Little Big Planet 3 PS4 Review

Little Big Planet 3. Sony

I had my doubts that “Little Big Planet 3” would matter. I’ll admit it. It’s being released in the most crowded quarter in the short history of the PS4, as this system finally has justified its purchase price with must-own next-gen titles like “Dragon Age: Inquisition,” “Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare,” and “Far Cry 4.” Even the kid’s game market is saturated with cash cows “Disney Infinity Marvel Super Heroes” and “Skylander’s Trap Team” dominating Target circulars and commercials on Disney Jr. It felt a bit like Sony wasn’t timing the release of a third adventure for Sackboy and his friends with much foresight, and so I was concerned they were purposefully burying the title because of its low quality. Ten minutes in, I knew those concerns were unfounded. A few hours in, I was blown away. This is the best family game you could buy this season. And that’s coming from someone who liked “Super Heroes” and “Skylander’s.” While those games spark the imagination, “LBP 3” pours gasoline on it and sets it ablaze.

It is about rampant imagination, and the way that some of the best game developers in the world have chosen to feed it. “Little Big Planet 3” doesn’t just repeat what worked about the previous games, it builds on it, adding new tools, worlds, and gameplay dynamics, while still allowing access to all of the old ones. That’s right. You can play all of the Community levels already created, and try to keep up with the amazing new ones popping up every day. In fact, someone will create a level that you want to play in “LBP 3” while you’re reading this review. I can almost guarantee it.

Little Big Planet Review

Rather than tear down what’s come before and start anew, the developers of “Little Big Planet” value the people who have been there all along. So much so that you can import stickers and costumes found and purchased in the last two games. So, however you like to play “LBP,” you can be comfortable playing the same way here. Decorate your pod with your favorite stickers, wear your favorite costume, etc. It adds to a sense that this is a Toy Box to which new toys have been added without any of your favorites having been taken away. The gameplay all looks remarkably familiar, only with that PS4 sheen, and the structure of the game is nearly identical, allowing for new dynamics to be built on the old ones instead of tearing them down and starting anew.

However, don’t worry that “Little Big Planet 3” is just a downloadable add-on or repeat of what’s come before. It’s a game that will constantly surprise with its new gameplay additions, most of them in the form of tools that can now be carried by Sackboy to start and then actual new characters with different abilities than our legendary blank hero. For example, Oddsock can run and jump faster than Sackboy, creating a different strategy to the gameplay/puzzle-solving required to complete certain levels and access certain sections. Toggle can change size from large to small, allowing for unique dynamics such as when you grow big enough to depress a platform and then switch to small to bounce into the air. The devices allow for new strategy as well, such as when you have to blow certain platforms or use a device that allows teleportation. The world of Sackboy grows with each new level, character, and device.

“Little Big Planet 3” is about innovation, imagination and so much of what’s missing from modern gaming, and it accomplishes its goals by putting the keys to the car in your hand and telling you to drive. So many games make you the passenger. Sony wants you to get behind the wheel. And few games have appealed to a wider demographic than “Little Big Planet 3,” a title that has nostalgic throwbacks to classic animation and pop culture that are clearly aimed at adults but also totally enraptured by 5-year-old. Imagination is ageless. And so is this truly imaginative game.