sun 26/01/2020

LittleBigPlanet 3 | reviews, news & interviews

LittleBigPlanet 3

LittleBigPlanet 3

Child's play? This platform game with editor doesn't quite gel for kids or adults

LittleBigPlanet 3 – crafting meets platform gaming. Cute but complex…

Before Minecraft there was LittleBigPlanet. This series lets you jump around cute homespun platform levels, then go in and edit them and create your own. The latest adds all sorts of new editing tools, but still fails to communicate simply enough with its audience.

First, you jump around the platform levels of LittleBigPlanet 3. The game, as with previous versions in the series, sees scrappy levels seemingly constructed out of stickers, cardboard and glue, with your homespun hero "Sackboy" a kind of knitted child's teddy. With voiceover by Stephen Fry and one of the main characters handled by Hugh Laurie, the clear aim is for warmly glowing childishness that appeals to both nostalgic adults and children alike. Except, it doesn't.

LittleBigPlanet 3 - like Minecraft only notThe platforming is deeply unsatisfactory. The bizarrely floaty physics that have dogged the series remain – although partly ameliorated by the introduction of new characters Oddsock, Toggle and Swoop, each with their own special abilities and movement styles. The big issue is that the level design of the main game ensures LittleBigPlanet 3 will be child's play to hardened gamers, but far too hard for actual children. There's too little handholding during boss encounters, but simultaneously too much mithering on by Stephen Fry and too many checkpoints during the rest of the levels.

Of course, with LittleBigPlanet 3, the levels that ship with the game are only a tiny fraction of a percent of the levels available – created by other players and hosted in the game for you to try. These remain a wonderful repository of ideas and designs. But the design of the browser for them is not ideal.

LittleBigPlanet 3 - like Minecraft only notWorse is the editing "create" mode. Here you're let loose with exactly the same tools that the game's creators use to make their levels. It's clear these are many and powerful. And the creation of Popit Puzzle levels designed to walk you through the tools at your disposal helps. But still, the end process is fairly cumbersome for adults, and far too complex for most kids who'd be up and running in Minecraft in a second.

That, perhaps, is the biggest issue. Between LittleBigPlanet 2 and 3, Minecraft rose to take the crown of create and build videogames. And that game retains its crown – with far more powerful underlying tools, that simultaneously are far easier to pick up and mess about with for even five year olds.

Whatever your age, then, the latest LittleBigPlanet offers platform and creative fun – but nothing that isn't done a bit better elsewhere.

The clear aim is for warmly glowing childishness that appeals to both nostalgic adults and children alike...


Editor Rating: 
Average: 3 (1 vote)

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