Sony has had a hard time finding a mascot to push them forward. The PlayStation began at the mercy of Crash Bandicoot and Spyro the Dragon, and it’s successor, the PlayStation 2, was carried along by Kratos himself. The PlayStation 3 and 4 consoles went most of their lives without some sort of face. When PSVR launched in 2016, Sony introduced the world to a cute little bot named Astro.
Astro’s Playroom is a pack-in 3D platformer designed to familiarize the player with the PlayStation 5 system and it’s brand new DuelSense controller. Astro will be running, punching, hovering, and transforming throughout the inside of your personal PlayStation 5. Every action is fluid, and the sense of depth is vast.
Astro will also have special transformations that take advantage of the DualSense. A monkey that you control with the gyroscope, a ball rolled by the touchpad, and a rocket-propelled by the adaptive triggers are all incredibly unique ideas that are sure to bring a grin to your face.
Each level is built to be themed after one section inside the PlayStation 5 and show off one major feature of the DualSense. ASOBI are huge fans of the PlayStation and extremely knowledgeable of its legacy. You’ll go around collecting “artifacts” of previous generations. Impressively, you’ll constantly be running into guest characters from Sony’s vast history. They were a nice treat to see.
The game is gorgeous. As a tech-demo, it does a good job of showcasing just how pretty environments can get. The world seems to be focused on hyper-realistic games, but Astro is out to prove that stylized art can be just as stunning. It might sound better than it looks. Every little effect was bliss to the ear, and each track, though few in number, have remained in my head.
At the end of the day, Astro’s Playroom is a tech-demo. The goal is to inform you what you’ll have in store while using your brand new PS5. As a collect-a-thon, I thought it was a blast, but it won’t take you more than five hours to see everything. For those who are through with their big purchase and waiting on a pay-day, Astro’s Playroom is perfect, but it’s not worth investing in the system for.