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