Sony’s State Of Play Had Its Moments, But Astro Bot Stole The Show For Me

Team Asobi has outdone itself with this one.

Story Highlights

  • Sony’s recent State of Play had some ups and downs, but the mindblowing Astro Bot was a shock.
  • Overflowing with imaginative design choices and nostalgia, the game’s bigger and better in every way.
  • Astro Bot is a treasure trove of PlayStation’s rich history and is a valuable throwback to the creative era.

Video game showcases and events are always exciting. Whether it be Sony, Microsoft, or Nintendo, the chance to look at some of the upcoming games, witness what sort of games you can expect now, and hype yourself up for future releases is a pleasure nonetheless. The latest event to fulfill this curiosity was the PlayStation State of Play. Filled with announcements, some impressive, others not so much, there was one wild card that took me by surprise: Astro Bot.

YouTube video

Astro Bot Was The Showcase’s Dark Horse

As you must know, we recently got to witness PlayStation’s State of Play. If I were to comment on the event’s quality as a whole, I’d say it was average. We had some exciting displays like Monster Hunter Wilds, Ballad of Antara, another look at Silent Hill 2, and of course, God of War Ragnarok’s PC port. On the other hand, many mediocre showcases plagued it, and a lack of original, impactful titles was felt. Except for one big shock.

Some of the State of Play's announcements | Source: PlayStation
Some of the State of Play’s announcements | Source: PlayStation

When the Team Asobi logo came forward, my excitement went through the roof. Team Asobi is a relic of the wrongfully buried Japan Studio, one of Sony’s most impressive first-party studios. You might know Team Asobi better as the creative minds behind Astro. Remember Astro’s Playroom, the game you got for free with your PS5? Yeah, that’s the one.

Astro’s Playroom was one of the most fun and enjoyable games I’ve played in years. I was so sad when I finished it.
byu/Kenzo_Gameplays inplaystation

When I played Astro’s Playroom for the first time, I was genuinely blown away. It was a short and sweet adventure, one filled to the brim with creative mechanics and originality, but that wasn’t the only reason. Astro’s Playroom is above all a showcase of Sony’s new DualSense controller, and man does it do a bang-up job. I don’t think there’s any PS5 game yet that makes use of the controller as effectively as that game does.

The DualSense's magic unleashed | Source: PlayStation
The DualSense’s magic unleashed | Source: PlayStation

Astro Bot, Nothing But Creativity

The moment Astro Bot came on screen, we were told right away that it was a much more thorough gaming experience than its predecessor. Astro’s Playroom, for the most part, was simply a tech demo. This, however, is the full package, one that’s looking extremely good.

You start with Astro flying away on a DualSense, establishing immediately that the controller is again the centerpiece. But this time, there’s plenty of gameplay depth and visual flair to back that up. We see the many different stages and mechanics the game contains. Including but not limited to creative platforming, using bizarre but fun weaponry, parkour through stylish levels, transformations, and most importantly, boss fights.

Yes, you heard me right, Astro has boss fights now. In fact, they were the highlight of the show. I mean, a gigantic snake covering the entire arena had to raise some heads. But wait, there’s more. 

Some interesting details were revealed after the show. Astro Bot will have 6 explorable galaxies, Over 80 different levels and 70 enemy types, overwhelming boss fights in every region, and 15+ unique abilities for you to master. Plus, the game involves looking for your PlayStation universe friends, so prepare for an absolutely massive game with infinite references to PlayStation’s glory days.

Honestly, though, Astro Bot looks like a PS2 game that transcended through time and acquired modern technology’s prowess on the way

A Reminder Of PlayStation’s Glorious Past

Astro Bot is not only a solid-looking game on its own, it signifies what Sony and PlayStation used to be in the past. As always, Astro games carry in them countless references to Sony’s past first-party games, majorly franchises tied to the legendary Japan Studio. The studio was responsible for many of Sony’s games, and also the parent of Team Asobi itself, so its creations were bound to be referenced.

RIP Japan Studio
byu/bloodymexican inplaystation

Looking through the showcase, the obvious references like God of War and SotC aside, I spotted Parappa the Rapper and Ape Escape, which, you guessed it, were Japan Studio’s iconic creations (Unfortunately, I couldn’t spot Bloodborne. Did you?) Not only that but Astro Bot’s entire design philosophy and creative approach pay homage to those golden times.

These heartwarming references are all I want | Source: PlayStation
These heartwarming references are all I want | Source: PlayStation

The game will take veteran players on a trip down memory lane as they enjoy their childhood reincarnated in current times, while newer audiences can experience the creativity of the long-gone era without having to consume the technologically backward visuals they might not enjoy. I honestly have huge respect for games like these that uphold classic gems. They ensure that history is never forgotten.

Astro Bot is one such game. In current times when creativity is in short supply, the game promises a heavy dose of it while respecting and referencing the original adventures that made it all possible today. Just like Nintendo created Super Mario Odyssey for the Switch to immortalize the franchise’s origins, Sony has its own Mario Odyssey now. And I mean this in a very good way.

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Hanzala is a dedicated writer who expresses his views as opinion pieces at eXputer. He's always been fascinated by gaming and has been an avid consumer of many different genres for over a decade. His passion for games has him eager to encounter the latest RPGs and actively look for new Soulslike to challenge. He puts forth his experience and knowledge of gaming into captivating opinion pieces.

Experience: 8+ months || Education: Bachelors in Chemistry.

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