Its no secret that I love PSVR, when it is executed well there is nothing like it. Being immersed in a virtual world within a great game is amazing. PSVR has really come of age in the last year and has had some great games on the platform. It was once a place for tech demos and small experiences but as developers have got experience and time with the technology the games have come on leaps and bounds. Some of the demos have even blossomed into full games, titles like Astro Bot and the subject of this review, Blood and Truth started as much smaller experiences in the early days of PSVR.
Blood and Truth is the spiritual successor to the London Heist, which was my favourite part of PlayStation VR Worlds and really showed me, at the time, what can be done with the technology. Since I heard that SIE London Studio was making a fully fledged PSVR title in the same vein, I have been tortuously counting the days. On to the story then, you play Ryan Marks who is an ex SAS soldier and gets himself involved in a grimy, lock-stock style story of revenge as you attempt to save your families empire from ruin. Its a fast-paced romp through London, its full of action, intensity and it all unfolds at a breakneck speed. While the story is nothing we haven’t heard before, it’s extremely fun and very well-made.
Straight away the similarities to The London Heist are plain to see, the epic gunfights, the interactive environments and cockney dialogue are all here. It’s like you are in a Guy Ritchie film and it all makes you feel incredibly powerful. The VR implementation in Blood and Truth is top notch, I had zero tracking issues, zero VR ‘messiness’ and I was just left to enjoy this incredible experience for what it was. The levels are quite linear with a few branching paths here and there. You are on rails most of the time but it’s done very well and plays a lot better than that sounds. I think this design decision is a good one and after playing the game I can see why the developers made this choice, it works really well and just leaves you to concentrate on shooting and interacting with objects in the game.
The game is split into various John Wick-esque gunfights, set pieces and little interactive sections and it all blends together into something really special. The fact that you don’t really control your movement means you are free to shoot with both hands, and the shooting is so satisfying but onto that later. The interaction in this game is off the charts, you can pick up, play with and mess around with so much stuff. A lot of these interactive objects must be used to progress the story, from hacking video camera systems to disabling alarms, the interactive parts outside of the gunfights are superb.
You approach various objects, like alarm boxes or locks and you are presented with a little leather holder full of tools to utilize. Lock picks, wire cutters, fuses and many other tools must be used to help further your progress. In a normal game, this would not be that much of a deal but lockpicking and re-wiring alarms in VR is a great thing and completely immersive. There are even climbing sections that are fun and I was not expecting that at all. It all works so well and I was lost in this amazing world. It felt really good interacting with this amazingly designed game, its great setpieces and its interactive scenes. I did not expect to enjoy stuff outside of the gunfight so much but I really did.
The gunfights, well, I have never had so much fun popping heads and filling bad guys full of holes. The VR tracking works so well and the scenes are designed so expertly that every time there was a gunfight I was grinning from ear to ear. You have so many weapons to choose from, so many options and everything works flawlessly. No issues grabbing weapons or reloading, no VR issues to break the immersion it was all wondrous. You can dual wield guns, hold guns in different ways and really get into the gunplay. Shooting and aiming in VR is great, even my girlfriend, who in normal games can’t shoot for toffee, was getting headshots left, right and centre. Aiming guns just comes naturally in VR and its very enjoyable.
There is a lot of fun to be had too, you have a button on each move controller that makes gestures with your hands. You can give people ‘the finger’ you can give thumbs up and can even spin guns on your fingers like a cowboy. It seems the developer has, even in a serious game, tried really hard to make it fun and enjoyable to play. I even reloaded by throwing a magazine into the air and catching in the gun by holding the gun upside down. It’s amazing. The game, from start to finish, never stops being enjoyable and that’s the main thing, we play games to have fun and boy is this game fun.
As well as all the gunfire and object interaction there are other things to keep an eye out for. Scattered throughout the many levels are collectables to find. You have targets to shoot, statues from PSVR Worlds to find and other collectables to track down. It makes the game very replayable and makes sure you are always searching everywhere. I was constantly rifling through desk draws and always on the lookout for things to find. The way this game is set out, its VR implementation and level design all lends itself to be good for exploring and finding collectables. Collectables can sometimes be irksome, not in Blood and Truth though, I really enjoyed hunting them down and shooting the hidden targets.
There are some amazing set pieces in the game too, I will not spoil anything but the game will at times, move you through the level automatically, in slow motion and you are left to shoot the enemies. You jump through windows while firing at bad guys, you run through explosions while throwing grenades at enemies, you are thrust into some amazing moments that would not work in any other medium and at times, they are simply breathtaking. It’s so immersive and I have played nothing like it, I really feel that VR has moved up a notch with this title.
Graphically, Blood and Truth is superb. Even with the low resolution of the PSVR display, everything is crisp, clear and very well rendered. Characters are very well realized, the environments are beautiful and the models of the weapons are brilliant. It all adds to the immersion and even though the resolution is low, as are all VR games, the immersion just takes hold and within minutes I was lost in this world and the resolution was not an issue at all. It’s one of the prettiest VR games I have played, the lighting is very good and everything is so well realized.
Sound wise this game is superb too, it has a really banging soundtrack that really amplifies the action and set pieces beautifully. There is one specific scene which puts you in front of a set of DJ decks that is insane. The voice acting is also very good and the whole sound design does its job of keeping you grounded and immersed in this world. The action in the gunfights is ramped up by the choice of music and everything fits the style of the game beautifully. The developers really did a great job on both the visuals and sounds of this title.
The VR implementation and performance of Blood and Truth is flawless. I never once had an issue with any of the VR elements, there is nothing worse than playing a VR game and constantly having to adjust the camera or mess with the tracking. I had none of that nonsense and its one of the best VR implementations I have played. You play the whole game sitting down and the game is designed to be as problem free as possible and it just works. It was a joy to play and I had no issues on the performance front whatsoever, no crashes, framerate issues or bugs at all.
If you have a PSVR headset then there is nothing else for it, you need to buy this game now. The gunfights are amazing and they are interspersed between great set pieces and interactive scenes for you to enjoy. Seriously, I did not expect to enjoy the stuff between the gunfights as much as I did. Its all designed and implemented so well, even unscrewing and hacking alarm panels is fun. The developers have added lots of stuff to do and collect, there are a lot of weapons to use and you can even give people ‘the bird’, seriously, what’s not to like? Its VR implementation is problem free, the game is incredibly immersive and it has a good story to go with it. I cannot find anything negative to say really and that certainly does not happen very often. This is as close as I have been to giving a game full marks as I thoroughly enjoyed the time I spent playing this impressive title.
*Code kindly provided by the publisher for review*