Sony has officially unveiled LittleBigPlanet 2, confirming many of the details that leaked over the weekend, and said it will be released in 2010.
In summary, LittleBigPlanet 2 allows you to create content in many genres rather than just the platformer setting of the original. Thanks to something called Direct Control, you can teach things like vehicles to respond to thumbsticks, face buttons, triggers and even the Sixaxis tilt function.
Those who disliked the first game's "floaty" jump will also appreciate the ability to tweak Sackboy control - although by default LBP2 will stick with the existing behaviour so that the 2.3 million levels created with the first game are fully compatible with the sequel.
Sackboy also benefits from a grappling hook this time, effectively allowing him to deploy the first game's "grab" function on the end of a prehensile rope, while levels now have spring pads in them for helping him to get around.
You can also deploy Sackbots - virtual Sackboy-esque robot actors, in essence, who can be placed around levels, resized and dressed up, and to which you can assign AI behaviour, either by selecting it from presets in the "Tweak" menu or through switches and wires as in the first game.
Given how complex things became in LBP1, developer Media Molecule has introduced "microchips", which condense switch and wire behaviour into something smaller - and something that, in keeping with the "Play, Create, Share" theme, you can distribute on PlayStation Network.
Media Molecule also promises that it will be easier to navigate and share content, with Facebook-style activity streams keeping you up to date with your friends' actions (and the best content identified by the developers), the ability to queue level downloads remotely, and a hub-like presence for each player on the game's website.
Levels will also be distributable using "QR codes" - those spotty barcode things - and there's talk of mobile phone applications for remote management of your profile.
Perhaps the biggest change though is the potential to dive into other genres, something enabled by Direct Control. Now it should be possible to make things like racing and puzzle games, shoot-'em-ups and even strategy games. You can even define your own HUD.
Really creative types will also appreciate the option to specify camera behaviour (and even switch between cameras) while Sackbot actions can be recorded. So yes, you can make your own cut-scenes.
Check out our in-depth LittleBigPlanet 2 preview for way more.