If you liked the previous game, you love this. Itís better in every imaginable way.
Syrok about LittleBigPlanet 2
A once famous scottish engineer once said "Ye canna change the laws of physics" but in EA's latest community-based game, you can at least bend them.
Create allows players to build the Heath Robinson-esque contraption of their dreams, using an eclectic collection of everyday objects to trigger a chain reaction in order to solve several themed puzzles.
Create is like a cross between the aged PC classic "The Incredible Machine" and the Flash-gaming smash hit "Fantastic Contraption". Certain puzzle levels allow you to chain together girders, plates, drive wheels and hinges (a la Fantastic Contraption) while other levels let you string together cars, fans, basketballs, even ice cream vans in order to transport object A to point B avoiding traps C, D and E on the way.
At Create's hub is a rather horrible user interface that really makes you appreciate the genius of something like LittleBigPlanet's popit and goodie bag. Though Create would normally find an appreciative audience among younger gamers, it's so counter-intuitive to use at times that it might easily put off kids who are attracted by the lure of causing abject chaos using household and everyday objects (not to worry though, kids seem expert at doing this in the real world so failing to do so in a game is probably no big deal).
Kicking off with a tutorial that shows you how to place objects (but neglects to tell you how to tweak them, set them at different angles or just move them around a little), Create's themed worlds are varied, starting with relatively simple stuff but working up to vast complex arenas of befuddlement. You can browse freely between unlocked areas and each puzzle type allows for several levels of improvement that will net you a set number of tokens to spend unlocking more areas. You can quickly blitz through puzzles garnering the minimum "pass" for each, or you can dive back in to try and improve your stars on each puzzle if you find you simply cannot progress any further with the number of stars you've collected.
Once you've set up a solution, hitting the "play" button will kick off a live simulation of your object's impact on a puzzle. Thankfully the game allows instant retries so as soon as things go wrong, you can pause and juggle objects and solutions around before hitting "play" again to see if you can do better second (or tenth) time around.
Clever solutions demand more than a modicum of "out of the box" thinking. Though it's a bit irritating that the majority of puzzles can be solved with the same simple objects again and again, it's satisfying to see exactly what you can get away with in Create before you find the limits of what the game will allow. Moreover, if you do come up with a wild solution to a puzzle, you can upload it to EA's Create Community Areas, showing off your masterful domino effect for all to see (be warned though, the Create Community currently seems to consist of about 8 people so you're never going to find your 15 minutes of fame knocking stuff together in this).
The community area also allows players to upload their own puzzles. Some are great, and some seem to show that the self same idiots who strap rockets to planks in LittleBigPlanet, before naming their level "Abzolutely astonishing Gran Turismo 6 Clone" are active and busy in Create too.
The more you play, the more you realise that the core levels are fairly repetitive and that the community support for Create is nowhere near enough to keep the game afloat for long-term playability and appeal. Even at the bargain price Create is currently selling for, it's simply not remarkable enough to capture people's imaginations. With no demo (unless you're playing on the PC), and very little hype or coverage from EA, Create will become a quirky oddity that few discover and even fewer appreciate for at least trying to do something different.
It seems a shame that the game was released as a boxed product rather than as an Xbox Live Arcade or PSN Store title. Perhaps there, it would've found a niche as something of a classic. Simply put, it's just too much of an acquired taste to appeal to most gamers, and doesn't allow enough of a free hand for players who like to express their creativity through their games.