The world’s most lovable virtual fabric sack returns for another go around in LittleBigPlanet 3 (which I’ll refer to from LBP 3 here on in.) One of the most silly yet enjoyable games in Sony’s repertoire of exclusives, LBP 3 promises a few new twists and turns while staying loyal to the franchise.
LBP 3 will feature 3 new characters to the main story. Joining Sockboy are Oddsock, the dog, Swoop the Bird and Big Toggle, the um, potato-like sock thing that is a big, heavy potato-like sock thing. He can transform into small toggle, however, if you’re tired of him bowling around the way he does. PlayStation 4 users will get a full 1080p experience as well (PS3 users get 720p.)
This time around, LBP 3 takes a different approach to the adventure mode than the previous edition. I recall playing through LBP 2 on launch day and wondering why everything had to be so outrageously bright and flashy. LBP 3 takes a more subtle approach in its far more entrenched story mode and you’ll see much simpler, yet just as beautiful stages. That story mode takes place on the planet Bunkum, where Sackboy and friends might undo the accidental releasing of evil forces (led by the Hugh Laurie-voiced Newton) bent on destroying the beauty of their universe. This single player story mode isn’t the biggest out there but LBP 3’s charm hasn’t really ever been relegated to what the developers offer up.
One of my favourite, and the best things about the LittleBigPlanet franchise is the user shared content. There was some really cool stuff that came out for LBP 2, and I spent hours plugging away at that (more than I did the story mode itself in fact.) If this was (or still is) your favourite feature too, you’re in for a treat. I truly thought the sky was the limit in the last game, but this takes it one step further. Customizers can now have up to SIXTEEN playable layers of depth (as opposed to 3 before this) and extend their levels together to make bigger playscapes. You can even create your own powerups using a specially designed crafting engine. In addition to this, community content from the first 2 games will be available to play again in LittleBigPlanet 3. That means that there are nearly 9 MILLION levels available for you to play. Granted, most are probably junk or works in progress that never got completed, but the top tier levels are always fun, especially the ones that work retro gaming in there. Some very talented and very creative players created some really fun stuff, and it will be great to see them all back again.
This current edition tries something completely new to the series as well: Full Voice Acting. Stephen Fry, so spot on as the narrator in previous editions returns, but brings with him the likes of the previously mentioned Laurie, Peter Serafinowicz (the voice of Darth Maul) and Tara Strong (who has basically voiced someone in something you or your kids have watched over the last 30 years.)
Just one word to the wise in closing – Make sure you’re connected online and patch the game prior to playing. There have been reports of infrequent framerate drops, spawning issues and crashing. Sony has already released a couple of patches to help fix the difficulties, however, so hopefully by the time you’ve popped LBP 3 into your system, you’ll be good to go.