One of the most talked about games at this year’s GDC was a big surprise to
everyone on the show floor. LittleBigPlanet, a simple side-scrolling
action-puzzle game that put you in control of a little potato-sack person across
a big world, made a huge splash with just a trailer, and featured some excellent
graphics and engaging physics-based gameplay. The game was playable at a recent
Gamer’s Day event held at Sony’s San Diego studios, and the results were quite
impressive. LittleBigPlanet is shaping up to be a fun and engaging game that
just about anyone will be able to sit down and play.
During a video presentation, LittleBigPlanet’s avatar creation mode was
shown, enabling the player to edit their little person in many different ways,
from dressing them up in theme outfits (like Evel Knievel or a Chinese dragon)
or putting a box over their heads and drawing eyes and a mouth on it.
The playable demo that Sony showcased at the event encompassed the same
garden area that the trailer revealed. Using the left thumbstick, you can move
your character around the screen, jumping with the X button. If you hold down
the R1 button you’ll be able to grab onto objects (or other characters) and drag
them around or hold onto them and hitch a ride. Aside from basic movements,
you’ll be able to change your character’s facial expression and mood with the
D-Pad, wave their arms around by pressing R2 or L2 and moving either thumbstick,
or move their head around using the SIXAXIS motion control.
The game’s puzzle elements made use of a proprietary physics engine, and felt
great. Objects in the environment react realistically to being pulled and
knocked into other objects. The game feels natural and realistic without being
overly complex, which young players and inexperienced gamers will certainly
LittleBigPlanet will be a fun game for the casual set as well as something
that hardcore gamers won’t want to miss. Look for it early next year.