The recent UK launch of OnLive has been met with a very mixed response. Some gamers have found its use frustratingly unwieldy, while others have hailed it as the future of interactive content delivery. However, the technology and service are not all that makes OnLive a notable new contender for the gaming platform of choice, another goal the team behind the system scored early on is securing those big name videogame releases.
Both new releases and older titles make up the selection currently available on OnLive, with both indie titles and big budget experiences offered globally. With more than one hundred titles already available for the system, Electronic Theatre has spent some time compiling the definitive list of ten titles every OnLive member should own. This week’s specific requirements were quite simple: the videogame had to available to purchase on the UK’s OnLive service now. No future releases were eligible, nor titles available overseas only.
10. Deus Ex: Human Revolution
Deus Ex: Human Revolution kick-started this year’s autumn line-up with a bang, showcasing just what kind of experiences are to come as developers begin to truly push the current-generation hardware. As the months roll on after releases and the playthroughs mount up, it’s becoming easier and easier to see the strings pulling the action along, but that still doesn’t stop Deus Ex: Human Revolution from being one of the best videogames currently available for purchase on OnLive.
9. Saints Row 2
A complete contrast to Deus Ex: Human Revolution’s po-faced take on inner-city turmoil, Saints Row 2 is designed to be a laugh-riot from the very start. It may have lost some of the comedy sensibilities of the first title – which are set to return in a big way in Saints Row: The Third – but Saints Row 2 remains a crass and opportunistic videogame: exactly as it was intended to be.
8. Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood
With the fourth Assassin’s Creed game arriving soon, Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood stands out as a title that many who haven’t experienced it to the fullest should probably invest some time in as soon as possible. After the stunning presentation of Assassin’s Creed II, a reinvention of the series after just one outing, Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood progressed the formula yet further by expanding the horizons of the map and bringing an all-new multiplayer mode into the fray. Not bad for a game that was only in development for a year.
7. Mafia II
Mafia II is a frequently stunning portrayal of gangster life in the middle of the last century. What begins as a tale of a downtrodden man clawing his way up the back alleys of society eventually turns into a tale of betrayal, vengeance and love. It’s a game that surprises at near every turn, with the gunplay and criminality being a means to the deeply engrossing story’s ends.
6. Red Faction: Guerrilla
If Saints Row 2 is a contrary to Deus Ex: Human Revolution for being more than a little silly, Red Faction: Guerrilla is another polar extreme simply by tasking the player with making as much noise as possible. Using the Geo Mod technology that made Red Faction’s name – and with the recent Red Faction: Armageddon, may also have been its undoing – players are tasked with bringing buildings crashed down single-handedly, as opposed to silently infiltrating them.
5. Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Conviction
A showcase that garnered near-universal acclaim wasn’t enough for Ubisoft, as Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Conviction disappeared into obscurity soon after its first official reveal. Coming back in a blaze of glory years later, the original crowd-based gameplay had been removed entirely (arguably reserved for the more recent instalments in the Assassin’s Creed franchise) and a revision of the traditional Splinter Cell stealth gameplay making Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Conviction feel just as fresh without it.
4. NBA 2K11
A sports title in the top five? As shocking as this may seem, NBA 2K11 was no less than a revolution for home console virtual basketball. It redefined what it means to play basketball in your living room to the point where no other videogame has come close, and many believe NBA 2K11 is the reason that EA SPORTS’ demo of NBA Elite 11 from the same year was met with such venom, and the release of the videogame eventually cancelled altogether.
3. DiRT 3
DiRT 3 presented the most varied, expansive alternative racing videogame ever seen on home console systems. It redefined just what rally videogames could become, and set a standard that few competing titles are ever likely to match – indeed, since its release, none have. Unsurprisingly the winner of numerous awards, DiRT 3 is a game that does the UK publishing team at Codemasters proud.
2. Colin McRae: DiRT 2
While DiRT 3 is arguably the technically superior game, it simply doesn’t have the spirit of Colin McRae: DiRT 2. The game itself is just as much a character as any story-led experience has ever presented, with the caravan system, rivalries, overly friendly commentator and grand variety of disciplines, Colin McRae: DiRT 2’s structure was arguably the best ever seen in a racing game.
1. Batman: Arkham Asylum
Of course, it’s highly likely that Batman: Arkham Asylum is set to be outdone later this month thanks to the arrival of its sequel, Batman: Arkham City. Available to pre-order on OnLive now, Batman: Arkham City is offering a significant bonus to early adopters, but for now it’s Batman: Arkham Asylum that remains the most enjoyable videogame experience on the newest videogame network around.
Batman: Arkham Asylum is an action game through-and-through, but with its elegant pacing and openness to interpretation, it can be so much more if the player chooses. Yes, it is possible to complete the enter game (bar the bosses) simply swinging between gargoyles, lampposts and rock sides, dragging away your opponents one-by-one, but doing so would be to miss out on the genuine experience of becoming the Dark Knight. Never before has a videogame conveyed the opportunity to play as a superhero so convincingly, and hopefully Rocksteady Studios will be able to repeat that achievement later this month.