Let the Games Begin
Internet connectivity and high-definition movie playback aside, consoles are all about the games. And massive exclusive franchises such as Halo (Xbox), Metal Gear Solid (PlayStation), and Zelda (Nintendo) promote gamers' allegiance to a single console. Whether a PlayStation 3 launch title such as Resistance: Fall of Man becomes such a classic remains to be seen. But the PS3 games I've played so far have been ridiculously fun. Bearing in mind that I can't test the multiplayer or online functionality until the PS3 officially launches, here are some early thoughts:
NBA 07: This addictive basketball game runs in 1080p resolution at an incredibly smooth 60 frames per second. The players' movements are responsive and fluid; the digital Shaq looks like a sweaty (albeit slightly plastic) version of the in-the-flesh Shaq; and the courts seem almost photo-realistic. It's a better game all around than the PS2 version, though regrettably there still isn't any commentary. Load times were pretty slow (about 15 to 20 seconds) to begin with--but once the game automatically copied information to the PS3's hard disk, times improved dramatically.
Resistance: Fall of Man: This first-person shooter is my favorite PS3 game so far. Levels feel expansive and atmospheric (especially the set pieces), but the graphics, while top-notch, fall somewhere between what a PS2 game and a PS3 game should look like--particularly with regard to the textures of the bad guys. The game plays at a solid 30 fps and supports 720p resolution. Our friends over at GamePro have posted a full review and screenshots.
Genji: Days of the Blade: This was my least favorite title even though I'm a fan of slash-/beat-'em-ups. Load times improved once oft-used game data got automatically copied to the hard disk, graphics looked superb, and being able to switch characters instantly or to embark on a matrixlike slow-motion killing spree in midfight was great. Nevertheless, the gameplay as a whole felt a little tired, as though I'd played the same game too many times before.
Here's a list of all 21 games available at the launch of the PlayStation 3:
- Blazing Angels Squadrons of WWII
- Call of Duty 3
- EA Sports Fight Night Round 3
- The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
- Full Auto 2: Battlelines
- Genji: Days of the Blade
- Madden NFL 07
- Marvel: Ultimate Alliance
- Mobile Suit Gundam: Crossfire
- NBA 07
- NBA 2K7
- Need For Speed Carbon
- NHL 2K7
- Resistance: Fall of Man
- Ridge Racer 7
- Sonic the Hedgehog
- Tiger Woods PGA Tour 07
- Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Vegas
- Tony Hawk's Project 8
- Untold Legends Dark Kingdom
Wikipedia provides an unconfirmed list of upcoming titles and games in development for the PS3.
The PlayStation 3 is backward-compatible with most PlayStation 1 and 2 games, but to hedge your bets you might want to buy the optional $15 Memory Card Adaptor, which allows you to transfer saved game information from PS1/PS2 memory cards to the PS3's hard disk. Even then, early reports indicate that various problems have plagued a bunch of games. Tekken 5, for instance, is said to lose background music on the PS3.