The new PS5 dualsense controller and Astro’s Playroom go hand in hand, Astro’s Playroom is an extended demo for the new dualsense PS5 controller. It highlights the haptics, adaptive triggers, the built-in microphone and what we can expect from developers in the future when building games for the PS5. Astro’s Playroom is an impressive game in its own right too.
The dualsense comes in two-tone colour, it’s slightly bigger and longer than the PS4 controller thought fits in your hand better and provides a better feel in the hand. The button layout is identical on both controllers apart from the addition of a mute button below the PS button on the PS5 controller.The next generation aspects of the controller are new haptic feedback and adaptive triggers. These elements are showcased in the wonderfully colourful and free game Astro’s Playroom developed by ASOBI Team which is a 3D puzzle/platformer which takes a trip down nostalgia lane. The key theme of Astro’s Playroom is the evolution of the Playstation which underpins all the level design, puzzles and collectables.
The entire game is to showcase the unique PS5 dualsense controller. Almost immediately, the haptic feedback and sense of what the controller has to offer is evident. The haptic feedback kicks in as you wade through water, sand, mud, grass and jungles. Each terrain gives the player a different sensation and it’s surprisingly immersive. You can feel the resistance and differing levels of friction in each section of every level. The next big feature being touted is the adaptive triggers, the adaptive triggers are pressure sensitive. The varying degree of force you use on the triggers will mean the character in-game will expend the equivalent force. The adaptive triggers provide similar feedback when a character is pushing or pulling an item in the game, the triggers provide resistance back too. Again, this may seem like a minor thing but the feel and sensation are immersive and adds another layer to the gaming experience. In elements of Astro’s Playroom, you do feel as if you are pulling items off the floor. The in-game tutorial describes what each control does and how to use it, it is usually followed by a gaming section where you get to explore these new controls.
The dualsense features a touchpad with RGB LEDs around it, the touchpad feels more responsive and the lights add another feature to the impressive array of features. The controller is charged via USB-C port and has a bigger built-in battery for the extra features of the dualsense. I was charging the controller every 2 days or so but you don’t need to buy extra batteries which is a plus. The controller has a big built-in mic and a speaker as well, the dualsense has a 3.5mm port for mics too.
If you take Astro’s Playroom as a stand-alone game without it being a vehicle to show off the dualsense controller. It’s a fun, innovative and creative platform that has moments where it’s tough and challenging. The level design is superb and the multi-faceted gameplay, changing form and the ability to become different creatures is cool. It has a big brash and bright colours too. The sound from the game is superb, it also shows that PS5 has an upgrade in audio quality. Astro’s Playroom is quite the platformer, it’s varied and engaging which I wasn’t expecting but I was more than pleasantly surprised. If you are a fan of platformers and puzzle games, you will enjoy this.
It will be interesting to see how developers will use the controller in future games but the future looks promising. The dualsense is a real innovation and next-gen.
Best of all Astro’s Playroom comes preinstalled with the PS5 for free.
PS5 review unit supplied by Sony.