Astro Bot Rescue Mission review: a slice of Nintendo-grade genius that celebrates the PSVR's abilities

Steve Hogarty
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Astro Bot Rescue Mission

There’s a moment shortly after you begin playing Astro Bot when the character you’re controlling runs behind a wall and out of view.

You expect the camera to follow after him, but it doesn’t, until you remember that you are the camera, and you must physically lean forward in your seat to peer around the corner and continue playing.

It’s something approaching magic, a clever utilisation of the PlayStation VR hardware that your thinking brain knew was possible, yet your monkey brain is repeatedly delighted by. Astro Bot takes Mario-style 3D platforming and elevates it to an altogether more realistic dimension, where you are bodily present inside the levels. Your controller can be used as a tool inside this virtual world, launching tightropes and shooting jets of water.

You control a dinky little robot, just a few inches tall, who navigates simple jungles, cities, beaches and caves on a mission to find and rescue his robot friends. Sometimes he scales vast buildings that stretch way up into the sky, sometimes he descends into caverns beneath your feet.

Combat and platforming is all deliberately straightforward, allowing the game to impress with all its neat VR trickery. Seaweed dangles in front of your eyes as you emerge from under the sea. The speakers on the controller thud as the rescued robots land inside it. An enemy will take out a football and play an impromptu game of headers with you.

Astro Bot is wonderful, immersive, silly and slick. A compact slice of Nintendo-grade genius that demonstrates and celebrates the potential of the PlayStation VR.