with no regrets, and discovered one of the best action RPGs that I've ever played. The game's world is varied and huge, the class system is deep without being overly complex, and there are hundreds of quests to keep you occupied. The release's crowning achievement, however, is its brilliantly brutal and fast-paced combat system. In that regard, this sorely overlooked title has yet to be equalled by any other RPG.
The first downloadable title that I ever decided to purchase was WipEout HD, and it's a game that's still booted up during stints of boredom even today. In many ways, nothing has quite captured the same adrenaline-fuelled rush that the 1080p racer manages to deliver time and time again. Bombing through beautiful futuristic cityscapes while listening to the mighty Boom Boom Satellites courtesy of the game's custom soundtrack option is something that I'll never tire of. In the beginning, I was an awful anti-gravity driver, constantly smashing into walls and barriers and subsequently placing last in every race. With any other game, I would have given up – but not here. The title had a strange way of keeping my interest, like it was trying to mould me into a better gamer – and it worked. After hours upon hours of practice, I was able to steer perfectly through even the toughest tracks without suffering a single scratch. It felt like a true accomplishment, although now I find it impossible not to twitch nervously as I approach corners in real life.
Japan seems to get a new Gundam title every week, but here in the West, we've had to make do with the Dynasty Warriors: Gundam series almost exclusively. I adore Gundam – but the original title which first appeared on the PS3 back in 2007 left a lot to be desired, and my dreams of a game that captured the brilliance of the numerous animated shows slowly started to fade. The release's sequel, however, changed all that. Dynasty Warriors: Gundam 2 made the first title look like a beta test in every way, but it was the third game that really satisfied my lust for mobile suit carnage. Sporting dozens of my favourite characters and countless missions, I spent hundreds of hours turning opposing armies into scrap metal in Dynasty Warriors: Gundam 3. Chain explosions meant that you could detonate entire fields of enemies with a few good swings of a beam saber, and the loot system allowed for the almost never-ending objective of upgrading your chosen suit. Many call the Dynasty Warriors franchise repetitive, but I could play this particular instalment until the Japanese actually get around to manufacturing a real working Gundam.
Journey may not be as complex or as time consuming as the other games on this list, but it provided an experience that was arguably more impactful than all of them put together. Surprisingly, it wasn't the nature of the co-op that impressed me – it was the title's ability to tell an emotional and beautiful story through its visuals alone. Even once you start to piece together Journey's tale, it's really up to you to decide what the title's all about. Is it about reincarnation? Is it about trying to make up for your mistakes? Is it about understanding what others did wrong? Whatever your reasoning, I can't think of a game that's more spiritually aware – and even if you think that I'm spouting a pile of pretentious waffle, I'd still say that Journey is, without doubt, the most perfectly crafted exclusive title on Sony's platform.
Is Robert dead on or dead wrong? Would any of his choices make it into your own list? Let us know in the comments section below.