When it was first revealed that a sequel to LittleBigPlanet was in the works, we were more than a little skeptical. While somewhat flawed, the original title was an excellent party game with a very deep level creation system, something that we thought couldn’t be greatly improved upon. Having experienced everything LittleBigPlanet 2 has to offer, we can confidently say that we were proven wrong.
LittleBigPlanet 2 builds upon its predecessor in ways we couldn’t have seen coming. Media Molecule reworked the entire engine to make everything from the lighting to the particle effects look even better, in addition to modifying and adding new tools and features to their level creator. One of these key features is the addition of “Sackbots,” AI characters that can be programmed to do anything you want. These radically change the way the game plays, as it adds an extra level of complexity to the stage design for most of the levels, both user-created and in the game’s campaign.
Although the game is technically a 2D platformer, the game is not limited to one genre. While the original level creation engine was pushed to the limits to work with different genres, this is basically a feature of LittleBigPlanet 2’s level creator: the game’s story mode alone has levels that feature shoot-’em-up levels (Gradius, R-Type), bumper cars, air hockey, vehicle levels, and puzzle stages. Even the platforming levels themselves are incredibly varied, with no two levels playing alike. You’ll swing through stages with grappling hooks, lead a group of sackbots through a complicated pipe system, run away from a giant turkey and (our personal favorite) use a head-mounted cake gun.
There’s already a ton of impressive, expertly-made user-made stages in the game, and they’re likely to never stop coming. With such a healthy community supporting the game’s level creator, this is the game for people who love user-generated content, want something to play for a long time, or just want to have a good time with a couple of friends.