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This week’s PS3 and PSN releases run the gamut from FPS games with a twist to new quest games from established franchises to games that utilize choice to affect gameplay. Consider adding some of these top picks to your must-have list, then spending a hot summer weekend in the air conditioning with your system, checking out the gameplay.

The Last of Us: This survival game uses gamer’s choice to both develop the relationship between the two main characters, Joel and Ellie, and to advance gameplay. The setting is Earth after the apocalypse, the only world that Ellie has ever known (Joel was alive before the apocalypse). Work through a series of levels to smuggle Ellie out of the quarantine zone while fighting off infected citizens, gangs of scavengers and military power. Since weapons are scarce, you’ll need to spend time foraging for supplies.

Aliens: Colonial Marines: Play as a member of the United States Colonial Marine squad and battle the aliens in the latest from the Aliens franchise. This Alien assault is bigger and badder than ever before, but as a Marine you’ve got a large stock of fire power with which to fight off the enemy. Aliens: Colonial Marines offers two gameplay modes: A single-player mode and a cooperative four-player mode where every player in the game assumes a distinct Colonial Marines persona and has a unique role to play in the battle.

Final Fantasy XIII 2: Final Fantasy fans will enjoy this game, which focuses on familiar characters Lightning, Cocoon and Serah. Set several years after Lightning saved Cocoon, the survivors have settled on Gran Pulse and started to rebuild. Lightning has disappeared and is presumed dead by some, but Serah holds out hope. As Gran Pulse is invaded by monsters, a stranger comes to save Serah and says he knows where Lightning is. Together, they go to find her.

Contra: Shattered Soldier: Releasing in demo version the week of June 10, Contra: Shattered Soldier revives the legendary NES Contra series. The demo even includes the scrolling 2D action form the initial release, which is sure to please established fans of the game. And young and old fans alike are sure to love the stellar 3D graphics and rotating cast of human, alien and machine enemies. Fight through the level to battle Contra’s signature big boss, and call in a friend using the 2-player cooperative mode if you need help to battle the big boss.

Pirates: Legends of the Black Buccaneer: Also releasing in demo form the week of June 10, Pirates: Legends of the Black Buccaneer follow the story of Francis Blade, a shipwrecked man. The game is set in the 16th century Caribbean. Wander around a mysterious island to find the medallion, which allows Blade to summon the spirit of the Black Buccaneer. Fight off natural forces and wander the island to collect washed-up ship parts so you can reassemble the ship and sail to safety. Play either as Francis Blade or as the Black Buccaneer, a supercharged character who you can only assume for a short period of time.

Try out some of these games or add them to your gift list for the game lover in your life. You just may ignite love for an old game franchise or discover something new for your system.

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