The PC release of the former PlayStation exclusive Horizon Zero Dawn, Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves, God of War and all kinds of Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered is, of course, cool, and sales of these PC versions seem to be pretty good. But to be honest, I’m a little sorry that in the background of these famous hits, so little attention is paid to Sony’s best game that was ported to Windows – Sackboy: A Big Adventure.
|Game||Sackboy: A Big Adventure|
|Platforms||Windows, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5|
|Publishing house||Sony Interactive Entertainment|
||Epic Games Store, Steam|
Better late, but better
The port of Sackboy: A Big Adventure was released on PC a little late, at least from the point of view of Ukrainians. On October 27, 2022, we were just recovering from the second massive missile strike on the energy infrastructure, and we, at least those of us who had light, didn’t really care about the games. But the situation is improving little by little, air defense is shooting down more and more missiles, and Sackboy: A Big Adventure is the kind of game that will not lose its relevance even after a year, let alone three months.
See, 2022 saw only three platformers worth watching on PC – Sonic Frontiers, Tinykin, and OlliOlli World. At the same time, there is only one real platformer among them – Sonic Frontiers, and in the confrontation between a blue hedgehog on steroids and an incredibly cute rag doll in various funny costumes, my sympathies are on the side of the doll.
Formally, Sackboy: A Big Adventure is a spinoff of the popular LittleBigPlanet series of games (2008, 2011, 2014), which were released on PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Portable, and PlayStation Vita. In fact, this is just a new part of the series under a new name, because the heroes of LittleBigPlanet, the sackboys, have become more popular than the game that spawned them. It happens, let’s remember the famous rabbids, do you still remember that they appeared in Rayman Raving Rabbids (2006)?
In fact, there is one very significant difference between the games in the LittleBigPlanet series and Sackboy: A Big Adventure. If LittleBigPlanet is a 2.5D platformer, the new game is made in full 3D.
Sackboy: A Big Adventure was released on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 in November 2020, but because the game uses Unreal Engine 4 and stylized graphics, it hasn’t aged at all and still looks great. I would even say incredibly great.
The love with which the authors dress rag dolls of Sekboys in various clothes, and the way they imitate different natural materials: cardboard, leather, wood, plastic, wool, textiles, satin is something. There are even folds in the cardboard sheets, places of gluing, and small, barely noticeable hairs on the wool!
In general, you can only envy the ingenuity of the authors in the selection of material and the decoration of the levels. Very original and very impressive.
And to my great delight, Sackboy: A Big Adventure doesn’t lag at 2560×1440 even on my archaic GeForce GTX 1060 PC. Sorry, the upgrade will wait until victory.
Although lucky owners of NVIDIA GeForce RTX can try the game with DLSS technology and even with a refresh rate of up to 120 fps.
Run, sackboy, run!
Sackboy: A Big Adventure is a platformer, so we’ll be jumping a lot, dodging enemies and obstacles, timing our every move, learning the level, and so on. And of course, to die.
But even with the numerous deaths of the character, Sackboy: A Big Adventure does not annoy the player, because at every moment he can see that this is not cheating on the part of the developers, but their own mistake and they can do better next time. This is usually the case. The level of difficulty is chosen simply flawlessly. Even at the end of the game, when the levels become more difficult, they can still be passed, you just need to be more careful, smarter, and more cunning.
The levels themselves are true works of art. They are interesting, diverse, and have many secrets and hiding places that are very pleasant to look for. And they are different every time and require different skills. One day you’re running ahead with a deadly wave or monster, the next you’re leisurely searching for secrets. For the third time, you are tied to the train and can only get off it for a short time. In the fourth level, everything generally happens in an elevator traveling between floors, and you have to unlock the lock screens (like on a smartphone) on its floor. The fifth time the level becomes 2.5D like the old LittleBigPlanet.
And that happens every time. Sackboy: A Big Adventure really knows how to surprise.
Plot? Is there a plot here?
Yes, surprisingly, there is a plot here. Very simple, as is usually the case in games designed for co-op and noisy parties. So…
“The dastardly Vex (a near-mythical being born of chaos and fear) has kidnapped Sackboy’s friends and forced them to build his Topsy Turver. This twisted 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.For only the brave, fearless, chivalrous and, yes, gallant can save the day in an almost too dramatic for words race against time stuffed with danger and peril. And there will be a lot of danger.”
End of the plot.
In fact, the story of Sackboy: A Big Adventure, which forces our hero to travel between different worlds and challenge Vex and his henchmen, is presented quite well. And there are also a bunch of very funny and very cute characters that are nice to watch.
What we lost
Unfortunately, in the case of Sackboy: A Big Adventure, the perfect port did not work out. This is not the fault of the authors of the Sumo Digital game, it’s just that the platformer, designed for cooperative play by four players on one console, is very difficult to transfer to the PC without loss. First of all, no one plays on a PC with four people, and secondly, this number of controllers connected to one computer is nonsense. Yes, there’s still a network… but that’s a little different.
By the way, about the controllers. The PC version of Sackboy: A Big Adventure also lacks Sony’s proprietary DualSense controller. Not so much adaptive triggers and a built-in microphone as tactile feedback that helped to feel different materials. No, you can play Sackboy pretty well even with an old Xbox 360 Wireless Controller (I did), but DualSense is on a different level.
Of course, DualSense can be connected to a PC, but… if you have DualSense, maybe it’s better to play right away on PlayStation 5?!
What we didn’t get
Along with the PC version came ten free additional costumes for Sekboy, including characters from other PlayStation games such as Nathan Drake, Chloe Fraser, Kratos, Atreus, and Freya. But Sackboy already has a lot of costumes: if you count those that can be opened or purchased during the game, then about five dozen. In addition, you can create your own, unique style from the received parts. So it’s kind of a supplement.
But what we didn’t get was additional DLC with exclusive levels. Yes, there was no DLC with levels on PlayStation either, but Sackboy: A Big Adventure is really such a good game that you want to play it again. Yes, there are stunning challenge levels and purely cooperative levels, but what you want is an additional world with new opportunities and opponents.
Yes, we really think Sackboy: A Big Adventure is the best of Sony games ported to PC and it’s still the best platformer on PC for the next few years. Don’t miss it. Especially if you have children and play with them on the computer. Although, even adults and even in single-player mode will find a lot of fun in Sackboy: A Big Adventure.