It was a long week, looking at all the tier one countries getting their PS5’s a week earlier than us. Even more so frustrating when my 3D Pulse headphones, Spider-Man: Miles Morales & Sackboy all arrived a week earlier than the console. But finally on Thursday 19th the PS5 arrived and it’s been one fun weekend.
Well this console is much bigger in than the flesh than pictures make out. It’s huge. But equally very tidy looking, even when horizontal. A lot of inspiration came from the PS4 in some respects. The ‘beep’ upon turning it on, the pulsing blue lights which changes to a steady white while it’s on.
The Dashboard hasn’t been reinvented and honestly didn’t need to be, it’s a little tidier than the PS4, but again, not a detrimental change from it. The speed however is staggering. Launching Bugsnax from the dashboard to then be in the game startup menu in seconds is something that still hasn’t sunk in, even though I’ve done it plenty of times over the weekend.
The ‘cards’ that have been introduced to the console and games is phenomenal. I cannot comprehend how useful this idea has been on my playthrough of Astro and Bugsnax so far. Wanting to platinum Astro and Bugsnax before moving onto my purchased retail games I’ve found the cards has been incredible to pick up the last remaining artefacts or puzzle pieces from Astro for example, or teaching me how to capture a particular bugsnak for a grumpus mission (this will make more sense further down the page)
The ability to just pick a card from the PS5 home menu and boot straight to that level or particular area of the game to earn get the item you need is insane. Such a brilliant addition to a game. Achievements being introduced to 360 years ago was a new feature that kind of became standard to Xbox & PlayStation games going forward. Well I wouldn’t be surprised if Xbox’s own variant of ‘cards’ isn’t introduced in the not to distant future.
And lastly the Duelsense. There was tremendous feedback and hype about this controller prior to launch. I couldn’t quite fathom how a controller could garner such amazing feedback. Then I got my hands on one and it completely makes sense.
The Duelsense is revolutionary in a way the Wii Controllers were 15 years ago. There is some gimmicky motion control stuff in Astro that got tedious of course, but the triggers and rumble are game changers. The triggers locking up to simulate a difficult door to push open or needing to push them gently to not pull a rock off a wall. I’ve not started Spider-Man yet, but from what I read the triggers when using the webshooters are another level. Astro’s playroom was an absolutely incredible introduction to the Duelsense and what it can do. I cannot wait to get to grips with an FPS or driving game that takes advantage of this incredible controller.
When Sony announced that Astro would be a pre-installed game on every PS5, I don’t think anyone knew quite just how good a game they’d be getting for free on launch. It’s more than just a demo to show off the controller, it’s got a good few hours worth of gameplay with a surprising amount of replay ability with speed runs to compete in.
The game itself is so charming with amazing unique songs for each area of the world you play in. The world itself is equally amazing as you play inside your PS5 in different areas of it like the SSD or CPU areas of the console. It’s choc a bloc full of amazing Easter eggs and cameos to both Sony first party characters as well as multiple 3rd party icons that became synonymous with PlayStation such as Crash, Spyro, Solid Snake, Lara Croft, Resident Evil zombies and such. It’s great fun just going hunting for all these.
Overall it’s a love letter to PlayStation and it’s history, with artefacts to collect being PlayStation hardware over the years and completing amazing murals of each generations hardware.
Team Asobi have done a great job at creating a truly addictive, fun, charming and overall impressive demonstration of what the PS5 can do and packaged it in for free. They absolutely have a hit character on their hand with Astro who’s first outing was the best example of how PSVR works too. Lets hope Asobi can use Astro in a new fully fledged game in the future.
What even is this game? Apparently incredibly addictive and surprisingly good.
Bugsnax sees you, a journalist get a gig finally traveling to Snaktooth Island to interview Lizbert Megafig, an explorer who has been working on Snaktooth Island. Upon reaching the island, you bump into Lizberts assistant who has to break the news to you that Lizbert is missing and the island is in a bit of peril as residents have scattered all over the island after a huge falling out.
To solve the mystery of Lizbert, you must get all the grumpus (the name of the inhabitants of the island, and what you are as well) residents of the island back to the capital town of Snaksburg and interviewing them. The grumpus though will often need persuading in the form of one or more delicious Bugsnak that they themselves can’t catch, or they might ask you to go on an expedition to the other areas of the island with them to find artefacts, or ask for you to help their sauce farm or another multitude of equally fascinating tasks.
Upon initially seeing Bugnsax, you figure it’s just a game about collecting these weird creatures on the island, but surprisingly that aspect of the game is way behind other aspects of the game that take priority. The game itself is a mystery / town building / puzzle game with Snak catching thrown in.
I’ve not completed this yet, but feel I must be close to it. It seems that there is something sinister about the Bugsnak mind, it seems it’s building up to some shocking revelation, which I’m preparing myself for.
It’s a really unique experience so far, and as said, very addictive. The desire to catch each species of bugsnak in a biome, and the want to complete each grumpus side quests before solving the main mystery of the game has kept me entertained for hours. Reading some people are completing the game in about 6 hours, but I feel I’ve been on the game double that time, and still yet to complete all the side quests and catch all the bugsnak yet.