Astro Bot: Res­cue Mis­sion - for the PSVR on PlayS­ta­tion4 Words Lewis Cor­ner

Gay Times Magazine - - REVIEW -

With video games now of­fer­ing fully cus­tomis­able char­ac­ters, cin­e­matic sto­ry­telling, or even en­tire uni­verses to fly off into on grand voy­ages of ex­plo­ration, you’d be for­given for think­ing the good old plat­former’s days are num­bered when it comes to the home con­sole. But much like the orig­i­nal PlayS­ta­tion’s poly­gon-tas­tic 3D en­vi­ron­ments that rev­o­lu­tionised gam­ing just over 20 years ago, vir­tual re­al­ity has breathed new life into the fan­tasy plat­form genre. This is no bet­ter show­cased than in the lat­est ad­di­tion to the PSVR ros­ter of ti­tles, Astro Bot Res­cue Mis­sion.

First in­tro­duced as part of the PSVR’s The Play­room soft­ware, this cute lit­tle ro­bot is a wel­come ad­di­tion to the PlayS­ta­tion pan­theon of playable char­ac­ters – and de­spite his minis­cule size can stand tall along­side leg­endary crit­ters like Crash Bandicoot, Ratchet and Clank, and Lit­tleBigPlanet’s Sack­boy.De­signed by Sony’s Ja­pan Stu­dios team, Astro Bot Res­cue Mis­sion is a pi­o­neer in the genre of vir­tual re­al­ity plat­form gam­ing. Im­mer­sive is thrown around too lightly as an ad­jec­tive to de­scribe a sen­sory ex­pe­ri­ence cre­ated to draw you in, but trust us when we say that this ti­tle lit­er­ally pulls you into a galaxy far away to nav­i­gate a series of wacky and won­der­ful worlds with spec­tac­u­lar fash­ion.

Ev­ery cor­ner of the Astro Bot ex­pe­ri­ence is pure joy. The game achieves ex­actly what vir­tual re­al­ity sets out to do: your in­ter­ac­tions with the world around you feel im­pres­sively real as you nav­i­gate var­i­ous ter­rains, from un­der­wa­ter worlds to an­cient jun­gle ru­ins. We’ll just say, pre­pare to sweat as you race through an ac­tive vol­cano com­plete with a gi­ant squid mon­ster ready to knock you off the track.

What VR adds to the plat­form gam­ing ex­pe­ri­ence is an ex­tra­or­di­nary sense of scale. As you con­trol your lit­tle Astro Bot through these colour­ful and cre­atively con­structed lev­els, you’ll have to look up as he climbs through moun­tains, or down if he’s at­tempt­ing to re­trieve one of his friends from a cav­ern. Oh, and al­ways re­mem­ber to look be­hind you dur­ing game­play for any bonus points you might have missed.

Es­sen­tially, Astro Bot Res­cue Mis­sion puts the play­ful­ness (and then some) back into gam­ing. Hugely en­joy­able, in­cred­i­bly ad­dic­tive, and deeply en­gag­ing, you’ll want to slip the head­set on again and again to be trans­ported back to these zany vir­tual worlds. It’s not an un­der­state­ment to say that the fu­ture of the VR fan­tasy plat­form starts here.

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