Sackboy: A Big Adventure – Review
Follow Genre: Adventure
Developer: Sumo Digital
Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment
Platforms: PS4, PS5
Tested on: PS4, PS5

Sackboy: A Big Adventure – Review

Site Score
8.5
Good: Updated gameplay, graphics, sounds
Bad: Textures pop on screen
User Score
10.0
(1 votes)
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Rating: 10.0/10 (1 vote cast)

Little Big Planet has been around since the PS3, bringing two titles to that specific console, while the PS4 was graced with Little Big Planet 3. A lot of people loved this little knitted sackboy, especially as the multiplayer had some fun extras that certainly brought a lot of laughter to the living rooms. With the release of the PS5, it wasn’t a surprise that a new installment from this franchise would be available too. With a new title the most apparent, there were a lot of changes, so let’s have a look and see what else to expect.

Story

Imagine that there is a universe where all the creative ideas are stored, being the building blocks of that world. In Sackboy: A Big Adventure, this place is called the Imagisphere. Every idea is bundled in the planet Craftworld, making it a wonderful place to live in. The story starts in the village of Loom, where the Sackfolk live. Life was good for them, as they lived leisurely and carefree until their peaceful time was suddenly disrupted. The bringer of nightmares and terror, Vex, decided it was time to put his deceitful plan into action. He wants to create a tool that would bring ‘excitement’ but mostly terror to the world, and to complete it, he needs the help of some creators. This is the cue for him to suck up all of your friends, leaving you as the last one standing. Thanks to your wits, you get to the spaceship and are able to escape safely, on a journey to save your fellow Sackfolk.

In this game, you play as Sackboy, one of the only Sackfolk who wasn’t abducted by Vex. The intro is the keystone for the whole adventure and it certainly will pique your interest to pursue Vex and get back to your old, creative life. During these levels, you’ll be able to meet some new friends and get some glimpses of what Vex has done to get his device of doom up and running.

Graphics

Just like the consoles get updated, the same goes for the visuals for Sackboy. Comparing with the previous titles, this version still has a lot of the original charm but with some updated textures and details. The biggest change that influences the whole universe is the change from 2.5D to 3D, where you have to climb and flutter in a whole different way than before.

Sackboy on the other hand still is the fluffy yarn doll with the crazy outfits, making things fun and adorable at the same time. Want to go for a whole set or customize your attire and let your fashion sense run wild by combining stuff? All is possible in this game! At any rate, your little friend will always stand out against the environment as everything mostly is in the same theme and color scheme. The backdrops give the whole area a certain vibe, while the several cut-outs that pop up make it feel a bit more interactive.

Even when comparing the PS5 version to the PS4 version, the latter still looks crisp and neat, with stunning visuals and details, although sometimes some of the textures load quite late and then pop onto your screen. Even more, some of the costumes don’t work well with the cutscenes, as some of the more elaborate outfits tend to get clipped by other objects.

Sound

With the whole cuteness theme going on, the music is similar. Don’t think there isn’t any suspense created now and then, especially with the boss levels. For the majority of the time, it will be something more cheerful to make sure the game is quite relaxing. Even more, a lot of the tracks are reworks of really popular songs. Ever thought you would hear ‘Material Girl’ while floating around in bubbles? Well, in Sackboy: A Big Adventure, this is just a jump away. The combination of these songs and the whole setting really fits wonderfully well and takes the game up a notch.

The sound effects are complementary and make the immersion into the game so much easier. With the changed layout and the 3D levels, it’s sometimes harder to detect where something evil is lurking. Having proper sound effects already gives you a heads up whenever something bad is on the way. And be honest, how cute is it to hear little sounds from Sackboy whenever he tries to hit something or roll around.

Gameplay

Sackboy: A Big Adventure is a platformer game where you have to navigate your little doll through several deadly but cute levels to save the world and his friends from impending doom. This means you need a few tricks up your sleeve if you want to survive. First of all, you can swing your arm around in an attempt to hit enemies (or other players if you want to fool around a bit). Then, if things get out of hand and you need to get away fast, you can roll around as well. The good ol’ grabbing is available in this title as well, and the same can be said for jumping and fluttering, which helps you to get to higher places. Combine these actions together and you get a plethora of new abilities that help you in your adventures.

When you start the game for the first time, you’ll notice that the storyline progresses linearly, as you need to complete a level first before the next one unlocks, all the way to the boss of that area. Sometimes there are also levels where you need to be with a party, be it locally or online. So up to three other players can join you for some multiplayer fun. These (temporary) friends can also join you in the other levels, although this sometimes makes things a tad more difficult.

There are a few things you need to collect while fighting and jumping your way through levels, while other loot is optional. Each level has a certain amount of Dreamer Orbs, which are mandatory to obtain as you need to have a certain amount before being able to break Vex his barricades. Some of these are harder to find than others, so keep your eyes peeled when dashing through a level. Next to these Dreamer Orbs, you can also obtain stickers or outfit pieces as well which have more of an aesthetical function.

If you are someone who likes to get golden trophies, it’s also important to get as many orbs as you can. These regular orbs are spread across the whole level and count towards the end result. Dying will result in losing some of your hard-earned loot, so try to stay alive at all costs. You can get hit once, making you greyed out and vulnerable. Get hit another time and you’re out. Falling of edges, jumping into an abyss and other painful events will cost you one life immediately. Each level starts with five lives, but if you lose one, you’ll be able to get it back by smashing some debris. Also, don’t worry about getting to start over again as there are enough checkpoints in-between.

The last item you can obtain both during levels as on the map is Collectabells. This currency can be used at Zom Zom, the traveling merchant that always seems to be around whenever you get to a new world. This little fellow has several outfits and emotes for sale and will gladly make your bag of Collectabells lighter. This whole dressing up aspect is really fun as you can combine anything you want and it’s great that the developers kept this in this title as well. The emotes are linked to your direction pad and can be altered to your liking too. The craziest things will pop up, which is really great. There are also emotes that are specifically created for multiplayer purposes, so do have a look when you have the chance.

If you have played the previous titles from LittleBigPlanet, you know that you can take control of Sackboy’s little arms and that you could wave them around and even slap people. The waving around part is still available but if you want to get handsy, you should turn to the actual hitting. Another change is that you don’t need to collect stickers anymore for unlocking special zones during levels, as they’re now in your sticker book.

With this title being available on both the PS4 and PS5, it was a bit of a gamble how the game would play on the older console, but it works amazingly well. The only time there is a noticeable lag spike is when exiting the wondrous shop of Zom Zom, while sometimes some delay is present when a cutscene is playing. Still, the levels themselves go really smoothly. The best experience if of course on the PlayStation 5, but seeing as not everyone is able to buy one yet, the PlayStation 4 version can also be upgraded in case you already want to start playing this title on your PS4.

Conclusion

Sackboy: A Big Adventure is one of the first titles on the PS5 and it certainly is a fun one to start with. The change from 2.5D to 3D might feel a bit strange at the start but it’ll grow on your faster than you think. The graphics are great, even for PS4, while the sounds will take the game to the next level. Gameplay-wise there are some new things to consider with the 3D world, but everything goes and runs smoothly. Don’t think it’ll always be a walk through the park though, as some parts get trickier, giving you a challenge now and then. If you want to dive into a lighter game that can take your mind off things, be sure to give it a chance!

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Sackboy: A Big Adventure - Review, 10.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating
AnneMieke


Faster than lightning

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