I was incredibly pumped when I saw the platforming resurgence with Sony , I’m not a huge fan of Sumo Digital but this looked really worth giving them the benefit of the doubt, and my god am I glad I did. I’ll keep this review focused but believe me, I could go on for page after page about this game, almost every single part of it is insanely well crafted.
So sackboy is simple, it’s your standard platforming affair it keeps things simple and that is why it’s so fun. Sure it could have been more complex but you need to walk before you can run and walk it does! Every world has a wide variety of stages with a decent level of variety. Sometimes it is standard affair, other times you are riding down rapids. Every world after world 1 tends to have its own “gimmick” in terms of a weapon or item you can equip that is required to go through.
Every world has a superbly well-crafted music level, where the entire theme and props in the level are related to the music, everything moves with a rhythm. Maybe I am a sucker for these things, but they are in my opinion some of the best designed levels. All the levels also have tons of collectables that are very well hidden, giving even more reason to revisit these amazing levels.
There are also co-op only levels, which can be played with people online. The levels are genuinely some of the best levels I’ve ever experienced in a long time in a platformer, they are so well crafted it can not be overstated.
Where things fail flat are the boss encounters, especially Vex’s they are generally quite uninspired and in vex’s case repetitive. They are no more uninspired than your modern Mario boss but given how this game excels modern Mario games in every other regard, this was a big let-down.
Now this is where on PS5 the game shines. Now it looks good on all platforms but on the PS5 there’s extra little details, drops of snow and so many other granular details such as SSR, plus the visual boost to near native 4k resolution really makes the game shine. The game does not have Ray Tracing but due to the nature of the game and the camera SSR gives off borderline the same effect.
The art is amazing and sackboy looks fantastic with a great use of alpha effects to really make him look like, well a sackboy. It is in my opinion the most beautiful game on the PS5, the game looks amazing, the art style is solid, the worlds are brimming with life. It is truly a visual spectacle, the strongest showing on the system and a truly memorable visual experience.
This is again where the game shines, almost all the tracks are memorable, the enemy sounds, sackboys sounds, everything is superbly done, Every stage, every world everything audibly as well as visually unique, refined, and memorable. Nothing feels poorly done in that regard. In addition to that the voice casts performance is brilliant. Everyone shines but Dawn French and Richard E Grant naturally stick out, it is rare I say this but the whole audio package comes together almost flawlessly.
To conclude Sackboy: a Big Adventure is the best platformer I have played in years, easily the best platformer I have played in years far surpassing modern Marios. It is overflowing with love, is a clear passion project. Almost every inch is sublimely crafted, and even where it falters you can feel the genuine attempt to make something great. It is for me the best launch game for the PS5, a visual spectacle that is unforgettable, levels that enthrall you and an audio experience that really caresses the senses.
It’s been a long time since I felt so much passion and joy playing a game, it genuinely took me by surprise, it’s an old school nostalgia package with excellent modern paint. If you own a PS4 or a PS5 and enjoy platformers you absolutely must play this. Even if you don’t I implore you to give it a try.