PS3 3D Game Review Roundup

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Sony is pushing 3D pretty hard adding it as a bonus feature with many of its upcoming games including Infamous 2, Killzone 3 and more. Many older games have been updated with new 3D functionality as well. Since acquiring a 3D television I have been able to play just about every 3D game on the Playstation 3 and if you are interested in the tech or are wondering if a particular game is worth trying in 3D or if the effect enhances any games to make a 3D television a worth purchase then read on.

3D is Racist

Okay so maybe it’s not racist, but all 3D on the PlayStation 3 is not created equally. Some games were better than others in 3D for various reasons. Most issues seem to be design, or tech related.

In terms of design related problems take for example Gran Turismo 5 in 3D. The blue racing assist lines on the road when viewed in 3D is more distracting than ever. This is a design conflict between the game and the 3D tech. Some games really did benefit from the extra spacial perspective the 3D offers. Sly Cooper is one example. I found the platforming more enjoyable and accurate in 3D. Motorstorm 3D Rift also provides more immersion because of the 3D sand, dust and environmental effects. Games like Wipeout HD and very cluttered racing scenes in Ridge Racer 7 seem too intense at times for the current 3D tech.

The bottom line is that some games are head and shoulders better than others in 3D. The better 3D game experiences have less cross talk. Cross talk is when the 3D experience “breaks” momentarily and instead of a cohesive 3D visual what you actually see is ghosting and doubles of the image. In many 3D games it happens when there is much going on at once on the screen. The better 3D games have less than others. Some games like Super Stardust HD has virtually no cross talk. Some games do and will have better implemented 3D than others. Some of it will be based on how well 3D complements the design of the game and others will just be poorly implemented 3D tech in the game.

With that said lets look at the currently available 3D games on PS3.

Motorstorm 3D Rift

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This game (some would call a extended demo) is currently available on PSN for $9.99. I cannot neglect to write that yes I would have perferred a $10 or even $15 3D update for the actual full game. 3D rift comes with 10 tracks and 10 race events. Despite that Motorstorm 3D Rift is one of the best 3D game experiences on the PS3 at this time. Its very smooth, not much crosstalk, and the effects are damn good. This game is one that you show your friends to impress them when you get a 3D TV. Parts (wheels, hoods etc.) fly at you in 3D when there is a wreck and overall its a great experience and because the 3D is impemented so well I do reccomend it even to Pacific Rift owners.

Wipeout HD

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As a huge Wipeout HD fan this was the game that made me really want 3D in the first place. Honestly and sadly its not one of the better 3D games out there but its still a fun time. Luckily the 3D update for both Wipeout HD and HD Fury owners is free so its hard to actually complain. Do note that Heely shoe ads will play during loading screens in the 3D modes but hey, it’s free.

I recommend setting the 3D effect to ’30′ in the 3D options menu. If the 3D effect setting is up too high there will be jarring crosstalk. Mostly because there is so much going on in the game at all times. Weapon explosion effects, track speed effects and ship collision effects and more. The game is not as silky smooth in 3D where it is 30fps. It is 60fps in normal non 3D mode though most will not notice. I particualrly enjoy the HD Fury ‘Detonator’ modes the most in 3D mode. There is also a bug when the race starts in 3D mode that causes the start sound and the start graphic to be out of sync.

Gran Turismo 5 3D

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The 3D mode incorporated into Gran Turismo 5 is quite good. It does take some tweaking though so what you put into tweaking may directly effect what you get out of it. Gran Turismo 5 is one of the few games that allows you to fine tune the individual properties of the 3D presentation to minimize crosstalk. The 3D effect is nice though even after much tweaking I was unable to get the visuals to be as smooth in 3D as say Tumble and Super Stardust HD. The visuals are slightly degraded in 3D as well. The verdict is that the 3D is quite good and although I probably will not play most of the time in 3D I most certainly will give it a go in 3D from time to time. I found the blue race line in 3D distracting.

Ridge Racer 7 3D

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The journey to get this working in 3D was a bit of a pain but worth it in the end. The unlock key for the 3D mode is not currently available in North America. The European versions have access to the 3D unlock key. I ordered a Euro copy of Ridge racer 7 for about $10 via ebay and then downloaded the free euro 3D unlock key from the UK PSN store. The good news is that my Ridge Racer 7 save file from the US version works perfectly on both copies and I was then able to play it in 3D.

The verdict: Great! The game is pretty damn good in 3D. The depth of the roads and car models are all good and there is only crosstalk when the screen has 5 or more cars going really fast or drifting on the same screen. Other than that its fine. For a free unlock or $10 in my case it was worth the try.

Super Stardust HD 3D

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This is by far my favorite 3D game for the PlayStation 3. If the game does not allow you to enable 3D even after loading all the patches then try deleting the game and re downloading it again from your PlayStation Store download list.

The “worlds” or stages that make up the game look stunning in 3D as do the explosion particle effects. The meteors and everything in the game is VERY well done in 3D. Very subtle but effective use of 3D. No crosstalk at all and as a free update this is a sure winner and impressive 3d game.

Sly Cooper Collection 3D

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I had my doubts but was proven wrong. I found the Sly Cooper Collection much more enjoyable 3D and it seemed to complement the art style and actual type of game. This 3D platformer is even better in 3D. I found the actual platforming in 3D space less difficult. If you have this and can play in 3D I recommend it over non 3D which is rare.

Tumble 3D

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Tumble is a download only game that is a kind of Jenga meets Boom Blox puzzle game. You stack blocks using the Playstation Move controller. The 3D in this game is VERY well done. Hats off to the developers. The 3D visuals are some of the best. Do keep in mind that this game has very low action as you are picking up blocks and moving them around for the most part. Be that as it may the visuals are crisp in 3D with no crosstalk that I could notice whatsoever. The menus are stunning with a very nice 3D effect as well. I did not expect much and was impressed by the 3D implementation in Tumble. The game itself is not for everyone but for those that dig the game the 3D mode is an even better way to play it for sure. The game does benefit greatly from the 3D visuals as it makes what you do in the game more accurate and intuitive. Matter of fact Tumble is a great showcase of both the PlayStation Move and 3D tech. It incorporates both is a great way. Very easy to get both going when you boot up the game.

3D: Worth the investment?

After playing over half a dozen games in 3D I will say that at this point I cannot recommend going out and buying a TV for the sole purpose of playing games in 3D. There simply just are not enough games done well enough in 3D right now to make it worth the investment. The same actually goes for movies. There are very few movies out in stores that were originally shot in 3D and are also available on Blu-ray.

With that said also consider the investment may go beyond just the cost of a new TV. After getting my 3D TV I found out that my surround sound receiver (which was not old by any means) was not compatible with HDMI 1.4 and thus also not compatible with any 3D signal. The PS3 would not recognize my TV as being 3D capable so long as the signal was coming through my receiver so I had to buy a brand new receiver that was 3D/HDMI 1.4 capable. Add another $350-$500 for a new receiver if you plan on enjoying home stereo and not TV speakers with your 3D gaming and movie experience. You will also need new high speed HDMI 1.4 cables as well.

When you do decide to make the jump to 3D, plan accordingly and get everytyhing you need. Most likely you will need more than just the 3D Television.

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15 Comments

  1. So far I messed with Super Start Dust HD. I love dying in the game and having the effect of the explosion coming right at you.

    Played a bit of Uncharted and I mean just a bit. Cutscenes looked great but not sure if I liked the game play of it.

    Lastly I tried Sword & Soldiers which I got of PSN+ and it looked great its a side scrolling strategy game and the 3D looked quite good.

    I have a whole bunch of other 3D games to try as well, Batman, Motorstorm A, Assassin Creed R, Killzone 3 to name a few.

    As of right now I see 3D as a cool feature but not one that I would tell people to run a 3D TV. I needed a new TV and found a good one for a great price during boxing day and decided to pick it up.

  2. Nice writeup but as an FYI the v 1.4 HDMI cables are not needed. I have several older HDMI cables and they work fine on 3D

  3. I used the fiber optic output from the PS3 for sound input to my 1.3 AVR. This is a temporary patch for now, eventually I will upgrade to a 1.4 AVR. Crutchfield.com has a few Sony AVR’s for around $299, I believe they have a trade in program. Thanks for the review, great job!

  4. Do you believe though that 3D television is going to become the standard? Obviously we know Sony are making a big push with it in 2011 with some of their biggest games implemeting the tech, like Killzone 3, Motorstorm Apocalypse and i think possibly Uncharted 3 will too, but I don’t see anyone being able to warrant a purchase of a 3D TV just by seeing one game in action. PS is more fun in 3D

  5. I just recently updated my home theater system (admittedly after avatar came out) for a 3d setup without some of the knowledge known now (there was no standard for 3d at the time). I bought a Mitsubishi 65″ DLP for about $1100 and a 5.1 surround sound receiver. Same issue with the receiver, no 1.4 support. I read online though that you can trick the ps3 into still sending a signal through the receiver by first plugging the ps3 into the tv, setting up 3d, then plugging back into the receiver. I am waiting for a 1.4 hdmi to come in the mail to test this on my pioneer receiver and will let you know if it worked.

    Once a standard was formed Mitsubishi announced it would release its adapter to make the tv’s blu ray and ps 3 3d capable. (for anyone who owns a 2009 or earlier model mitsubishi tv DO NOT BUY THE STARTER SET!!! Buy the adapter ONLY 3da-1, and get DLP link glasses for the BEST picture quality, this is due to a permanent DLP link setting on 2009 and earlier model mitsubishi dlps). I bought this refurbished for about $70 and bought a 2 pack of dlp glasses for about $120. Also got 2 1.4 HDMI cables off of ebay for about $2 each (thats right, $2 each and free shipping). So for about a grand total of $1294 plus tax (add $250 for the receiver if you want top notch sound) I have a BEAUTIFUL 65″ tv with full 1080p 3d picture. Sayt what you will about DLP but it has a great picture and for the price of a regular 50″ 3d lcd (without glasses).

    Anywho, I have Avatar 3d (pre 3-d standard) which has a very good 3-d setup, a bit of cross talk but overall during certain parts of the game (manning a turret to shoot viperwolves) the 3d makes the game alot easier to aim and much more fun.

    A demo for mortal kombat was released, the graphics are a bit dumbed down in 3-d but the experience is wicked. I may actually buy this game.

    3-d content is very lacking even now, but more is on the way… and alot of the games are awesome in 3-d. If you do the right research you can get a 3-d tv for alot less then you’d think. As stated before, if you are already in the market for a tv… get a 3-d capable one… if anything for the novelty of it! It is very wild!

  6. Sony will be a major driving force behind the success of 3D technology and that is why (as you mention in your article) Sony is pushing its PS3 3D platform. See, the company has invested a lot in 3D tech and needs the tech to work

  7. You should definitly check out the prince of persia 3d- collection, it also has a good 3d effect, and with the right adjustment at the tv you can prevent ghosting

  8. Damn, I didn’t realize that (about running the HDMI directly through the receiver). I guess I have some new research to do online. I hate knowing I’m not realizing the best sound I can get. My other receiver is about 3 years old – so I’m sure it can’t handle HDMI 1.4 either…

  9. Can you explain again why you needed to buy a new receiver? Is it because you run your video through your receiver? I tend to run HDMI to the TV directly for picture, then use an optical cable to my 4-year old receiver for sound. I just bought a new 3D TV and hooked up everything like that and it looks and sounds great to me.

    • Yes, I run video though my receiver via HDMI. This is the only way to get lossless surround sound (ie. Dolby True HD, DTS HD etc.). Optical cables do not support the highest quality audio. My old reciever did not support HDMI 1.4 so although it would passthrough a 1080p video signal it would not pass through anything over that. No 3D via HDMI through the receiver. My PS3 would not even recognize my TV as 3D if run through the receiver.

  10. Do you believe though that 3D television is going to become the standard? Obviously we know Sony are making a big push with it in 2011 with some of their biggest games implemeting the tech, like Killzone 3, Motorstorm Apocalypse and i think possibly Uncharted 3 will too, but I don’t see anyone being able to warrant a purchase of a 3D TV just by seeing one game in action. So taking everything into consideration and not just games, would you advise picking up a 3D TV anyway instead of the standard LCD’s that have dropped in price alot? So for example, if I had £1000 to drop on a brand new TV today, am I going for 2D or 3D, as an investment? Is it worth it overall or do you not think 3D is going to take off for home viewing like Sony hopes it will?

    • I think that since new HDTV’s are all at least 120HZ anyway there is no reason for them not to include 3D capabilities. Whether 3D really catches on will depend on how fast the tech develops. My TV has already had at least 3 firmware updates with the last two significantly decreasing the crosstalk and improving the 3D experience. If manufacturers of 3D hardware continue improving the tech and also if movie and game makers continue to provide better 3D experiences via software then I think 3D will stay around and thrive. Right now there is no way to really know. Many things have to happen. I do think that as long as we have to wear glasses it will never “take over” 2D experiences. Doubt it ever will. As an extra feature its very cool but no reason to run out and buy anything… at this time at least. If you are buying a TV anyway then yes I say go ahead and buy a 3D capable set. Some of the newer plasma sets are even better in 3D with less crosstalk than LCD and LED sets and plasmas are much cheaper so that may be a good option for the budget conscious.

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