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Game review - Sackboy: A Big Adventure

16 Nov 2020

With Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales and the Demon’s Souls remake now available on PS5, there’s no shortage of exclusive games that people can get for the system. If they aren't your cup of tea though, you could buy the more family-friendly Sackboy: A Big Adventure instead. 

Developer Sumo Digital made LittleBigPlanet 3 back in 2014 and the game was quite fun. If you did not do the creation side of things, you could have played the 2.5D platform adventure section instead. LittleBigPlanet games have always had fun platform style gameplay, but in Sackboy: A Big Adventure things are a little bit different. 

This is because the new game ditches the 2.5D perspective and features a fully explorable 3D world. That being said, it’s not an open world video game as most of the levels are linear and you follow a set path. This is similar to the narrow corridor style levels you may see in a Crash Bandicoot game.  

Anyway, at the start of the game you are introduced to Sackboy’s main villain called Vex. Vex is a huge entity in this game and he wants to turn Craftworld into a place full of nightmares and other ugly things. As Sackboy, you will need to prevent Vex from executing his plan and preserve Craftworld the way it was before Vex’s arrival. 

Sure the game’s story isn’t going to win any awards, but the plot is easy enough to follow and you will want to see how it all unfolds at the end. Not to mention there are many boss fights in the game, and you will need to use your skills and abilities to beat all of Sackboy’s biggest enemies. 

As aforementioned, the levels are linear in Sackboy: A Big Adventure, although this does not mean that the game lacks gameplay variety. There is a ton of game mechanics on display here that allows the gameplay to be fresh and fun every time you play it. 

The basic gameplay moves Sackboy has are jumping and punching, which is activated by the X and Square buttons respectively. The combat isn’t complicated because you can jump on top of enemies or bash them repeatedly in order to defeat them. 

What I like most about the enemies is that there are different ways you can get rid of them. For example, some enemies hurt you if you punch them so you will have to jump on them to avoid their attacks. 

Aside from enemies, Sackboy also has some skills and abilities that add a lot of variety to the way you go through many of the levels. One item that Sackboy gets access to is a boomerang that can attack enemies from a long distance. You don’t get access to this item all of the time, but it’s fun to use nonetheless. 

 Another cool item you can use is the shuriken (Japanese ninja star) that is helpful in cutting down weeds. Some of the weeds block access to platforms, so you can use the shuriken to cut them down for you to gain access. 

The levels are also quite fun because they have a fun party atmosphere to them. The level I had the most fun playing was one that played Bruno Mars’ Uptown Funk. In another level, the music that was playing was Jungle Boogie from Kool and the Gang. Some people may remember the latter song was used in the film Pulp Fiction!

Even though the levels are mostly linear, there are hidden paths for you to discover. These hidden paths are important because they may give you vital items called ‘Dream Orbs’. Dream Orbs are essential for you to collect because you need them in order to gain access to more levels. 

Other normal orbs are also available for you to collect. These orbs can be used to buy new costumes for you to dress up your Sackboy. There are lots of zany outfits for you to collect and it’s always entertaining to seek out more clothing items for him to wear.  

Graphically, Sackboy: A Big Adventure looks good for a PS5 launch title. Not only are the levels very colourful, but the game runs smoothly at 4K and 60fps. Quite a lot of PS5 games can run at 60fps and it’s much smoother to see rather than at 30fps. 

While the majority of this game is really fun, there are only a few things I didn’t like about it. I personally didn’t like how other levels are locked until you meet a quota of ‘Dream Orbs’. It’s kind of hard to progress mainly because Dream Orbs are hidden in levels. Some Dream Orbs also require you to do more puzzles to attain them. 

There are also some levels that are locked behind multiplayer too. Since online multiplayer isn’t available yet, you will need a second PS5 controller to play through them. Normally this isn’t an issue for me, but I have yet to buy a second PS5 controller. 

Aside from these small issues, Sackboy: A Big Adventure is a fun PS5 launch game that the whole family can play. The gameplay has a lot of variety, plus the game has a lot of replay value since you need to play the levels again in order to get more orbs. 

Verdict: 8.5/10