LittleBigPlanet Hands-On

We run around inside Media Molecule's charming PlayStation 3 world.

While a number of high-profile games are slated to hit the PlayStation 3, a fair number of them come from known franchises, such as Gran Turismo, Tekken, Killzone, and Devil May Cry. However, a dark horse emerged at the Game Developers Conference earlier this year when an original game came from nowhere and plopped its happy burlap self high on the list of anticipated PS3 games. LittleBigPlanet from UK developer Media Molecule is a unique game for the PlayStation 3 that's equal parts developer tool and sandbox, wrapped in a fuzzy package that can't help but make you smile when you see it. At Sony's recent press event, we had the chance to get our hands on a demo version of the game and bounce around in the same level that was shown at GDC. While nothing new was shown, the playable demo was effective at showing off the game's infectious charm.

The demo opened up just as it did during Sony's GDC keynote address. A lone burlap doll stood against a plain backdrop of fabric. The demo presenter ran us through the simple controls that you'll use to guide your virtual burlap dude through the level before we started the adventure. The left analog stick will obviously let you move your little guy anywhere you like. The X or L1 button will let you jump. The circle button lets you interact with certain items in the world, which on this occasion meant using the rocket packs. The R1 button will let you grab an object, allowing you to hold on to small items or hang on to larger ones. Depending on the size of the item, you can carry or pull it if needed. Larger items will require teamwork, such as several of your friends grabbing and pulling as well. Holding down R2 or L2 will let you use the left and right analog stick to control your mini-me's arms.

Once you start getting the hang of it, you can even choose to smack your friends around via Media Molecule's Rag Doll Kung Fu. If you have dramatic urges, you can use the D pad to cycle among four different facial expressions: happy, sad, angry, or mopey. Speaking of your face, you can use the Sixaxis controller's motions to move your character's head. Finally, the square button calls up the "pop it" menu which, as has been shown in the first trailer for the game, lets you hop into a menu where you can pull different items that you can sticker the world with or physically drop into your surroundings. Unfortunately, our demo presenter said that there would be no popping of anything in our demo because the feature wasn't quite ready for primetime.

Once the basics were sorted, we went further into the level with our demo presenter and picked up two other buddies. As before, our two companions spawned as soon as the PS3 controllers were picked up. The run through the level was through the same path shown in the GDC video, although collecting sponge--the material you use to power the pop-it feature--didn't really factor in as much despite the fact that it was strewn throughout the level. The action was fun and goofy, forcing teamwork or creative solutions to overcome the obstacles.

The visuals in the game were exactly like what's been seen before. They were a cool mix of funky design and photorealistic items. The levels were, as has been shown, laid out in a 2D plane that you can go in and out of to go up platforms or interact with other items, such as the aforementioned jet packs.

We have to say that we're quite taken with the look and promise of LittleBigPlanet. The game promises to be an enjoyable experience that will be shaped by your imagination. As we continue into this generation of consoles with next-generation experiences all too often amounting to conventional game experiences that look better than what we played on the last set of boxes, there's something to be said for a unique experience that can't be labeled. If LittleBigPlanet can really deliver that and provide a conduit for gamers to create and share content, it could be something truly special. Look for more on LittleBigPlanet in the months to come. A demo is slated to hit the PlayStation Network this fall with a disc release early next year.

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Discussion

166 comments
budthead15
budthead15

this game will be really great or **** but its a chance im willing to take it is a game imo is great for kids and adults alike its a great console seller for sony and i beleve it will be an educational but extremly fun game and im someone that enjoys realistic games like skate and thpg (which i still believe is a petty argument by the way) and i like unrealistic games like mysims which i plan on getting by the way. that concludes my comment budthead out

Cono_2007
Cono_2007

This game will be good if you have little brothers or sisters.

No-Go-Zone
No-Go-Zone

I have a little cousin who just started school will love playing this with me. cant wait

don_juvin
don_juvin

its just the game for my siblings. game is very promising.

NinjaMunkey01
NinjaMunkey01

This is gonna either be compleatly amaizing which i hope for. or not so good but the trailer looks promising.

nevershort
nevershort

I watched the demo video for this on the PSN... and it sounds wierd to say this cuz it looks like a game a 5 year old would play but on the other hand it actually looks like a really interesting game unlike any other I've seen or even imagined before.... Well I guess we'll all seewhats up with it when its released

riseofnations36
riseofnations36

I'll admit , i myself find this kiddy....BUT , this game screams innovation !! and POTENTIAL !!! if the ps3 can keep up the stream of awesome games , then it'll be back in the picture.

theKSMM
theKSMM

This is one of the most creative ideas to emerge in years. The simple elements and open-ended gameplay could actually be a compelling demo for the PlayStation 3 if not a system seller.

Murpheus007
Murpheus007

Three words. User Created Content. Oh yeah, eat it, and smile, baby!

Roberthovell
Roberthovell

Consoles need games like this!! It all gets a bit too boring when all the games are the same - in the other hand this game looks like its going to be great fun! GOGOGO GO TEAM GG !!!

adam2987
adam2987

I can't remember a game like this for sony. It looks like it would come from Nintendo. I can't wait. I could just imagine when you're online with others doin co-op and I would'nt be able to keep up with everyone else, so that feature where you beat the others characters up (if I read correctly)sounds like that will be happening to me! lol

Orthrand
Orthrand

Dammit ive been trying to convince myself i dont need a PS3 arhhhhhhhhhhhh

Symphonycometh
Symphonycometh

GrimBee: When its a game machine huh? I guess the attempt to cure cancer never dawned on you then not playing video games for awhile...(Hmmm...) I hope we don't have to use Home to get friends to play with us...no offense.

Connor24
Connor24

Little big planet is going to be one of the best games of all time.

oscarmik
oscarmik

Dear god, I can't f-ing wait! This will be the game I'm going to buy a PS3 for :) nickeo123: This game looks really fun. SONY YOU ROCK! Sony? Sony isn't developing this game.

The_Tricko
The_Tricko

hey Kaos_Hybryd its not comming out this summer its this autumn (the demo that is)

Kaos_Hybryd
Kaos_Hybryd

can't wait for the beta to come out this summer

Dragontamer661
Dragontamer661

Re: jakob3k Yeah, there will be an online co-op. This game looks fun!

Mystearical
Mystearical

OMG the game looks sooooooooooo cute!

jakob3k
jakob3k

Does anyone remember the Amiga game "The Lost Vikings"? It sounds like "LittleBigPlanet" will be a mix of that and Lemmings. Really interesting! :) Does anyone know if you will be able to play co-op on-line? That would be a really nice feature...

nickeo123
nickeo123

This game looks really fun. SONY YOU ROCK!

RiceCake
RiceCake

Yet another reason I'm glad I own a PS3! :D

GrimBee
GrimBee

All this fuss over a game which could effectively run on the wii... And then they say that the wii has no lasting power! hehe. It just goes to show - that the ps3 is at its best when its a GAMES MACHINE! More of this please sony, more!

rosco_robinson
rosco_robinson

As an Xbox 360 fan, I'll say that this is, currently, the biggest reason I'm interested in a PS3. It's the style of animation... That "Stinky Cheese Man"/Pyschonauts newspaper-esque look... I love it. It's something fun, and different. This and Lair... But Lair doesn't really impress me graphically... It uses some little cover-up effects to mask A LOT of graphic roughness... I like the gameplay, though. This looks better, IMO...

chrisdojo
chrisdojo

i'm surprised that there are so many people saying that Little Big Planet is why they want a ps3. i would suggest playing it on someone else's system before you drop $600. that might just be me though....

Satsin
Satsin

This, along with GodofWar III , makes PS3 a good buy, but I'll wait for more....

Satsin
Satsin

Man, the characters come out so cute and funny, I love the guy with the box on his head.....Although I'm an FPS lover, but it would be great great fun making and playing with ur characters in the game...5 stars !!!

ysinerova
ysinerova

At last, an original game that defies categorization. I am sure that the private creation of levels wtih an opportunity to share them will keep myself as well as others entertained longer than the usual fair. The PS3 will own 2008!!!

zapboy23
zapboy23

itd be cool if u could download png pictures from ure computer or whereever to serve as stickers

bihboy69
bihboy69

yay, this game looks awesome. and since we can now go to games straight from HOME its even better

Wurz1515
Wurz1515

I also think that with Home that's going to allow people to invite other people to games such as Little Big Planet, this will be a very sucessful game since a majority of this game seems to be using teamwork. Whether it's by yourself in single, it can get really interesting with other people trying their own way of getting to the goal.

staley6565
staley6565

While I have a Wii, I'm glad to see that it's not the only system to be getting innovative, and fun games. Hopefully we haven't all been duped with the wii, thinking you need to sacrifice a system's next-gen power to get innovative new games. But it's first year still, and I'm pleased with what I'm seeing from both companies.

Dragonblade01
Dragonblade01

i hope this won't be like loco roco; what i mean by that is, i hope it doesn't keep this excellent style of puzzle/platformer gameplay down by making the levels too linear (something I heard was a problem in loco roco); i suppose an easier way to put it would be that i hope the "charm doesn't wear off"

Symphonycometh
Symphonycometh

I hope all those who are hating on this didn't buy either a Wii or Viva Pinita... Because that just balances out everyone's argument right there...

justincoool
justincoool

PS3 has the best balance of first party games in the future appealing to all ages.....nintendo and microsoft need to step their game up big time!!!

tHeFuTuReHeAd
tHeFuTuReHeAd

I reckon this game is a bit like Loco Roco, yes, perhaps it is a bit childish, but it still looks like really good fun!

Writeous
Writeous

this game is very very interesting. cuz of its creativity. and its creativity with online activity

rocky2k32000
rocky2k32000

i agree with you finalsqual76. rpg maker. LOL. hahaha LBP looks amazing. i cannot wait.

finalsquall76
finalsquall76

I don't know why ppl are saying it for kiddies? It's very creative and you get to make the game how you want. So if you want it to be a kiddy game then do that :P I think looks good and will spark alot of competition world wide in creating a game :D Looks better than Rpg maker :D

lew_0911
lew_0911

Yes good. Make small steps toward healthy competition (that goes for Nintendo and Microsoft, too).

core_man_kills
core_man_kills

this game is to....................................................................young

lahoor
lahoor

what this game baby