When I first saw videos of Astro’s Playroom, I was like this is a cool game I’ll need to pick it up later on after I have finished with Spider-Man Miles Morales and Demon’s Souls. So when I found out it comes free for the PS5 I was super happy and it ended up being the first game I played. I told anyone who bought the console to not skip it, as it was not only a fun 3D Platformer but also a great showcase of the potential of the new Dualshock 5.
Taking Inspiration from Nintendo
It is very clear to see with this game, Sony took a page out of Nintendo’s playbook. Astro’s Playroom game design is just like Super Mario 64 and Odyssey. The game is set inside the Playstation 5, which acts as a hub world. You then have 4 different zones to explore that are named after components of the PS5 hardware.
- Memory Meadow
- SSD Speedway
- Cooling Springs
- GPU Jungle
The presentation is top tier, and grabs you the second you boot up the game
Each zone is unique, has a distinct colour palette, their own music being played in the background and so much more. Just like Wii Sports, each level then showcases different functionalities of the Dualshock 5 controller with the game mechanics for certain sections in each level. Now unlike Wii Sports this game is single-player and does have an end game. But that did not stop me from showing off this game to my friends and family, and letting them try it out for themselves. Just like with Wii Sports they were genuinely impressed with the controller and found it new and interesting .
Haptic Feedback, Adaptive Triggers, and More.
Now I know by now, many of you have probably seen or read about the capabilities of the Dualshock 5. But truly speaking Astro’s Playroom is really the only game right now that really makes the most out of it.
From feeling the tension of the bow string when shooting an arrow, raindrops landing on your character and that being reflected on the controller, to rotating the controller as you climb up walls. Calling this game as a tech demo is huge understatement. When I was using motion controls to control a rocket in one of the levels and felt the triggers vibrate like an actual motor, It gave a new sense of immersion and brought a smile to my face. There are so many more examples, but I don’t think I can really describe it in writing, it is definitely something you would have to experience yourself. It could have been easy, to just put in short mini games that show off the controller. But instead, they are part of the core game-play experience. Apart from maybe the sections where you need to blow into the controller, none of it felt gimmicky at all. I am now really excited to see how developers make the most of the dualshock 5, especially for the console exclusives that come out on the PS5.
In certain sections, the adaptive triggers feel so satisfying to use. Hand’s down the best triggers on any controller I have used before
Trip Down Memory Lane
Now as mentioned earlier, there are 4 zones to explore. Each zone is dedicated to one of the previous consoles, starting with the Playstation 1 right through to the Playstation 4. As you play each zone, you also need to find “artefacts” They are comprised of accessories and peripherals for the console generation they are part of. From the first Playstation controller, PSP, to the PSVR. They are all there, you will even uncover some that you probably didn’t even know existed. The nostalgia came right through when I found the PlayStation 1 slim as that was my first ever console.
Kids are going to be in for a shock, when they see memory cards that had 8mb storage capacity!
Furthermore, throughout the levels you will find the Astro bots cosplaying as some of the past and current game characters from the Playstation library. From Solid-Snake hiding in a box, Nathan Drake to Kratos and and his son on a boat. You will find a ton of these easter eggs! It really shows that the Asobi team, really put in a lot of love and care into this game. You feel as though they are fans just like us and they wanted us to celebrate the history of PlayStation by playing this game. There is even a secret level you unlock once you have completed the four zones. But I wont spoilt that here. Its safe to say if you’re a PlayStation fan, or even owned atleast one of their consoles. This game will bring back memories and will have you smiling like I did.
A short game, but long lasting impressions.
If you can’t tell by now, I loved Astro’s Playroom. Being a Mario fan, I loved the game design. The platforming was simple and easy to pick up, the level designs were cool and creative. Add in the unique gameplay that you can only experience with the dualshock 5 and artefacts and easter eggs, this game has to be up there with one of the best free games to come out on a console launch. The game is short, I doubt you will spend more than 5 or 6 hours on it. It is not that challenging either, but it will definitely be one that you will want others to experience and it is one I highly recommend you play and really explore all that it has to offer. You will be pleasantly surprised, and like me you will be itching for more!
So thats what I had to share about Astro’s Playroom, what about you guys? Have you played it yet? and for those who are yet to get a PS5, have I convinced you to give it a try when you do? Sound off Below!