Sackboy is Back (With Friends)

As I sat down to play LittleBigPlanet 3 for the first time with three fellow LitleBigPlanetarians, I thought to myself – I’ve really missed this game. LittleBigPlanet 2 feels like it released ten years ago, and when LittleBigPlanet 3 was unveiled at this years Sony E3 Press Conference, I cried tears of joy because the LittleBigPlanet series is one that not only encourages gamers of all ages to come and play together – but it is a series that draws gamers together into one big beautiful, colorful and playful arena filled with Sackboy’s and Sackgirl’s. After playing through a couple of levels in LittleBigPlanet 3, all I could do was smile – because that joy I felt back in 2008 when I played LittleBigPlanet for the first time was back.

If you’ve played a LittleBigPlanet game before (bar LittleBigPlanet Karting), you’ll immediately recognize that the swift and precise controls are back in LittleBigPlanet 3. Using the left stick to move, X to jump and R1 to grapple, the basic controls in LittleBigPlanet 3 are easy to understand and are as precise as ever. What’s interesting in this iteration of the series however, is the addition of three new characters – Oddsock, Toggle and Swoop – who all have different abilities that are unique and enjoyable to try out. Oddsock is a primarily fast character, who spends its time scaling up walls and wall jumping from place to place. Toggle is well.. Toggle! It can morph into either a big character or a small one, and that’s basically it. Swoop is the agile character of the group, as it’s a bird – and can carry other players from place to place if need be. These characters serve a purpose inside any given LittleBigPlanet 3 level, and to play through the initial E3 reveal level was a great demonstration of that. Playing through character-specific levels, however, was the much more intriguing part of the demo.

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Playing through the Oddsock-centric level, all four of us were basically facing off against each other – attempting to finish the level before the other. Because Oddsock is the fastest character in the group, the camera wasn’t able to keep up when a player fell behind and that led to some entertaining exchanges between the group. Likewise, playing a Toggle-centric level was much more forgiving, as we’d found our LittleBigPlanet groove and knew how to work as a team – even though we didn’t really need to. Couldn’t get past a part in the level? It’s ok, just keep dying and wait for someone else to get there. That’s how our team worked. Unfortunately we didn’t get a chance to play through a Swoop-centric level, but I’m sure it would have just involved flying into the distance, which would have been fantastic.

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One of the biggest draw cards for LittleBigPlanet is the fun factor, and that’s back in LittleBigPlanet 3. I couldn’t help but have a smile on my face throughout the entire demo, and even before we’d started the first level, I made my Sackboy smile like a lunatic and dance like Elvis next to the others during the loading screen. A job well done, really. From the intricate level design to the ridiculously fun new characters, everything about LittleBigPlanet 3 oozes entertainment and enjoyment.

“I couldn’t help but have a smile on my face throughout the entire demo, and even before we’d started the first level…”

Another part about LittleBigPlanet that many gamers have come to love is the level editor and the ability to share levels with the world over PSN, and while we didn’t get a chance to check that out during the demo, having a quick play through some of the levels designed by the dev’s gave me a lot of confidence that gamers are going to have an absolute ball making levels in LittleBigPlanet 3. Instead of just 3 ‘levels’ in the level, there are now 16 which give a lot of room to move for those wanting to craft an intricate masterpiece.

Character customization is also back for all of the characters and even the pre-made costumes were hilarious to don during the later levels of the demo. I ended up throwing on a superhero costume and an alligator costume for my respective characters and that basically summed up my experience with the demo of the game.

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LittleBigPlanet 3’s demo was an absolute blast to play, and I have no negatives to even usher about it. It’s classic LittleBigPlanet, and it’s a game that I’m feverishly looking forward to. If it wasn’t for a bucket load of other excellent games coming out at the end of the year, it’d be at the top of my ‘most-wanted’ list without a doubt. I can’t wait to jump into the world of LittleBigPlanet 3 when it releases at the end of November, and if you’re a fan of the series or even a newcomer, you should not hesitate in picking this up – you, Sackboy, Oddsock, Toggle and Swoop will not regret it.

LittleBigPlanet 3 was previewed at the EB Expo 2014 Sony Event.