Action-based games abound in new titles

2012-05-07 14:45

Berlin - Motion-controlled games have secured a solid place in the new crop of releases for console games, with offerings ranging from dancing with Alvin and the Chipmunks to waving a wand with Sorcery.

But, if you're more of a couch potato, never fear, there are alternatives to having to wiggle around. That's where A Game of Thrones: A Song of Ice and Fire and the shooter adventures Starhawk and Max Payne 3 come in.

About half a year after the release of the eponymous movie, 505 Games is bringing out Alvin and the Chipmunks 3: Chipwrecked for Microsoft's XBox 360 and Nintendo's Wii.

The musically oriented beginner's game focuses on getting players to co-ordinate their dance moves with the on-screen chipmunks.

But there is more. While the Kinect or Wii controllers capture their moves for the performance, the players also have to sing. There is the option of having your voice pitched to that of a chipmunk.

Something new

There are six characters from which to choose when singing and dancing to a total of 30 Chipmunks titles. Performances take place in six settings visited by the cruise liner in the movie.

If you thrill the crowd with your performance, you get more points. The game is meant for parties and intended for children. Designed for the XBox and the Wii, it retails for about €30 ($40).

There's also something new for the Playstation motion sensor system Move, with Sorcery taking players into a world of magic and wizardry. The Move controller, obviously, doubles as a magic wand.

Finn, a young magician's apprentice, takes the players through the fantasy world as he tries to save his people.

A host of monsters stands between Finn and his goal, but they can all be sidelined with the wise use of magic. Puzzlers and thinkers are also called to task in this game, even if the mysteries presented are not quite the hardest nuts to crack.

The character can be developed as the game progresses with an additional 20 spells and combos, as well as more than 50 magic potions hidden throughout the game.

Sorcery is set for a May 25 release for the Playstation 3 (PS 3). It will require Move and probably cost about €40.

Fighting system

There are also mystical and dark overtones in Game of Thrones: The Song of Ice and Fire. The action/role-playing game has received several advance laurels for its Unreal 3 graphics engine.

The plot is based on the stories of George RR Martin, the author of the Game of Thrones books. According to the publisher, Martin also worked on the script for the game.

Its main characters are named Mors and Alester, who have to explore this world, already laid out in details in the books.

A specially designed fighting system slows down action, so that next steps can be carefully planned. Communication and diplomacy have also been given key roles in game play.

All this gives the game a different feel from other rough-and-tumble role-playing/action games. From dtp, it will be released for the XBox and PS3 on May 18 for €55. A PC version, for €40, is also planned.

Things move faster with Starhawk. In this third-person shooter game, groups of warriors are fighting for the most valuable stuff in the galaxy: Rift Energy. Players take on the role of pistol-packing Emmett Graves as they join the fray.

To shake things up, fighting can be both on the ground and in the air: Graves is as home on his feet as behind the controls of any flying vessel. Players can also influence their environment, building up protective walls or offensive towers.

Older players

A co-operative mode lets up to four players fight together. An online mode even allows up to 32 players to experience Starhawk together. Intended for players aged 16 and up, it is scheduled for a May 11 release for the PS3 and will cost about €70.

Maximum pain is indeed guaranteed when Max Payne returns for his third adventure.

Max Payne 3 is set eight years after the events of the last instalment. Max has now moved to Sao Paolo, where he works for a security firm. He is only a shadow of his former self, addicted to pills and a wreck.

But a special contract restores him: He's tasked with protecting the family of a real estate mogul.

Of course, everything quickly spins out of control, landing Max in an unknown city where he learns the truth.

Produced by Rockstar Games, it is not intended for young players. It is set for a May 18 release for the PS3 and XBox and will cost about €60. A PC version will sell for about €50.