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September 23 2010
LittleBigPlanet 2 - PS3 Preview
Release Date Distributer Publisher Developer
20/1/2011SonySonyMedia Molecule
Offline Players Online players Price Anticipation
12-4$109.95
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Some creatures are absolutely gorgeous.
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Getting a new costume for Sackgirl.

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Sackboy gets denied...
LittleBigPlanet is complete justification that new Intellectual Properties can still thrive in the games community. With sales quickly approaching 4 million units the game can be considered a monster hit, and one of the most successful on Playstation 3. With Sony's acquisition of developers Media Molecule in March 2010 a sequel to their hit game was assured and the lovable Sackboy would remain a Sony exclusive.

As with the first title in this franchise the motto again is "Play Create Share". In terms of playing, LittleBigPlanet 2 will ship with a series of levels to play through (and again, the game supports up to 4-players online), and the developers are promising a more coherent, but still quite whacky, storyline. This is certainly appreciated as it was one of the weaker elements of the original release. So what is the storyline then?

Happy that no more demands are being made to him after his successful adventure to return sharing to LittleBigPlanet, it’s all going swimmingly for Sackboy... That is, until a some kind of inter-dimensional, hyper-spatial, 1800 watt Vacuum Cleaner appears in the skies, causing quite the ruckus and sucking Sackboy up into its musty bowels. All jolly sinister and most inconvenient.

Happily, a jolly nice fellow named Larry Da Vinci intervenes and rescues him from what has come to be known as The Sucker. Da Vinci, it turns out, is in charge of “The Alliance”, a semi-secret, semi-organised group devoted to fighting The Sucker before it destroys the whole Cosmos. You’re about to get recruited, I’ll bet my teeth! A grand adventure is afoot, with a butt-load of new themes, toys, enemies and all manner of shenanigans.

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Visually LittleBigPlanet 2 improves on the original.
So let's talk about some of the changes to this game from the original. The first major change includes the ability to create different genres of game. No longer restricted to platform styled games it is now possible, as seen at trade shows and videos since being announced, to create shooters, racers, RPG's and pretty much whatever you like. In order to facilitate this gamers creating the content have control over the camera to change the viewpoint and orientation.

Not only can you create different game genres, but it is possible to create your own HUD (Heads Up Display) for your game as well as creating cut-scenes and more intelligent enemies, called "Sackbots". The game will also include a music sequencer so it will be possible to create your own audio tracks to use in your own levels. It will now also be possible, via what is dubbed a teleporter, to link levels together so when you complete a level, rather then going back to the pod, you will jump straight into the next, linked level. In essence you could now create a series of levels and then link them up to create a much longer game. These teleporters could also be used mid-level to jump out to hidden locations.

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Yes, even shooters are possible in LBP2.
Another of the new features in the game is the ability to use the Playstation Move controller in the game. It's not mandatory, so never fear if you're not taking the plunge on that device, but it can be used if you have one. Despite being initially announced plans for keyboard and mouse support seem to have been dropped, at least from the initial release.

The good news for owners of the original game is that all downloadable content, and the vast majority of the over 2 million levels created by users for the first game will be importable into this sequel - the main exception being levels created that have gone beyond the scope of the original game and made use of some exploits. Perhaps even more exciting is that these levels should also look better as they will benefit from the enhancements to the game engine in LittleBigPlanet 2.

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Hanging with some Sackbots.
Visually LittleBigPlanet 2 looks a treat and the developers have added many enhancements to the graphics engine which will make this game (and levels made for the previous version) look even better. Animation is superb, and so is the texturing within the levels. The first game was gorgeous, and we expect this to be even better.

In terms of audio we expect plenty of great, lively music in the title, but gamers will probably be happier to hear that English comedian Stephen Fry has returned to provide narration for the game.

Without doubt LittleBigPlanet 2 is a key title for Sony this Christmas. With no Jak & Daxter, Ratchet & Clank, Resistance or, well, anything besides Gran Turismo 5 set to hit the shelves, this stands out as shining light. Fortunately with the first game being so stupendously good, and this sequel looking to improve in almost every area we expect this to be a monster seller this November. Actually no, scrap that, only today as I finished this preview did the news come through the game has been pushed to January 2011. Still, it's bloody exciting so get your pre-orders in now!

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LBP2 allows you to make cut-scenes.
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Time to run Sackboy...