Sackboy: A Big Adventure is a welcomed return for the stitched up hero of the impressive Little Big Planet games, but this time Sackboy is starring in a slightly different type of adventure. With the change of developers seeing Sumo Digital taking over from Media Molecule, there is also a change in gameplay. Gone is the 2.5 platforming and replaced with a traditional 3D camera. Also gone is the “Play, Create, Share” tagline, as there is no option for player created content, although, this is far from a down grade, with an extremely enjoyable campaign that can be played solo or in a team of up to four.
Sackboy: A Big Adventure’s plot is nothing new to gamers and is really just there to set Sackboy off on his big adventure. The devious Vex has invaded Craftworld and kidnapped our hero’s friends to build his diabolical device called the Topsy Turver that will transform Craftworld into his nightmarish vision. With only Sackboy escaping Vex’s clutches, Sackboy sets off on his adventure which takes the player through a variety of colourful environments and platforming tasks.
Sackboy’s platforming is tight and responsive. He has a few moves up his sleeve, such as a jump with a hover that gains a little more height and length to help avoid incoming obstacles or enemies. To attack, Sackboy can punch, roll, jump on enemies’ heads and dive bomb onto stronger enemies. There are a variety of enemies that move in certain patterns and require one or two of the above attack methods to vanquish them.
At the beginning of Sackboy: A Big Adventure the level design feels pretty bland, like it is a game for younger children with the move from point A to B objective while taking out a few stress-free enemies. However, about an hour in the levels take a sharp turn for the better, ramping up the excitement and more importantly the variety. Some of the levels are created alongside popular licensed music with the level’s design changing at certain points of the songs. Other objectives might include finding and collecting keys to open doors, herding wildlife into their pens, musical rhythm sections and even riding a massive train throughout the level while avoiding obstacles and defeating enemies. As Sackboy progresses, he gains new tools to mix up gameplay including a boomerang to hit switches or baddies and a grappling tether to swing across platforms.
Like Little Big Planet, Sackboy: A Big Adventure is also about its collectibles. The main collectibles are the bubbles and collecting these will determine if the player will receive a bronze, silver or gold trophy, with each trophy offering different rewards, be it bells or costume pieces. Bells are found or earned and used as the games currency to allow players to purchase costumes. Costume pieces can also be found throughout levels and thorough players can find a whole set for a full costume. The final and arguably most important collectable are the orbs. Orbs are needed to progress through stages and open up boss fights and new levels, also finding all orbs in a level will result in a sticker to fill up Sackboy’s sticker book.
Sackboy: A Big Adventure includes a number of bonus levels that either has Sackboy collecting as many bells as possible or time trial obstacle courses to win trophies and costumes. Each hub world also has a shop owned by the enthusiastic Zom Zom whom is eager for Sackboy’s bells. Here Sackboy can purchase various cosmetic outfits and dress up like it is Halloween. Outfits are abundant and varied, they include a lion, aluchador, a monk and even a Vegas entertainer that resembles the king, Elvis Presley. Player’s can also mix and match parts of costumes to make their own unique outfits. Each hub world also includes a Boss Battle with Vex and while not overly challenging; the continued change in the platforming mechanics and gameplay is welcomed.
Like many of the PlayStation 5 launch titles, the graphic enhancements are not yet the selling point of this game, although the Craftworld levels are good-looking, have colourful backdrops, Muppet like 2D creatures popping up everywhere and each world focusing on a different biome and colour palette. The sound design is good and I personally loved Sackboy’s little victory noise when completing levels. As mentioned, the addition of licensed music with the level design is brilliant, and will have players of all ages bopping along, I wish there were more of these levels though.
Sackboy: A Big Adventure is a G-rated family friendly affair that allows up to three other players to join in via couch co-op. It is a little disappointing that the online multiplayer is not ready, especially under 2020’s circumstances. The game can be paused at anytime and comes in at about 8 to 10 hours. Unfortunately there is only one difficulty and the game being made accessible for all will make it too easy for most gamers. The real difficulty comes in finding all of the collectables but that is not everyone’s cup of tea.
Pottsy for One More Game
8 – Great – this is a standout game where some minor changes would make it amazing. You could easily justify your purchase of this game.
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Sackboy: A Big Adventure was reviewed on a PlayStation 5 and is also available on PlayStation 4 and PC.
PlayStation Australia kindly provided review code for this title. All thoughts on this game are ours and ours alone.