Sunday, 3 May 2015

The Top 5 Playstation 2 Action-Adventures

Haven't bought a PS4 or Xbox One? Haven't got an interest in any upcoming games? Or do you just wanted to kick back and play something retro? Regardless, CeX has you covered. Today we'll be glancing back to the era of the Playstation 2, the gaming behemoth that sold 55 million units worldwide. So with the astronomical number in mind, chances are you either have your PS2 nearby or in storage somewhere. It's time to get it all hooked up though, as here at the top 5 best action-adventure games on the PS2.

The Warriors

Leave it to Rockstar Games to follow up the smash hit Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas with a game based on a 1970's cult film. Rockstar Games' 2004 masterpiece The Warriors is based upon, well, The Warriors. The film was a massive hit back in the day, but since its release no one was even looking for a sequel, remake or, especially, a videogame adaptation- but they did it anyway! The film focuses on the Warriors, a street gang based in Coney Island that are framed for the murder of Cyrus, a dude who is essentially the leader of all gangs. Being hunted by countless gangs across the city, the Warriors must make their way back to Coney Island. It's a great set-up for a game too, but The Warriors on PS2 isn't a straight adaptation.

Instead The Warriors starts weeks before the gang are framed for murder, though you do get to act out all the action set pieces from the film. The game is a third-person partially open-world brawler, and has some of the best fighting mechanics I've ever played in a game. From using almost every object around you as a weapon, unleashing devastating and bone crunching moves to the gradual bloody damage that occurs on an enemy, The Warriors is kick ass. Though I'm still hoping for a HD re-release at some point, I guess the PS2 version will do for now.

Hitman: Contracts

Every game in the Hitman series is worthy to be on this list, but one game out of the lot just blew me away. That was Hitman: Contracts. Released in 2004 and the third game in the incredible Hitman series, Contracts' plot is interesting in the fact that it features the main character suffering from a gunshot wound, and is essentially looking back over his life, and in turn over some of his more memorable assassination missions. It could have been called The Best of Hitman, as each mission was near perfect, and feature a huge array of locales for you to assassinate in.

Hitman is the ultimate stealth game. Allowing the player to utilise both a first and third-person perspective, Contracts isn't about going in with guns blazing. Instead, the game- and the series as a whole- places its focus on remaining undetected, assuming the roles of enemies, blending in and, when the time is right, taking our your target in the quietest way possible. In fact, sometimes you'd literally finish a level and have taken out the target before anyone realises you were even there. It's tense, thrilling and brilliant.

Urban Chaos: Riot Response

Long before Rocksteady Studios stunned the gaming world with Batman: Arkham Asylum in 2009, their first game three years prior to that was one of the best PS2 games ever. EVER. It's called Urban Chaos: Riot Response, and no it's not related to Urban Chaos on the original Playstation, though that's a pretty nifty game too. Riot Response placed you in the shoes of Nick Mason, a guy not only has a badass name, but he's also part of T-Zero, an equally badass riot response unit. The game put you down into the streets, and faced the player off against the Burners; masked maniacs hell bent of destroying the city.

Riot Response is a first-person shooter, but there's nothing routine about the gameplay. The best aspect of Riot Response was how visceral its gameplay was, how delicious the guns sounded when fired and how awesome kicking Burner ass made you feel. It's the polar opposite of the Hitman series, as instead of slow methodical gameplay, Riot Response let you run into a run full of bad guys, unload shotgun shells into a few faces, bust a riot shield into another guys nose, chuck a Molotov cocktail at someones feet and, as he's burning, shock him with a taser. It's balls-to-the-wall action, and is literally the definition of awesome.

Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater

Since first playing Metal Gear Solid on the Playstation back in 1998, I've been an absolutely massive fan of the series. From it's blending of realism and the paranormal to its excellent gameplay that equally treads the line between the normal and the bizarre, it's a series close to my heart. Though Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty didn't really do it for me on release, Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater blew me away. The story doesn't focus on the life of Solid Snake, but instead on Naked Snake, the man Solid Snake was cloned from, and the man who would become the feared tyrant Big Boss. Featuring a story that covers everything from nukes, evil Russians, not-so-evil Russians, a young Revolver Ocelot, sexy double agent spies, retro gadgets, a proto-Metal Gear death machine and an awesome soundtrack, this is Metal Gear Solid at its finest.

Snake Eater is a game that lets you play it how you see fit. Want to crawl through the jungles and hunt down your enemies using stealth? Go for it! Want to bypass your enemies entirely and hunt snakes and lizards for food? Do it! Want to go batshit crazy and blast and stab your way through hordes of enemies? Give 'em hell! It's a game so layered with innovation and delicious design that you'll find yourself lost in its world. Also, this is the perfect game to play/re-play in time for Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. Granted you'll also need to play Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker after Snake Eater, but this game essentially kicks off the must-play Big Boss trilogy.

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

This had to be on the list, right? It just had to be. By the time Grand Theft Auto: Vice City was released, the GTA series was a massive success. This 2004 release blew every other prior GTA out of the water. Focusing on the return of Carl Johnson to his old grounds of Grove Street, the game, as you would expect from any GTA, chronicled his rise to power, his struggles with various rival gangs, as well as going toe-to-toe with corrupt cops and friends that are out to get him. It featured loads of high profile actors providing voices too, and this all led to San Andreas feeling cinematic, epic and real.

The GTA series always gave the player freedom of choice, but San Andreas took that idea and ran with it. From driving, shooting, flying, robbing, biking, swimming, working out, trying to hunt down Bigfoot (that isn't really there anyway), racing cars, being a taxi driver, being a cop, playing arcade games, gambling, to owning properties... it's a game that's jam packed with content. Backed up with an awesome soundtrack that covers everything from Country, Hard Rock, Pop and a conspiracy show, this GTA was only- in my opinion- bettered by GTAV. If you haven't played it, go now - buy it!

Denis Murphy

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