Sackboy: A Big Adventure - Review (PS4/5)
A sack-full of 3D platforming fun
Variety - the spice of life
It’s almost impossible when trekking through the story not to feel completely enamoured of the commendable level design. All the hallmarks of the genre are present from disappearing platforms to pesky minions of Vex standing as obstacles between you and the stage’s end. Sackboy has an arsenal of abilities at his disposal to help get him from A to B and all are fluid and smooth thanks to an expanded range of 3D movement that’s been alien to the series until now. Sumo Digital do well to ensure the levels are chocca with variety. The works to compliment the lengthy campaign that easily puts their former underwhelming efforts with the LittleBigPlanet 3 story to shame. The core series’ instalments settled primarily on a sidescroller perspective. Fortunately, A Big Adventure is free of such limitations which sets it well apart from the rest of the franchise
A Big Adventure is split into six “chapters”, each with a unique aesthetic and hub area. Here the player may progress with the story or explore and stock up on Collectabells - the in-game currency. These are used for buying cosmetics for Sackboy. Although our once silent protagonist has really sunk into the role of a 3D platforming mascot, there’s still an element of creativity in being able to personalise him. If you’re a previous LittleBigPlanet enthusiast, don’t sit there reading this in denial of the amount of hours you would dedicate to dressing Sackboy. Granted the customisation is not as in depth but it’s still a great novelty and throwback where it all began. Sackboy can still pull faces, gesture and now even emote - a fab way to interact when playing cooperatively.
Yes, online multiplayer made its debut alongside a PS5 update allowing players to enjoy the entirety of the story with up to three friends or randomers. There’s Teamwork levels where as the name states, players must pull together to beat the stage. Solving team orientated puzzles truly adds a new dimension to the ways in which the gameplay already excels. It really is wholesome that although originally intended as a single-player experience, Sumo Digital have once again embraced the series’ famed sense of community. Online multiplayer is easily accessible at any time from the pause menu - a charming little convenience. You may incur issues should you connect to a bad host online. An undeniable hindrance when throwing each other across perilous pits with an unstable connection. That said it is nowhere near on par with the technical issues that overshadowed LittleBigPlanet 3.
The replayability is strong with this one
Sackboy: A Big Adventure has a strong replayability element even if it ventures far from its sandbox brethren. Acing levels and seeing them at 100% completion is insanely cathartic and makes certain you can accumulate heaps of playtime in the story alone, nevermind the post-game levels to boot. There’s also Knitted Knight trials and remix-levels which are essentially timed stages that pose an extra challenge if you’re feeling frisky. But alas, even if you are just looking to stock up on a few more dreamer orbs to usher forward your progress with the story without having to replay and gather ones you missed prior - this is the way to go.
Sumo Digital set out to bestow upon players a solid and quirky single-player platforming experience, one in-keeping with all that’s good and charming in the series. It’s safe to say they’ve emerged triumphant with a title channelling all the makings of a platforming classic. Sackboy: A Big Adventure feels like such a refined and polished series spin-off that’ll easily see to that platforming itch of yours. Presenting equal parts a challenge and the light-hearted fun you’d expect from the genre, it truly pays great homage to the 3D platforming classics so many of us hold close to our hearts. A Big Adventure is fluffed out and teeming with great content that effortlessly justifies the asking price. The recent addition of online features also means that whether you plan on playing alone or with others, Sackboy: A Big Adventure will be a divine addition to any player's PlayStation library.
By Nicole hall
a games journo with words at Official PlayStation Magazine, Eurogamer, Den Of Geek, Push Square, The Sixth Axis, Daily Star and SquareXO.