December 23, 2010

Demo Report – LittleBigPlanet 2

LittleBigPlanet 2
We’re back with yet another demo report, this time covering Media Molecule’s LittleBigPlanet sequel, now 87% more lethal—like a sharpened sausage. Now featuring rocket helmets, grappling hooks, and horrifying cybernetic bunny vehicles, LBP2 is gearing up to be perhaps even more preposterous than its predecessor.

The demo begins with the same silly charm as the original; here you are, strange little sackperson, in your cardboard imagination pod, ready to take on the imagination superhighway. There are three story-mode stages ready for your examination; the first introducing players to the new grappling hook.

The grappling hook will only attach to specific surfaces, which may seem unfortunate until you realize that someone is bound to make a level entirely out of these surfaces, allowing you to grapple everywhere, all the time, forever. The stage itself is fairly familiar, what with your sack individual bouncing around crazily and popping orbs, but the real highlight here is seeing new devices, like the hook, and thinking about what’s going to happen once the community gets its hands on this stuff.

The second stage is effectively a tutorial for using a set of ready-made vehicles that can bounce and blast around the map in new, unique ways—and although this map doesn’t really exploit the crazy potential of LittleBigPlanet, it too causes one to imagine the scope of what might be achieved with these new tools.

LittleBigPlanet 2
The final stage is a small versus arena where sackpeople can assault each other with crazy rocket helmets. In this mini-game, you can aim your rockets with the right stick as you maneuver with the left. The ability to obliterate your enemies friends directly—as opposed to merely knocking them off platforms to their doom—adds a fun wrinkle to gameplay and should make for some ridiculous community maps in the future.

Truth be told, there’s not much to be had in this demo. The creative tools are understandably absent (replaced by videos demonstrating what you’ll be able to accomplish in the full release), leaving only the brief story mode stages for players to enjoy. While this is fine for those who already understand the raw potential of the game, those who never played LPB may not grasp the implications. You will, however, have the opportunity for some customization to your sackboy (paper bag + glowing eyes for the win!), and really, who can say no to navigating a platforming level atop a rabbit cyborg? These levels are a blast to play regardless of their brevity.

PS3 owners who didn’t play LittleBigPlanet the first time should probably check this demo out to see what they’ve been missing, but those who did play LBP can safely wait for the full release.

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