Levels and Progression - 93%
Graphics - 90%
Audio - 97%
Gameplay - 98%
Replayability - 80%
What started off in Playroom VR, AstroBot seems to grow so rapidly in popularity that it demanded its own development. The title started off as a mini-game of sort and soon caught wind. The Sony Interactive Studio Japan noticed that there were a lot of reviews and comments from people requesting more and more of this, so they decided to put together a full title dedicated to Robot Rescue Mission and hence, AstroBot Rescue Mission was born.
The idea of AstroBot is quite a simple one, yet complicated in its own right. The Development team had already gone through quite a number of ideas and eventually landed on the forward moving camera, opposed to a side scroller, etc. This creates an amazing dynamic between you and the character in the game. I felt a connection with the little guy and ended up calling him “Bob”. Astrobot gives you a real sense of cooperative adventure, even though I was playing this as a single player.
So, must be honest, I am still not quite sure what exactly the story is here. So it seems like a pre-movie Angry Birds vibe, where you know why you’re fighting but the story isn’t strong, unlike titles such as Abe’s Odyssey. You start off all happy and things are going great, all your “lil homies” (I have dubbed the little robots this) are on a massive AstroBot spaceship when they are attacked by a UFO and the lil homies are scattered across the various levels and they need saving. I won’t spoil the end if you collect them all, but you get the just of it.
SIE Japan really thought smart about the way they designed camera angles and movement of Bob. You use the DS4 Controller to navigate the surroundings and rescue your lil homies. I had my wife play the first level to see if she enjoyed it, she suffers from horrible Vertigo in VR, she sat and played the first level, then the second and before I knew it she was addicted. The part that really impressed me was that she was not a console player and did not have muscle memory of the controller, however, because you see the controller in game the tutorial explains the controls so well that she did not struggle at all. The controls are easy, the maps are easy to navigate and the puzzle’s difficulties are fun and challenging rather than Dark Souls Difficult.
Graphics, Audio and Effects
This game surprised me I will not lie. Having played the original playroom version, I expected a certain level of visuals to be in the game. I was mighty shocked to find out that my eyes were looking upon a better and brighter, with what seems like more variety of colours within the non-playable world and the playable world. The finishes were clean and crisp, even the mountain edges were done so well that I actually think they sat in a room and said “Okay Gentlemen, we need to make every edge as perfect as possible, like Anti-Aliasing on steroids”, I’m sure of it. The characters are clean at every distance and never seem to blur, insane level of depth and colour mix in this game.
There is a trick to making a VR game that’s premise is to find hidden characters, especially when you have constant audio clues. The 360 Audio in this game is amazing, now, I do have 7.1 Headphones but I did try use standard in-ear buds and the results were exactly the same; I could hear 360. SIE Japan really killed the audio in the game, the sound effects are purely fantastic and the vibe you get from the music is pure fun.
VR is something to behold and it has its ups and downs, however, this title showcases the best of the best and the future PSVR has among the great headsets. Buy it and Buy it now!
Reviewed on: PlayStation 4 PSVR
Available on: PlayStation 4
Genre: Platform game
Age Rating: Pegi 7
Publisher/Developer: SIE Japan Studio
Estimated RRP: R629.00
Release Date: 2 October 2018
- No Vertigo
- Super Fun
- Easy to play (New VR Users)
- Beautiful Game
- Great Audio working
- Story lacks content