LittleBigPlanet 3 is every bit as wonderful as the previous two games in the series and a wonderful addition to the PS3 library in the twilight of its lifespan.
When LittleBigPlanet 3 was announced, my first thought was that the franchise was moving towards PS4 and leaving behind its loyal share of fans on the PS3. Luckily – I was wrong. One worry I had was that the development for the title wasn’t being done by Media Molecule (which developed the first two games) anymore. That task went to Sumo Digital, who despite a couple of high quality productios (like Forza Horizon 2) didn’t have any experience with platforming games. That’s unless you’re counting their work in developing the add-on that allows you to use a Vita as a controller on the PS3 version, which we’re not.
Luckily, the developer transition is – for the most part – seamless. LittleBigPlanet 3 retains all the charm and design of the first two games, right up to the animated sequences and excellent voiceover work by Stephen Fry. It even adds brand new playable characters that add variety to your gameplay experience, though it doesn’t offer you full freedom of choice in terms of their usage.
This is especially true in campaign mode, where you’re only allowed to use these new characters within their own designated set of levels – utilizing their special and unique skills. It’s understandable from the perspective of puzzle design, but feels somewhat limiting in a game that encourages you to create, play and share to your heart’s desire. What we would have enjoyed is one (of even several) hub(s) that feature levels where your characters join up and tackle problems together. This isn’t a new concept either, because it was done successfully in games like The Lost Viking and recently in Team Indie as well.
Still, we’re just picking at a game that’s otherwise great fun to play, even in campaign mode. It’s too bad about the missed opportunity, but perhaps that’ll be rectified with future updates. The same should definitely happen with the game’s other problem – serious glitches that happen along the way.
From what I’ve heard these are most apparent on the PS4 version, but the PS3 version also isn’t free of flaws that can include your character falling through a platform due to poor collision detection. It seems like sloppy programming, and it’s a testament to the quality of that game that we’re willing to overlook that. Assuming, of course, that these issues will be fixed in future updates.
One aspect that deserves a mention is that the level creator, which creates more content than ever for players who lean more towards the ‘play’ side of the spectrum. It does its best, through ‘popit puzzles’, to draw you into the functions of the various building blocks – and it does so by letting you experience them before making you build with them. It’s a great new way to familiarize yourself and the building aspect of the game has never been more inviting. Though we’re far from master builders ourselves here at Press Play, we can’t wait to see what people come up with. This is especially true now that creations can be done on PS4 as well, assuming that the levels are (and always will be) interchangeable.
Some (fixable) issues aside, LittleBigPlanet 3 for PS3 is a great game that’s about as family-friendly as they come. And that makes it a serious contender for holiday wish lists this year.