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LittleBigPlanet 2 – First Thoughts

LittleBigPlanet 2 – First Thoughts

I had the great privilege of getting to review LittleBigPlanet 2 for Play in issue 201 (on sale now), but only got the chance to experience the online community in full effect over this weekend once the game was released on Friday. As such I thought I’d post a few of my first impressions of the experience and how the community is coming together.

1. Numbers
I was particularly impressed by the number of new levels available to play after only three days. Of course the 2.5 million or so levels that had already existed were there too, but you can find plenty of co-op and competitive levels that have been built since. Some of these may have been designed by Media Molecule employees as Mark Healey revealed to us in issue 198 that he hoped the team could play around with their own levels after the game was finished.

2. Connection
I had a few issues here. Connecting to multiplayer games on a couple of occasions sent me into endless loading loops. That could have something to do with heavy traffic or perhaps it’s a level design issue. With so many competitive games likely to arrive in the coming months I would imagine it’s high on MM’s priority list to make this as smooth as possible. Anyway, beyond the odd issue connecting and playing online with friends was very easy.

3. Game Quality
After only three days the level of detail and balance in some of the user-created levels is not great, but you may be surprised by just how good a lot of them are. Some of the games being made are incredibly challenging and incredibly imaginative. I may even come back and write another one of these posts in a week and tell you how things have moved on after only another seven days. I would imagine the change will be dramatic.

4. Subsidiary Systems
One of the less talked about side aspects of LBP2’s online is its website and how you’re able to browse levels. Just go to lbp.me, log in with your PSN ID and you can search for all kinds of different levels including Media Molecule’s top picks. From here you can also add levels to your community queue. Click the icon to the right of the level description (it looks like a bell) and the level will be waiting for you to play when you get back to your game. You can even have someone else do this as you play. It works incredibly well and basically means you can plan an evening of LBP2 gaming from anywhere you like.

Summary – It’s all coming together very nicely. The quality is rising fast, the community is growing and many of the new features are working very well. You can get our final online review in issue 202, but for now that will have to do you.

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