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LittleBigPlanet 3: is sacking up

Who would have thought the lovable Sackboy, ahem, sorry, Sackperson, would end up in the enviable position of saving a world? In a tale tablet chiselled straight out of Greek mythology this hessian hero is undertaking a most perilous quest. Step one, recruit a trio of like-stitched legends. Step two, harness and master the new abilities from said legends. Step three, defeat a triumvirate of long vanquished titans recently reawakened, hell-bent on remaking the world of Bunkum in their dark design. Step, four happy dance and partying. Nobody said a hero’s journey would be easy, well, aside from the happy dance partying side of things.


STITCHED UP
As new developer Sumo Digital takes the reins from franchise creator Media Molecule it makes sense for an all new venue change. The world of Bunkum is exploding with beautiful character and level designs all infused with old world Hollywood stage and screen charm. It’s about as visually arresting as it gets, but that’s nothing new for LittleBigPlanet. It always pop pops.

You’re transported to this throwback to the silver screen’s prime by a funny old chap named Newton (see FRY VERSUS LAURIE). Looking to make his mark on Bunkum he tricks you into setting free the imprisoned titans who then unexpectedly fuse with him. Not necessarily evil before, the three inspiration sucking titans now take control. All creatively is being bled dry from Bunkum with you the sole source of new ideas.
The world of Bunkum is exploding with Beautiful character and level designs
You’ll be called on with numerous quests to invoke your own flair and leave your mark. It’s a rather neat plot twist and considering it’s the first time the series has had an over-arching story, works a treat. It also leads into the new characters with a tangible reason for their reawakening, their unique powers and linked boss battles.

As you move through Bunkum doing all the usual LBP fare, jumping, collecting, stickerising (totally a word) you have a purpose. As you enlist these heroes to your cause and add them to your hessian fellowship you’ll harness their different play styles to defeat each titan. It also gives re-treading the previously played areas to nab collectibles a completely different feel.

HERO MONTAGE
Oddsock is a puppy dog kind of a thing, can move at ludicrous speeds and traverse up and jump up walls. The trade-off is no grabbing anything. Swoop, as the name suggests, can fly and still harness the grab. Then there’s Toggle who is a sack of all trades switching between mighty strongman behemoth and a smaller faster version who can fit into tight spaces and even walk on water. You can also switch between them at specific points, but the focus isn’t solely on these new characters. Old Sacky has had an overhaul as well.

There are some really cool (and controller snappingly frustrating) challenges such as one which has you controlling close to ten diminutive versions of our hero as you navigate trick platforming sections. New to our hero as well… pockets. Yep, sackpockets. These puppies house handy new gadgets such as the Blink Ball which can decimate enemies by targeting their weak spots and you can use it to manually aim and teleport to specific zones.

There’s the Pumpinator to suck or blow air and move objects and Boost Boots which do exactly what you’d expect them to, and a few others which you’ll switch between like a Sack Army Knife. These all work quite well in conjunction with the new traversal mechanics such as Velociportals which transport you between them with the same velocity exiting the portal as you had entering. These additions keep the world interesting.

I CODE FOR THE USERS
Now it wouldn’t be a LittleBigPlanet without the enormous amount of user-generated content aka levels adding insane longevity to this series. LittleBigPlanet 3 gives you the best of all worlds, if you’ve kept up with the franchise. Not only will you have all the crazy new inventions of the community via the most robust and still approachable level creator of the series by far, but you’ll also have access to all the creator content of the two previous versions. That’ll pretty much keep you busy until the end of time.

With the wealth, and that’s an understatement, of content available why has it not grabbed and exalted ten out of ten? Well, a few niggles return for another round. The game itself was plagued with day one issues, some patched since, others not. Occasionally the game, for lack of a better word, brain-farts glitching out levels and compounds issues by giving you a bad reset if you die. Also the same less than precise controls make the precision platforming required a little more trying than it should be. These are by no means deal-breakers, but an ever so slight polish could have really taken the levels to a… err... whole new level.

SACKS WILL CLASH
LittleBigPlanet 3 remains the same as it ever was, full of charm, dazzling to the eye, filled with wonder and a delight to play on your own or if you’re griefing each other in co-op. The creator tools still amaze and will keep you playing long after you’ve left the campaign in the dust. Some finer stitch work into old Sacky’s movement and broader options in co-op (you pretty much always have to play the same character as a group) could have made this fine patchwork quilt a family heirloom coveted for generations.

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