LittleBigPlanet

LittleBigPlanet

Overview

LittleBigPlanet is one of the most ambitious titles ever to come out, with a strong emphasis on creation, platforming, and fun. The game features an extremely refined physics system, fantastic visuals, and a fully fledged creation system like we’ve never seen before. The possibilities are virtually limitless, but does it live up to these expectations? Sony sure thinks so, but will Sony’s biggest game of 2008 flesh out?

Gameplay

“Fun Shall Overcome” is the tagline on the back of the case for LittleBigPlanet, and to say the least it most certainly does. LittleBigPlanet is technically a physics based platformer, but also features the most robust level creator tool on any console game to date, and 4 player co-op online and off. The ability to create levels cooperatively will be included soon after launch as well which is a very exciting feature. We have never seen a creation tool literally create a game within itself, but that is exactly what has happened in LittleBigPlanet.

The story mode is an absolute goldmine for level ideas, items, and stickers, but goes far and beyond any expectation by delivering an extremely exciting, and fun experience. I was halfway expecting the single player to be a tacked on and boring experience, but I was fortunately mistaken. There is plenty to experience, plenty to endure, and enough puzzles to keep you scratching your head until 2009.

The Creation mode is extremely deep which means that its also quite complicated, and while this means it takes a lot to learn all that LBP has in store for us, the extensive tutorial system really helps to learn the basics. Anything you can think of, you can do, and no matter how creative you think you are there will be things you want to try, and by all means you can try in this game. That is really the mantra of the LittleBigPlanet experience, you have the base experience that Media Molecule setup and the rest is up to the user.

The absolute bread and butter of this game is the online portion, and is carried out to perfection. Playing with others in the game is great, and is very rewarding. When we are able to create levels with others online it will be amazing to see what people create. Judging from the beta people have some great ideas and some fantastic things have already been created in a short time, and this is just the beginning of things to come.

Graphics

LBP has visuals like nothing we have ever seen before; they are adorable, funny, and extremely detailed. At first I thought the game was just for kids based on the visuals, but it can appeal to all ages, and will most likely win a lot of people over based on the visuals alone.

The game looks fantastic all around but where it really shines is with textures, sackboy design, and lighting. The textures are highly detailed, and each have their own identity and go with the rest of the visuals perfectly. The environments all look great and help give each stage different from each other. Everything is so colorful, and is such a contrast from all other games that favor browns and dark colors with vibrant shades of all colors.

Media Molecule not only created an absolutely gorgeous game but they created a world. The world of the sack-people is so engaging and fun that there are many times when you will just smile looking at it. The ability to customize and change everything that you create and put stickers on everything sweetens the deal even more and makes this game one of the best looking games of the year.

Fun Factor

LBP could get by on fun factor alone, but the fact that everything else is so fundamentally solid makes the game much more enjoyable after the initial fun is had. I think the difference that really makes LBP special is how much love was put into the creation, and it’s obvious how much Media Molecule put into creating this game, or rather, this world. The game can be very frustrating, because of the physics, but always is very rewarding by the end. Whenever a part is frustrating there usually is 5 other just mind-blowingly fun or cool parts to make you forget about any frustration.

The level creator has churned out some really fantastic stuff, and it will only get better as more people learn the tools, and the ones who know them get better. Partnerships with other developers have been rumored, and sounds like a really cool idea if done right.  As I said before the possibilities are endless so who knows what to expect after a few weeks after release but I’m definitely excited about seeing what people come up with.

Overall

In short, LittleBigPlanet is the best game I’ve played all year. It is an extremely fun platformer with stunning graphics not to mention the most extensive level creation tool I’ve ever seen. With an online community there is no telling what people will come up with, but from what I saw in the beta there are definitely some talented people looking to try it out.

If you have a PS3 and even moderately like to have a good time, then do yourself a huge favor and run out and buy this game. You will not regret it for a second, and I would have to say this is a strong Game of the Year contender in my book.