|System: PS3||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Media Molecule||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Sony||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Oct. 27, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-4||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Amanda L. Kondolojy
March 20, 2007 - LittleBigPlanet. The name nearly says it all. It's a simple game with an admirable premise that some speculate is set to ignite the PlayStation 3. This past week at the Game Developers' Conference, Little Big Planet created a buzz firestorm. So what is LittleBigPlanet, and why is it making so many people excited?
What the game is (from what we know) is a fully interactive gaming experience. You design the characters. You design the levels. You design your character's abilities. You create goals. You decide when levels begin, and you decide where they finish. The world is literally in your hands. Sound innovative? Nothing like this has ever been done before. Sure games like Animal Crossing have come close, but experiencing full interactivity on this scale is a brand-new thing. And the response at the Game Developer's Conference was overwhelming. After the LittleBigPlanet demo was shown at the Sony keynote address, it was awarded with a standing ovation. For the first time in history, a game was honored with a standing ovation.
However, the gameplay will not start out with an entirely blank slate. Players will go through a few computer-generated levels that will introduce you to the physics of the game. You'll learn about the different materials you'll be using and how they interact with each other. However, once you learn about the game's mechanics, the future of the game will be entirely up to you.
So what all can you do with LittleBigPlanet's interactivity? The only confirmed feature is online level sharing. What this basically means is that you design a level, and challenge those in the online community to see if they can conquer it. The demo showed four users going through a level, but it is yet unknown exactly how many players can go through a level at the same time. Although this is the only confirmed feature, I'm sure more will come down the pipeline as LittleBigPlanet approaches its early 2008 release. Although 2008 seems far away, never fear, a demo of LittleBigPlanet will be available on the PlayStation network this fall for you to try out.
The audio featured in the trailer is whimsical and beautifully orchestrated. Although unconfirmed, I would suppose that the sound would be yet another facet of control at the gamer's disposal when creating their own experience.
Another huge strength of this game is it's beautifully stylized graphics. Everything looks textured and extremely crisp. Every character is unique, and different materials show up in wonderful contrast in the user's assembled world. One look at this game's visuals, and you can see what Sony was aiming for with the PlayStation 3: to create a completely different gaming experience with the graphical tools to execute it brilliantly.
All of this together will either sound brilliant or insane. The very idea of a game that is exclusively user-defined may either trail blaze or fail miserably. My view is that with the growing demand for user-generated content, Sony has finally realized the need for inmates to run the asylum. Let gamers design their own experience, and you can't go wrong. Everyone gets what they want. Who can argue with that logic?
Amanda L. Kondolojy
CCC Freelance Writer