Discover the PlayStation 3 titles that gamers of all abilities can enjoy.
Wander through the vast halls of the Koelnmesse, the site of Europe's biggest video games show, and everywhere you turn, you're greeted by the sound of screeching cars, grunting brawlers and explosions. Yet there's something else noticeable, too: families and large groups of people of all ages picking up controllers and concentrating on TV screens displaying colourful, vibrant and, above all, inclusive games.
At the centre of these gaggles of curiosity is an array of PlayStation 3 titles promising something new: new ways to interact, new adventures to embark upon and new bragging rights to win. Take a look at the games designed to get everybody involved.
Harry Potter appeals to the inner wizards in people of all ages, so it's no surprise that this exciting new PlayStation 3 collaboration between author J.K. Rowling and Sony Computer Entertainment Europe will cast its spell over everyone later in 2012.
Use your PlayStation Move motion controller to bring spells such as the fiery Incendio to life in your living room, take cover as mythical creatures run amok and lose yourself to enchanting new writing from the Harry Potter creator – and learn more secrets from the world of Hogwarts while you're at it.
Sackboy takes to the track on PS3 in the game that'll bring out the competitive streak of every member of the family. As United Front Games producer William Ho says, it'll "make you want to race, compete and win one more time, over and over again." Charm and a ferocious will to win meet in a head-on smash of insane overtaking moves, outrageous power-ups and ingenious tracks.
The finishing line is just the start, too, as there's enormous scope for creating new tracks, karts and mini-games. "LittleBigPlanet now has over 7 million community-created levels, and I think we'll see a similar number here. Already the creative response has been staggering during play-testing."
Comedy is not something you normally associate with The Lord of the Rings movie trilogy, yet it's here in spades. Mixing epic battles and key plot points with precious humour, LEGO The Lord of the Rings on PS3 is both familiar and fresh, ensuring it will appeal to fans of the films as well as those who enjoy light-hearted, immersive adventure gaming.
For the first time, voices are featured in a LEGO game, while everyone can get involved in the battle for Middle-earth thanks to a stack of characters – including Legolas, Gandalf and Aragorn – and a variety of co-op play options.
4. FIFA 13
First Touch Control and Football Club Match Day are just two of the features set to enhance FIFA 13 on PS3. The former is a way of introducing more realism to the way players of differing abilities trap the ball, while the latter adds all the events of your favourite football league to your own game – player stats, match schedules and even form fluctuations are built into this mode.
But perhaps the most interesting new feature lets two players use their PS Move motion controllers to "paint" paths for their players to follow. It's a great way to seize upon openings and bamboozle your opponent with Spain-like incision. Expect your living room to become an altogether noisier place when FIFA 13 launches on 28 September 2012.
Turn your PS Move motion controller into a magical paintbrush and explore Wasteland as either Mickey Mouse or Oswald Rabbit in this feast for the eyes. Newly revealed at gamescom 2012 is Gulch, a strange, copper-coloured canyon with the faces of Disney icons carved into the giant cliffs.
Where does the power of the paintbrush come in? To access new areas, you must paint them in – or remove obstacles by dipping into the pot of thinners. It makes for a dazzling spectacle on PS3, full of long-forgotten Disney artwork and innovative exploration.
Combining real-world figurines with a grave new threat, Skylanders Giants on PS3 is set to continue the series' runaway success. By placing Skylanders figurines into the Portal of Power, they appear in-game as powerful characters that can be levelled-up in the fight to save Skylands.
New Skylanders include the Giants, with incredible strength and special powers, and the LightCore creatures. Plus, your figurines from Skylanders Spyro's Adventure aren't just compatible with this new adventure, they're even more potent.
They may look cute, but don't underestimate the F1 Race Stars' sheer speed and desire to win. Featuring real F1 drivers, including Lewis Hamilton, Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel, the game promises fun on every hairpin bend, straight and chicane in the race for the chequered flag on PS3.
Power-ups can be deployed on tracks such as Monaco, Silverstone and the new Circuit of Americas in Texas, while everyone can slip behind the wheel in four-player split screen action or 12-player multiplayer online mode via PlayStation Network.
Keep up with all the news on these titles by checking playstation.co.nz and PlayStation.Blog.
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