To introduce you to the team we've put together here at Push Square, we asked each team member for two PS3 games they considered absolutely essential. Here, operations director Darren Calvert reveals two of his favourites.
MotorStorm: Pacific Rift picks up the adrenaline-fuelled racing of its predecessor and takes it to a whole new level.
It just doesn’t get much better than drifting around gorgeous pacific islands to a soundtrack from the likes of Pendulum and Megadeth. Whether you like racing nimble motorbikes or dishing out the pain in a monster truck, there's a vehicle here for all players. The tracks are simply superb with branching paths to the goal, and a bit of practice will usually reveal a few sneaky shortcuts which you can use to sneak your way to the front of the pack.
The game engine is smooth as silk even with cars, bikes and debris flying everywhere. If you're brave enough the online mode is a good place to show off your skills, but be warned: the community can be pretty brutal, so be prepared to give as good as you get.
We picked Pacific Rift rather than 2011’s MotorStorm Apocalypse as it’s probably the best starting point for newcomers to the series. Apocalypse is an undeniably fun game, but the collapsing environments get stale after a while. Here at Push Square we prefer basking in lovely tropical scenery rather than racing in a Mad Max-style wasteland.
If you haven’t played Batman: Arkham Asylum yet, you're really missing out. Rocksteady Studios achieved the impossible and created a ‘superhero game that does not suck’ – in fact not only doesn’t it suck, it’s bloomin’ bat-tastic.
Straying away from Christopher Nolan’s Batverse, Arkham Asylum lets you dish out the pain in Gotham City's Narrows where the criminally insane were incarcerated. Like BioShock the environments are delightfully demented and you’ll even question your own sanity at times, especially in the Scarecrow sections.
There's a superb mixture of action, stealth and detective elements to keep wannabe caped crusaders on their toes, and combat is surprisingly deep and always feels fluid. Once you’ve completed the game there are tons of side quests and Riddler trophies to go back for; it’ll certainly keep completionists glued to the TV set in their Batcave until every secret has been uncovered.
Bat fans have never had it so good, as the recently released Batman: Arkham City expands on the original adventure and gives Bats a whole sandbox city to navigate and explore. There’s something to be said for open-world capers, but the Batman story does seem to flow better in the more linear based gameplay original. While Batman does like a spot of detective work, he easily tires from looking at his map constantly.