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5 Awesome Online PS3 Games

Only slightly over a decade ago, the word ‘gamer’ conjured images of a lonely slob sat in his mother’s basement, shunning the outside world in favour of FFVII. Thankfully that stereotype died sometime around the launch of the PS2: today ‘gaming’ is more likely to conjure images of 14 year olds screaming ‘hilarious’ insults down their Xbox Live headsets while the rest of us try to play in peace. How much of an improvement this might be is debatable, but it’s undeniable that gaming as a solitary pastime is dead. There’s too much to experience online, too many extras, and developers are working all the time to push the boundaries even further. Below are 5 recent games for the PS3 that smashed those boundaries in terms of interactivity, innovation or sheer entertainment:

DC Universe Online

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A fanboy’s dream come true: as a self-created superhero (or supervillain) you fight your way across the sprawling DC Universe, saving lives or causing utter chaos; depending on your allegiance. Go on quests to build up your custom powers, team up with friends as a group or duo, or simply zip around this vast sandbox like the overgrown man-child you are, savouring the art department’s minute attention to detail. It may not be the most-immersive MMO (the in-game economy is pretty crude), but as an effective slice of wish-fulfilment it simply can’t be bettered. Oh, and Mark Hamil as The Joker delivers the performance of the decade.

Borderlands/Borderlands 2

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OK, so it’s still too early to tell if the sequel will eat away our free time as comprehensively as the original, but the Borderlands series remains the last word in MMO mayhem. Featuring more testosterone-fuelled chaos than ten GTAs, the guilty-pleasure factor is only increased by the carnage experienced in online mode. Yes, there’s a tactical element to the game that rewards teamwork, yes the new trading interface raises the prospect of future expansion, WoW style; but really, Borderlands is all about eye-blistering violence, peppered with insanity. Perhaps the single most-entertaining game on the PlayStation network; we can already hear our weekends melting away.

Journey

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If caped crusaders aren’t your thing, and excessive-violence strikes you as puerile, try Journey. Like an interactive parable, Journey is a slow, thoughtful piece designed to leave the player feeling humbled, reflective and even a little melancholy. Set in a mystical desert land evoking half-forgotten fables, where silence settles over everything like a layer of dust, the game features one of the PSN’s most innovative multiplayer concepts. Here there are no names, no voices: anyone you meet can only communicate via a small number of ‘signs’ and the extent of your interactions (or lack thereof) are entirely up to you. Perfect for introverts, romantics and anyone tired of the frantic lives we lead, Journey’s silence is a revelation. Not bad for a 90 minute slice of whimsy.

Demon’s Souls

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For those who like their games sadistic, creepy and deeply frustrating, Demon’s Souls rewrites the fantasy RPG rulebook while adding a whole new dimension to player interactions. Set in a fog-bound kingdom overrun by demons, the online option allows players to crash one another’s quests as black phantoms, thereby making everything that much more impossible; or leave notes for others to find as stark warning of the dangers ahead. The anonymity of the notes ratchets up the creepiness, leaving you to deduce how helpful the author is or isn’t being. Slow, unsettling and almost perversely difficult, this is one for the hardcore set only.

Little Big Planet 2

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How could we forget LBP2? The justly-famous ‘platform for games’ (rather than ‘platform game’) allows you to create your own levels for you and others to play, resulting in a vast online community of over 5 million playable scenarios. Perfect for everyone who looks at a game and thinks ‘I could do better’.

Thanks to Alfie at Ladbrokes Games for putting together this article.

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