Review By Ben Thompson
Move over Mario, Sonic, Banjo and any of your beloved platforming heroes. Astro Bot has landed and he has landed in style.
Astro Bot: Rescue Mission is a game that was made purely because of a popular demo that was included as part of a VR demo compilation when the PSVR was first released to show off what it can do and thank the heavens they decided to make a full game out of it. This game is special.
I’ll start with story, it’s a fairly basic concept as most platformers are. Your ship gets attacked and broken into five pieces and all your little buddies get dispersed over five different worlds who you have to save to continue as you need to save a certain amount to unlock the boss fights. There’s not much else to add to story as it’s that basic but it’s more than good enough.
Let’s get down to gameplay. The game is played in a 3rd person perspective as you look down and control Astro Bot with the controller whilst looking around the level to look where you need to go and try and find every nook and cranny to find your fellow lost buddies to help progress with the story.
You will find yourself looking around so much whilst keeping up with your little buddy Astro Bot, making sure he doesn’t fall off a platform or trying to make sure you make the jump in time and accurately.
Astro Bot can jump and then has a jetpack as a sort of double jump that seconds as a weapon to kill the enemies which is really helpful at some stages of the game. The game controls so well and the VR headset isn’t just there to view this glorious game, it’s very much incorporated into the gameplay as well as the motion controls with the controller.
You will be dodging projectiles and shaking off goo launched at you from enemies so you can see again. The controller and touchpad are used for gadgets given to you on certain levels.
You’ll have to use a water cannon, ninja stars, grapple hooks and more to traverse the levels and it’s all implemented so perfectly. Adding in the little cute things like Astro Bot running by and waving at you as he goes and the way he reacts to the world and my god, the boss fights are incredible and the scale of the bosses leave you in awe. They use all of the brilliant gameplay elements to the fullest in how you have to defeat them and the final boss is brilliant.
Next on to graphics and level design. With Astro Bot being a VR game it is visually beautiful, I can’t praise it enough. The level design is incredible. I found myself sitting there so excited at what the next level will be. There are levels based in jungles, lava-filled landscapes, neon cities and a lot more and each level is designed so beautifully and not one is similar. A lot of time and dedication has been put into the design of each level, enemy and boss design. I was constantly in awe with each level I played, it’s such a beautiful game
My summary is that I could have honestly gushed and gone on about how amazing this Astro Bot is. It is an amazing achievement in VR gaming and is just an incredible game in general. It’s so full of charm, cuteness and a beautiful sense of personality.
I was generally so sad when it came to the credits scene which was brilliant in it’s own right as they were a mini-game where you’d shoot the letters of the developers names to earn extra coins to use on buying all the extras in the spaceship menu where you can just mess about building your own little playset and you acquire the items by playing crane claw game which is a nice little touch. There are also challenge maps you can unlock and play once you’re done if you want to keep the fun going.
Astro Bot: Rescue Mission is a masterclass in how a platformer should be made, I could go on and on praising it. It’s also a masterclass in how a VR game should be made. It is by far one of the greatest platformers ever made and I cannot recommend it enough, seriously.
If you have PSVR go and buy this game right now. It’s an absolute steal at £35 on the store and they deserve every penny and then some for the amazing work put into this game. Thank you Astro Bot and thank you SIE Japan Studio for delivering a magical experience.