Little Big Planet 2 Closed Beta Hands-On

We check out the new creation tools and story levels on offer in the Little Big Planet 2 closed beta.

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The Little Big Planet 2 closed beta is now underway on the PlayStation 3, giving the community its first chance to experiment with the creation tools and experience several levels from the game's Story mode. There are many new tools for imaginative creators to tinker with, as well as plenty of new mechanics for adventurous Sackboys to enjoy in Media Molecule's own story levels.

On loading the beta, you are first asked if you would like to import a profile from the original Little Big Planet. The profile contains any unlocked content in the first game, including materials and level parts, but it also extends to downloadable content, personal custom levels, and any community content that has been downloaded. This feature will help loyal fans and creators hit the ground running in the full game and start creating straightaway, simply by combining content from the first game with the new tools on offer in My Moon, the level creation hub.

Jumping into the first story level in the beta immediately introduces some of the new platforming mechanics. The first of these involve jump pads, which propel Sackboy to great heights at tremendous speed. Combinations of vertical and horizontal pads create speedy gameplay that wouldn't feel out of place in a 2D Sonic the Hedgehog game. It's a great way for Media Molecule to mix up the pace beyond its slower and more methodical roots, though the floaty jumping will still feel instantly familiar to fans of the original. Combining the jump pads with the new grappling hook item provides even more options when scrambling around Little Big Planet 2's brilliantly designed platform levels. The grapple must be picked up in the level, like the paintinator paintball gun in the first game's Metal Gear Solid DLC. Once collected, it is fired by pressing R1 and can be used to traverse huge gaps or climb to previously unreachable platforms. One particularly awesome sequence in the beta involved grappling to a revolving wheel while hitting a jump pad, causing Sackboy to spin around the wheel at high speed.

Another story level includes arcade machines that can be played within the level without the need for additional loading. These include clones of Breakout, Pong, and a claw crane machine, which when used successfully will reward you with new stickers and objects. There is also a broken arcade machine being repaired by a Sackbot, which can be electrocuted if you try to play the machine while it's repairing it. This level of seamless interactivity is what makes Little Big Planet so special.

The new features within My Moon will allow budding level designers to create entire games or simply re-create their favourite moments from other famous franchises. Some of the user-created highlights from the beta include a brilliant version of Geometry Wars and a racing game based on an all-time classic, Micro Machines. Finding the best content from the community couldn't be easier; Little Big Planet 2's share functionality now allows you to write reviews for levels, as well as rate them. The search options have been vastly improved, too, with simple filters for searching by different categories and tags.

Perhaps the most exciting new creation tools are the Createnator and the music sequencer. The Createnator allows players to fire any object they wish as a weapon, using an emitter that is carried by Sackboy. This can be tweaked to fire at different speeds and accuracies, and it can be combined with any object in your Popit menu. The tutorial (which is wonderfully voiced by the returning Stephen Fry) has you firing cows from your Createnator. The possibilities could be almost limitless when the full game gets into the community's hands. The music sequencer allows players to write their own background music, either for their own levels or to share with other users. There are already user levels in the beta using classic game soundtracks from Mario and Final Fantasy, and there are some users making faithful re-creations of modern hits, such as Lady Gaga's Just Dance. Such are the possibilities of the music sequencer that you can even get Rick-rolled while playing; one user-created level features the 1980's hit Never Gonna Give You Up in all its glory, complete with a giant dancing Rick Astley Sackbot.

Plenty of classic gaming homages in the beta.

Sackbots are another addition to Little Big Planet 2's creation tools. They appear in the gameworld as tiny robotic Sackboys by default, but their properties can be manipulated in many ways to create non-player characters, either friendly or hostile. Friendly Sackbots can be told to follow you, made more or less aware of their surroundings, or given special behavioural properties. These can come in the form of preset variations (such as zombies, because everyone loves making zombie games), or they can be managed individually by the creator. You can even make them afraid of certain types of environments, giving them a phobia of heights or making them more responsive to dangerous objects in your level.

The Little Big Planet 2 closed beta shows great promise at this stage, with enjoyable story levels and some incredible new tools for My Moon. There are already some ingenious concepts being realised, from puzzle games to first-person shooters, and this will only expand once the final game gets into the hands of Media Molecule's community of creators. Little Big Planet 2 will be released on the PlayStation 3 in November 2010.

Discussion

42 comments
xXTH4k00LXx
xXTH4k00LXx

wat i was just thinking watching this video was.... like how there was that little concert opening with sackbots, yu know on ratchet and clank : future crack in time how you had to record clank and those shadow clanks would do wat you did. they should let you do that on lbp2 . have a timer thing and you perform some action like waving your arms and then stop recording and your sackbot could do that. lol thats a forum idea.

xbox360555
xbox360555

Need a crash bandicoot recreation? chances are you could make here.

xbox360555
xbox360555

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

xbox360555
xbox360555

I expect little big planet 2 to be a smash hit! tommorow (i celebrate christmas a day earlier) i might get a PS3 and pre order this if i do (so i dont have to get the psp game if they do release it on PSP)

worldofjohnboy
worldofjohnboy

Anyone know if the Jumping controls (in general) are improved? I only ask as the only complaint I had was that jumping to certain heights or locations were at times difficult when you had a precise landing zone.

eliebaz
eliebaz

The first game was amazing Great fun and suitable for anyone, but had limited stages, and was too short i hope this one is longer. But the move will add something extra and hopefully will be more fun, though i am more of a fan of classic controllers, call me old fashioned but i think they are more suited than the a motion controller. I mean i like to play in the evening when iam not bothered to do anything and i just like to sit back and enjoy, also i believe they should just keep it simple rather than congest the system with unneeded accesseries. Now while the move is optional the game will be primarily built to suit it, so iam stuck and forced to get it

CaptainAhab13
CaptainAhab13

I'm seeing a GotY here, if not a Game of the Decade. Yeah that's right this will trump all other games for the next 10 years. ;)

julz666777
julz666777

This game looks sick! And its coming out THIS novenber not January

acrazybaboon
acrazybaboon

AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ooba60
ooba60

not sure weather to pre order this or black ops very close both great games

boricuasnake04
boricuasnake04

Why are you guys hating its the truth I love my Move and I like Little big Planet well correction i liked LBP when it first came out but it is NOTHING compared to the other huge tittles

epicgamer123
epicgamer123

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

Hidden_Ace
Hidden_Ace

Geez....its possible to make almost anything on this game...definitley getting it, i can see it being alot of fun :)

CyberPenguin88
CyberPenguin88

Nice! There were levels I wanted to make in the first one but I didn't have the right tools. Now all the tools I need are there.

nyahpooh
nyahpooh

unless the release getting pushed back is some mistake, then im not that interested in it as much because i preordred it and waiting 2 months was tooooooo long for me, waiting a few months more, i cant take it. i might as well cancel my preorder and get reach with the money, but i might not, cus i still have faith. I JUST CANT WAIT THAT LONG!

marceleleco
marceleleco

@boricuasnake04 did you ever heard about Play Station Move? PS move + LBP2= GOTY!

RubyDragon22
RubyDragon22

Guys, it got pushed back to January in Japan. Not North America or the UK, just Japan.

boricuasnake04
boricuasnake04

ONLY the giants come out in NOV CALL OF DUTY BLACK OPS GRAND TURISMO 5 you cant stop the giants

boricuasnake04
boricuasnake04

Delayed because nobody wants to compete with Kinect

Kubilius
Kubilius

once again, can't wait... though i'm a 30 year old strategy game fan, with no time to play games :) But LBP just blowed me away and I hope the new release will be at least as good as previous :)

kavadias1981
kavadias1981

I haven't got an ounce of creativity in me, but some gamers out there can produce some amazing stuff. I look forward to seeing what endless possibilities they can come up with for this game.

AlpeXi
AlpeXi

i hate the fact that the game just got delayed

MR_TUBBy
MR_TUBBy

Can't wait to lose track of time with this game :D

kpuff
kpuff

I can't wait until November!! This game looks so amazing, and it's great that you can keep everything from the first game too. : D

SneekyRatchet
SneekyRatchet

mediamolecule and insomniac are my favorite developers, they always release awesome quality games, and listen to the community aswell =)

VidGamAnonymous
VidGamAnonymous

I'm just glad u can import stuff from the original lbp

LewisJ999
LewisJ999

LittleBigPlanet + GranTurismo 5 = One very happy gamer! November couldn't come sooner!

KaBo0m
KaBo0m

All I want to know is if the platforming still sucks or not

lsv4541
lsv4541

GRAGH I ALREADY KNOW THESE THINGS. Nice preview, though!

burgeg
burgeg

How has nobody uploaded that rick roll level to youtube yet!?

edroc23
edroc23

I can't wait for this to come out. MM rocks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!