At this point, if anyone asks me who is my favorite game publisher for PC, I’ll just say Sony. I’m not entirely sure why is there such a sudden focus on PC from one of the biggest console names but frankly, I don’t even care. Is it because of the chip shortage for console manufacturing, did they finally figure out that releasing former exclusives is basically free money for them? It doesn’t matter, all I know is that I’m really enjoying this and if anyone from Sony is reading this: don’t stop, just keep them coming.
Anyway, today we have another one of those former exclusives and while it might not be an acclaimed name like Marvel’s Spider-Man or The Last of Us, it’s still worth checking it out. So let’s dig in.
The dastardly Vex (a near-mythical being born of chaos and fear, no less) kidnaps Sackboy’s friends and forces them to build his Topsy Turver. This most deadly diabolical device will transform Craftworld from a fantastical land of pure imagination and innocent dreams… into a torrid, barren eyesore of nightmares. But legend tells of a prophecy from deep within the ancient order of the Knitted Knights, Craftworld’s legendary protectors. And you just happen to be one of them. A fabled knight made entirely out of knitted wool (you don’t see that every day). So go on, grab a friend even and wander around all over Craftworld collecting costume pieces, and finding secret areas and you might even make it to the end to defeat Vex.
At the core of it, Sackboy A Big Adventure is a pretty simple platformer. You have to get to the end of the level while trying to collect as many dreamer orbs, knight’s energy, and regular orbs. Now let’s get through all that terminology. Dreamer orbs are blue glowing spheres, and usually, you will find either three or five of them in a level. You need a certain amount of dreamer orbs to complete each world, so it is recommended that you grab as many as you can. They are often in hidden areas or behind mini puzzles. Knight’s energy is super rare collectibles, there are only 15 of them in the game. Whenever you acquire one, you unlock one level of Knitted Knight Trials, the game’s time trial mode. Completely optional content, so it’s up to you if you want to have a go at it or skip it.
And as for the regular orbs, they’re….just that. These small transparent round orbs are found on every level and they are responsible for the score and rating you get at the end of every level (bronze, silver, or gold). Defeating enemies will also boost your score, and dying will lower it. Grabbing every orb in a level is not necessary (and often not possible), but the more the better.
When it comes to the game, it is the definition of “what you see is what you get” in almost every aspect of it. You won’t need more than 15 minutes of play to understand everything that’s thrown at you. Enemy variety is not high and most of their attacks are telegraphed. You have more chance of dying by miscalculating your jumps and falling rather than dying from enemies. The rare moments when the game gets only slightly challenging is during boss fights, but understand that there is one world boss after every 10-12 levels and they’re usually the last hurdle before unlocking a new area.
Sackboy A Big Adventure was initially released for PS4 but only when it came to PS5 and PC it got a fresh new coat of paint. Since this is about a PC release, let me tell you what you all get. 4K resolution support, raytracing, 21:9 ultra-widescreen setup, and a good number of accessibility options. The game is really well optimized and there is hardly any difference in resources when I switched it from low to high settings. The level design seems pretty straightforward and it is incredibly hard to get lost, but at the same time secret areas are incredibly well hidden (especially in later worlds) so it is a good idea to hug level boundaries every now and then, especially if you want to find all of the dreamer orbs.
Playing through Sackboy A Big Adventure made me realize something. I can’t remember the last time I played something that had “everyday music”. I’m talking about these high-profile licensed songs. It is especially surprising when that music is weirdly implemented in the actual gameplay. Like going through a level with dancing flowers and cannons while they’re grooving to the tunes of Uptown Funk by Mark Ronson. And then hearing Chemical Brothers a couple of levels later. Not to mention also having Kool & The Gang, David Bowie, Britney Spears, Beats Antique, Anamanaguchi, and so on. Really engaging and eclectic soundtrack and saying that it elevates the overall gameplay to new heights would be an understatement, if anything.
Sackboy A Big Adventure leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to difficulty, but it exceeds on every other front. The soundtrack, the endearing visuals, and even the enemies radiate cuteness. And I haven’t even mentioned the main selling point so far. The co-op. The game has a level or two in each world that can only be completed by playing with someone but I say, why stop there? Go all the way. Co-op in this game will often produce hilarious results and engage you in competition with each other (the game supports max 4 players). Who will get the most orbs and who will be the biggest jerk in the end by throwing others into pitfalls? In the end, it is a really accessible title where almost anyone will find some aspect of the game that resonates with them.
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