Arguably one of the most innovative games to come along this generation was 2008’s LittleBigPlanet, which brought with it the most expansive set of level creating tools ever seen in a video game. It’s adorable Sackboy character soon became an icon for the PlayStaion brand, and a thriving online community fueled by continuous updates and user created levels made the game a must-have for any PS3 owner. Now, Sackboy’s back and he’s bringing with him an even deeper set of tools to build your own levels but now you can actually create your own full-fledged games.
If you’re like me that means you either don’t have the time or the motivation to create an experience worth sharing, but that doesn’t mean you can’t check out what others have done. In the previous game it could be difficult finding great levels amongst the plethora of creations submitted by LittleBigPlanet users, but that’s been solved now that you can look at some of the best levels chosen by developer Media Molecule.
The most unique thing about LittleBigPlanet 2 is it introduces you to many different experiences. One level might have you and up to three friends racing cars while another could be a Heavy Rain style drama. There’s so much to see and do in this game that it’s one of the few games that can say they offer new experiences years after you’ve bought the game.
I played a level where I was on a spaceship under attack by aliens, but it was entirely a first person point-and-click style adventure complete with cute cinematics and witty dialogue. In another I was roaming the empty halls of a mansion in the midst of a powerful storm where I had to shift various strategically placed mirrors to direct beams of light to their required destinations. There’s much to be had here, you just have to be willing to sift through some junk in order to find it (no offense to the creators of any levels I may have classified as junk)
For the more creative among us, LittleBigPlanet 2 has a bunch of new level creating features for you to employ whilst forming your own little worlds for others to play in. Now you can create a Head-Up Display, should your game require one, Sackbots (basically any characters other than the player controlled ones), and you can even record animations for cutscenes. There’s also the ability to record your own sound effects - one level I played had some questionable bodily noises playing - and there’s a music sequencer to help you create fantastic scores for your games. The coolest thing about LittleBigPlanet 2 over its predecessor is the ability to link levels together so you can essentially create a full game within a game where one level ends bringing the players to the next.
If none of that tickles your fancy, or you don’t want to spend the time to find the best levels (though this time I assure you it’s far easier to locate amazing levels), you can always play the single-player campaign. It’s much like the original LittleBigPlanet in its quirky story and characters piled on top of very clever levels and puzzles. In it you have to team up with The Alliance, an organization led by Larry Da Vinci with the sole purpose of protecting Craftoworld. A massive vacuum dubbed the Negativitron has appeared threatening to suck up the universe so it’s up to you, a highly capable Sackboy (as well as your assorted friends, should you have any), to take out the Negativitron and save Craftowlord.
Unlike the first game, the campaign isn’t made up entirely of platforming levels. Now you’ll have a racing segment or role-playing section thrown in to help break up the gameplay a bit. It’ll provide roughly 5-6 hours of fun so it might be a little shorter than some might’ve liked but the tons of free user-created levels more than makes up for that.
If you enjoyed the original LittleBigPlanet, you’re going to love LittleBigPlanet 2. Everything’s either been polished or seen substantial improvement in the form of easier navigation or welcome additions. There’s a myriad tutorials to look through if you have a weekend free to create the game of your dreams, and there’s really no learning curve. Because of this, LittleBigPlanet 2 is perfect for young and old gamers alike. Whether you’re a hardcore gamer or you’ve never strayed passed the occasional mobile game, this is something that can bring us all together for a little fun. And that’s what LittleBigPlanet 2 is: it’s insanely fun.