Hands on with Astro Bot: creative, beautiful and authentically PlayStation

June 27, 2024
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Astro’s Playroom was one of the highlights of the PlayStation 5 launch, showcasing the DualShock’s haptic feedback features, creative level design and a lot of good old-fashioned platforming fun – and now a proper full-fat release, called Astro Bot, is coming to PS5 in September. I went hands-on with some of the game’s early levels for over an hour at a preview event in Frankfurt, and I’m genuinely impressed at how good it looks. In fact, Astro Bot is now the game I’m most looking forward to this year.

From the off, Astro Bot feels creative and fun, as you pilot a (DualSense-shaped) spacecraft around a galaxy map, with different systems and planets scattered around. Enter a system, of which only one was available in the preview, and each planet within represents a different level. Our preview included two main stages, a boss fight and a couple of smaller challenge levels that reminded me of those in Super Mario Sunshine. The transition from spaceship to on-the-ground gameplay is extremely smooth too, as your ship comes out of warp and flies through a short section under your control, before crash-landing as the level proper begins.

It looks like the game is using the same basic technology as Astro’s Playroom, which is to say, slick and attractive with a distinctive Team Asobi style. The internal resolution of the game looks to be around 1872p – somewhere north of 80 percent of a full 4K, similar to Playroom – and looked good on the large 4K TV at the event.

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