Astro's Playroom - More Than Just A Tech Demo

In this day and age of gaming it is rare for a console to launch with a game included. Nowadays, consumers are spending $300-$500 for a console and then having to spend another $60+ for a game to enjoy on that shiny new piece of tech. With the launch of Playstation 5, Sony included Astro’s Playroom already installed on the console. When you start the game, they even say up front it is to show off the true potential of the new Dual Sense controller.

ASOBI Team, a division within Japan Studio, was tapped with making a game that truly showed off everything the Dual Sense had to offer. They did not disappoint. When you first start up the game, you are immediately greeted with a quick walkthrough on the controller. From the haptic feedback, to the adaptive triggers, they give players a taste of what’s to come.

What is striking about the game is its depth. This game is very much a platformer but it is steeped in Playstation history. There are four areas to explorer. Each area has collectibles that pertain to each of Playstation’s 4 preceding generations. Some of the collectibles are the console variants themselves like the portable PSone and the Vita, but other collectibles are accessories like PSP camera. ASOBI Team truly honored Playstation’s rich history.

Hidden with each level are film crews that are recreating games from Playstation’s past. From Snake hiding under a cardboard box, to Cloud’s Buster Sword from Final Fantasy 7, even Kratos and Atreus in a boat; these images speak to what makes Playstation just as much an iconic brand as Nintendo. So many of gaming’s greatest characters got their start on Playstation.

The gameplay mechanics truly show off what the Dual Sense controller is capable of doing. The first level gives the player an introduction to the haptic feedback within the controller. Not only do you feel the difference in terrain when walking over rocks, but players also hear the crunch of the ground coming from the controller. When it begins to rain, players feel the droplets from different points in the controller.

Where this game shines is in its platforming. The level design and the degree of platforming is on par with Mario Odyssey and Crash Bandicoot. The areas are not overly challenging but some piece really make you think in order to get to collectibles, etc like you would in a Mario game. There were a few frustrating areas, but they were frustrating due to amazing level design.

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This is the first game any new owner of a Playstation should play. You will immediately get a feel for what the controller is capable of, but also bottom line, it’s a fantastic game that is a lot of fun for both kids and adults. The replay value is high as there are timed course that allow you to compete against those on your friends list for the fastest time. Don’t miss out on this gem from the PS5 launch library.

Matt Diorio (CGN Host)
Matt Diorio (CGN Host)
Editor/Podcast Host/Content Creator