Thursday, July 12, 2007

E3: LittleBigPlanet

Customization is the name of this game, as you seek to create levels and worlds for your characters, both offline and online. This is one of Sony's big guns for the PS3 -expect it to be a helluva lot of fun when it comes early in 2008. Little Big Planet is a PS3-only release and developed by the hitherto unheard-of Media Molecule. The demo should be hitting the Playstation Network in the third quarter of 2007.

In the game, players control characters, using their various abilities to shape and develop the highly manipulable environment to build custom spaces, individually, collaboratively, and/or competitively. The game provides opportunities for players to acquire new skills and tools. LittleBigPlanet features global community features through the PlayStation Network for players to interact and share their "patches".

According to the on-stage demonstration at GDC 2007, each character can jump, move, and grab objects. Grabbing allows a character to pull an object (or another character) in whatever direction they are currently moving. This allows, for example, a chain of players to hang off of a rope when only one character is actually grabbing the rope. Also, it allows a jetpack-equipped player to carry the other players through the sky.

As of yet, the game hasn't displayed any enemies, preferring to derive challenge from the stage itself, which the player must navigate by jumping, pushing, grabbing, running and flying through it to overcome numerous puzzles provided by the game's robust physics engine.

In his BBC News blog, technology editor Darren Waters writes, "LittleBigPlanet is perhaps one of the most dazzling demos I've seen in the last 10 years."

IGN described the game as "beautiful" and reports that "Even in the presence of Home, Sony's impressive new community software, LittleBigPlanet stole the show at Phil Harrison's 'Game 3.0' practice conference, and was the thing that everyone was talking about."

1UP writes that "There are plenty of questions remaining about LittleBigPlanet … but it's clear from the reaction to the game so far that it has already won over many fans," and that "this could be something very special."


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