Monday, July 28, 2008

This Is Living: My First Impressions of the PS3

So bonus time has come around again and it's a good one this year, so I was finally able to pick up a PS3. Along with the console I also got copies of Metal Gear Solid 4, Motorstorm, Ridge Racer 7, Ratchet & Clank: Tools of Destruction, Folklore and Gran Turismo 5: Prologue. I also bought The Golden Compass on Blu Ray as I am a big fan of the book trilogy and thought the film was a decent attempt at adapting the first book (although it ends in a very strange place). Here are my initial thoughts about the machine and the games...

Sony have basically taken the same interface from the PSP and shoved it into the PS3, and to be honest compared to Xbox Live it is rather unwieldly. There are dozens of sub menus to sift through, surely it could be streamlined a bit? Maybe when Home finally arrives (if it ever does) things will improve.

As for the games, I have mostly been playing Motorstorm and Ridge Racer 7, mainly because they are easy to pick up and play without having to commit to a deep storyline. They were only a £10 each and worth it in my opinion. RR7 isn't really that much different than RR6 on the Xbox 360, however it does have a hand full of new tracks and a new campaign mode which being the Ridge Racer slut that I am, is enough to keep me satisfied. Motorstorm may be a bit thin of modes and options but the races themselves are brilliant fun and the tracks are all really well designed with multiple routes branching off all over the place. I haven't felt the need to buy any of the extra content yet but I may do once I've exhausted the "tickets" that come on the disc.

I'm going to hold off from playing MGS4 properly until I have gone back and completed MGS3 - something which I never got around to doing for some reason despite having owned the game since the day it was released. I have had a quick peek at the game though and annoying installation process aside, what I have seen has really impressed me.

Ratchet & Clank is more of the same gameplay wise but given a full HD makeover and contains more enemies on screen at once than ever before. There are some great new weapons/gadgets as you would expect from this series but no major surprises. Gran Turismo 5 Prologue is really just a glorified demo, but I picked it up for the GT TV mode which just sounded too interesting to pass up, plus I am a fan of motorsport (which does help). The thought of old episodes of Top Gear being piped through my PS3 doesn't really thrill me, as I can turn my Freeview TV on to Dave at any moment of the day and chances are they will be showing an old epsiode anyway, but coverage of the Nurburgring 24 Hour race and detailed documentaries about the development of the worlds best cars sounds promising. There are a handful of videos to watch already, but the service launches properly on the 1st of August.

Finally, there's Folklore, which I'm just starting to get into. The graphics are stunning and the whole package is my sort of game. You take control of either a male or female lead and explore the island of Doolin, as well as travelling to the underworld to commune with the dead and harness the powers of the "Folk" - a wild array of monsters the all have different abilities - some offensive, some defensive. It reminds me of the sort of gothic fantasy that Neil Gaiman is famous for, and I can't wait to play more.

I also bought and downloaded Super Stardust HD which is the PS3's equivalent of Geometry Wars (although it's based on an old Amiga game). More great pick up and play fun - highly recommended. When I've had more time to play all of these thoroughly I will start reviewing PS3 games. In conclusion, the PS3 is actually a great games machine with the brilliant bonus of being able to play Blu Ray films. It has a handful of exclusive titles that are worth checking out and more on the way, but I would still pick the 360 version of a game over the PS3 because of the Achievements and the fact that all my friends own 360's and none own PS3's.

Folklore, yesterday

No comments: