Star Wars: Battlefront II (2005) (PS2)
Action 31 October 2005
The second installment of the multiplayer shooter series developed by Pandemic Studios. Once again, the players can participate in spectacular battles, where the forces of the Galactic Empire clash with the Rebel Alliance. The multiplayer mode allows up to 60 players to fight on one of 12 different planets, in the interstellar space and aboard massive space cruisers. Apart from standard infantry units, the battlefields are full of a variety of war machines – from X-wings and TIE Fighters to Star Destroyers and YT-1300 freight vessels. At some point during the playthrough, one can face the legendary Jedi Knights and the Sith Lords. Interestingly enough, players who prefer a more individual experience can also find something for themselves in this game, since Star Wars Battlefront II offers a number of non-linear missions with a well-written backstory.
Deus Ex (PS2)
RPG 25 March 2002
A cyberpunk first-person perspective action RPG developed by Ion Storm, studio led by the legend of the video game industry, Warren Spector – co-creator of such cult series as Ultima and Wing Commander. Deus Ex takes place in the middle of XXI century, in a world filled with terrorism, corruption, poverty and a mysterious disease called the Gray Death. The player assumes the role of agent JC Denton and discovers that a secret organization named Majestic 12, which eventually intends to rule the world, is responsible for the deadly virus. The gameplay mechanics of the game combine FPS, stealth and RPG features. Thanks to special nanotechnological augmentations the protagonist has inhuman abilities that can be gradually improved as the game progresses. Denton can use various weapons which can be also modified. The story of the game is non-linear, and depending on the choices made by the player it might led to one of three alternative endings.
Need for Speed Carbon (PS2)
Racing 01 November 2006
The tenth installment in the bestselling racing game series originally launched back in 1995. The game lets you play as the main protagonist of the previous game. He returns to his home city only to find his domestic street racing scene taken over by rivaling gangs. As you take on new racing challenges, you take back your home town one district at a time. The game’s mechanics employ the well-proven solutions introduced by its predecessors, while introducing several new elements at the same time. Those include, first and foremost, canyon duels, which require much attention, as it is possible to run through the traffic barriers and roll down the slope. The other novelty is the team; you can assemble your own crew, and its members can aid you during races, e.g. by blocking your rivals. Additionally, the game features cut-scenes with real actors, several dozen licensed car models, as well as vast car customization options. Regarding the latter, Autosculpt module lets you modify almost any element of the car body.
Medal of Honor: Frontline (PS2)
Action 28 May 2002
Another installment in an FPS series tracing its roots back to the PlayStation console. The Medal of Honor series of war shooters is considered to be the predecessor of the Call of Duty franchise. In Medal of Honor: Frontline, the player assumes the role of lieutenant Jimmy Patterson from the American OSS agency. The protagonist is sent to the most dangerous battlefields of World War II, including the spectacular landing on the Omaha beach for example (a mission inspired by the 1998's film Saving Private Ryan). The player will be taken inside a German U-boat, they will fight over a strategically important bridge in Nijmegen, and most importantly, they will hijack a German plane prototype capable of tipping the scales of victory. In terms of mechanics, the game does not stray much from the formula behind the previous installments, giving the player an opportunity to experience a true war horror, which is intensified by the use of convincing sound effects. In the game, the player participates both in open shootouts as well as stealth-action sequences, making use of a massive number of different weapons representing authentic firearms of the period.
Adventure 25 September 2001
A third-person perspective action-adventure game developed by the Japanese developer Team Ico. The story tells about a young boy named Ico who was marked with an eternal curse. Due to that curse, he was born with mysterious horns on his head and, similarly to his predecessors, he is to be taken to a mysterious castle where he is going to be slain. While awaiting death, the boy notices a girl locked in a cage. The girl happens to be a princess – the daughter of the cruel queen that rules the castle. Ico decides to free the girl and their fates will from now on depend on the player who is tasked with helping them escape from the fortress. The game combines characteristics of an adventure game and a platformer. During the game player will face many puzzles, traps and merciless demons. What makes Ico exceptional is a strong focus on the development of emotional bond between the two protagonists who have no one to depend on but each other.
Gran Turismo 3: A-Spec (PS2)
Racing 09 July 2001
The third installment in a series of popular racing games developed by Polyphony Digital since 1997, originally for the PlayStation console. The titular mode constitutes the main part of the game - the player participates in subsequent racing challenges, earning adequate licenses and money, which can be spent on new cars and parts for them. The game offers over a hundred licensed car models belonging to the world's most famous brands. Each of the available cars can be customized to a substantial degree, for dozens of parts can be replaced and the player is allowed to experiment with different car settings. Racing takes place on asphalt tracks (majority of them appeared in the previous installments) and completely new gravel sections. As usual, the game does not lack realism in terms of the driving physics. Additionally, Gran Turismo 3: A-Spec offers new, incredibly detailed visuals, which constitutes a major improvement since the release of the installments for Sony's previous-generation consoles.
Need for Speed ProStreet (PS2)
Racing 13 November 2007
The 11th installment in the popular racing game series developed by Electronic Arts. In contrast to the previous parts of the game, this title completely abandons the idea of illegal races and transfers the action to professional racing circuits. Players take part in a number of challenges divided into four race variations: Drag, Grip, Drift, and Speed Challenge, in the latter the driver who reaches top speed wins. Successive victories unlock new challenges and cars. The game offers 26 licensed car models that can be customized with the Autosculpt system. The authors emphasize the recreation of crashes and the realistic damage model that influences the car’s performance. Fans of realism were given the option of turning off all the driving assistance, like power steering and ABS, which makes driving much more simulator-like.
Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne (PS2)
Action 02 December 2003
A continuation of the extremely successful action game from 2001. Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne is once again developed by the Finnish developer Remedy Entertainment with the help from the publisher Take-Two Interactive. The action takes place one year after events of the first installment. Max Payne is back in NYPD. Unfortunately, the dark past still haunts him – the life of the hero is threatened by Mona – a beautiful killer, who steals his heart. There are not many changes in gameplay – it still combines elements of a third-person perspective shooter and an adventure game. Once again the developers implemented Bullet Time mechanics, offering new movement possibilities (like the thrilling bullet dodging).
Red Dead Revolver (PS2)
Action 03 May 2004
A third-person perspective action game developed by Rockstar Games, a company known for Grand Theft Auto and Midnight Club series. The game features a Western setting, starting during the final years of 19th century and the player assumes the role of Red, a man filled with lust for revenge. During his early years he witnessed the death of his parents at the hands of Mexican bandits that wanted to claim possession of a gold mine located on Red’s parent’s land. After many years he returns to his homeland and his main objective is to kill as many thugs as possible. The game, considered to be a Wild West version of Grand Theft Auto, is mostly about completing story missions and dueling based on the best movie westerns. The developers provided the characteristic style of the Wild West and recreated locations, buildings and characters that are typical of the genre. The players also have access to thirty different weapons, including revolvers, shotguns, rifles and explosives.
The Godfather (PS2)
Action 21 March 2006
An action game based on the novel by Mario Puzo and its movie adaptation by Francis Ford Coppola. You play as a thief, who makes his way into the world of the Corleone family. By doing various tasks for them, he climbs up the mafia career ladder and earns growing respect from other criminals. The game is set in New York, at the end of the 1940s and the beginning of the 1950s. The non-linear character of the gameplay allows you to choose the order of missions to complete as you wish. Like the Grand Theft Auto series, The Godfather features an open world, and the game is full of spectacular pursuits and shootouts, as the Corleone family has many enemies, e.g. Tattagalia, Cuneo or Stracci. The characters in the game are based on their movie counterparts, and are voiced by actors such as Marlon Brando, James Caan and Robert Duvall. The game features high-quality visuals and the music based on that from the movie.
Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening (PS2)
Action 01 March 2005
The third installment in the third-person perspective action hack-and-slash series. The story of Devil May Cry 3: Dante’s Awakening takes place before the events shown in the first installment of the series. It reveals more details about Dante’s past and motivations. The gameplay mechanics return to the roots of the series while adding an innovative feature – the possibility to choose a combat style, slightly altering Dante's abilities. Depending on personal preferences, the style can emphasize powerful melee attacks (Swordmaster), defense & counterattacks (Royal Guard), firearms (Gunslinger), or mobility (Trickster). Other gameplay elements remain the same – the player will face numerous opponents at once and participate in dynamic action sequences while accompanied by a heavy metal soundtrack.
Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty (PS2)
Action 13 November 2001
The fourth installment in the Metal Gear series created by Hideo Kojima. It is a direct sequel to the 1998's Metal Gear Solid. The game features two main story chapters. The first casts the player in the role of Solid Snake (the protagonist of the previous installments), whose job is to infiltrate a ship transporting a new variety of the eponymous mech. His other task is to stop a group of Russian mercenaries trying to obtain it. The second chapter of the story takes the player to a deep sea sewage treatment facility, overrun by a terrorist group known as Sons of Liberty. Here, the player is put in the shoes of a different agent called Raiden, Snake becomes the player's support and ally. In terms of gameplay mechanics, Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty does not bring any significant changes to the solutions employed in the previous installment. However, the characters have a few more options of interaction with the game world. Thanks to the PlayStation 2 console's capabilities, the game features improved visuals and high-quality cutscenes.
Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories (PS2)
Action 06 June 2006
A spin-off to the iconic Grand Theft Auto series. The game was first developed for the PlayStation Portable handheld console. The story of Liberty City Stories takes place a few years before the events shown in GTA3, on the streets of the same metropolis. During the game player becomes Tony Cipriani who after coming to the city is caught up in the dirt of corruption, mafia wars, and drug traffic. The objective of the game is to work for the Leone mafia family, increase its influences and build up Tony’s reputation in the criminal underworld. The gameplay of GTA: Liberty City Stories employs the well-received mechanics of the series and offers an open world filled with story missions and side activities alike. As always in the series, there are many vehicles (including motorcycles, motorboats, trains and ferries) and weapons to use. However, due to the limitations of the PSP console, some things were slightly simplified.
Spider-Man 3: The Game (PS2)
Action 04 May 2007
An action adventure game based on the third Spider-Man movie directed by Sam Raimi. The action is set in the city of New York, recreated with great attention to details. We assume the role of the eponymous superhero, who has to undertake a myriad of various quests. However, the story does not impose any specific path on us, letting us decide the mission order on our own. Spider-Man 3: The Game focuses primarily on combat, where we can perform spectacular strikes with arms and legs as well as use the spider web. Hordes of minor enemies as well as ten famous villains known from the Marvel comic books will stand in our way. An interesting novelty is the fact that in the game we control not only the classic Spider-Man, but also his dark incarnation that came to life as a result of merging with a mysterious space symbiont.
Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3 (PS2)
Fighting 09 November 2007
Another installment in a series of fighting games developed by Spike. The franchise was based on classic manga series by Akira Toriyama and takes the player to the titular Dragon Ball universe dominated by masters of different various martial arts. The game offers over 150 fighters representing different races, such as the Saiyan (Goku, Vegeta), inhabitants of the planet Namek (Piccolo), humans (Tenshinhan, Krillin) or androids (#17, #18). Each of the characters has a unique set of attacks and special abilities. Moreover, many of them are capable of transforming and accessing new, more powerful attacks by doing so. Fighting takes place in 20 in-game locations and particular arenas can be visited both in daylight and when it is dark. What complements Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3, are high-quality visuals that remain faithful to the art style Toriyama has been popular for.
Test Drive Unlimited (PS2)
Racing 20 February 2007
A new incarnation of the popular racing game series launched back in 1987 by Distinctive Software and Accolade. Test Drive Unlimited was developed by Eden Games, the creators of the V-Rally franchise, under the aegis of Atari. The main change in relation to its predecessors is the vast open world set on the faithfully recreated Oahu island, which can be freely explored. The players can undertake a number of various racing challenges to earn cash that lets them buy new vehicles for their garage. In total, there are over 90 licensed cars and motorcycles to choose from. In the game, we can modify our avatar by dressing him in designer clothes and even buy a new house with a bigger garage. The title features an innovatory multiplayer mode that, similarly to MMO productions, enables thousands of players to compete at the same time.
Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings (PS2)
Strategy 02 November 2001
The second installment belonging to an incredibly popular series of real-time strategy games. Age of Empires II: The Age of the Kings was developed by Ensemble Studios. The player assumes command of a civilization chosen (13 in total here) and leads them through subsequent stages of development. For example, one can play as Franks, Mongols, Celts or Vikings. Compared to the first installment, the visuals were improved (more detailed), as was the AI of the player's subordinates - as a result, additional orders can be given to them, such as to patrol the vicinity, to guard a designated spot, or to follow a specific target. Furthermore, an option to group units into various formations was introduced. Apart from that, the player can now trade and manipulate the prices of different resources. Age of Empires II: The Age of the Kings features both single player modes (such as a campaign devoted to a Scottish national hero William Wallace) and a multiplayer variant (PC version only).