Ask nicely enough, and ye shall receive: 18 months ago we begged Japan Studio to expand The Playroom VR’s incredible Robot Rescue minigame into a full length PlayStation VR platformer – and here it is. Astro Bot Rescue Mission looks every inch the vibrant virtual reality Super Mario-style adventure that we’d hoped for – in fact, in some ways it’s actually exceeded our expectations.
“Astro Bot Rescue Mission lets you take control of Astro, the Bot captain of a ship on a mission to rescue its lost crew who are scattered over five planets,” creative director Nicolas Douchet wrote on the PlayStation Blog. “You will be running, jumping, and punching throughout 26 stages, over five worlds, each ending with an epic boss fight.”
Much like Moss, the level design is wrapped around you in three-dimensional space, and you’ll be able to use the DualShock 4’s motion sensing capabilities to interact with it and help Astro on his way. One portion of the trailer sees you shooting shurikens from your pad in order to create makeshift platforms for the protagonist to hop across.
“The goal of each stage is to rescue your lost crew,” Douchet added. “Every time you find one of them hiding somewhere, a good old nudge will send it flying back inside your controller. There are eight lost bots in every stage so if you do the maths it’s a lot. Chances are you will not find them all easily but, if you listen you will be able to hear their SOS calls, thanks to the 3D audio inside PSVR.”
There are also secret stages in every level, while all of the coins you collect can be invested into a toy capsule machine, similarly to in The Playroom VR. Frankly it looks and sounds absolutely superb, and we daresay that if this was the exact same game with a Super Mario skin, the industry would be fawning over it. As it is, plop this right at the top of our PSVR most wanted list.