Sackboy: Big Adventure continues PlayStation’s planned push to bring its extensive first-party games to the PC platform. And while it’s not as catchy or as popular as Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales or Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection, this platformer has enough charm to stand on its two cotton-padded legs. Shacknews reviewed the original release of the game on PS5 back in November 2020 with a fair 7 out of 10, and the same can be said for this outing on PC via Steam or Epic Games.
That said, if you’re reading this, you’re probably less concerned about us beating the game a second time and more interested in seeing if this port can deliver on the graphical improvements it promises. For the most part, it does a solid job of giving gamers the option to push the game up to 120 FPS in 4K resolution given the right specs. While this relatively simple platformer isn’t a technical powerhouse like the PC ports of the God of War reboot or Horizon Zero Dawn, its bright, sleek style is wonderfully rendered.
Some frayed threads
In terms of graphical fidelity, my experience was very clean and smooth operation at Very High settings with a platform that has an Intel i7-11700F, RX 6700 XT, and 16 GB DDR RAM. Out of curiosity, I also tested the Ultra “Ray-Tracing” setting and experienced several issues, but that was to be expected since it requires an Intel i9-9900k and an AMD RX 6800 XT. There was even a prompt in the graphics settings warning me about frame rates on Ultra, so I knew what I was getting into. As a side note, a quick look at the game’s Steam user reviews and discussions points to some potential issues with stuttering, but I luckily didn’t have any of those issues.
However, two problems stem from how co-op is implemented on Steam. There is currently no option for Steam Remote Play, so you may have to figure out how to use Parsec instead if remote access is a feature you want. Then there’s an unusual requirement for online co-op, with some users getting a message saying they need to link an Epic account to join a game. While I was able to play online with strangers without needing to link a PSN or Epic account at all, it seems that trying to connect to a friend who linked the game to an Epic account requires you to do the same. It’s uncertain why this would be necessary, but it probably has to do with cross-play between Epic Games and Steam. That said, if you don’t want to install the Epic Games launcher for whatever reason, this might be a deal breaker for you.
Some other technical limitations that might affect you are that the game doesn’t support widescreen beyond 21:9 and it locks online co-op to 60 FPS. The latter limitation is there to ensure a smooth experience for teams of up to four players, but it’s understandable if you’d rather have the option to risk an unlocked framerate instead.
Still pushing the right buttons
Otherwise, Sackboy: Big Adventure is still a delightful romp through an imaginative world that fits somewhere between Yoshi’s Epic Yarn and Astro’s Playroom. While this isn’t the sequel to LittleBigPlanet that some fans want, the game is simple, well-executed escapism and is almost as casually entertaining as a Lego superhero game. As a family-friendly platformer, dispatching enemies with jumps and attacks is easy and none of the objectives in a stage are that complex. Since it’s been two years since the initial release, the game also comes with an almost ridiculous amount of free costumes.
If you’re a completionist, you can try to earn every badge on a stage by collecting all the Dreamer Orbs and costume pieces, and completing it without dying. Playing with strangers can make this goal nearly impossible since most players want to move forward without waiting to explore, but entering a stage with a friend either online or in local co-op can do the trick. In fact, it’s the best way to truly experience the game.
A stitch in time, with luck
Despite a few specific hiccups, Sackboy: Big Adventure nicely rounds out PlayStation’s offerings on PC. Developer Sumo Digital is likely aware of the graphics issues and will hopefully release fixes and patches to fix them in time. Even so, when everything works, the game is adorable fun that’s awesome with friends and easily makes your inner child smile.
These impressions are based on a Steam key provided by the publisher. Sackboy: Big Adventure released on PC on October 27, 2022.