Without practically making noise comes a game for the virtual reality of Sony that has conquered us from its first level. In the analysis of Astro Bot: Rescue Mission we explain how this platform game achieves with a lot of charm and a magnificent level design to be at the height of the greatest exponents of the genre.
There are games that go well from the first moment, virtual reality glasses or not. Astro Boy is one of them. It conquers you from the first level. A few more were enough to really tell me that what I was playing was not an ordinary platform game, but an exercise in originality, a masterful level design and a charm that I have rarely seen matched. All in a game of virtual reality, which seems much more difficult to achieve and even further away from that initial fever. But it has happened: Astro Bot Rescue Mission conquers all those who try it, and I do not tremble when I say that it is the best PS VR game you can find out there.
He also does it with an adorable being that is not new. Astro Bot was practically the mascot of PlayStation VR with that experiment called The Playroom VR , but in this case it is where it has really taken its full potential, in a platform game that, far from remaining in the virtual reality addition, makes a more than ingenious use of their abilities to create an unrepeatable experience without glasses. And it does so with a premise as simple as many of the best platforms in history: an alien finds our spaceship and steals its components, leaving our Astro Bots helpless in different worlds and locations. Only one survives the incident and must rescue the rest of his companions.
I have always been a fervent supporter of games with static cameras in virtual reality. Far from the spectacularity of first-person games, these titles have almost a halo of the classic game in which the camera rotates on its axis. Almost all the games that I have enjoyed the most follow this same pattern (games like Chronos or Moss ). Astro Bot, again, makes intelligent use of assimilating the player as a fixed camera and thus avoiding the corresponding dizziness. Without a doubt, it has been one of the most comfortable games that I have enjoyed throughout the catalog and without so much as an iota of that sensation of discomfort produced by the movement. Taking advantage of a single displacement, forward, Astro Bot is capable of conforming intricate levels full of originality in which the perspective of the player is one more mechanic and a very important one.
A turn to platforms
It is not easy to innovate in the genre of platforms. In fact, if Astro Bot had been launched without the virtual reality of by means, it would not have been able to contribute those tools that make it stand out. Going through each of the five worlds, our little robot will not be the only protagonist, since we also actively participate in the action, in the form of a kind of robot-camera that holds a Dual Shock. How does the development of the levels vary? In the camera, we are ourselves. We will have to sit up, peek, turn our heads and even look back if we want to see the way to take Astro Bot by activating all the hidden mechanisms at a glance and rescuing the rest of the components of the lost crew.
Rescue Mission is a worthy follower of the school of Super Mario in 3D and does not try to hide at any time even with clear tributes to the saga of the plumber. But aside from his winks, he follows him in more important matters, such as the structure of his levels, in which the crucial thing is not to reach the end of the level, but to find all the elements that each phase hides. In this case, rescue all Astro Bot, eight per area, who have fired from our ship at the beginning of the adventure because of the terrible alien.
Their ability to reinvent themselves constantly captures and makes it a luxury to travel their worlds.
The greatest difficulty of each phase will be precisely finding each one of these enchanting creatures and finding a way to access them. Some are visible, but others are camouflaged in the grass or in the sand, while the most elusive ones are completely outside our vision. Luckily, they emit a lovely little cry (“help me!”) That will help you locate them and believe me when I tell you that more than something optional this is the real challenge of the game and where its fun really lies. In addition, as in Mario, you will need a minimum of Astro Bots to pass to the head of each world and access the next.
The secrets of each level are completed with the search for the chameleon. If we have to be vigilant with the eight Astro Bots, the chameleon is hidden in full view and we will have to be very attentive to find it and focus our eyes on it. Finding all the chameleons, in addition, supposes to unblock the different and numerous challenges that the game proposes like extra content, to take advantage of all the mechanics of the work and to increase the hours of the game.
I think if Astro Bot works it’s because of that accumulation of good ideas. It has the appropriate graphics section to look good in a virtual reality game; vibrant, colorful, well constructed and fleeing from photorealism to disguise the lack of resolution of these devices. It has five worlds and bosses that play with very different mechanics. When you have mastered the jumps, attacks, and search of the crew, the game is usually reinvented with different gadgets, like a trailer that we can throw to pull objects, enemies and create a loose rope through which to open roads to our Astro Bot. Or a hose with which to wet surfaces, enemies or irrigate plants. The levels themselves are varied to a greater extent, with different levels, scenes of wagons, spectacular sea beds and waves that play with verticality. This ability to reinvent itself constantly captures and makes it a luxury to go through each of its worlds.
Did I already say that, in addition, it is an adorable game? It may seem silly, but it is small details that make the Astro Bot Rescue Mission shine brighter. See Astro Bot greet effusively as he passes in front of you. Bring the head to a flower and check that it mimics your movements. Finish with an alga on your head on an underwater level, with Astro Bot glued to your glasses and have to shake you. Observe all Astro Bots in danger by waving flags or simply enjoying the scenery and see the rescued in command under the touchpad. Everything is perfectly taken care of showing that in this team there are not only great level designers but people who have put their heart in this project.
It is one of the games that makes the most of the touchpad and the gyroscope of the knob
Yes, that it could continue. That, at this point, it becomes one of the games that make the most use of the touchpad and the gyroscope of the command, says a lot about it. The mini-games and gallery of scenarios that we can enjoy in our spaceship … How the soundtrack begins to penetrate to the few levels of the game and adapts itself to the level, changing when for example we are under the water when arriving a great wave, for return to normal when passing it … How to use even the movement of the head to hit objects and enemies … A whole series of successful decisions that make you devour Astro Bot to its end, making it one of the great exponents of the platformers genus of the year.
Virtual rescueAstro Bot
leaves us wanting to see what else it would be able to do because we definitely want a second part. It does not mean that the game is especially short since the main adventure trying to find all the Astro Bots can take you about 7-8 hours, in addition to the multiple optional challenges proposed by the chameleons and the exploration of the spacecraft. Once we find all the Astro Bots and Chameleons, yes, there will not be much to do in the levels, since they have no alternative paths, because their particular structure makes the scenarios quite linear to avoid the mentioned dizziness.
Not everything is perfect, because there are times when the configuration of VR can play against us, being too high for some passages or causing the camera to collide with some object and see everything black. There are some secret Astro Bots with which I have been somewhat uncomfortable sitting since you had to look completely back and get up to look at some very intricate corners, and the impossibility of going back sometimes forces you to lose a life on purpose. reappear in a past checkpoint to find all collectibles.
However, there has not been a single moment when Astro Bot: Rescue Mission has not completely captivated me. It is difficult to explain why some games have that character and personality that catches, but I assure you that a few minutes are enough with the glasses on to discover it. It also supposes a breath of fresh air for a platform that is no longer in that media boom that took a few years, and that proves that you can not judge or take anything for granted, because then come works like Moss or this Astro Bot that show that there are other perspectives of play and very original. A little that you like the genre you have here one of its greatest exponents, especially in PS VR. A true reference to virtual reality.
Astro Bot: Rescue Mission is one of the best exponents of virtual reality that we have been able to play, and also one of the best platform games of the year. Its charisma makes it unique, but it also captures with a great design of levels and mechanics that make the most of the glasses in the most comfortable way possible. Essential for PlayStation VR owners.
- An adorable game full of details
- Original mechanics that take advantage of the VR intelligently
- Worlds very well designed and full of secrets that you will want to find
- Challenges and optional challenges to fully exploit your playable facet
- Some movements, the least, maybe too forced or uncomfortable
- The impossibility of going backward in the level to collect what we have forgotten, but we can always repeat the phase