PlayStation 3 preview: Game on!
Mon Feb 9 2009
Last Friday, TONY got a special sneak peek at some of Sony's upcoming offerings for the PlayStation 3 and PSP systems as part of Comic Con's gaming extravaganza. The PS3 can't help but look absolutely gorgeous no matter what title is being played, so gameplay, rather than graphics, becomes a larger factor when differentiating among games. Our favorites:
* MLB '09: The Show (SCEA, released in March) is a mighty baseball sim, and the controls are some of the most fluid since MVP Baseball 2005, considered by many to be the pinnacle of baseball gaming. Batting, pitching and AI have all been revamped from last year's edition, though we found a "guess a pitch" feature to be more distracting than interesting.
* InFamous (Sucker Punch, spring 2009) is full of fascinating choices. "Superpowers are the new toys," said the developer showing it off—and these are no Tonka trucks. The game lets players choose whether they want to be a superhero or villain, and the free-roaming world is so interactive that players can climb up trees and jump off of fire hydrants.
*Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (Naughty Dog), the sequel to Sony's "Indiana Jones--like treasure-hunter game," is being positioned to hit big for the holidays in 2009. Another hopeful blockbuster, Killzone 2 (Guerrilla, released in late February), is cinematically breathtaking, but the inverted directional controls proved to be too much, and we were killed in the first level.
*Flower (thatgamecompany, released Thursday 12) is the one game that truly stood out; it's an oddly soothing and beautiful game from a relatively new developer. Available only by download—and a bargain at $10—the game has the player more or less pollinate flowers and collect flower petals, which you control with motion sensor movement in the PS3 controller. The massive, hyperdetailed levels have a magical feel to them—it's like floating around Narnia. The ease of gameplay is heightened by the fact that the user controls how much or little of a level they want to play. It's certainly something we never thought we'd see: a video game for people with commitment issues.—Zachary Feldman