Previews

Gamescom '11: Hands-on with LittleBigPlanet for PS Vita

Don't Sack this one off

Gamescom '11: Hands-on with LittleBigPlanet for PS Vita

You probably haven't heard of Double Eleven Studios before. Indeed, although the studio was founded in 2009, it's yet to release a game - but it's planning to go off with a bang next year.

Taking the almighty reins from multi-award winner Media Molecule, the small group of former Rockstar Games developers has created a PlayStation Vita version of hit sandbox-platforming series LittleBigPlanet.

This being the fifth title in the series, Double Eleven had its work cut out producing something as fresh as Sackboy and co. felt the first time around.

From what we played at Gamescom, Double Eleven has nothing to fear. LittleBigPlanet Vita is looking great, with lots of great ideas packed onto the handheld.

HandheldBigPlanet

The action will be familiar to any LittleBigPlanet player, and indeed anyone who has watched videos or skimmed through screenshots.

You take control of Sackboy as he makes his way through a variety of platforming havens. The Vita version goes back to the original PS3 release, rather than expanding into the ultra-creativity of LBP2.

We have no qualms with this, as we saw more than enough creativity injected into the few levels we played, with the Vita capabilities stretched to their limits.

For example, at one point we had to play a piano via the touchscreen to open a door into a new environment. Elsewhere, we were helping Sackboy jump onto platforms and then tilting the console to help him swing across to new areas.

The Sack is back

It was the rear touch-panel yielded the most impressive puzzle concepts.

One puzzle saw us come face-to-face with a wall of Tetris-style blocks. By pushing them 'into the screen' with a touch, we were able to create gaps for Sackboy to jump into.

But the path was still blocked. By touching the back of the Vita we could then push the blocks back out of the screen, reopening paths for Sackboy that we're originally available.

It's impossible to convey how good this feels - and hopefully there more uses of the Vita hardware as clever as this one.

Use your own planet

The level editor is also very intriguing this time around.

Using the Vita's camera, you're able to take photos of anything you like and paste the pictures straight into the game.

It's then possible to grab certain items, people, or whatever you like from the photo and have them in your levels. You can also grab textures and paste them all over an object.

This additional level of input will no doubt give veteran LBP designers plenty of ideas. We can't wait to see what the community comes up with.

There's no release date set for LittleBigPlanet Vita, but we'd be pretty surprised if it wasn't a launch title.