GameStart 2014 – LittleBigPlanet 3 Hands-On Preview: Keeping It Fresh

October 29, 2014 Written by Gerard Cueto

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The PlayStation 4 only has one exclusive game yet to be released this holiday season, and that game is LittleBigPlanet 3. Being developed by Sumo Digital (with assistance from series creator Media Molecule), much pressure has been put on the game to perform well and stand out as a Sony-exclusive title.

Having played the game during last weekend’s GameStart 2014 convention, I believe the game is coming along nicely and has the potential to live up to the high standards set by LBP 1, LBP 2, and LBP Vita.

Shape Shifting

The five to ten-minute demo I tried out didn’t even star Sackboy and instead featured Toggle, one of the many new characters in the game. The aptly named Toggle has the ability to switch between a big and small form on the fly, which is done by pressing the L1 button.

Sumo Digital really integrated Toggle’s size/weight-shifting property into the platforming mechanics. Platforms would function differently depending on Toggle’s size/weight. Standing on some platforms as big Toggle will lower the platform and suddenly switching to small Toggle will launch Toggle into the air.

LBP 3

Small Toggle would also float/get launched up in the demo’s water section while big Toggle would sink, opening up different ways to traverse water areas and avoid obstacles. There was also a part in the demo wherein the player would be chased by a boulder; and using big Toggle would always result in losing a life as only small Toggle moves fast enough (and jumps high enough) to outrun the boulder. Small Toggle can also go into very narrow areas which are inaccessible to other characters.

A Familiar Planet

LBP 3’s graphics are very familiar, utilizing the same “toy/doll” art style as previous games in the series. While the graphical capabilities of the PS4 do make the environments “pop out” more, I do wonder if the game would look even better if it wasn’t also being developed for the PlayStation 3.

Controls were also similar to controls of other LBP games. I assume that the L1 button would similarly be used to activate the unique skills of the other new characters. There was an area only accessible to two players in the demo, but I wasn’t able to check it out since I only played the game by myself.

So Fresh and So Clean

In closing, platforming in LittleBigPlanet 3 feels as fun as ever. And it looks like the introduction of new characters with new skills will do a great job of keeping the gameplay fresh. As someone who’s finished the single player modes of LBP 1, LBP 2, and LBP Vita, I cannot wait to explore the new gameplay elements to be found in the latest game in the series.