by Matthew Thompson (Images-Sony, this game’s site can be found here)
(I was trying to work out how to discuss E3 this year (Note: I was not there, just watched it from home) and I’ve settled on rolling out about 10-15 small blogs over the next two weeks. Each will focus on a game shown or announced at E3 that caught my eye and will be presented in alphabetical order. I will include some other impressions when appropriate as well. You can find all of these blogs archived here. Enjoy!)
The most surprising thing to come out of the Sony Conference for me was the announcement of LittlBigPlanet 3. While rumors have swirled about its development for a while now, it had not really crossed my mind as far as possible E3 reveals. It will be releasing for both PS4 and PS3, but I am still happy I’ll have another PS4 game to play from Sony this fall.
The most exciting new addition to LBP3 are three new playable characters. Along with Sackboy, there is now Oddsock (a four-legged companion who can run fast and bounce off walls), Swoop (a bird who can fly around picking up things in the environment or even carry other characters) and Toggle (who can switch between small and large to help solve puzzles and reach new areas). As a huge animal lover, the idea of Sack-animals is fun on its own, but these also open up all sorts of new options throughout the game. Their abilities give new life to the game’s level designs. It opens up new paths for LBP‘s community to explore when creating levels. And it means more creative cooperative play since players may have different abilities than each other at certain times. Even stuff like costumes get a fresh twist with the new characters’ various shapes and sizes.
There are other tweaks that should help move things forward for the series as well. These include new power-ups and Sackboy’s ability to climb on walls. And now the levels can have up to 16 layers of depth as opposed to the usual three which should make creating new gameplay ideas easier for both the developers and users alike.
I’ve always enjoyed the LittleBigPlanet series. It’s one I really thought could take a big step forward with a move to a new console generation. Maybe into 3D space perhaps. This probably isn’t that next big step, but there are enough tweaks here that I believe LittleBigPlanet 3 will feel fresh even after a handful of titles in the series over the last six years. And it looks as fun and charming as ever which doesn’t hurt at all.