Three familiar heroes return to impress at gamescom 2012.
Between new announcements such as the magical Puppeteer and the downright creepy Until Dawn, and in among the crowds and plush, neon bean bags at the ever popular PlayStation stand, you'd almost be forgiven for missing three genuine icons in all the excitement of gamescom 2012.
Yet there they were, right at home in their brand new games and bringing their rich legacy to a corner of Cologne. Here, we bring you the latest on a trio of legends who couldn't be more different from one another.
The game: LittleBigPlanet PlayStation Vita
How it's shaping up: Crafty and colourful as ever, LittleBigPlanet PS Vita is showing its darker side. The eerie fairground world of Carnivalia is the setting for Sackboy's latest adventure, a shell of the joyous world it used to be thanks to the sinister hand of The Puppeteer. You'll guide our hessian hero through a shadowy funfair as you strive to get to the bottom of The Puppeteer's plans.
As well as an engrossing single player story to be enjoyed wherever you are, there's a mountain of creative possibilities to get stuck into. Pinch, pull, pop, tap and drag objects using your PS Vita system's touchscreen and rear touch pad as you create mini-games and levels which you can then share online with the LittleBigPlanet community.
It's the whole wide world of LittleBigPlanet in the palm of your hands - look out for it on 20 September 2012.
The game: God of War: Ascension
How it's shaping up: If the crowds surrounding the game on the PlayStation stand - on the media-only day at gamescom 2012, too - are anything to go by, this game is hotter than Kratos's temper. Multiplayer modes were going down a storm, with screens a blur of whirling chains and throat-shredding war cries.
It's easy to see why - you'll be able to pledge your undying allegiance to the gods Hades, Zeus, Ares or Poseidon, gaining their individual attack styles and providing yourself with centuries of customisation options. As well as a new tactical layer, it also makes for even more intensity as the gods do their utmost to help you to victory over their - and your - bitter foes.
The buzz: "God of War: Ascension's new multiplayer is going to be the craziest thing in gaming since the first #GodofWar" @stlbatmanjt
The game: Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time
How it's shaping up: As if news of Cross-Buy, where, if you purchase Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time on PS3, you get the PS Vita version at no extra cost, weren't enough, the game itself is set to be a triumphant return for the gentleman sneak-thief. Tip-toeing around the museums and galleries of the globe in classic style, the wily raccoon has a few tricks up his sleeve – or rather, a few new sleeves in his box of tricks.
Slick, gravity-defying acrobatics return, and Sly is now able to collect special costumes which grant him new abilities. These new suits allow him to access previously locked secret areas of the game, too, while Sly's illustrious ancestors also appear as playable characters.
Make sure you keep tabs on these returning PlayStation stars - stay tuned to playstation.co.nz and PlayStation.Blog for all the latest news.
Prepare for destruction on an intergalactic scale.