Published on June 20th, 2019 | by Zorbz
REVIEW: Blood & Truth (PSVR)
From the team that brought you the London heist on PSVR Worlds; SIE London Studio is back to expand on that original demo turning it into a full-fledged English gangster game that takes heavy inspiration from Hollywood movies of the genre.
Concept: Blood and Truth puts you in the role of Ryan Marks, an ex-special forces soldier who has returned home and is thrust back into the thick of his family’s corrupt crime business affairs. After the death of Ryan’s father, a fellow crime boss decides to make his mark by kidnapping Ryan’s mother and this is the catalyst for what’s to come.
The story is a typical gangster movie plot which involves all the typical tropes you’d expect. It’s not going to win any awards for its story, but it does offer an entertaining ride that you play front seat to from start to finish. There’s some cutscenes in between missions that can be a bit of a drag and take you out of the action a bit too often, but it is still the most engaging way to experience dialogue in a game when you feel like you’re present in the room with the ability to look around at free will.
Graphics: Visually Blood & Truth is one of the best displays on offer for the PSVR, bringing it very close to the visuals of most modern AAA games. Characters are detailed, they animate well and for me I was in awe the whole time at how crazy it is to be sitting side by side one of them in a car or standing next to them as they chat away. It’s something you can never experience outside of VR. The environments are all unique and varied, which makes for some really fun set pieces to run amok in and create chaos, whether it’s in a nightclub or a construction site, the action is always present.
Gameplay: Much like arcade shooters, Blood & Truth is essentially an on rails shooter, pitting you in an environment to take out enemies from behind cover much like the Time Crisis series, however instead of pressing a pad to duck you just naturally move your body to avoid gunfire. Once you take out all the enemies an icon will pop up that you can select to have your character move to automatically. At several intervals in a level there may be more than one pathway to take which adds a slight bit of variety, however if you choose a pathway and want to explore the other there is no way of turning back. This can prove to be quite frustrating if there is a collectible you possibly missed out on and want to go back for, but I guess this was purposely done to add replay value to each level, having you explore them thoroughly on multiple playthroughs.
Besides the shooting, you’ll be tasked with picking locks, climbing up scaffolding and crawling through vents without any real explanation, however this will come quite naturally because everyone knows the basic arm movements required to climb a ladder. Gripping the characters hands is all done at the press of the trigger on each of the PSVR move wands and combined with the motion of your arms this will reflect where the characters on screen hands move. It’s much more natural to do then reading me talk about how it’s done with it feeling quite fluid in practice. This was quite surprising and if you’re as lazy as myself you’ll even get a bit of an arm workout, just like the good ol Wii days. My only issue with this is one second you’ll be climbing, then have to pull out your guns, load your ammo, shoot a few guys, put your guns away, open a door, pull out your gun again and repeat. It gets tedious like this in some sections of the game but fortunately it’s not like this in every mission.
Sound: Voice acting is top notch and there are some great cockney accents present which always provide a fun experience. The music is also really well done and fits perfectly to the scenario you’rein at the time. The only downside in the audio department for me is the lack of grunt in the weapons. It sounds like a small criticism to make, but you’d be surprised how much sound effects can play a big part in making actions feel more impactful when in VR.
Awesomeness: I think the main thing that makes Blood & Truth stand out from other PSVR shooters is the amount of interactivity you have with the environment around you. Being in a car and having the ability to open the glove box, adjust the radio dials, mess around with the vents and then go as far as opening the car door and lean out make it feel like a more organic experience. Combine that with the shooting mechanics, there’s nothing cooler then popping open the car door, leaning out gun in hand and shooting back at enemies trying to kill you. This is just one example of the interactivity Blood & Truth lets you experience and it’s something I shouldn’t delve too much into because I don’t want to ruin some of the awesome things you’re able to do just by thinking ‘Hmm I wonder if it will let me do this?’
Final word: All things being said I do feel this is one of the most engaging experiences in VR to date set in a first person perspective. Whilst it’s not without its minor flaws, it’s a fun time to be had and a sequel is something I am really excited about because I’m hoping the game will finally let you have full control or at least more control over your characters ability to move around the environment. Combine that with the already present interactivity and you’ll have something truly mind blowing.
Out of 5 Bugs!