Do you own a PS3? Raise your hand. Do you also own Little Big Planet? Actually, that’s a stupid question, because if you own a PS3, of course you own Little Big Planet! Although it was out way back in 2008, everyone still plays it and as of their May issue, the Official PlayStation Magazine (UK) has titled it the 3rd most essential game for PS3, after Uncharted 2 and Modern Warfare 2, both of which were sequels so it certainly says something that an original IP is that awesome! We’ve been hearing snippets of info and rumours for months now (oh, those pesky rumours!) but it was finally confirmed the other day by Sony and Media Molecule that the game that all PS3 owners loved and that all Xbox 360 owners were jealous of, is getting a sequel. Not convinced that there should be another outing to the wild world of all things creative? Well, to convince you, I’ve gone to the liberty of rounding up the 5 biggest changes to Little Big Planet 2, a game that will not only be better than the original, but will blow all the other games out of the software sea.
1. Creation On a Bigger Scale What made most of us buy the first game, was that Little Big Planet allowed us to “Play.Create & Share” and anyone who bought the game could design levels, outfits and even bad guys to go against. We were given full creative reign, with people designing levels in which you could ride snowmobiles, get set on fire and I even played a level that was a game show from TV! Obviously LBP (1&2)’s developer, Media Molecule is eager to allow us gamers to be more creative and design even more outrageous things and with an improved ‘Popit’ (Sackboy’s inventory) we will now be able to make our own music, direct cinema masterpieces as well as create bigger, badder enemies to face-off against. Imagine going into an art studio and being given a blank canvas and all of the art tools in the world to work with, that’s what I envision Little Big Planet 2 to be like.
2. Massively Improved AI The game’s website cites that LBP2 will feature “Intelligent Machines, Bosses,Puzzles & Vehicles” , not so different from the original Little Big Planet in which you could create any gizmo or ‘creature’ (now called Sackbots) each with its own ‘brain’ too. It seems that what Media Molecule has done, is that they’ve taken the system used to create the ‘brains’ as well as the mechanics that went into building vehicles etc. and they’ve simplified it to make it easier for us all to be more creative! This is a welcome change in my opinion because while I, like most people, did try my hand at level building in the first game, I never attempted to build any bots or cars because the whole system of how to do so baffled me.
3. The Game Itself Is Bigger The first game was a blank slate. It’s taken up to now, almost 2 years after its release for users to come up with over 2 million levels for each other to play but now that the first game has shipped and a sequel is on the way (Winter 2010) we will have not only the millions more levels to be created but we’ll also have every single one of the user created levels from the original Little Big Planet to play too! Not only that, as the announcement trailer above showed, but we’ll be able to build whole entire sagas which means that we cannot just create fun but we can create great stories too. The kind of story that you’ll want to read to your children before bed “…and then Sackboy jumped up and defeated the evil Sackbot and the entire Sack kingdom was saved!” Or something like that.
4. Hugely Game-Changing Power-Ups To quote the song ‘Oh My God’ by the Kaiser Chiefs – “come back faster than a powered up Batman” it seems that that’s exactly what Little Big Planet 2 is aiming to do, with actual power-ups! So far, Media Molecule has announced that LBP2 will feature : a grappling hook and jump pads, to give Sackboy a spring in his step! The Little Big Planet 2 website says, on the subject of power-ups, “We’ve also got a few surprises up our fashion-conscious sleeves, so watch out!” which is a confirmation, straight from the MM team that LBP2 will feature even more nifty power-ups which shall be revealed soon. Personally, I am eager as ever to find out what other power-ups the MM team have in-store for us because with these cool in game tools, we can really change the way a level plays out as well as what our fellow gamers can do with it. Unlike some power-ups that just feel tagged on at the end of development, it sounds like LBP2 will actually bring us some awesome things to play with that actually make sense!
5. Colossal Amounts of Potential! As the trailer that is posted at the top of this post says that Little Big Planet 2 won’t just but a ‘platform game’ but will actually be a ‘platform FOR games’. In the video there’s footage of a few in-game, in-games (!) that the MM team have created to show us the types of things that we’ll be able to make in LBP2. With the knowledge that we’ll be able to create OUR own games, it suggest that there’ll be a massive amount of potential as not only will each game created have a story, it will also be unique, as created by the player. Even if you get bored of Little Big Planet 2 (which is not likely to happen) you’ll still be able to create your own fun, just the way you want it. Plus, the level designer in the original Little Big Planet, was said to be ‘an open door for young developers’ in which young people, like myself, who are interesting in the games industry could try their hands at level design. Well now, budding game developers, have a go at building your own games too!