LittleBigPlanet arrived two years ago with a giant bang of which we still feel the aftershock in the world of games. We welcomed this oasis of originality and creativity with open arms and also fell in love with the charismatic Sackboy. Media Molecule delivered a great job with LBP and on a monthly basis brought new content, small adjustments and features by means of DLC. Do we really need a LittleBigPlanet 2, or could this all be added through a patch?
Indeed, the jumping felt very floaty and the walking was a bit clumsy. Also the three depth fields in which the 2D world was divided made for some problems and unwanted landings, but these small issues melted away like snow for the sun, like M&Ms in your mouth once you started crafting with the game.
These issues haven’t been solved in part two, but they’re hardly noticeable thanks to the introduction of new features like the jump pads, the grappling hook and the beautifully structured and designed levels. With the crucial jumps you’re now “guided” by the jump pads that bring you to the requested height. Next to that Media Molecule deliberately didn’t change the controls as they wanted to integrate the millions of playable levels of LBP1 into the world of LBP2.
LittleBigPlanet 2’s story mode has made a huge progress as where you used to play through a number of seperate worlds that all served as a large tutorial, they’re now all connected to each other. The red line of the story is that the Negativitron wants to suck the world dry and you as new recruit of the Alliance, with a paper Leonardo Da Vinci as leader, have to save us all. The Story mode now also has voice-overs, cinematic scenes and over-the-top variation.
And that’s what it’s all about in LittleBigPlanet 2; variation. You won’t find two levels that look alike, you won’t have to do the same thing for five minutes long, and you for sure won’t get bored. LittleBigPlanet was a platform game in heart and veins, but LBP2 is – and I quote MM – “a platform for games”. In my previous review I already said that anything was possible and that your imagination would be your only limit. We’re now two years later and I’m forced to say the same. Whether you like RPG’s, RTS, racers or puzzle games, there’s something for everyone.
LBP 2 also has a couple of new things to offer. Next to the previously mentioned jump pads there’s the grappling hook that lets you swing like a true Tarzan and the Creatinator is a crazy helmet that shoots off anything you want. What do you think of a world where you can shoot jelly pastries? Of do you feel heroic and take on the task to fight some heavy fires in the LittleBigPlanet universe? Next to that you can also use your voice when making levels, import your own music (or make it yourself) and even attach your levels to each other to create a true rollercoaster ride.
The biggest innovation, however, are the Sackbots. These are blanco creatures with adjustable weaknesses and strengths that you can program to your own liking. You can have them follow you, come towards you, or run away from you. And just like everything in LBP you can make them in all forms, colors and… well, just about anything. Also vehicles, animals, objects and you name it can be controlled without having to use levers or wires. You want to make a bike that shoots fireballs when pressing the X button and has a small boost behind R1? Direct Control Seat makes it all possible.
It may be clear after reading this review and seeing the many beautiful trailers that LittleBigPlanet 2 is bigger, better and cuter in all aspects than its predecessor. Such games get all the respect from me, games that dare to be different, games that have so much potential. Heavy Rain, LittleBigPlanet, Alan Wake, Mirror’s Edge and Kirby’s Epic Yarn prove that that’s a lot of creativity and potential in this industry. If LBP was a flash game, then it could take on big names like Youtube and Facebook, but that’s not the case. It’s a console game and a damn good one.