At first the mistakes during the Little Big Planet 3 portion of the Sony press conference seemed a playful and rehearsed way of showing the strength of the co-operative nature of the game. But as Swoop (the little bird-like sack creature) continously had to bail out other characters it was clear something was off. Not going on the record saying what went wrong we were left with the understanding that there was some kind of technical issue that was to blame for the less than stellar presentation. An issue that likely had little to do with the actual game as our hands-on with the title certainly didn't feature any such issues.
The big announcement revelation at E3 was the fact that Sackboy now has three friends with unique abilities that make for even more compelling co-operative mechanics. Paired with the announcement that all levels and creations for previous main Little Big Planet titles will carry over to Little Big Planet 3 and there is every reason to expect that you'll be able to enjoy old favourites in new and exciting (potentially game breaking ways) as well as remixed versions taking advantage of new mechanics.
We briefly mentioned Swoop who swooped in to safe the on stage presentation on several occasions, then there was Oddsock - a wall-jumping dog-like sack creature that certainly charmed us. But perhaps the greatest new character was Toggle. Basically a two-in-one character that can go from Big Toggle to Little Toggle in an instant, he offers plenty of intriguing co-op mechanics. We sampled a co-op demo - a level thrown together by the designers to showcase how the envision users will create levels for Toggle - with two Toggles.
Naturally there were places where one player had to jump onto a board as Big Toggle sending Little Toggle flying into the air. A simple thing like water was perhaps the greatest revelation - sink down as Big Toggle and rocket yourself into the sky by turning into Little Toggle. A great use of physics. As Little Toggle is way faster than his larger counterpart there were several times when one player would run off and force a respawn of the other player - all's fair in co-opetition.This was just a simple example of what kind of things two Toggles can achieve and we can only imagine what the different combinations of two, three or four characters can allow for.
As we sat down to play the game during a brief break in between interviews it was one of those rare occasions at E3 where you really zone out of everything going on around you and simply focus on the fun that's in front of you.
Originally created by Media Molecule the "Little Big Planet Development Family" now consists of a number of different developers, including Swedish Tarsier Studios (Little Big Planet Vita as well as several content packs for Little Big Planet 1 & 2) and United Front Games (Little Big Planet Karting). Development on Little Big Planet 3 is supervised by Sony's Xdev division with Sumo Digital in charge of the actual development. One of Britain's most prolific developers in recent times having worked on 34 titles (ports included) in their decade in existence Sumo Digital first ventured into LBP development with the Cross Controller Pack for Little Big Planet 2. This is, however, their first opportunity to truly make a game of their own within the franchise. That's not to say Media Molecule are completely hands off, after all Sackboy is their baby and for them to completely let go of him is a concept that's difficult to imagine.
Given that Little Big Planet 3 is due out this fall, we expect more information to pour out at regular intervals. The obvious big thing that's left to talk about is the creation mode as it has likely been given one or two new features for longtime LBP creators to experiment with.