At the Sony booze up I took the opportunity to abstain from alcohol (as usual) and play with some sacks that I have had my eyes on for quite some time. LittleBigPlanet already has a near cult following well before its release and after having a good sit down with it I can see that it is totally warranted and my lofty expectations are all not in vain.
The first part of our play time entailed completing some of the pre created levels. The code is fairly recent but a lot of the levels are missing so we only had the chance to play through 3 proper levels that will be appearing in the retail build of the game.
You’ve probably seen the level involving lifting snails with rocket packs into a scale to open the gate to a castle. Seems pretty damn complicated but in practice, controlling the Sack Boys/Girls is one of the most intuitive and easy to grasp controller setups I have come across in the last few years. To play the game proficiently you only need three things, grab, jump and movement. The grab button is R1, jump is X or L1 and movement is the left analogue stick. Pretty damn simple.
Where gameplay becomes involved and more ‘complicated’ is the interaction with the environment and the huge variety of structures, components, and the physics playing against each and every item in the game. With the game taking care of the hard bits it leaves the player to explore hat happens when a piece from the base of a flimsy tower is removed or how much weight a single jetpack can lift.
Dragging around items in the game and moving steps to allow access to higher points in a level is performed by grabbing and walking in the desired direction. Puzzles were implemented by using this feature along side the 3-D environment factor that allows components to be layered front to back.
The create a level was available to try and while we did have a go at whipping something up, getting together something worthy of being played will take a bit of trail and error. The ease of creating something as simple as the Geekpulp writing was very achievable to even to slowest witted attendee (Wugga). Time spent with the creation tool would allow for bigger better and more intricate assemblage of in game assets to create unique environments.
Being still a work in progress there is obviously areas that require attention to detail before an acceptable level of polish has been reached. Frame rate issues were rampant, temporary stalls at respawn points, and also a slight delay in the controllability of moving the character from the background to the foreground or vice versa.
None of the issues above stopped me from falling in love with the game more than I already was from the previous media released about it. The ironing out of these issues will make for a hugely successful game in terms of creativity and the broadest appeal of any title to reach shelves this year.