The folks over at ArsTechnica.com have been playing around in the LittleBigPlanet beta and they’re very impressed indeed:
Even this early into the game’s public beta (which has been going on for the past few days) the depth of some of the user-created levels is impressive. We raced in a WipEout-themed level, played one long ode to Naruto with custom characters and backgrounds, fought monsters constructed from scratch, and tried to master some dexterity-demanding deathtraps. Some of the levels we played even had special player-created rewards for completing their levels, adding the content they laboriously created to our own roster of usable in-game items.
Admittedly, the variety of tools can be daunting, even if the amiable British tutorial narrator makes learning the ropes a relatively painless affair. Still, the possibilities are staggering. Players can pass materials to one another, create switches that trigger explosives or gears, even script enemies to move in certain ways or set scripted events to occur at certain points. These options create so many possibilities that one cannot help but be excited by the prospect of unleashing these simple-to-use tools on the masses.
There’s no question that Sony is on to something with LittleBigPlanet. The YouTube-like design used for creating levels, sharing them online, and finding new ones to play lends itself to a perpetual play experience that isn’t any more likely to grow stale than YouTube is to draw less and less attention with each passing day. And, while the game may create a bit of a barrier for entry that YouTube lacks, it won’t take much in the way of social spreading for the game to catch on with others.
I’m looking forward to the game myself, though I must confess that I haven’t a clue what I’ll create once I get it. Still I look forward to seeing all the cool stuff other people come up with. More importantly, this could be the killer app Sony’s been waiting for to really kick off PS3 sales. Assuming folks out there still have enough money to buy one with all the financial turmoil out there at the moment.