Review: Astro Bot Rescue Mission

Astro Bot Rescue Mission is the latest Playstation VR game developed by Japan Studio as part of Sony's Worldwide Studios. The same studio responsible for Playroom, on which the characters from Rescue Mission are based.

Playroom launched simultaneously with the Playstation 4 and was intended as an introduction to the Playstation Eye (camera) and its functionalities. In the Playroom, the player can work with different types of figures such as the Astro Bots, but also an alien. Both figures play a major role in the Rescue Mission. The alien is the big bogeyman in this game. You as Super Astro Bot are tasked with saving all the other Astro Bots and taking out the alien.

Super Mario meets Quill

The best way to describe Astro Bot Rescue Mission is Super Mario meets Quill from Moss, developed by the studio behind Loco Roco. Do you have a good idea of the game now? Maybe, maybe not, but I'm just going to explain.

Astro Bot Rescue Mission plays like a very typical adventure platform game. The perspective from VR is very similar to what we've seen in Moss, but slightly different. In Moss, the camera is always in one position. In Astro Bot Rescue Mission this is not the case and you follow your character just like in traditional platformers. In addition, the game still makes full use of the VR possibilities where you sometimes have to look behind you, somewhere under, on or behind to see if there is an Astro Bot hidden anywhere.
Your goal is to free all Astro Bots in each level. Each level has 8. Some are quite easy to find, others are well hidden. While searching, you will be plagued by different types of monsters and other obstacles. The game is spread in 5 worlds. Each world has 5 levels, one of which is boss level without Astro Bots. So you can save 32 Astro Bots per world. However, this is not necessary. To unlock the boss of a world you need 20 Astro Bots at a time. 20 for the first boss, 40 for the second and so on. Kind of the same principle as the Lums you need to open the gates in Rayman 2.

Level Design

While playing this game I got a lot of a Super Mario like vibe. The levels are very colorful, each with a different theme with custom monsters and challenges. This way the game never got boring and it remained refreshing. Each level was full of new surprises. Several moments later the following text popped into my head: "Ah, how creative!" The ingrained puzzles during platforming are very creative. You can find power-ups for your controller in different levels. You can see your Dualshock in-game. For example, a power-up can be a water pistol, throwing anchor or throwing star. It can use your touchpad to overcome various obstacles while playing.

There was even a dark spooky level where your power-up was a flashlight. Shining on a ghost and clicking on the touchpad created a light wave that drove the ghost away. If there was no clear path in front of you, it could shine in front of you and all kinds of blocks were projected that you had to walk over. Without the flashlight, these blocks would not be visible.

young and old

I may be talking about ghosts above, but it's nothing to worry about. As I mentioned earlier, the game is very colorful and clearly aimed at an all ages rating. The game is also not very complicated. It all gets a bit more difficult the further you get of course where you suddenly make a jump in difficulty from world 4 to world 5, but relatively it is all quite easy. I don't think this is a big deal since I leave some Mario games for weeks before I finally finish them because the last levels are very frustrating (I'm looking at your Super Mario Sunshine). It is even possible to play the game in one long free evening. Which on the one hand might be a bit of a shame.
It is not so much the level of difficulty that causes this, but more the duration of the game itself. There are 5 worlds and a final boss fight. So you have a total of 20 levels, 6 boss fights and a number of challenges that you can unlock by finding a chameleon in each level. It wouldn't have hurt if the game had been a little longer. Perhaps it is the nature of VR games to not be very long in terms of playing time. Moss could also be completed in about 5 hours, and about the same applies to the Astro Bot Rescue Mission. Of course it takes a little longer if you really want to save every Astro Bot.

Verdict

Astro Bot Rescue Mission is a beautiful VR platformer that fits perfectly with Moss in my opinion The levels are colorful, each unique and genuinely entertaining to play through. While playing you will be amazed and you are constantly looking for hiding places for Astro Bots and large coins. The duration of the game is on the short side, but can be extended by playing the completionist if you feel the need to. If this is the case, it is certainly not a punishment to replay certain levels. They are very creatively put together so that you don't always have the feeling that you are doing the same thing. Astro Bot Rescue Mission is just like Moss and Must Have for the Playstation VR players.


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