Hands-On Preview: LittleBigPlanet 3 – A (Big)Small World After All
The LittleBigPlanet series, after making its debut on PS3, has always provided a keen focus on creativity and the power of imagination. After the surprise reveal of the upcoming third entry in the series, LittleBigPlanet 3, newcoming developer to the series Sumo Digital is giving another new focus to the latest title.
Shown on the floor of E3 2014 in Sony’s booth, LittleBigPlanet 3 was available to play in a hands-on multiplayer demo showcasing a brief level from the upcoming game. In a four-player co-op session, the level showed off the charming, cardboard cut-out world of LittleBigPlanet, albeit with the notable addition of co-op adding whole new twists and dimensions to the imaginative series.
Players in LittleBigPlanet 3 are each assigned to a specific role with one of four characters: all-around everyman Sackboy, the dog-like OddSock, hunky Toggle, and the flapping Swoop. Each of the characters for each player has their own specific set of abilities or roles that aid in puzzle-solving and traversing through the levels of LBP3, forcing players to think collaboratively while in the middle of a level.
This time around, LittleBigPlanet 3’s levels and obstacles provided a focus on utilizing each of the four characters’ specific talents and abilities. Armed with a blow drying gun, Sackboy is able to use it for a variety of purposes, from moving obstacles out of the way to blowing levers or other movement devices. Likewise, OddSack’s fast speed lets him run up walls, wall-jump, and provide the most traversal options for the group.
Meanwhile Toggle, as his name implies, can switch between two forms: a hunkering “Big” form that lets him weigh down buttons or levers, or move heavy obstacles like boulders out of the way, and a “Little” form that lets him sneak into small entryways, or tread water. A fun new addition, the bird-like Swoop, can fly around levels to press hard to reach buttons, and also can grab small objects (or players) to reach new heights or boost players up to somewhere they may not be able to reach.
The demo shown at E3 kept things fairly simple, but effectively showed how working together in LBP3 will clearly be a key part of the latest game. With each new obstacle came some sort of way around it: a button on a high ledge allowed our team to have Swoop pick up our Toggle character to press the button down to traverse, or using OddSock’s wall-jump to quickly speed through a difficult section.
The previous two LittleBigPlanet titles on PS3 impressed with their charm, humor, and endless amounts of fun and creativity, and with the addition of co-op, LittleBigPlanet 3 seeks to quadruple the joy that the series has been so well known far. Aside from some minor technical issues of collision between characters (leading to some frustrating moments of Swoop refusing to grab onto other characters), LBP3’s focus on four-player co-op already shows that OddSock, Toggle, and Swoop may just be your new favorite characters alongside Sackboy.
LittleBigPlanet 3 releases on PS4 and PS3 in November 2014.