2011’s been a great year for the PlayStation 3, with massive exclusives like Resistance 3 and Uncharted 3 joining multiplatform greats like Modern Warfare 3 and Skyrim in an endless struggle for your free time.
If you were hoping 2012 would be a little less crowded, you’re sorely out of luck, as the next year will be bringing tons of new exclusives and must have titles to Sony’s little black box. Here are 10 of the upcoming PS3 games we’re most excited about.
Given the quality of the titles we're going to cover, there's little doubt that 2012 will be as eventful as the past year. After all, how could you say no to a game like Grand Theft Auto V?
Defined as a "shooter game for the PS3" Starhawk is a lot more than just a shooter. As the spiritual successor to the vastly underrated but fantastic Warhawk, also for the PS3, Starhawk sees the addition of a full fledged single player mode that allows players to build structures in the midst of battle—combining real time strategy elements with action.
In Starhawk's universe, humanity is bent on exploring and colonizing outer space, which leads to the founding of a distant colony called the Frontier, upon which Rifters (or prospectors, really) pursue wealth and riches. It's essentially the Wild West, but in space.
#9 Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch
Big names aren’t everything in this industry, but they certainly don’t hurt, and Ni no Kuni has two of the best. The RPG represents a collaboration behind famed animation house Studio Ghibli, creators of My Neighbor Totoro and countless other beloved films, and Level-5, the developers of the Dark Cloud and Professor Layton games.
A heavily modified port of a critically acclaimed 2010 DS game, the PS3 version of Ni no Kuni boasts gorgeous 3D graphics and a clever battle system based around casting spells from a magic book. With a lineage based in meticulously crafted worlds and solid RPG gameplay, Wrath of the White Witch should prove a worthy addition to your PS3 library when it releases early next year.
#8 Resident Evil 6
Resident Evil 6 is the latest and greatest iteration in the Resident Evil series. This horror thriller sees the return of two of the series' most well known characters, Leon Kennedy and Chris Redfield who co-star. They are also joined by new characters who aid them in stopping the world's greatest threat.
Resident Evil 6 spans across the globe for the first time ever in a Resident Evil game. Players will find themselves killing a zombified President of the United States, and venturing to the Far East in search of answers to the latest virus outbreak.
Resident Evil 6 is Capcom's most ambitious title in the series to date, offering the largest ever cast of characters, with an equally big budget going to the game's development.
#7 Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time
The Sly Cooper games were some of best platformers to hit the PS2. That's quite an impressive claim, given the fierce competition they were up against. While original developer Sucker Punch has been hard at work bringing inFAMOUS and its sequel to the PS3, ol' Sly and his band of anthropomorphized animal thieves have gone forgotten for nearly six years, excepting an updated HD re-release that hit stores in 2010.
Now, Sanzaru Games is taking control of the franchise to give the PS3 its first title in the Sly series, Thieves in Time. As you might have guessed, our favorite Raccoon will now be able to travel through time, heading into the past to recover the pages of his family tome, the Thievius Raccoonus. The platforming elements and gadget-based gameplay is returning, with the promise of a bigger, more visually polished experience.
#6 Twisted Metal
Originally intended as a downloadable PSN title, this reboot of the classic vehicular combat series soon grew to gargantuan enough proportions to warrant a full retail release. With original creator David Jaffe at the helm, you can be sure that Twisted Metal will be staying true to its roots, albeit with some sizeable gameplay updates and a brand new look.
You'll enter combat as one of several factions based on characters from the old Twisted Metal games: the Clowns are led by Sweet Tooth, the Dolls by Dollface, the Skulls by Mr. Grimm, and the Preachers by the Preacher. You'll take part in 16-player online battles, attempting to kill your enemies or accomplish objectives in the new game modes. With the help of massively destructible environments, deep customization, and a new co-op mode, Twisted Metal should provide a criminally overlooked genre with a welcome revival.
#5 Mass Effect 3
Mass Effect 3 begins on Earth, as Commander Shepard faces trial for his (or her) actions in the final DLC for Mass Effect 2. The Reapers and the timely invasion halt the proceedings as Shepard and his crew are launched into action to defend earth from utter annihilation.
Banding together with the alien races, Shepard must turn the tide of battle and drive back the Reapers to whence they came.
Shepard reuinites with his old colleagues and a number of new ones in his greatest adventure yet.
#4 BioShock Infinite
Following up any successful game brings its fair share of challenges, but creating a worthy successor to a near-perfect title like BioShock seems almost impossible. 2K Marin's 2009 sequel received a fairly warm reception from reviewers and fans, but any praise was quick to note that it paled in comparison to the original. Now, franchise creators Irrational Games are turning their attention back towards the world of BioShock. In a daring move, they've abandoned Rapture and its looming objectivism in favor of a clean slate. The characters, weapons, and gene-splicing plasmids from the first two games are gone, presumably forever.
Instead, you'll be exploring a brand new world called Columbia, a flying city built around the notion of American exceptionalism that pervaded the country in the early 20th century. Your goal is to save a young woman called Elizabeth from her captor, a mechanical beast known only as Songbird. To help you, you'll have access to new limited-use powers called vigors, a device called the skyhook that lets you rapidly move about Columbia's rail system, and Elizabeth's mysterious ability to tear holes in the space-time continuum. While starting from scratch is certainly a gamble, Irrational's prowess has by all accounts made it a worthwhile one, and Infinite is shaping up to be just as good as — if not better than — the original.
Exclusive to the PS3 is support for Move controls, presumably along the lines of what the latest Resistance and Killzone games have offered.
#3 Assassin's Creed III
Assassin's Creed III is set during the War of Independence in the United States of America, and is leagues away from the Old World. Players take on the role of a young Mohawk named Connor, who joins the Assassins not for revenge like his predecessor Ezio, but for the pursuit of justice.
Players will once again continue the story of Desmond in the present day, as he solves puzzles that unlock the secrets of his memory, and of his heritage.
Assassin's Creed III can be seen as a new starting point for the Assassin's Creed series, as it allows players to go back to the basics with the introduction of a brand new character, with a brand new legacy.
#2 GTA V
Grand Theft Auto 5 follows in the wake of the previous game, with its darker, realistic tone—in direct contrast with the light-hearted facetiousness of GTA3 and Vice City. It takes place in Rockstar's equivalent of Los Angeles, in Los Santos—the City of Lost Saints.
Players take on the role of a crime boss attempting to walk the straight and narrow, only to find himself back in the underworld as his greed and pursuit of the American dream consumes him—an allegory for the issues modern Americans face if ever there was one.
#1 The Last of Us
Naughty Dog is well known for its excellent Uncharted series, and it has since set its sights on redefining video games with a title called "The Last of Us."
The Last of Us takes place in a post-apocalyptic urban environment, in a world ravaged by a strange illness brought on by a fungal infestation that has turned humans into zombies.
Players take on the role of two survivors—an older man named Joel and Ellie, a teenage girl. Unlike other zombie-themed games, the focus of The Last of Us will be entirely on the two characters as they survive their journey across the ruins of the United States.