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I’m sorry, Astro Bot, I wasn’t familiar with your (PS5) game

Astro Bot was finally unveiled at May’s State of Play, and the soulful platformer immediately made its way onto my 2024 PS5 wishlist.

Astro Bot State of Play gameplay: Kratosbot next to a PS5 facing off against an Alien

I think we can all agree that PlayStation’s May State of Play was just a little underwhelming. Already, I’ve forgotten most of what was shown during the half-hour showcase barring the likes of hero shooter Concord and Team Asobi’s new Astro-led adventure, Astro Bot. Though I went into the event expecting to leave begging for more from the former, it was the latter that proved to be the showcase’s biggest surprise. With a release date locked in for September 6, Astro Bot is now one of my most anticipated PS5 games of the year.

I’ve never really cared about Astro, I can’t lie. Though Astro’s Playroom can be found pre-loaded and ready to go on every PS5 console, I turned my nose up at it in the same way I did when that old U2 album suddenly appeared on my iPhone back in 2014. To me, it was just a goofy little PlayStation self-insert; a platforming nepo baby. While it remains one of the best PS5 games you can play, I refused to believe the hype – what a fool I have been.

As the Astro Bot trailer begins, I’m immediately reminded why I was so unphased by Astro’s Playroom, as the adorable lil homie is greeted by a floating PlayStation controller. This veneer of indifference is quickly dispelled, though, as it quickly transforms into a jet plane – ‘huh, okay, that’s kinda neat,’ I thought to myself. From there, for the rest of the three-minute trailer, my jaw refused to retract itself from the floor as I gobbled up virtual dopamine like orbs in a game of Snake.

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Astro Bot looks incredible. The blend of art direction, level design, and sheer character had me in a chokehold as the trailer frantically shifted from desert island to sub-aquatic sponge land, to active volcano, to – WAIT, IS THAT KRATOS? At one point, a PS5 posing as a giant ancient obelisk shook itself free from the sandy dunes below it, morphing into an intergalactic battleship and jetting off into space. Wild.

With six galaxies and over 80 levels to explore, Astro Bot is a huge undertaking – Team Asobi’s biggest yet based on studio director Nicolas Doucet’s PlayStation Blog post that accompanied the reveal trailer. Building on Astro’s Playroom, the new PS5 game boasts over 70 new enemy types, as well as over 15 new abilities to navigate it with. Though I slept on Astro’s Playroom, I won’t be doing the same here. I’m sorry, Astro, I wasn’t familiar with your game.

For more of the latest on the other PS5 exclusives shown during the State of Play, check out why Concord’s first look doesn’t fill me with hope for Firewalk’s FPS game. Before you go don’t forget to drop our Google News feed a follow – there’ll be more PlayStation beats from us as we hurtle towards Summer Games Fest and beyond.