E3 10: LittleBigPlanet 2 hands-on

June 21, 2010

Media Molecule’s LittleBigPlanet was fun, and players embraced it, but after two years, most of the gameplay potential has been explored. It’s good, then, that a sequel’s on the way, and the focus is on additional creation tools.

For those who just want more interesting platformers, there are extra objects and mechanics here. Players can program a tool called the Creatinator, an item you pick up like the original’s Paintinator, but it can be programmed to do many things. The gun add-on put a lot of new things into the game, and we expect this to help too. Also supported is PlayStation Move, though this is essentially like Super Mario Galaxy’s P2, holding and pulling objects. The problem with this is that only certain levels with pre-defined pieces can be controlled by the Move. There are a few other inclusions, but they weren’t the focus of the E3 showcase.

What was? The addition of tools that let people create new gameplay. Not everything has to be a platformer, as they demoed a bumper cars game, a dexterity minigame that involved pressing buttons quickly, and an arena gun battler. Each had its own scoring system, and only the last one was controlled by a Sackboy on platforms. These were created by experienced LBP creators in a short time as an example, and we expect more interesting things to be created.

Here’s the problem we see: will people want to buy LittleBigPlanet to play bumper car minigames? Is that the best venue for that? To keep backwards compatibility, the team hasn’t really worked on the platforming physics, and that’s what really needed tweaking here. All the bonuses are great, and we’ll certainly try them out, but we can’t help but be a bit skeptical.