CES '08: LittleBigPlanet Update

Sony shows off a bit more of one of the PS3's most anticipated titles for 2008.

LAS VEGAS--It should go without saying that LittleBigPlanet is one of the most anticipated titles for the PS3 in 2008. This title has charmed just about anyone who's seen its unique brand of platforming, customization, and user-generated content. Sony and UK-based developed Media Molecule held a special presentation in a theater in Sony's CES booth to give those in attendance a deeper look at the promising title.

The demo kicked off with teaser trailer that showcased Sony's varied product lineup across its various consumer electronics product lines, with a lengthy nod to the PlayStation 3 and LittleBigPlanet, as well as a brief look at the PSP. Once the trailer was over, producer Kyle Shubel took the stage and invited Pete Smith and Leo Cubbin from SCEE to show off the game. The presentation was broken up into chunks centering on three game features: play, create, and share.

The play section of demo showcased a brand new, Indian-themed level in the game that included some new gameplay elements, most notably hazards, death, and continue points for multiplayer. During the demo, the crew noted that the developer-created levels will be playable by one to four players locally or online. The new level kicked off at a start point that was essentially a gate that wouldn't open until all four players were in front of it. The action was pretty straightforward and required players to do a healthy amount of jumping around moving platforms while collecting "fluff" (the material used in the level creation mode in the game).

The new twist is the introduction of a hazard--flaming coals--which will cause a horrible (albeit comical) death if you touch them. If you should die you'll respawn at one of the many checkpoints along your way. The nice touch we noticed was that the respawn points are triggered by the player furthest along, so if you're having no luck making it across a devilish section in a level, you can ride on a friend's coattails and spawn past it (provided he or she can get through). The rest of the level featured an increasingly crazy array of hot-coal placement that culminated in a gauntlet of moving platforms you'll need to carefully speed through. At the end of the level, a tally screen ranks the fluff collected by all players and crowns the winner. The level featured the expected mix of cool and cute that the game is known for, such as a cutesy version of an Indian elephant god and the hilarious death animations for the rag posse.

The create segment mixed a live demo and video highlighting the ease and flexibility of LittleBigPlanet's level and item creator. The live demo started in the satellite interface that will serve as the game's front end. Your view will overlook the LittleBigPlanet itself, which will house the developer-created levels in the game stitched across its surface like a bizarre quilt. Orbiting this neatly stitched world are the various moons that will comprise a player's personal space and house their unique levels. In the demo, we were treated to a look at a fresh moon that hadn't had any levels put on it. Before diving into the actual creating, we got a quick run through the various emotes you can perform by pushing directions on the D pad--happy, sad, nervous, and angry--which have different levels of intensity that affect Sackboy's hand motions.

Once the emoting showcase was done, we got a look at the "pop it" tools you'll use to create everything in LittleBigPlanet. This system revolves around a simple menu you can call up. As with the platforming game, you'll be able to work on your creations by yourself or with friends. The pop it system lets you customize Sackboy with all manner of gear and accessories. In the demo we got to see a dinosaur outfit and, because it's Vegas, an Elvis impersonator. Once the sack folk were properly tricked out, the real work began and we got a look at the different backgrounds that you can choose, which included a desert, New York alley, and Japanese Zen garden. It was noted that while the game will offer a sizable chunk of backgrounds, more will be available via downloads later.

For the live demo, the desert background was chosen and in fairly short order a tree with bobbing birds was created simply by selecting a shape and a material, and then doing some editing, cutting, and replicating to create the proper forms, like leaf accessories or pivot points for the birds attached to the tree. Last but not least, the look of the stage was set by picking a custom music track. But while making a tree was a fairly simple and speedy process, crafting a whole level wasn't something that would have made for the most gripping of demos. Thankfully, courtesy of a time-lapse video and narration from an audio engineer at Media Molecule named Kenny, we got to see a whole Mexican-themed level crafted in just a few seconds.

The crew on the stage then dove into that level, which included traditional homes, chilis to swing on, banditos, cacti, and piñatas. The level offered an interesting twist on the platforming we'd seen earlier, as in this level all players work together to move obstacles, open the piñata, and arrange roaming banditos into a new position so that a new area can be reached.

Once that level was done, we got a peek at a video that showed off how you'll check out user-uploaded levels from the satellite. From the sound of it, the world will hold up to a million user-created levels that will be ranked and sortable by those looking to try some new stuff. The big, addictive hook to them is that prospective game-design visionaries will be able to reward players who make it through their levels with unique items. So anyone who sees you rocking a swank outfit or sporting some neat item in your levels can find out where you got it and try to go earn themselves one, which will drive up that particular level's popularity.

All told, it should go without saying that LittleBigPlanet is well worth keeping an eye on this year. The imaginative game seems poised to be one of the titles that offers a compelling showcase for the truly unique content possible with the latest batch of consoles. We wish Sony and Media Molecule had actually gotten the once-promised demo of the game out--and from the sound of it, the closest we'll see of it is some kind of beta hitting in the next few months--but we're pleased by how the game is shaping up. There appears to be a good selection of content slated for the game, and the promise of all the user-generated goodies that are coming really has us excited to see how this all plays out. Look for more on LittleBigPlanet in the months to come. The game is set to ship this fall, exclusively for the PlayStation 3.

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Discussion

168 comments
nitsud_19
nitsud_19

360 hit its peak last year and its all downhill from there, the ps3 exclusives look far better then anything on 360 also. That being said this is one game i cant wait for along with many more ps3 exlusives to come :)

Killerserkan
Killerserkan

a game that is a must-buy for all PS3 users.

ps3pwnr
ps3pwnr

can't wait till this bad boy comes out

Endo101
Endo101

Haha, yes, one of the reasons I purchased the PS3. Not just because of this game, but knowing that sony is going to crush the competition with amazing titles in the near future.

seany_lad
seany_lad

Cant wait for the demo ..... thats if they actually release 1 like they said they where going 2

ax23000
ax23000

I bought my PS3 for this game ... I think I may be completely insane.

ablejo26
ablejo26

This is what ps3 needs and having 2 of x360 ( 3 rings of death twice)) & wii Iam starting to enjoy the ps3 more and its more reliable... well done ..mean time back to call of duty 4 with free multi play get that microsoft !!

Sam_Lowery
Sam_Lowery

This is strange... On one hand this game looks like a forgettable platformer that doesn't belong on this generations systems. But when you see some of the videos of how much you can build and change stuff, crop holes in objects, add pivot points, and give away made items to the people who complete your level, the game looks like nothing I've ever seen before. I can totally see myself spending more time making levels than playing them. . Is this going to be only available on the Playstation store? How much do you think it'll cost? I'd guess something like $35 - $40.

mne635
mne635

wow ive always hated ps3 and always hated kidish games even more but u no wat this actuay looks brilliant and if it wasnt for the fact i dont hav a chance of affording one this would definatly convince me 2 buy 1 well done ps3 u finaly hav a good exclusive game

mozzavfc
mozzavfc

this looks sooo much fun, can't wait roll on september!!!!! (apparently)

General-Fenix
General-Fenix

ive already decided that im getting a ps3 again for my birthday (just for LittleBigPlanet and MGS4!) and of course 2some others that may interest me on the way. Microsoft and Sony FOREVER!!!!!! Nintendo suks!!!!!!!!

Legir
Legir

Too bad I just got a 360. Oh well. Maybe I'll have a PS3 this time next year. *wants game*

imperial_agent
imperial_agent

this is the only game that makes me envious of the PS3

Solid_Devil
Solid_Devil

This looks to be a cute little game and it looks to be fun as well :)

Kenji_Masamune
Kenji_Masamune

yes 2008 beings the year of sony's domination. finally all of the most hyped games are being released (some at least in japan =/ ) Want to pull a cartman and freeze myself until dec 24th so I don't have to wait to get all the games

opecube
opecube

Finally a game that sounds more innovative then most! 2008 will be sweet, with this, Killzone 2, MGS4, and the nest Final Fantasy installmetn plus a ton of multiplatformers coming out, PS3 fans will finally have the games and variety they have been looking for.

xgalacticax
xgalacticax

One of those games that, when you get it, you'll make two or three levels, fool around with a couple of teammates for a while and then it gets boring.

NinjaMunkey01
NinjaMunkey01

well its annoying that we have to wait so long, but the longer it takes, the more things we will be able to use to create levels, the better the physics will be, and the better the experience will be. You could spend forever making things for levels. If they released it now, we would have to pay for more things, this way we are getting more already in the game, which is good. Plus there are loads of games to keep us busy this year!

ninjarocklee
ninjarocklee

Yeah, this game looks like a blast, Where you can edit maps where it will be interactive + Multiplayer is a big plus.

Banestyrelsen
Banestyrelsen

LBP is the only game on PS3 that interests me, but so much I might get a PS3 just to play it.

trigun0006
trigun0006

this game looks awsome, ive always had a thing for platformers and ive always had a thing for games with level editors, so dispite my recent shooter disposition, this is gona be awsome.

dirty55409
dirty55409

It looks like a blast! You run around with a bunch of friend(online multiplayer?) and try and get through the levels various obstacles. I'm sure you're timed or something too. looks like a younger game but that's good! take some of the Wii's clientel!

waaks625
waaks625

What do you do in this game?

ygohome
ygohome

this looks killer. reminds me a little of loco roco but different. and better of course. lol

Rowr14
Rowr14

wow this is going to be huge. Finally a reason to buy a ps3.

borgman
borgman

@acej2000 This game is nothing like lemmings, not even in the slightest. LBP is about creating your own world from scratch and letting others play in it.

Dan2002sk8er
Dan2002sk8er

I'm kind of glad this is pushed back now I have more time to spend on Metal Gear Solid 4, Devil May Cry 4, Crisis Core, God of War: Chains of Olympus and Super Smash Bros. Brawl I was worried about getting so many cool games at once that I wouldn't get to play them as much as they deserved.

soldjango
soldjango

realy how long does it take to make a game they already have demos going why fall thats a year from now lazy punks Just be glad you're getting the game a all.

Stevio
Stevio

This game is the only reason I'm considering buying a PS3.

wisecrack57
wisecrack57

this is currently the only game I would ever conisder buying a PS3 for. But I have a Wii, so it's alright

mkreku
mkreku

@gwenaellp: I don't think anyone is refuting the claim that the PS3 is the most powerful piece of hardware of the three consoles. That matters little at the moment though, as almost no developers have been able to get a grip on the a-symmetrical CPU and the generation 7 GPU combination.

DAgreatest255
DAgreatest255

This is isn't right. We have been waiting many many months for this game, but its delayed...damn. Well, atleast this Q3 is a garantee that Little Big Planet is coming next fall...if theres another delay then plz get it right :lol:

alexbartle
alexbartle

looks like sum gr8 fun with a few mates just making stuff and playing around, Q3 is 2 long 2 w8 though.

gwenaellp
gwenaellp

LBP is an example of what the PS3 is capable of when a software company take the effort of using the tools it has to make a game and not just transpose from one platform to another like EA has done to rush releases. The PS3 IS the most powerful console available on the market, it's not a statement it's a fact and 2008 will show the real difference between platforms.

footfoe2
footfoe2

realy how long does it take to make a game they already have demos going why fall thats a year from now lazy punks

LosDaddie
LosDaddie

Looks good. There better be a demo

RaiKageRyu
RaiKageRyu

Fall, much later than I expected.

djord02
djord02

This remains the one PS3 game I am excited about. Everything else makes me happy I went the Xbox 360 route.

fmobliv06
fmobliv06

i'm gonna end up buying a PS3 just for this game...i just know it...*sob* my poor wallet!

goinpsycoagain
goinpsycoagain

warsac, go to Gametrailers.com They have a ton there that not many other sites have. SUPER cool site too.

SP1DER-P1G
SP1DER-P1G

dam this game looks ommence but also very weird this is one of the reasons i am getting a ps3 sure can't wait

ketchupclaw
ketchupclaw

to s2333, oh, so you'll go over to your friend's house to play it. I guess there was a purpose for HIM to buy it, but goodness no, you wouldn't...

S2333
S2333

Looks awesome. Will play this game when it comes out. Now I see there was a purpose for my friends PS3...

warsac
warsac

I want to see the video refered to in the text!!! Where is it? :(

CapoX
CapoX

must get title.. sure going to be fun. =)

CosmoKing7717
CosmoKing7717

i cant wait...looks like the most innovative game in a really long time

dibbitson
dibbitson

this is game is bad news... for xbox owners! not for me though!