If you didn’t already know, a sequel to Media Molecule’s blockbuster hit LittleBigPlanet released very recently. I’m talking about LittleBigPlanet 2 – the game that literally is a platform for aspiring game designers to create games on.
The game has level-creation tools so deep that it’s just mind-numbing. You can make a myriad of games belonging to different genres, from side-scrolling games to RPGs to FPSs to hack ‘n slash. Nothing except your creativity can limit what you can do with the game’s tools.
When Media Molecule was developing the first game, they did admit that the fact that the game relied heavily on the player’s creativity to keep it alive and kicking a few months after its release was scary, and that it might backfire. Boy, weren’t they wrong. What MM ended up seeing 2 years after LBP’s release was tons of thousands of players creating levels ( no matter how entertaining they are to play ) everyday. Heck, the total tally of user-created levels online now is past 3 million.
As I mentioned earlier, the level of depth in the game’s creation tools is astounding. People who played the first title complained that the music tracks available was painfully limited, which made levels quite boring. MM listened ( like any good developer does ) and has introduced a fully featured mini-audio workstation in LBP2 – called the Music Sequencer; MM even mentioned that it was an idea which they originally had but couldn’t somehow implement in LBP. The audio feature is so amazing that at one point, Sony even pushed the guys at MM to make it a standalone product!
So, what about those 3 million user-created levels? What will happen to them? Thankfully, we can play all of those 3 million levels in LittleBigPlanet 2. Some of them might not work as expected – because of a modified physics and because some levels utilized glitches and bugs ( which were exclusive to LittleBigPlanet, because you see, MM learns from its mistakes! ) Add to that the millions of levels which we’ll start seeing online now that LBP2 has released, and you have this amazing library of games – of all varieties and types. Even if you play a level a day, you’d never finish playing all the levels. Wait, did I just say all the levels? Silly me; because you see, there will be no end to the number of levels we’ll see online. Oh, and did I forget to mention that with the new cinematic tools available in LBP2 you can even make your own movies!
Now this means the game’s worth way higher than the $60 which we pay. Because the game’s replay value is only limited by the creativity of us gamers. So basically, the game ( this, and the original title – LBP ) has had a profound impact on the gaming industry. For one, it has taught that given the right tools and a properly functioning system, a game can be sustained only by the levels that gamers make. If you’ve been closely following the wonder-stories about LBP, you’d have heard how MM found some really crazy level designers from the community and instantly hired them. Life-changing isn’t it? Yes, this is why in my opinion, LittleBigPlanet 2 should without a doubt get the Game Of The Year ( GOTY ) 2011 award. Sure, there are other heavyweights such as Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception and the rumoured Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, but for LBP2 – it just makes sense, for a game of such scale and grandeur.