Sony Japan studio has a history of delivering unique experiences with startling originality pushing the bounds of fun and interactivity. A first party internal Sony Studio famed for introducing dual analog stick play at the debut of Playstation 1 revolutionary controller with Ape Escape! LocoRoco, the astounding Gravity Rush for PS Vita and now Astro Bot. Astro Bot brings you the player into a galaxy-spanning environment, taking control of Astro on an epic adventure to bring your fellow bots who make up the crew of a spaceship back together, dispersed all over space. Astro Bot has a vibrant rich animation with a fantastic colour palette and art style reminiscent of modern Marios, Disney and Splatoon. Brings to players a level of joy and ingenuity that feels like the wonderful stratospheric jump 2D made to 3D perfection with Mario 64!
VR has been experiencing a boom of innovation and amazing games which really add to the medium. Many VR games are generally short VR-like experiences, of what could be, what may be possible. Playstation VR is putting out fully fleshed games that innovate! Astro Bot expands on the Playstation menu mini-game the Playroom, where you can play with the ‘Bots’ who are inside your controller. The game perhaps has the most stable solid environment in VR so far, with a very high resolution. In terms of the gamespace, you are viewing the 3D level from the perspective of a Bot following Astro. As you play moving forward through the level, your bot is a part of game, not just a camera. Leaning in to look around corners and avoiding goop being tossed your way. Astro enthused with so much charm and character, portrayed through animation and quirky moments. Gameplay has Astro, jumping around the level collecting coins and getting enemies a kick or a zap with your feet lasers. Which double up as a clever hover and the shadow/pointer for platforming perfection. There are a number of fellow bots lost in each level, some obvious, some not so. Always remembering to look around at the start where waterfalls and walls may contain a lost companion. The developers encourage Astro Bot to enjoy the levels you are in intelligent ways. You can see your controller floating before you, each Bot you collect jumps into your controller with the touchpad acting like a treasure box.
There’s lots of way you reach into the environment to help Astro. Early on for example, a teether from the controller, which can be attached to walls, even teeth, pulled to great effect. Opportunities to create tightropes for Astro to hop on and traverse the world. This creates a powerful feeling of immersion, you are involved as well as controlling a character.
The sheer amount of smiles and joy I have enjoyed, playing Astro Bot Rescue Mission is a wonderful change of pace. Astro Bot is a genuine new perspective on the whole of the platforming genre, that is as revolutionary as the move to 3D. (I have recorded footage/taken in game screen shots to bring you into the game, which will be added shortly and likely as a Youtube video. EU Article 13 not withstanding.)
Astro Bot exclusively for Playstation VR, with some great prices and bundles for the Black Friday/Cyber Monday and seasonal holidays. Astro Bot is an essential purchase.
Astro Bot at time of publishing this, is £19.99 on Playstation Store (due to PS sale) – £24.99/£29.99 at retail.