2012 was a great year to be a PS3 owner. Not only did we get to play a number of groundbreaking third-party triple-A titles like Far Cry 3 and Assassin’s Creed 3, we also received a smattering of unique and creative independent titles like Retro City Rampage, Unfinished Swan, and the award-winning Journey.
Unforunately, because of the almost overwhelming amount of games to choose from, there were a number of truly great titles that went unnoticed and never achieved the sales they deserved. The games on this list are the best PS3 games you missed in 2012.
Warriors Orochi 3
Now I know people might call me crazy for putting Tecmo Koei’s Warriors Orochi 3 in this list, but I have to say, out of the hundreds of games I’ve installed and played on my PS3, Warriors Orochi 3 has seen the most play in 2012. I’ve unlocked everything there is to unlock (hundreds in fact) and spent almost 100+ hours on the game. Yet, here we are in 2013 and I still find myself playing it for hours on end.
Warriors Orochi 3 represents the slow but steady evolution (and culmination) of Koei’s longest running hack & slash crossover franchise. Warriors Orochi 3 boasts 132 unique characters; all coming with unique movesets, voice acting, and multiple costumes. It also features a three-character switchable strike team, a deep weapon fusion system, and even guest appearances from Ninja Gaiden’s Ryu Hayabusa, Warriors Legend of Troy’s Achilles, and Trinity’s Nemea.
Seriously; the next time you’re having a really bad day, load up this bad boy and lay waste to thousands of historical figures from both the Three Kingdoms and Shogun Empires.
One of the most visually engaging rhythm/shooter/racer games on the PS3, DYAD looks and feels like an acid trip, putting together the best parts of Child of Eden, REZ, and Audiosurf into one multi-sensory package. Everything you see and hear correlate to every move you make in the game. In a way, I was a musician and DYAD was my instrument; each of the levels I played made me feel like I was performing a song through my movements and gameplay.
You could look at DYAD as a racer, but compared to traditional racing games where you’re only following one track, DYAD presents you with a number of ways to build momentum and build your own soundtrack throughout its levels. And at its fastest speeds, DYAD works like a puzzle overwhelming you with information and music interaction, you’ll only have a split second to decide on your next move.
Again another example of the unique and creative crowd-sourced games available for the PS3 and PS Vita. Sound Shapes is perhaps one of the most important games to come to Sony’s new handheld. Part instrumental app and part game, this platformer allowed players to create their own levels, their own music and share them online.
The pre-packaged levels and music are of top quality including contributions from Deadmau5, Beck, Jim Guthrie, and even the Capybara team (Superbrothers: Sword and Sworcery). Sound Shapes also boasts a long shelf life because the Sound Shapes community continually creates new levels and improves on top-favorites. Built-in content can be used as assets to create new levels and uploaded online for everyone to play and enjoy.
Originally a sequel to Activision’s True Crime franchise, Square-Enix picked up the game and brought us one of the most engaging open world games of 2012. It was so good in fact that it launched to much critical acclaim (especially for a new IP). It wasn’t just another GTA clone, though; Sleeping Dogs separated itself from the pack with an engaging story, relatable characters, a brutal fight system, and a living, breathing, open-world Hong Kong.
The combat system is successful because it was a mix of Arkham City’s multi-opponent system, with a deep well of real world martial arts moves. In addition to that, driving is tight and responsive, making traversal from mission to mission, or just driving around Hong Kong a joy. Hell, even the race missions were fun to play, and I usually avoid those in other open world games.
Papo & Yo
If you haven’t played the PSN exclusive Papo & Yo, then you’re missing out on one of the most emotionally-charged games ever released on the PlayStation Store. Created by Montreal-based Minority Media, Papo & Yo is one of those rare video games that generate empathy from the player because of its well-written story, relatable characters, and metaphors to real life. Not only did it entertain players with its gameplay, but it also shined a light on social issues that are almost never touched upon by our interactive media.
It’s a sad yet beautiful game, made all the more effective by narrative and social statements. If you’re looking for a game that’s deeper than most you’ve ever played, then Papo & Yo should be your next purchase.
Spec Ops: The Line
Spec Ops: The Line flew under everyone’s radar because it was released about the same time as other, blockbuster games. It played pretty much like every other third person shooter on the market, but it brought with it a powerful story, deep characters, and a serious insight on the effects of war on a soldier’s psychology. It was also one of the first “shooter” games that made people hesitate on pulling their triggers. Spec Ops: The Line also differentiates itself from other games with “moral compasses” by having you decide on courses of action that are oftentimes morally ambiguous. Even decisions with the best of intentions will have drastic consequences not only to the people around you, but on your character’s psyche as well.
There you have it folks, the best PS3 games you missed in 2012. What games flew under your radar last year that you’d like to try this year?