Developer: Sumo Digital
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Platform:PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4
Genre: Action, Platforming
Sackboy is back – and this time he’s brought friends!
One of the biggest hits for PlayStation last generation was without a doubt LittleBigPlanet. Here was a game with creativity, addicting platforming and multiplayer gameplay that truly felt rewarding. Not only that, LittleBigPlanet contains a playfulness that seems to escape most other games. Far too often developers aim for a mature or dark video game that predominantly appeals to older males, whereas lovable little Sackboy and his games have universal appeal. Given LittleBigPlanet‘s immense popularity, it seemed inevitable that a LBP game would arrive on the PlayStation 4. Now it is finally upon us, and Sackboy’s newest adventure is easily his greatest to date.
LittleBigPlanet 3’s gameplay will be familiar to fans of the series, as well as accessible to newcomers. This isn’t the same ol’ LBP though, Sackboy has brought three new friends along for the adventure! Each character has their own unique skills to help traverse the game’s various levels and puzzles, making for a greater focus on co-operative gameplay. There’s Oddsock, who behaves like a dog though I’m not 100% sure if he actually is one, Swoop, a bird who is able to pick up characters and objects as well as fly over obstacles and Big Toggle, who can shrink to a smaller size than Sackboy to fit through tight gaps but also lower pressure plates when in his normal form. Sackboy himself has learnt a few new tricks as well, such as being able to climb ropes and vines.
In addition to the new characters, there are also power ups littered throughout the levels, which give players various abilities. Players can even create their own for use within custom levels! It’s also worth mentioning that all downloadable content (included created levels) from LittleBigPlanet and LittleBigPlanet 2 is transferrable to LittleBigPlanet 3, so if you still want to wear your Hawkeye or Punisher outfit, you can!
For the first time in the LBP games, there is a fully voice-acted story which includes cutscenes. Stephen Fry returns as the ever-charming narrator, Hugh Laurie (House) is wonderful as the antagonist Newton and the extremely talented Tara Strong and Nolan North also feature. Whereas previous LBP games felt more about the creativity and platforming, LittleBigPlanet 3 manages to also provide a whimsical narrative in addition to engaging level design. In fact, the game overall feels as though it has much more direction, thanks to the story cutscenes and the addition of new characters.
While the levels and gameplay have been refined since LittleBigPlanet 2, I do wish there was a little more variety in the gameplay itself. There could have been sequences where you ride Oddsock through obstacle-ridden sequences (like the polar bear sequence in Crash Bandicoot 2), or hang onto Swoop through an aerial equivalent. Even if these were just end of level bonuses they would have helped to further shine a light on the new characters and help each player get their moment of glory in a multiplayer game. There isn’t anything wrong with LBP 3’s gameplay but it just would have been nice for the gameplay to deviate from its tried and true platforming once in a while.
The word “charm” gets criminally overused in video game reviews but there really is no other way to describe Sackboy and his games – especially LittleBigPlanet 3. It runs at 1080p resolution (a first for the series) and simply looks gorgeous. The game’s many textures all pop with vibrancy and the levels are just that little bit easier to read. The soundtrack and voice acting are also stellar, lending to the immersion and enjoyment of the game.
- Enjoyment for the whole family – quite a rare achievement these days!
- New fleshed-out story is executed flawlessly
- Looks gorgeous
- Occasional bugs
- Repetitive gameplay