System: PS5 | Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment
Developer: ASOBI team | Reviewed On: PS5
Astro's Playroom is a PlayStation 5 launch exclusive which was announced in the style of a tech demo for the new Dual-sense controller and it's features.
The playroom comes pre-installed on every PlayStation 5 system and I highly recommend you play it first as it gives you an instant introduction to the new controller and the possibilities that may be added into future titles.
Astro is a little PlayStation robot you control through various platform levels, the goal is to retrieve artefacts and puzzle pieces which relate to the entire history of PlayStation.
The main game is split into 4 segments which cover each of the previous console generations (PS1, PS2, PS3 and the PS4). The artefacts you find are mainly famous pieces of hardware for the systems, such as controllers, memory cards, PlayStation cameras, Multi-tap stations for more controllers etc. Also included are the most popular games for the systems along with the entire PSP range.
Once collected, all the hardware and software is displayed in a main hub where you can interact with them and hear all the sound effects from the good old days, breathe in the nostalgia!
I jumped into the game expecting a short, easy and fairly simple experience as I constantly get wow'ed by the new controller features. What I was met with though was a 3-4 hour game which challenged me at certain points when trying to deviate from the main route and find all the hidden artefacts I could. In my opinion, the game is the perfect length and constantly changes things up, nothing gets repetitive as they incorporate well crafted mini-games through the levels which take full advantage of the haptic feedback and pressure triggers which i was more than impressed by.
After completing the main 4 segments of the game, you unlock a final arena which faces you against a nostalgic memory from the PS1, in the form as a final boss. I did die a couple of times as I learnt the sequences through the battle, which resulted in a satisfying end to the game. Although the playroom had not finished with me just yet and also added a competitive factor to the game.
A side area unlocks after completing the final boss which features 8 speedrun areas. 4 of them cover the 4 environments from the main game, the final 4 cover the minigames featured in the main game. Your only goal is to get to the finish line as fast as possible, I had no problem completing them, but the real challenge came when it shows leaderboards, including your friends list... Which also sends you a notification when a friend beats your time on a certain level. I ended up repeating levels as one of the random old friends on my social list kept out-pacing me, which in return resulted in me jumping back in to yet again take the lead. This little competitive aspect gave me that little bit more entertainment from this game / glorified tech demo.
Overall, Astro Playroom so far is my favourite PlayStation 5 launch title and it's completely free! I recommend it as a must play to all gamers, It has also become my first platinum trophy this generation.