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Gritty First-Person Shooter Being Built in Cuddly Ol’ “LittleBigPlanet 2”

Gritty First-Person Shooter Being Built in Cuddly Ol’ “LittleBigPlanet 2”  (photo)

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“LittleBigPlanet 2.” It’s the game that keeps on giving. First, the game on the disc gives you a cute, inventive adventure to romp through that also serves as a paean to creativity. Second, “LBP2” offers a robust suite of tools to execute your own ideas and–via the PlayStation Network–easy access to a robust community doing the same. Since the game came out late last year, developer Media Molecule’s claim has been that talented users could use it to not just make new levels but whole new games as well.

“LBP2″‘s spawned a lot of homages to other games and even to the work of artist Mathew Barney. But they’ve all had a certain level of commonality. The structure of these–side-scrolling platformers–was similar to “LBP2” story mode and the tone of inspired-by levels homes in on a cute-for-cute’s sake vibe that tracks back to the “LBP” aesthetic, too.

User Steve_Big_Guns is going for something different. A freshly released trailer for a level he’s working on reveals a brooding, first-person shooter experience vastly different than the majority of the hippy-dippy levels. Though you can access it through “LittleBigPlanet 2,” “Massive Epic Raging Destruction” isn’t playable yet. It just gives a glimpse of work-in-progress but still generates a bit of ideological whiplash when you think about it being made in one of the most non-threatening games around. “LBP2” allows for some playing around with depth-of-field, but most user-generated levels hew to the 2D side-scroller template. The big innovation with Steve_Big_Guns’ work in “M.E.R.D.” is that it appears to be taking place in a 3D environment. If you’ve ever tried to build even a 2D sequence in an “LBP” game, then you know that the level of crafting here must be mind-boggling.

FPSes are some of the most cliché-ridden games around, full of recycled gameplay ideas, settings and plots. Who knows if “M.E.R.D.” will try to work around any of these when it’s done, but the action it contains might feel fresher simply by virtue of its provenance. There’s going to be a little voice in the back of your head that will keep saying, “I can’t believe this was made with LittleBigPlanet 2.” No matter how Steve_Big_Guns’ efforts shape up, the building of a thing with another thing that wasn’t made to create it seems like reward enough.

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

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