LittleBigPlanet - hands-on

Everything you see in the screenshots may have been created by the developers in a pre-made level but there is nothing you couldn’t recreate yourself. Budding designers can use pre-made or self-made materials and create them withdifferent materials that have their own unique physics.You can alsouse an EyeToyand the PS3’s hard drive to upload your own images to use asstickers and ‘wallpapers’ to cover objects in. There are a number of different devices that allow movement, such as pivots and pistons. If you want a moving arm, lever, wheel or whatever, attaching a pivot will allow your object to move. In the same way, a piston will give an object an ‘in and out movement’.

LittleBigPlanet also allows you to incorporate simplistic AI into your worlds, called ‘Motors’. Different types of motors have different movements, but they can be built on like LEGOs. A basic ‘move left to right’ AI can be made to look like anything (sculpted with the different shaped blocks that can be attached to it in any way you see fit) and added with extra, moving limbs. Or you could always use some of the ready made kits that are tailored to different types of AI (cars, people, animals etc).

Playing the game is really straightforward. Most levels require teamwork and timing for you to work out simple problems with the physics of objects. But gameplay is entirely dependent on the type of level that has been created. There are bubbles currently known as ‘resource’. For many levels (where you have to get from A to B) picking up the most of them will make you the winner. It’s also thought that resource is needed to buy materials to make levels with. Then there are hoops, effectively checkpoints where other players can appear from when they die. They can also work in the same way as classic Micro Machines games, when slow players get left behind!

The cute little Sackboys are the most well-documented thing in LittleBigPlanet, but still worth mentioning. Pressing the D-pad in different directions makes the characters display different degrees of emotions (such as happy, angry, sad and nervous - no doubt to show how you feel to your online mates) and, of course, you can dress them up in whichever ridiculous fashion you choose. Still, if you want the most from the game, you’ll need to invest a lot of time. Despite its cutesy looks, casual gamers could be intimidated by the depth of it.

Apr 7, 2008