MotorStorm – Evolution Studios – PS3 – 03/06/2007
Of all the games at launch, this is without doubt the most enjoyable. As you bounce around the brilliantly designed tracks the chaotic action is infectious. Buggies bounce off trucks, motorbikes jump over SUVs – while the losers cartwheel into bottomless canyons in a jumble of car parts and regret. The arcade handling is perfectly balanced, whether you’re tearing around in a buggy, a super-light bike or just ploughing through the lot in a massive truck. And the handling needs to be good as the track deformation – creating ruts and furrows in the road as you race – means each lap is completely different.
Filthy fun and incredibly addictive, the race is on to win best PS3 driver and, at the moment at least, MotorStorm is firmly in the lead.
Lair – Factor 5 – PS3 – February
This looks amazing. Especially when you kill a dragon by jumping on to its back mid-flight and stabbing its brain. The only thing letting it down are the wafty (and tricky) Sixaxis controls.
Make the pad work and this could result in superb Lord Of The Rings-type carnage.
Gran Turismo 5 – Polyphony – PS3 – ETA 2007
The shock announcement last month that Turismo HD had been canned isn’t actually a disaster. It means that Polyphony can get cracking on a proper full Turismo game on PS3 - GT5. It also means that we get a selection of ‘concept’ versions of HD to download for free in the meantime. These tasters will highlight different aspects of the game, such as the visuals or the next-gen driving engine. Meanwhile the fifth installment is scheduled for 2008 with the tagline ‘Online Car Life Simulator’.
While we’re waiting for a proper GT you can’t argue with free ‘episodes’ to fuel our motoring passion. Don’t make us wait too long tho.’
Heavenly Sword – Ninja Theory – PS3 – ETA December 2007
With effortlessly brutal combat, lethal finishing moves and gloriously destructible environments this is the best looking slash-’em-up on PS3, bar none. The sword belongs to Nariko, who wants revenge after a deranged king (Andy ‘Gollum’ Serkis) kills her family. She needs to get a move on, though, as the weapon’s unlimited power comes at a price - death within a matter of hours. The fighting is a mix of styles as Nariko can switch between a massive cleaver and a nippy pair of daggers, which can also be swung on chains, God Of War-style. It’s fast and fluid action that varies between massive battlefields that are swarming with hundreds of solders, to more intimate Devil May Cry -style clashes.
Looking like a sexier, next-gen Goddess Of War this could be an unmissable and bloody adventure as long as the combat doesn’t descend into button-mashing.
Devil May Cry 4 – Capcom – PS3 – ETA 2007
We’d bet our knees that new boy Nero is either Dante or Virgil’s son. Why else is he almost identical to them, what with his white hair, long coat and demonic powers? One difference however is the Devil Bringer. It’s a magic hand that lets him grab and attack enemies from a distance. It could radically alter DMC4 ’s fighting style, extending combos indefinitely. The most crucial thing however is finding out why D’s gone off the chart and started attacking the good guys.
OK, so the ‘new’ character isn’t exactly much of a change but the twist to the combat and Dante going rogue has definitely caught our attention.