After finally being able to get my defective PS5 replaced by Sony (it only took like 3 months, but that’s a story for another time), I immediately booted up Astro’s Playroom – and to my delight, it actually ran! I played through the whole thing and got the platinum trophy all in one go.
I don’t have a whole lot to say about this game, really, other than that its dive into Sony’s history in the gaming market is really interesting. The game itself is actually pretty good for what it is (especially seeing as it’s a free pack-in), but the much more interesting side of things is collecting all the little “artefacts” and seeing bits and pieces of Playstation history. I imagine for people who actually grew up with Playstation consoles it’s a really nostalgic experience, but for me it was just interesting to see all the hardware I’d never heard of, like the PocketStation or the PSone LCD Monitor.
The only other thing Astro’s Playroom holds that I think is of special interest is its deep integration of the new Dualsense features. Before playing Astro, I had been mildly interested, but thought of it more as a gimmick than anything. Astro’s Playroom really showed me that if developers are willing to put in the effort, some really crazy and immersive things are possible through the Dualsense’s haptic feedback, trigger resistances, and speaker. It’s awesome to have to fight with the triggers a little bit to pull an arrow in a bow back all the way, or to feel and closely hear the drops of rain hitting your umbrella – and those kinds of experiences along with the game’s lightning fast loading times are what has now really sold me on this new console generation, particularly the PS5.
At the end of the day, Astro’s Playroom is a pack-in game, which in many ways means it’s more designed as a tech demo than an actual game – showcasing the PS5’s new capabilities in visuals, loading times, haptic feedback and trigger resistances, etc – but despite all of that, it’s also a pretty good game in general. The movement is smooth and responsive, the graphics are pretty great, the soundtrack is absolutely boppin‘, and it never feels like the game runs out of new ideas to throw at you. If you manage to nab yourself a PS5, I’d highly recommend checking it out. It’ll make for a pretty fun couple of hours, and the platinum trophy isn’t too hard to get if that’s your kind of thing.