Perhaps it’s fitting that Sackboy is arriving as Sony’s big seasonal exclusive, as it exemplifies the fringe attitude that Sony has created for itself extremely well. Of course, this isn’t entirely the outlier franchise it once was, taking the ‘Play,Create, Share’ tagline to both the last and the next generation with a fairly staid ‘bigger is better’ outlook. LittleBigPlanet 3 sees Sackboy joined by three new characters, four-legged Oddsock, bird-like Swoop (sadly not a Dinobot), and the chunky Big Toggle.
In a series first, LittleBigPlanet 3 will be fully voice acted, with the fantastic Stephen Fry returning as the narrator whilst being joined by his jolly good chum Hugh Laurie as the voice of the dastardly Newton. The game’s plot sees Sackboy and his new friends unwittingly release three evil titans, and have to set out to prevent them and the unskilled creator Newton from destroying their creative paradise. Of course, alongside the puzzle-platform action, there is a huge amount of creativity possible with the game’s suite of tools, allowing up to 16 layers of depth for players to tinker with.
Our very own Stefan clearly had a great time with it, awarding it 8/10 and saying “the story might not explore all of the potential, but briefly shines a light on what the new possibilities might be for those making their own levels. The wide array of new tools, the removal of limitations and addition of new characters and power-ups will all serve to empower the community to reach new heights”.
It seems that other critics have had a very good time with the game as well, though the relatively short story mode and a few bugs have diminished its appeal for some.
Games Radar – 4/5
“Beautiful, creative and filled with knitted joy, LittleBigPlanet 3 does however disappoint in its Adventure mode’s comparatively sparse content. Nonetheless, it hands over an impressive array of exceptional design tools for budding creators.”
IGN – 6.8/10
“LittleBigPlanet 3 is an enormous – and, at times, unruly – game. It’s Adventure mode is beautifully designed, and new power-ups and character abilities switch up the usual bread-and-butter platforming gameplay, but it’s let down by limited options for co-operative play and most significantly, a number of game-breaking bugs on the PlayStation 4. While a little daunting for newcomers, its supersized creation tookit has enormous potential for creating deep and diverse play, and it’s here where LittleBigPlanet 3 justifies its existence.”
Polygon – 7/10
“Despite switching to a new developer, it has the big ideas and wide-eyed, arms-open demeanor of the series at its best. Yet it never totally commits, never goes all the way with its new concepts and characters. LittleBigPlanet 3’s devoted fans will surely craft some excellent levels in the months to come, but mostly this feels like a proof of concept for a much better LittleBigPlanet 4.”
Game Informer – 8.5/10
“LittleBigPlanet 3 is a strong showing for Sackboy and company, but one that points to the fact that – unlike Nintendo’s Mario, who’s been reinvented many times over the years – this series’ future is likely to follow the arc of another Sony platformer, Ratchet & Clank, by settling into a comfortable groove. As a fan of the genre, I’m fine with that – though this one doesn’t make as many waves as the original did back in 2008.”
Joystiq – 4.5/5
“The Adventure mode at the center of LittleBigPlanet 3 is a grand showcase of bold imagination like nothing else out there, with a wellspring of charm and warm-natured humor at its heart. Even so, Sumo Digital’s brief 4-5 hours of polished, pre-made contributions pale in comparison to what could be – but that’s essentially the point. The world that’s been forged out of the enormous toy box this time around has never been more vibrant and inviting, but it’s only a miniscule portion of what’s now possible.”
God Is A Geek – 8/10
“As long as you know what you’re going into, you’ll find so much to adore here. Sumo have done a wonderful job of taking on the LBP mantle, somehow managing to create some astonishing levels that flow as well as the very best in the genre. Don’t expect a revolution, but do expect a jolly good time, and probably the best, most well-honed game in the series yet.”
Push Square – 8/10
“If variety is the spice of life, then LittleBigPlanet 3 should come with three chilli peppers printed on its box. Sumo Digital has somehow managed to pack Sackboy’s sixth outing with a stream of fresh ideas, and while the campaign will leave you longing for more, the series’ established community should keep you well supplied thereafter. With a string of new tools on offer, creator curators will have a blast exploring all of the possibilities available here – and while you’ll certainly need dedication to get the best out of them, the lazy among you will more than get your fill via the output of more industrious players over time.”
Shack News – 7/10
“LittleBigPlanet 3 is perhaps a little too comfortable imitating the same basic hooks and simple storybook appeal of past ventures into the world of cloth and yarn. Sumo Digital has made some very sharp revisions and additions that correct some of the series’ historic weaknesses, but those all fit into a familiar package. This is the most daring the series has been so far, but it’s still very much cut in the cloth of Media Molecule’s pre-made pattern.”
LazyGamer – 8/10
“A whimsical and charming adventure, LittleBigPlanet 3 makes a few welcome changes to the core game; namely new characters and new powerups four our old knitted chum, Sackboy. With an even more robust set of creation tools, it’s a game of limitless possibilities.”