LittleBigPlanet 2 promises so much. Billed as less of a mere game and more an entire platform all unto itself, there’s been an incredible amount of anticipation for this sequel to 2008’s impressive first iteration.
The first title received universal praise, mainly due to its ability to offer exactly what the development team had originally promised. While all were happy to believe that the customisation aspect of the player characters (cutesy little teddy bear like avatar’s known as ‘Sackboys’) would be achievable, few expected the online aspect to be quite as impressive as it proved to be. Criticisms were few, and all were mere minor quibbles.
This sequel doesn’t entirely rock the boat. Why change a winning formula after all. The Sackboy’s return fully intact, and even sport the same clothing and customisation you last tried on during the first title. It’s a minor aspect in the grand scheme of things, particularly as you’ll be eager to slap on new wigs, funny teeth, and gaudy clothing as soon as you’re able to, but it displays an attention to detail that few developers offer for long-time fans.
The game is basically split into two portions. The first, the single-player story mode contains a good few weeks worth of platforming, enemy bashing, and humorous boss battles. The levels designed by Media Molecule are almost all of the absolute highest calibre, meaning there’s little chance that you’ll tire before the closing credits are rolling.
There’s obviously been attention paid to the story, which did seem a touch underplayed in the first title. This time there’s fully voiced characters with some wickedly humorous slices of dialogue. It’s obviously no Tolstoy, but considering traditional gaming platforming tales, it’s a cut above the rest.
Platforming has been tweaked, but remains similar to last times outing. Jumping is still a touch floaty, and collision detection can still feel a little fuzzy, but ample checkpoints stop any of that being a major issue.
And while these single player levels are all ready to be enjoyed – including ample opportunities for collect ‘em up fans – on your own, there’s always the opportunity to jump into others games, and for fellow online gamers to join you. So if you ever find yourself struggling with one particular boss battle, you can easily get a few buddies to jump in and give you a helping hand. Or, for the more competitive among you, you can cause some merry hell while making firmly sure you bag the most number of points come the end of the level.
But after all that fun, there’s then the real meat of LittleBigPlanet 2 to get stuck into. The level creator. The sheer wealth of options on offer are so incredibly vast that it’s only the limits of your imagination that will stop you from creating some quite spectacular levels. Already the community has some astonishing creations to enjoy, including just about every gaming genre ever seen.
Creating your own entities isn’t quite the breeze that many could hope, but Media Molecule do seem to have the balance between hand holding and freedom to allow you to let your imaginations run wild. A basic level can be up and running in a matter of a half hour, while epic creations will undoubtedly be worked on for months before deemed worthy of the rest of the community. You don’t necessarily need to stick to traditional gaming. With the new devices included and opportunities to create and customise, there’s nothing stopping you creating an entirely passive movie for users to sit back and enjoy.
LittleBigPlanet 2 is an absolute must play for Playstation 3 owners as it currently stands. But the promise of years worth of user created content with an incredibly powerful toolset makes it a title that could easily be worth shelling out on a PS3 console for. Charming, inventive, and just an absolute joy.
LittleBigPlanet 2 is available on PS3 at ShopTo.net