WeView: LittleBigPlanet 3

Sackboy has some new friends.

I absolutely adore the LittleBigPlanet franchise, so much so I even went as far as to buy my own Sackboy toy. The ‘Play, Create, Share’ philosophy has proved to be a winning formula for the franchise, with the in depth creative tools that allowing you to just let your imagination run wild.

Despite being a fan of the PlayStation 3 and Vita offerings, including the karting adventure, LittleBigPlanet 3 finds itself collecting dust on my gaming shelf. Admittedly I’ve not played a great deal of the story mode or played around with the creative elements a lot, but there’s just something holding me back which I can’t quite put my finger on. It’s like it has lost its charm.

Stefan was on review duty when it came to LittleBigPlanet 3, scoring it an 8/10. Unlike other games in the series LittleBigPlanet 3 introduces a host of new playable characters all with different abilities. Stefan explained “to accomodate all of these new characters and toys, the game’s story quite necessarily takes on a new form”. “Rather than the very linear adventure”, instead “your quest to save the little world of Bunkum sees you travelling to and exploring three main hub worlds”. There’s certainly a slight open world feel to it.

There’s some great voice acting to go alongside the story too. Hugh Laurie voices the evil character of Newton, but sadly “never interacts with the omniscient voice of Stephen Fry”, and other “Creator Curators have brought their voices out from the cutscenes and into the levels, which alongside the improvements to the graphics, really make this feel like a step up in quality”.

However, as Stefan explains “the story is really more of a whistle stop tour of all of the new whizz-bang features in the game, that are being made available to the dedicated and talented community” in the creative side to LittleBigPlanet 3. The “game world can now extend into the background for 16 layers and shuffling the action between them is made much easier thanks to slides, layer launchers, Velociporters and more”.

Speaking of create mode, when you do decide to share your own level “you’ll be dropping it into a sea of 9 million other levels, thanks to the backwards compatibility”. It really does feel like there is an endless list of unique community levels.

LittleBigPlanet 3 is a quite major step forward for the series. 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.

Now it’s over to you. Did you enjoy the new playable characters? Or do you feel LittleBigPlanet is starting to lose its charm. Let us know in the comments below. Be sure to give the game either a Buy It, Sale It, Plus It or Avoid It rating.

9 Comments

  1. Very interested in the vote on this game. LBP was a charming and inventive game which I loved enough to platinum. LBP2 lost the charm and seemed to be quite forced in its attempt to emulate the first game.
    Will LBP3 recapture the delights of the original?

  2. Wavering between Sale It and Plus It. What the heck, Sale It.

    I played this with the missus which caused endless frustration because the camera was very problematic for two players. If she died or didn’t time a jump identically to me, the camera would play up and kill both of us more often than not. A Lego-esque dynamic split screen would have helped this.

    Gameplay wise apart from that, it’s OK. Nothing groundbreaking, but the new tools will mean that some genius out there with more time on their hands than me will be able to make some stunning levels.

    I’m with you though Dan. I don’t quite know why I don’t get the same joy from LBP that I used to. I think maybe the novelty has worn off and it’s just not fresh and new anymore. Avoiding it would be overly harsh though.

  3. It’s a tough one. I just couldn’t get into it like I did with the other ones. All of the improvements seemed rather in-depth when you saw them in action, with the huge increase in layers making for some impressive new bits of design, and the new characters made the co-operative focus even more well realised than it was before, while adding a new dimension to the game.

    But, at the same time, there was just something off, my childish glee was nowhere to be found, like previous commenters. I’d say sale it.

  4. The story levels were an improvement on lbp2 and the new characters were fun but lbp3 was just far too short. Not to mention the inexcusable number of bugs and glitches that plagued the game at launch. Some still haven’t been fixed.

    I spent months building levels in lbp2 but I still haven’t touched create mode in lbp3. I dont trust it. The thought of spending so much time creating a level to have my save file glitch and loose everything just isnt worth the risk. Plus, there doesnt seem to to much of a community on lbp3 anyway. And if no ones going to play your level what’s the point?

    I think the main problem with lbp in general is that we got everything we needed out of the first two games (maybe even just the first one). With lbp3 it feels forced. Like they’re tryng to find any excuse to get fans to buy a full retail game when really, I would have been happy with another licensed expansion to lbp2.

    Sale it.

  5. My (almost) 4-year-old daughter absolutely loves watching me play it, and as a huge fan of both 1 and 2, I have to say Media Molecule have done a great job updating the franchise with new characters and getting Hugh Laurie in as our hero’s nemesis.

    I think if you liked the first two, you’ll most likely like this one as well.

    If you have small kids – Buy it.
    If you don’t – Plus it.

    • It was Sumu Digital who developed LBP 3 and from the little bit I played it seemed to lose some of its charm but they may just be down to the amount of time I spent on the previous incarnations.

  6. LBP is a series close to my heart, with LBP2 being my favourite game of all time. Although I’d hyped up the third a little, I would argue the second game met my even higher expectations when that came out.

    LBP3 has unfortunately been full of bugs since it released, and generally just feels rushed. The story is pretty good, but I feel a lot more could have been done with the new characters and abilities, as the vast majority of the time you are still playing as Sackboy. I’ve been reluctant to delve too much into create as the experimentation aspect feels inconsistent, with some things working one moment and not the next. Couple this with a lack of decent tutorials for the new tools and you’re just left with a bit of a mess.

    On paper LBP3 sounds amazing when you read about all the new features it brings in. Unfortunately Sumo haven’t met the high polished standard MM set with the prequels, and in a game like this, it really needs to feel robust.

    Sale it

  7. The original LBP was wonderful. Utterly wonderful. However, LBP2 felt like a slight misstep and LBP3 corrects much of that. Sadly, franchise-fatigue is creeping in and I’m not returning to it any time soon. My attention is elsewhere but it’ll be there for me when I return. It’s just that it features lower on the attention scale right now and I’m not sure I can see way out for the franchise when it comes to growing a little long in the tooth.

  8. Initially I was like “Buy it” but I realised that beyond the short story mode, you do have to hunt a bit to find really good single player levels that aren’t either extremely simple or stupidly hard. I gave it a rest for a good 6 weeks and am now only diving into the creation modes and there is SO much there – but you’ve got to want to do it and go there. So it’s like the easy accessibility of LBP has been shrunk down which is where all the charm came from, and the beefy in-depth creation stuff has moved into the minecraft level of play – but it’s been aimed at the easy audience and that’s why it feels like a mismatch. However if you have the time and want to go nuts and tweak to your hearts content, this is buy buy buy buy buy.

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