*This review was conducted with a physical copy of the game that I purchased on launch day*
Sackboy has returned and this time he has brought some friends along with him to help him on his quest to save Bumpkin from utter uncreative disaster and ruin. Sumo Digital are at the helm this time around creating the perfect platform by successfully merging everything we love from the LittleBigPlanet series and the new characters into one massive package.
Bumpkin is in peril and Sackboy has to find the heroes of the canvas to assure the safety of the world. Oddsock, Toggle, and Swoop make their debut in the series. After spending some time with the heroes it is hard to believe that they have not been present in previous games, they fit perfectly into the series not only thanks to their quirky personalities and fabulous garbs, but because they add so much individuality to the game, it is hard to imagine it without them.
Toggle can well, toggle his weight, changing his appearance from a giant brute like sack to a shorter lighter version with an attitude. When small he can run across water and fit into tighter holes than before. When Toggle is large he sinks to the bottom of a pool of water, and can weigh down springs as lifts to propel him to new heights, and also move heavy objects. Swoop is a bird with style, he swoops through the air and flaps through stages with ease, and he is the hardest out of the lot to master thanks to his quicker movement and flight controls. Then there is Oddsock, a sack inspired by a dog and cat hybrid. Oddsock can run faster and run up walls, he can also preform wall acrobatics by jumping from wall to wall reaching new heights. All the new characters come with their own set of wardrobe that suits them to the tee. Toggle can be dressed up as a ballerina or yeti, Swoop can equip a pilot’s uniform, and Oddsock can put a mask on that will transform his look into a puppy. There are thousands of combinations to try on, and new clothes to collet throughout the game, it is nice to finally forget about what Sackboy is wearing and focus on other characters for a change.
Sackboy is not left out of the new feature equation, his new items make him feel like a new revamped character by himself. Throughout his journey he will obtain new items that will help him along his way. The Blinkball allows him to teleport to new heights by shooting a ball out of a helmet at a teleporter. A fan gun that blows or sucks in air, useful when it comes to manually opening switches or pulling item balls closer to you. You also get jet boots that allow you to double jump or dash in the air, but unfortunately only unlocked later in the game, which was a shame given that the first three chapters have items scattered that need these boots.
Those of you familiar with the series will be happy to know that the core is still present: Play Create Share. Playing through the main campaign is like reading a well written fantasy novel, it has its up and downs, and the new characters bring a whole new level of depth to the series. This time around you are placed in a hub where you can walk around and chat to the fellow Bumpkin residents, each of them are finely tuned with unique characteristics and attire that sets them apart from each other. These characters hand you quests that you need to undertake in a given level that they open for you. These quests appear in a quest log which is a whole new feature to the LBP series and allows you to keep track on what you are doing and where it needs to be done.
The game is best played with more than one player, and thanks to the great online matchmaking it makes completing levels so much easier. You will also discover areas where you will need more than one player to complete a puzzle to obtain items, these puzzles get tough and it is impossible to do alone, so those without friends – sorry. It was upsetting to see that even a year after the PS4 has been on the market, the second player playing couch co-op with me did not earn trophies and had to play it again on their profile to obtain them. This feature should have been perfected by now, and shows developers’ lack of commitment. Every level is detailed and unique, and the soundtrack is the best in the series and thanks to the game’s feature of including all the content from the previous titles, you now have hundreds of past songs to listen to.
Creating your own masterpieces is something the game has always focused on. This time around instead of listening to the narrator explaining build tools to you, you now play through a series of levels called Popit Puzzles, where instead of listening to a tutorial you get hands on with the creations tools. These levels are cleverly created and by the time you get through them you will know what tool you are using and how it is used. This is, by far, the best way to learn everything there is to know about the creations tools without feeling overwhelmed by the amount there is to offer. Once you have mastered all the creation tools then it is time to create your own levels, this is where patience and time comes in. Given a blank slate you will need to use everything you have learned to bring your vision to life. Creation takes a long time to get going, but if you know what you want and how you want it, just trust that there is a way to get it done.
Then is comes to the sharing of the levels, with over 7 years of content packed into one game and thousands of levels being created every day it is hard to stand out amongst the crowd especially if you do not have the creation gene. Siphoning through the millions of levels is another mission on its own. I have been playing for a couple of days and I am yet to find the user created masterpieces that I played through in LittleBigPlanet 2 and the original. I don’t know if people are still playing the story mode, but the multiverse is a bit dry at the moment. I am sure this will change as the game gets more popular. I can’t imagine what players will create with the new boundaries and heroes at disposal.
LittleBigPlanet 3 is the game to get if you want to slap your friend in the face while wearing a pink tutu. It is the best out of the series and a true creative masterpiece. The new characters open huge opportunities for creations, the levels are fresh and vibrant, and Sackboy is awesome. There has never been a better LittleBigPlanet.
Countless hours of fun
New characters are fantastic
Costumes are inventive
Makes us sad
Couch co-op profile issues
Game crashes often
Underwhelming user created content right now
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