Little Big Planet outfitted with Metal Gear DLC

Media Molecule cofounder Kareem Ettouney talks about working with Konami, introducing a paintball gun to LBP, and more.

With a host of user-created content available online, Little Big Planet gets a little bigger every day. Developer Media Molecule is hoping to further spark that growth with the upcoming Metal Gear Solid 4 downloadable-content packs for the PlayStation 3-exclusive platformer.

Liquid Ocelot wants to take over the Little Big world.

Set to launch on December 23, the downloadable content includes a variety of costumes to dress players up like characters from Konami's hit, as well as a handful of new levels and user-creation materials in a second pack. The $5.99 costume pack includes costumes for Solid Snake, Meryl Silverburgh, Raiden, and Screaming Mantis, although each outfit will be sold separately for $1.99.

The Metal Gear Solid Premium Level Pack also includes a costume (the Gurlokovich Soldier), as well as 72 new stickers, 12 materials, 10 decorations, 18 objects, background music tracks, and more. All that new content is featured in the pack's five new story levels and extra challenge level, which are also built around the biggest new addition to the game. The projectile-spitting Paintinator lets players equip Sackboy with a paintball gun for some relatively family-friendly firepower.

Although players will need to purchase the level pack to create new worlds with the Metal Gear content and the Paintinator, they can still experience the new content for free. Thrifty gamers can try out the new levels by playing cooperatively through them with someone who already owns the DLC, and user-created levels that feature the new content will also be playable by anyone.

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After getting some hands-on impressions of the new content, GameSpot spoke with Media Molecule cofounder and Little Big Planet art director Kareem Ettouney.

GS: MGS and LBP have unique visual styles. How difficult was it adapting one to fit in the other?

KE: The major thing is this period of downloadable content and expansions on Little Big Planet all started by expanding the [LBP] universe. We wanted to make sure we always give the LBP community more opportunities, dimensions, expressions, and abilities. The starting point, even before the collaboration for a huge brand like Metal Gear Solid, was to make sure everything we do adds a new element to the universe.

We have so many ideas and features and lists of tools, toys, and expansions that were on the backburner. Then we had the chance to collaborate with Konami for the MGS pack. Both brands have their uniqueness and identity. We thought when there's a true fusion of styles, the best way to handle that is to celebrate them both. We were honored to work with them because they weren't precious in a traditional way that comes with a brand like MGS. They were very open to new incarnations, so our starting point was to look at the MGS universe and reincarnate it in the LBP world, to make it out of cardboard and LBP materials, to make new costumes.

We also wanted to expand the LBP experience, so we came up with new tools and abilities to create levels using paint guns, new sensors, and that sort of thing. By expanding the creative possibilities, we hit our mark. It was a labor of love to look at the inspirations, rethink, and go to the drawing board, giving birth to a hybrid fusion of the two identities.

GS: How much assistance did you receive from Konami and Kojima Productions?

Happiness is a warm Paintinator.

KE: They were really supportive. We got exposure to all their libraries, artwork, and assets. We had a wealth to pick from.

GS: Did they have their own ideas for how they wanted the MGS series converted into LBP?

KE: They were very trusting in the brand. They left us to do our interpretations, then we made sure to get their approval and feedback every step of the way. They were very open to our attempts.

GS: How drastically does the introduction of the Paintinator change the game?

KE: That's a very good question, because that was one of the major focuses we wanted to see in the community. No matter what brand or IP we're collaborating with, we always wanted to make sure we were expanding the [LBP] universe. The paintball tool widens the creations and levels that the player can make. Because we designed LBP as a building-block modular library, we intend on expanding on every single aspect. There are more switches to come, more objects, more stickers, but also more tools. The Paintinator was one of those additions to the LBP library, the first of many.

GS: Was there any reluctance on Media Molecule's part to introduce a gun into the game, even if it is just a paint gun?

KE: We've already got dangerous materials that you can emit out of cannon-shaped objects, so if you want to create your own guns, you already can. But we always wanted to keep it creative and encourage the lighthearted and tasteful message [of the game], so we made it a paint gun. And because it's presented with Sackboy and the treatments that we do, we were comfortable with the solution.

GS: Some of the most popular user levels in Little Big Planet have been based on Metal Gear Solid. Did you pull any ideas from the user-created MGS levels?

KE: Every day at Media Molecule, we gather around the community-created levels and get inspired, the Metal Gear-inspired levels and other ones. And we never stop being amazed by the innovative use of the tools. The other day a player made a piano, and created a whole system to hammer each key and play one of Beethoven's compositions. That for me was immense. You look at a level like that and ask what kind of skill set is needed for such a creation: music, engineering, presenting it in such a tasteful way. Definitely looking at the community levels is a constant source of inspiration.

VR training will teach you how to Paintinate things.

GS: If people try to make Metal Gear levels using the pieces in this content pack, will they be pulled from the servers for copyright infringement?

KE: No. That's one of the hardest challenges in user-generated content. The challenge of intellectual property and all the legal paperwork that goes around that is incredible. What we're trying to do is only moderate if the IP owner has a problem or complaint about a particular misuse of the brand.

GS: One of the things I really liked about the user-made Metal Gear levels was the way they found clever ways to work within the basic game's limitations. When you start to introduce MGS-specific parts, won't that take away from the magic a bit?

KE: Well, you just increase the bar. I totally agree with you that within limitations, people come up with totally innovative solutions. When you give more, you expect more. And always remember that one of the charms of LBP is mixing and matching things together, so you'll start seeing the Mexican theme mixed with MGS visuals. By adding more [branded material] to the library, you increase the possibilities of what people can create within that IP, but you also increase the possibilities of what they can do when they mix it with other things as well.

GS: The Metal Gear content pack was preceded by a Solid Snake Sackboy costume. You've also put out costumes for Final Fantasy and God of War Sackboys. Will we see content packs for those and other Sony-exclusive...

KE: Yes, yes, yes. There is a whole heap of exciting surprises coming, costumes inspired by other brands and extending even further beyond games. You'll see some exciting Sackboy costumes from our favorite characters and heroes in a lot of brands. So yes, there's more to come.

GS: Were there any concerns about cross-promoting an M-rated, 18-and-up game like MGS4 within your family-friendly, E for Everyone-rated LBP?

KE: Little Big Planet has always had a pop-culture side. We wanted to celebrate people's imagination and creations from all over the world. When we were setting the style, we wanted to make the visual library a very open one that could be inspired by ancient mythology or contemporary graphics. So the way we see MGS is part of our culture and part of the visuals that relate and connect with a lot of people. And that's the bit we connect with in LBP, more than the implementation.

The main difference in LBP is that it's not a set piece that's very particular in its message. It's a set of tools and visuals that you can shape and recompose to create your own rating. We weren't worried because once something mixes in the LBP pool, it sort of gets affected by the LBP message.

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194 comments
gekost
gekost

i love this game

zaprct
zaprct

Levels are definitely worth the money, I found paying the same amount for only four costumes a bit much though as they don't really add to the experience as much as the levels and should have been priced more accordingly.

coruscant
coruscant

It's brilliant, worth every penny!

Hellknight2005
Hellknight2005

@method115 "Posted Dec 23, 2008 1:45 am ET Agreed this is one of the many reasons I hate the new gen systems is because of downloadable content. Instead of stuff we should be getting in games upon release we have to pay for months later. On top of that it lets them release POS games that can be patch and fixed later." ...I hate it when people assume all of this content should be given away for free upon release. For some games that may be the case (Like with Bad Company before they released it, or Soul Calibur 4) But it in this case, if we were to wait for all of this we wouldnt even have the game for a long time considering how much they keep expanding on this game. This DLC is definitely worth the money. And if u dont wanna pay for it, get a friend who has it, and play with him for free.

gamepower01
gamepower01

I have a 360 whats mgs4 and LBP like anyone who knows please repile!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! P.S. these would be great games on 360

ocdog45
ocdog45

the dlc is worth it.

killzone_gamer
killzone_gamer

This will be a vey entertaining download, and its nice to see Konami working with Sony to make a very entertaining free pack. :)

foolmartyr
foolmartyr

Hey CDX00. Apples to Apples here: Change your figures to Pro Model. You get 2-3 games with 360...knock off price for the game (or at least modify it as no free games on the PS3 399 model)...knock off the text pad. That's stretching it. Who wants to text when you can talk in 360 games...you do not get a controller text pad on PS3 for free (the on screen one is horrible). You should add a bluetooth headset to your price of PS3 since you get no headset on PS3. ALSO add a component or HDMI cable since Sony doesn't ship their $400 unit with an HD cable. 360 Pro has component free.

jumpy46
jumpy46

To get to the Metal Gear Pack, you need to go to your content in the in-game store (not story), select the picture of snake, and the first level will appear.

BuckGame
BuckGame

Yeah i agree with Devilscry cause i thought it all was 5.99 but i want the Raiden Costume but i also want all of them hmmmmm i don't no i already got the Level PACk even tho i can't play the METAL GEar LEVELS i guess i have to beat the Reagular STORY missions 1st

devilscry
devilscry

i thought the whole thing would be $5.99, not the Costume pack for $5.99 and the Level kit for $5.99....dunno if i want both now, seems a bit much

keyblade42
keyblade42

This is so amazing it's unbeliveable.

Gblazer01
Gblazer01

wow even though i dont have LBP i think its pretty funny what they do with sack boy and the environment ^_^

gial240
gial240

Haha, priceless. This game keeps surprising everyone.

Fezilla
Fezilla

To summarize the whole "TEH XBAWX AXE-ESSOREES R MOAR EXPENSIV!11" argument. I'm a Sony fan, mostly because my ridiculously deep love for the PS2 has yet to wane. I am a Nintendo fan as well. Microsoft? Not so much. Halo and Gears just don't do that much for me. My 360? I don't have the wireless adaptor OR the keypad thing. If I wanted a PS3? I'd have to buy the ethernet adaptor. It's not a "fact" that you need the wireless adaptor or the keypad attachment to enjoy online games or even get the "full experience." It IS misinformation, sir.

beakerbun
beakerbun

cdx00...I want Sony to succeed but people just simply don't look at the extras in the cost equation. They probably should, but they don't. Sony can't sell PS3's because people see fewer games and that big $4-500 price tag. Wrong or right, perceived value is all that matters. Running numbers to get to the actual value isn't something Joe Consumer is going to do. Sorry.

nucksfan
nucksfan

You don't need it and that is what I'm trying to get across to you. "Many people" does not mean most people. It is a vague term used in marketing when the seller is trying to make a case without tying themself to a majority statement like "most people" or "everybody". I'm not disputing your prices, just your fanboyism and marketing jargon.

cdx00
cdx00

nucksfan, Misinformation? How so? I listed precise prices fir each accessory? How am I misinforming anyone by listing factual prices? Many people deem the wireless network adapter and the chatpad a necessity, since Microsoft didn't even offer a QWERTY on-screen keyboard for it's messenger service and they'd rather not run a 150' cat-5 cable across their homes - lossy connection.

beakerbun
beakerbun

I think it is too late for LBP to be the smash success Sony needed it to be. People see LBP as a family-oriented platforming game (it isn't necessarily so but that's what people think). The PS3 is not seen as a system that appeals to families or folks normally playing platformers. I hate to say it but LBP on the Wii would have been a huge hit. Much larger install base, lower hardware cost, and an audience more aligned with this type of game. Man oh man, I loved my PS2. When is Sony going to convince me that my PS3 is not just a deluxe Bluray player. I'll tell you one thing, it isn't Home!

nucksfan
nucksfan

@cdx00, Most of the 360 gear you mention isn't necessary to play games online and off. Delete the keypad and wireless adapter from your tally and then re-calculate. I should know because I have both systems and I really dislike it when fanboys spread misinformation any side of these stupid console wars.

JesusFreak1990
JesusFreak1990

I can't wait to get a PS3 and finally play LBP. :) This MGS DLC looks awesome! But despite the DLC's really cheap prices, I think it should be free, but that's just my opinion.

SemiMaster
SemiMaster

This has me interested enough to start playing LBP again.

cdx00
cdx00

@KaBo0m, It seems you have no sense in the value of money /at all/. Let's consider. An XBox 360 Arcade unit - $199.99 A year subscription to the XBox Live service - $49.99 A charge-and-play kit - $19.99 The stupid non-functional chat pad kit that is no longer sold seperately - $39.99 A wireless network adapter (if you need one, which most households these days do) - $99.99 The new 60 GB HDD starter kit - $99.99 And finally, your game - $59.99 Let's see here and calculate. You want to talk about expensive? Some of these accessories are not neccesary but most people have them. Let's do some calculations, shall we + sales tax. That toal is 569.93 USD. Cheap, huh? Oh wait! Let's add in sales tax (8.250% in case you didn't know, which you probably didn't)! That is comes to: 616.62! That's a really good value, huh?! Now, let's calculate the cost of the 80 GB PS3 model with the game of your choice because you don't need anything else out of the box to connect to PSN or make it functional. PlayStation 3 80 GB HDD unit - $399.99 A game of your choice - $59.99 Let's go ahead and add this up. That's $459.98 excluding taxes. Now let's add in Uncle Sam's cut (again, 8.250% in case you didn't read, which you more-than-likely did not). Hmm, the total is 497.93 USD... I don't know about you guys, but I'm seeing the bigger and better bargain in the PS3 sale. While you're forking out money for senseless accessories, we're buying games for our consoles. You want to talk about expensive? The PS3 is the cheapest console out-of-the-box. Don't believe me? Consider all of that which you have to purchase for a Wii to get the full benefit. It's funny what a calculator and a bit of elementary school knowledge can do to prove a simple point. Lower price does not equate to cheaper or less inexpensive. Just like your meats, I hope you'd always pick the prime-cut. You always get what you pay for. I guess the turned XBox fanboys realize this after their seventh defective unit. ((Sales tax rates apply to Texas and NY. Your state might have a higher or lower rate. Regardless, the PS3 is cheaper.))

Kenji_Masamune
Kenji_Masamune

for the record, the worst game to 'nickle and dime' anyone to death was the Sims 2. 8 core expansions and 8 'content' expansions later, you could almost buy a PS3 with the money you'd thrown down to get all the sims 2 stuff when it came out.

TTDog
TTDog

Who said it was "my" FPS... won't have that game anywhere near my console. I see selective memory is also included for free these days as well.

RoC1909
RoC1909

@ KaBo0m You NAILED it!! It's a shame that all of the FANBOYS have given your comment a 'thumbs down' making people have to click a link!! And of course, Gamespot telling me what I should and shouldn't be reading or commenting on. ALL AROUND LAME!!! Ahhhhhhahaha

RoC1909
RoC1909

Here we are.....something that should have been in the game is now being SOLD as the 'infamous' DLC! Wow. It's Christmas. Heaven forbid if Sony GAVE the content away as a sort of 'thank you customers for sticking with us'!! Sorry PS3 fans, just like XBL, you will RARELY see anything given away!!

jmaxdeathscythe
jmaxdeathscythe

TTDog, who said that extra levels in your FPS was 'milking'?

Kenji_Masamune
Kenji_Masamune

see now this, THIS is worth the extra five something dollars for DLC, not five bucks to get just yoda on SC4

TTDog
TTDog

So why is it that releasing a map pack for a massive online game for a few dollars is milking the fans, but releasing a few new levels and outfits for LBP isn't? Double standards?

osito53
osito53

cant wait to get this game for christmas and i hope they put some killzone 2 costumes also that well be insane :)

method115
method115

@zintarr Agreed this is one of the many reasons I hate the new gen systems is because of downloadable content. Instead of stuff we should be getting in games upon release we have to pay for months later. On top of that it lets them release POS games that can be patch and fixed later.

the_greenzero
the_greenzero

This is gonna be classic, I just wish I had the game :(

zintarr
zintarr

Its funny and sad how all the PS3 fanboys are the most easily offended posters around. Relax and enjoy the show once in a while.

Content like this is always good for those that are still playing the game but it is nothing that adds enough value to the original release to make more people buy the game. In the end these skins and additions are no better than the content EA released for Deadspace and most consumers end up wondering why this was not released for free the week after the game came out.

Soul-gamer
Soul-gamer

Two of the best games of the year merged together, GENIUS!

tiamat555
tiamat555

This is so cool. LBP is really coming along. People are building things that boggle my mind and make my head spin. I saw a Dead Space parody that was so awesome. And now this. I saw snake fighting a Metal Gear. I hope they give us the energy balls, laser beams and missiles that it used to attack. Anyone who has a PS3 and didn't buy this game is really missing out. I have played levels that are 10 times more complected then a Mario or Sonic game.And the people who have it instead of being intimidated by these levels be inspired.

kws1065
kws1065

Well, at least it is better to pay something optional rather than paying for online-service itself, which is quite necessary for nowadays.

KaBo0m
KaBo0m

Most of the free stuff is not all that cool.... Just so sick of companies charging for every little thing that's cool for their games. This is Sony's big game right now.....their mascot is even sackboy now. I'm sorry but for people looking to buy a ps3 all these expensive(and yes they do add up) add-ons are just a turn off. Let's see- buy a ps3, buy LBP, spend tons of money on dlc, get "free" home, get nickle and dimed for literally everything in the game(some of t heir prices in that game are unbelievable for what it is)....it's just lame. Things like this are why my favourite game company is failing so damn hard right now. Nothing can ever be that cool.....there's always some catch

viewtifuljon111
viewtifuljon111

@ KaBo0m They have several free costumes, but some of the more impressive ones cost $1.99. Of course, this is assuming you are referring to the costumes. If so, they are completely optional and don't add anything interesting to the game. You won't be missing out by not having them. If you are referring to the MGS pack as a whole, I don't understand how they could not charge for it... Regardless, they aren't charging you to experience the content online, so you really won't be missing anything amazing by not having it. It adds more content than your average expansion pack, not to mention a game-changing element. I can't wait to see shooting levels online. :)

KaBo0m
KaBo0m

Nice so everytime they add something cool to the game it's going to be about $5 People will end up spending about $100 total in this game when it's all said and done. Throw us a bone, Sony. Don't nickle and dime people on one of your few solid exclusives

hesel
hesel

That looks awesome, now if only I had a PS3 :(