While I’ve always enjoyed VR gaming, there hasn’t been a game on the platform that’s excited me for a little while. But a new title called Astro Bot Rescue Mission has got me pumped up for VR once again, folks. It’s by far the best use of the technology I’ve experienced so far.

I fell in love with VR gaming shortly after the launch of the Oculus Rift C1. It ushered in a brand new world of interaction and immersion I could previously only dream about. It wasn’t without its shortcomings, sure, but it was a truly new and exciting way to experience games, and I was all about it. But it wasn’t long before the novelty simply wore off and the annoyance of setting up the headset on my PC outweighed the joys of playing.

While so many games and experiences now rely on hand controls – which is all well and good – I was surprised by how immersive a game that utilises just a standard DualShock controller could be, which is exactly what Astro Bot Rescue Mission does.

Created by Japan Studio, which also released PlayStation titles like Knack, Gravity Rush, Shadow of the Colossus, and more, Astro Bot is an adorable platformer that tasks you with saving all of your kidnapped robot buddies by guiding one of them through various levels.

It’s similar to the Oculus launch title, Lucky’s Tale, but what sets it apart from that is the way it makes you feel like you’re genuinely a part of its world, rather than just a floating camera. There are times when you’ll need to headbutt something to get past or shake your head to get an enemy’s slime off your face.

Astro Bot also does a really good job of making you change your perspective to either solve puzzles or find secret areas, which adds a fun and interesting layer to the experience. Overcoming a tricky area after suddenly remembering that you can look behind a wall or under a ledge by simply moving your head is insanely satisfying, no matter how weird it may make you look in the real world. For the first time, my body actually felt like an extension of my controller, which is not an easy thing to pull off.

You can have a look at some gameplay footage below.

I haven’t been this excited about a VR title in a long time, particularly one that really feels like a unique spin on the immersive platform. I know it’s hard to see the appeal without stepping into a headset for yourself, but trust me on this one, it’s a bloody hoot, folks.

To me, it feels like we’re now at a point where we can step beyond making standard VR games and begin really pushing the boundaries of what it’s capable of. There’s still plenty of barriers, particularly around movement and motion sickness, but it’s going to be exciting to see where developers take VR next.

Astro Bot Rescue Mission is available exclusively on PSVR right now.

Image: Japan Studio