I have been looking forward to the release of LittleBigPlanet 2 since it was first announced halfway through 2010. The original LittleBigPlanet is one of my favorite PlayStation 3 games with its simple and enjoyable gameplay, the ability to make my own platforming levels and of course the loveable mascot, Sackboy. I had no doubt that a sequel could improve on the original, though new gameplay elements and a better story mode would be absolutely essential requirements. You will be pleased to know that LittleBigPlanet 2 has delivered and I think that it is one of the best games on the PlayStation 3…period.
The popular three-layer, 2.5 style is still there and players can still create and play the platforming levels that the series is known for but this time around they can do even more. In LittleBigPlanet 2 players now have the ability to create different types of levels including racing, puzzle and even shooters. The variety of levels that a user can now create is immense and they can even accompany their created level with a cutscene made using new animation recording options. The only limit really is your imagination as players can also change the camera to a different angle during certain parts of gameplay to give the player a different perspective of the level.
The “Controllinator” is a another new gameplay addition that allows players to assign specific actions, such as button presses or Sixaxis motion control, to specific aspects of their gameplay design. This allows the creator to have lots of freedom as they design their levels. This new found freedom is enhanced by the Creatinator – a hat which is worn by Sackboy and can be configured by the Creator to fire any object – and the Grabinators which allows Sackboy to pick-up and throw certain objects. There is also a grapple hook which can be used to swing from place to place in a manner that even Spider-Man would be proud of. LittleBigPlanet 2 really pulled out all the stops in order to make the gameplay super enjoyable and memorable.
Talking about all these new gameplay innovations gives me an excellent segway into the subject of user generated content and the LBP community as a whole. The three-million plus levels from the first LittleBigPlanet are carried over and a new ratings system has come into place that makes it easy for players to rate levels once they have been played. Once a level has been played it can simply be given a good or bad rating (indicated by smiling sackboy face or an unhappy sackboy face) and it can be left at that or if a player prefers to provide more even more feedback there is an option to go into more detail including the use of tags and comments. The community is key to the success of LittleBigPlanet 2 and I think it will be as much of strength as it was the last time around.