Sony PlayStation 3 Game Console Page 7

The games I played the most were Tiger Woods PGA 07, Resistance: Fall of Man, and Call of Duty 3. As an ex-golf pro, I loved Tiger. Not only was it terrifically fun to play, with challenging but easily understandable control, but the graphics were great. From the subtle textures and color changes on the green to the rippling of water in the hazards to trees swaying in the wind, everything looked right. Electronic Arts totally nailed the subtle player animations as well, especially on Tiger. Tossing grass in the air to check the wind, cleaning a club off on your cleats, spinning a wedge in your hand - if you're a golfer, you will recognize the flavor that EA poured into Tiger.

Of the three games, Resistance is definitely the most cutting-edge and best shows off the PS3's abilities. It has all the elements of a terrific game: an enthralling storyline (including a fully fleshed-out back story available online at rfom.com), ultrarealistic-looking environments and character design, directional surround effects, a creepy musical score, and hideous-looking enemies - all adding up to some truly frightening moments. As you move through war-torn England, nearly everything is in ruins, and the graphics capture it all: swirling dust, fire and smoke pouring out of wreckage, glass shattering as you fire through windows. Resistance fully immerses you in the role of Army Ranger Nathan Hale. And since Resistance is from the makers of Ratchet & Clank, you know that the weapons are bound to be inventive - and they are! The Hedgehog grenade sends deadly spines exploding in all directions; the Auger fires transient radiation through walls; the Fareye sniper rifle lets you temporarily slow down time for crucial long-range head shots. Each weapon has a unique purpose that aids you at different moments of game play.

Many of the games offer online capability, which is really the next frontier in gaming and can add many hours to the lifespan of a game. Resistance supports up to 40 players online and offers a variety of interesting game-play options that could very well make it PS3's Halo. I logged some time playing Resistance online (more truthfully, I logged some time getting waxed over and over again online ...), and the game didn't lag or noticeably drop frames while playing, even though I was using the Wi-Fi connection. Very impressive.

As great as the PS3 games looked, however, none of the launch titles really offered any major improvements over what can be found on the Xbox 360. The only game I was able to directly compare with its 360 version was Madden NFL 07, and they were basically identical. Granted, the 360 has been around for more than a year now, and a year of programming "practice" among developers is huge. As game-makers learn to harness all of the Cell's processing power, next year's games might reveal major differences between the two systems, especially when you factor in the storage-capacity difference between DVD and Blu-ray. Even a single-layer Blu-ray Disc offers nearly three times the storage of a dual-layer DVD, so the potential for PS3 is enormous.

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