Everyone’s favorite Sackboy is back for a brand new entry in the LittleBigPlanet series. For those unfamiliar with the LittleBigPlanet franchise, the game follows Sackboy as he tries to stop the world of LittleBigPlanet from being destroyed. The real charm and appeal to the game is the level creation tools, which give the artists of the world a platform to make their own mini video game without needing to know a line of code. Since the launch of the game, there have been hundreds of thousands of levels released, and many of them are legitimate games of their own.
Let’s start with the single-player story. In the first installment of LittleBigPlanet, Sackboy was on a quest to take down the Collector. The Collector was stealing all of the world’s creations, and later the creators themselves. This time around, there is a completely new and different story. It takes place after the events of LittleBigPlanet, when an intergalactic vacuum cleaner comes to LittleBigPlanet and devours the world. It is then up to Sackboy and his group of helpers, called “The Alliance”, to restore the world to its former glory.
Most players will find that the game play is very similar to the first installment. The art style is almost exactly the same. So for those that enjoyed the first game, you won’t have much trouble enjoying the second. This time around, however, they did add a few new elements, such as the grappling hook and jump pads. These additions make an already challenging game even harder. Most players will also notice that the physics have been tweaked a little, making your character will drop a little faster than he did in the first game. It seems that this is due to the addition of all the new elements that effect gravity in the game. Additionally, the increased complexity and difficulty is even more noticeable than the changes in physics. Media Molecule really made this game a lot harder than the original, and the more determined among us will spend quite a few more hours finishing the story than it took to finish the first.
Most people familiar with the franchise know that the real star of LittleBigPlanet is the level creation tools, and those interested in this game will be happy to know that there are major improvements on this front. About a year and a half ago, Media Molecule came out and said that they did not want to create a LittleBigPlanet 2 because they were afraid that it would destroy the community surrounding LittleBigPlanet. That sentiment made sure that everything in the first game would be 100% compatible with everything in this game, and we are happy to report it works flawlessly. From the start of the game, you are given the option to import all of your previously created levels, downloadable content, and map packs into LittleBigPlanet 2. It is a really nice option, since with most other games, your extra content and in-game achievements are lost from one game to the next.
The next big change is the level creation tools themselves. They are extremely powerful and diverse this time around and give the community 100% complete control over the game. In fact, Media Molecule used the level creator tools given to everyone to make the single-player campaign. This allows everyone to create anything they had in mind, and even with all the changes, they left the interface exactly the same, so if you created something in the first, you’ll be familiar with all the new controls. LittleBigPlanet 2 also includes an extensive tutorial on how to use all the tools and all the new features, so even if you have no experience, you’ll get the education you need. The combination of these creation tools and an already strong community has yielded some amazing creations. You can find literally every genre of mini-game, from first-person-shooters to platformers to sports games. Thousands of levels and creations are posted every day, so this game has an unbelievable amount of value right out of the box.
LittleBigPlanet 2 takes everything that was great about the first installment and builds on that charm. The game is very accessible to new players, while still offering veteran players more options and much more control. It is hard to get into the new tools extensively, considering the difficulty involved in fully understanding it all; however, from what we’ve seen, they can do anything and everything you’ve ever wanted to do with a creation game. If you are not interested in creation, your experience will be limited, seeing as how, thanks to the short campaign, the game is a little shallow. Most of this game is centered around making and playing with your own levels, and if that is at all interesting to you, we highly recommend you pick this game up and get to creating the game you’ve always wanted to play.
This review is based on a retail copy of the PlayStation 3 version of LittleBigPlanet 2 developed by MediaMolecule published by SCEA