|Dev: Sony Digital, Xdev|
|Release: Q4 2014|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p|
by Angelo M. D'Argenio
Let’s face it, we all knew that LittleBigPlanet was coming back. Sony would be downright fools to market a brand new console without including what may have been the best and most revolutionary platformer to ever come out on a Sony platform. LBP3 is coming out on the PS4, and the PS3 as well, and will give people even newer ways to play around with sack people. We got a chance to look at the game at E3 2014 this year, and this is what we thought.
The first question is, what the heck can LBP do to give up even more creative freedom? LBP2 allowed us to basically make our own game genres, so LBP3 almost literally cannot give us any more room to explore, in terms of development space. There is one thing that LBP2 didn’t do. It didn’t let us control anyone other than the well-known Sackboy. And so LBP3 is innovating by giving Sackboy a few friends to play around with, and for you to control.
The first is Oddsock, a dog made out of socks. Oddsock runs much faster than Sackboy and doesn’t quite jump as high. However, he can wall jump like some sort of sock… doggy… ninja… thing. Oddsock is the obvious choice for any puzzles that require fast action on a timer.
Toggle is a lovable oaf of a golem that is almost twice as big as Sackboy. Of course, this means that he travels rather slowly. However, he is also quite heavy, able to weigh down switches that no one else can, and very strong, able to move items that no one else can. He also has a unique ability to change his own mass. When he does so, he becomes the shortest character in the game, unable to move almost anything or weigh any switches down. However, this does mean that he is able to sneak through small tunnels and, more importantly, be flung great distances via springboards and other movement devices.
The final new friend is Swoop, a patchwork bird. Swoop is unique in that he cannot even walk. Instead, he flies with complete freedom throughout each stage. He can carry items and other sack figures in his talons, but other than that his ability to interact with the environment is limited. He also moves quite slowly compared to the other sack figures.
You might be asking yourself, “with all these wall jumps, mass changes, and the ability to straight out fly, why would I ever play as Sackboy?” Well, Sackboy’s big ability is opposable sack thumbs. He is the only one in the game who can use carry-able items. Teleporter? Laser Gun? Special hats? Jet packs? Or even the new water gun that can hit switches at range? All of these items are the domain of the original Sackboy and Sackboy only.
Another thing you may be asking is “wait a minute, couldn’t we do similar things in LBP2?” Well, you’d be correct. LBP2 was an incredibly powerful game development tool and, if you worked hard enough, you could probably create “characters” that operate the way Swoop, Toggle, and Oddsock do, but that would have taken a lot of effort. The genius thing about these new characters is that they take absolutely no effort whatsoever to implement, and as a result it allows people to make interesting puzzles with very little effort.
For example, there’s a gate that needs to be opened, but no switch is around. Swoop can find a switch high up in a tower over the gate, but he can’t press it. So he decides to bring toggle up there to press the switch which opens the gate. However, as soon as someone moves through the gate it closes, and a wall of fire starts closing in from the left side of the screen. Sackboy fights the fire with a fire hose as Oddsock dashes through the gate, wall jumps up a corridor, and presses a switch which causes a wave to put out the fire once and for all, and finally the stage is beaten. In LBP2 that would have required an immense amount of switches and custom made mechanics, but in LBP3, all it takes is a bit of point and clicking.
LBP3 is going to be pretty huge. Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE who has LBP2 will likely want to pick up this game. Why? Well there’s no reason not to. Every single LBP2 and LBP1 level that has been made will ALSO be available in LBP3. So having LBP3 literally lets you have every single level from every single LBP all in one space. That’s literally millions, yes, millions of levels. That’s more levels than you can likely play in your lifetime. LBP3 will be coming out for both the PS3 and the PS4 and regardless of what system you have you should pick it up.
Angelo M. D'Argenio
Date: June 24, 2014