Astro's Playroom vs. Sackboy: A Big Adventure

Astro's Playroom vs. Sackboy: A Big Adventure

Battle of the PS5 3D platformers

A.J. Maciejewski

Written by for Versus on

In such a short time, PlayStation 5 has seen 2 of the most enjoyable 3D platformers ever made so let's see which one will claim top prize.

Side-by-side screenshots of Astro's Playroom and Sackboy: A Big Adventure
There are oodles of fun to be had in both of these top-notch platformers

Gameplay

Both Astro's Playroom and Sackboy: A Big Adventure are played rather similarly as you run and jump around imaginative stages while hovering to reach further and utilizing a wide variety of gadgets within unique scenarios. One aspect that sets both apart is that Astro's Playroom generally features more elaborately laid-out levels that make exploration rewarding as you'll discover plenty of fantastic treats tucked away in its many nooks and crannies including loads of PlayStation accessories, consoles, and memorabilia from the past decades. Meanwhile, Sackboy: A Big Adventure also has tons of secrets scattered across its stages although the levels are mostly designed in a more linear fashion and mastering them relies on your ability to quickly solve puzzles, conquer tricky platforming segments, and deal with pesky enemies. It may have less of an emphasis on exploration but Sackboy: A Big Adventure's challenge definitely takes the cake.

Gadgets

As I mentioned, there are a lot of gadgets that help bring variety to these delightful adventures. First, Astro's Playroom will have you control a space ship, roll around in a pinball, leap all over in a frog suit, scale cliff sides, and hang glide through a futuristic city. Each one of these gadgets makes the gameplay completely different as you'll find yourself taking advantage of motion controls, the touchpad, and other features in supremely clever ways. Sackboy: A Big Adventure's gadgets are basically incorporated into the core gameplay so you'll still be running and jumping around but you may have a boomerang, grappling hook, or sticky feet to help you accomplish some pretty nifty tasks. However, because Astro's Playroom goes above and beyond with its variety, I have to give it the win in this category.

Astro's Playroom screenshot
Astro Bot hangs out with Dante as he deals with a pesky Marionette

Presentation

No matter which one you prefer, there's no denying that playing Astro's Playroom and Sackboy: A Big Adventure is an absolute delight and for different reasons. For starters, Astro's Playroom has an overall infectiously energetic vibe that's sure to put a smile on your face. Plus, the absurd amount of references to PlayStation games both mainstream and obscure is absolutely wonderful to see on display. On the other hand, Sackboy: A Big Adventure is bursting with spectacle from start to finish. Not only does it feature a phenomenal cast of characters and some of the most brilliantly-crafted levels in the genre, its soundtrack is awe-inspiring. From popular hits to classic grooves, it's great fun to listen to the music as you play through levels that impressively go with the beat. On top of all this, it's full of that renowned LittleBigPlanet charm with expressive emotes, cute costumes, and hilarious animations so Sackboy wins here, too.

Odds and ends

Last but not least, let's discuss a couple of stand-out features in these excellent platformers. The most notable aspect of Astro's Playroom is that it shows off what the DualSense controller is capable of by incorporating haptic feedback and adaptive triggers in seamless ways that make its gameplay and world feel all the more immersive. This especially comes into play when you're utilizing one of the many gadgets. For example, feeling the engines roar as you fly around in a ship with resistance on the triggers is just awesome. Finally, I find that the coolest part of Sackboy: A Big Adventure is that you can play it cooperatively. There aren't many multiplayer 3D platformers so the fact that you can enjoy the entirety of Sackboy's journey with your gaming chums makes for one rewarding and extremely enjoyable experience and the co-op mechanics offer even more fun. Overall, this co-op implementation chalks up another win for Sackboy.

Sackboy: A Big Adventure screenshot
Hey; wait for me, Sackboy!

Well, it's time to pick a winner and this is a tough one because they're both fantastic games but I have to choose one and it's...

Winner Sackboy: A Big Adventure

Like many PS5 owners, Astro's Playroom marked my first experience with the console and it showed off the hardware in a wonderfully captivating way. However, the fact that Sackboy: A Big Adventure is one of the best co-op games ever made means that those who prefer playing with friends will have an excellent time with it. In the end, you really can't go wrong with either and both made me have renewed faith in 3D platformers so here's hoping there will be many more in PlayStation 5's future!

That's just my opinion. Agree? Disagree? Vote now!

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