Why Games Like Astro Bot are Important For PlayStation

During the 90s when the first PlayStation launched, it became the home of two particular genres: RPGs and platformers. Like the numerous third-person action/adventure games that Sony’s console has become synonymous with today, the PS1 housed several acclaimed games from the two aforementioned genres, giving PlayStation’s library a lot more diversity. With the announcement of the new Astro Bot game, it marks a pretty important release for Sony.

The critical years of the PS1 and PS2 were stacked with adventurous platformers that came to define Sony’s console. Crash Bandicoot, Spyro the Dragon, Ratchet & Clank, Jak & Daxter, Pandemonium and countless others headlined the PlayStation. Over the years, though, the tides changed. Sony shifted its focus over to exciting, big-budget third-person action/adventure games like God of War, Marvel’s Spider-Man, Ghost of Tsushima and Horizon Zero Dawn.

Why Astro Bot is Important For PlayStation

Astro Bot always felt like the unofficial PlayStation mascot that never really got a call back for the position. In an age where Crash Bandicoot is now touring multiple consoles and the idea of a console “mascot” has all but been replaced with new brand faces like Sony’s Kratos or Microsoft’s Master Chief, a charming, creative platformer that harkens back to the nostalgic era of PlayStation is sorely needed. Enter Astro Bot.

Of course, we won’t ignore Sackboy: A Big Adventure either, a fantastic title that deserved a lot more attention than it got when it released in 2020. It was unfortunately drowned out by the number of PS5 games on offer during the console’s launch window. Curse you, Demon’s Souls.

During the recent PlayStation State of Play event, Sony officially announced the next Astro Bot game and this time, it’s not a tech demo or a VR experience but a full-fledged game. 2024 is a pretty dry year in terms of PlayStation’s first-party offerings with most of the heavy-lifting being done by third-party exclusivity deals like Stellar Blade, Rise of the Ronin and Final Fantasy VII Rebirth. Astro Bot is a first-party title and arguably one of Sony’s most important releases not just this year but this generation.

Why Astro Bot is Important For PlayStation

So why make a big deal out of Astro Bot? If you’ve played Astro’s Playroom – not easy to miss, it’s literally packaged with every PS5 – then you might’ve discovered a pretty good, albeit quite short, platformer that celebrated PlayStation and its legacy in the gaming world. It was a love letter by Sony to fans who have stuck with the brand for decades. That has since become Astro Bot’s entire MO, to be honest.

Astro Bot represents PlayStation in a way that speaks directly to long-time fans of the consoles. Nintendo nailed this idea with Super Mario to be point where you don’t even notice it anymore (the same can be said for many Nintendo properties, actually), but for PlayStation, Astro Bot is a direct lifeline to its player base. It’s a celebration of PlayStation by way of game design, as you might’ve noticed by the several references to other PlayStation IPs in the games.

Why Astro Bot is Important For PlayStation

Once in a while, it’s nice to pump the brakes on those big-budget, serious AAA experiences for a while and simply enjoy a humble platformer that’s trying to offer something more than just nostalgia bait. Time and time again, the Astro Bot games have proven that it can successfully deliver fun bursts of creativity, charm and unique ideas that are a dime a dozen in today’s market – an indie game-level mentality with the fortunate backing of a big company, essentially.

These are the types of games we love to see thrive in the industry, not just because they’re bringing some much-needed diversity to PlayStation’s exclusive lineup, but because they tend to come from a good place with intentions not muddied by executive greed. Developer Team Asobi are veterans at this; Sony’s underdogs that may not get put on a pedestal like Insomniac Games or Naughty Dog, but when the studio releases a game, it never ceases to surprise everyone and mark our words, Astro Bot will surprise.

Astro Bot launches on 6 September 2024 for PS5.

Editor-in-Chief of Nexus Hub, writer at GLITCHED. Former writer at The Gaming Report and All Otaku Online. RPG addict that has wonderful nightmares of Bloodborne 2.

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