901121 17

Bravo Team Review: Time Crisis Gets The VR Treatment

by David Jagneaux • March 6th, 2018
Platforms: PSVR

- Fantastic shooting gameplay with the PS Aim
- Satisfying co-op
- Good level design


- Lack of ability to freely move around levels
- Extremely short campaign
- Score attack mode is almost completely pointless
- Sub-par visual fidelity

When I first played Bravo Team back at E3 last year it immediately reminded me of the classic arcade game, Time Crisis. The comparisons are obvious: you pop in and out of cover shooting at bad guys and the game predetermines your path through levels. And for better and for worse, that comparison holds true for the final product as well.

In Bravo Team you take control of a military officer after a terrorist attack that results in the assassination of a key political figure. You and your partner have to fight your way across a city to get extracted, killing countless soldiers and enemies along the way. The majority of the game gives you a trusty assault rifle with a red dot sight and a pistol sidearm. Occasionally it mixes up things with different weapons (like a sniper) and some intense set piece moments.

In the video above you can see me play through the entire Prologue and the first Bridge mission. All in all the entire game takes only about 3-4 hours to complete when playing alone with an AI partner, but that time would likely be even less if you were playing with a real human ally.

The AI partner does a good enough job of feeling useful, taking out a few enemies here and there, and attracting some attention when you send them out into the middle of a firefight. But overall there isn’t really a good replacement for having another real person by your side.

When you’re both using PS Aim controllers, crouched down behind a busted up car, poking your head out or blind firing from cover, it really does start to feel like you’re at war a bit. These are the special moments when all of Bravo Team’s moving parts fall into place just right. However, those moments of brilliance are few and far between.

The reality of Bravo Team is that it’s a very thinly veiled wave shooter that lets you move from cover point to cover point with little actual control over your character other than where he aims his gun to shoot. Once you choose a new cover spot during a mission, your character then runs forward as you have an out-of-body experience and can no longer control anything. Instead, you sit back and watch your soldier run forward to the spot you marked.

I get the need to cater to those that suffer from motion sickness, but this does not feel like the right solution. It’s been attempted in other games, like Front Defense: Heroes and From Other Suns, but it never comes across as a competent solution. The issue is that it totally ruins the immersion by literally removing you from the body of your character. You can’t really earn back a believable sense of presence after that.

It’s also extra jarring in Bravo Team because, unlike in those other two games, you can’t control anything once your character starts moving in third person. This means that even if you get shot during movement and wish you could cancel the movement and retreat, you can’t — they just keep moving forward with no regard for the world around them. It can be infuriating.

It’s also extremely common for your orientation to the world around you to shift and change between cover points meaning you may turn to your left to select a cover point, but then end up facing a different direction entirely once you arrive.

Each of the game’s missions occur one after another and are almost entirely linear. There are some branching paths in how you approach a few of the convergence points, but the experiences won’t vary much in any case.

You’ll start out at one end of the level, be tasked with clearing out enemies as you make your way to the end, and then just rinse and repeat until completed. The second level, Alleys, introduces some stealth-gameplay elements, but they never get expanded on and the lack of agency/control over your character makes any stealth moment even more frustrating than it would have been otherwise.

The Score Attack mode is an effort to expand the game’s replayability, but the stages are basically just rehashes of the campaign’s levels. Even the voiceovers from your in-ear navigation NPC is the same. The only difference is you’re trying to kill enemies more quickly to rack up points.

It’s worth mentioning that technically you can play Bravo Team with a DualShock 4, but I don’t think I’d recommend it. This game was designed from the ground up for the PS Aim and that’s really the only way it should be played. That’s the whole reason they’re bundling the two together, for example. Playing with two PS Move controllers is slightly better, but it doesn’t really feel the same as holding an actual physical rifle peripheral like the PS Aim.

When Farpoint released last year as the PS Aim controller’s launch bundle, it showed us a bold future of first-person shooters in VR. The level designs weren’t overly creative, but it offered a real, legitimate shooter experience with a solid campaign, addictive challenge levels, cooperative multiplayer, and then eventually competitive multiplayer as well. It felt like a real, complete package.

Bravo Team on the other hand doesn’t even let you freely move around levels. And in terms of Supermassive Game’s VR projects, it’s a significant step back from the exhilarating Until Dawn: Rush of Blood and innovative designs of The Inpatient.

Final Score: 5/10 – Mediocre

When Bravo Team was announced at E3 last year it looked like an exciting, tactical shooter that would let players navigate environments in cooperative multiplayer. It more or less looked like the PSVR’s very own Onward or Rainbow Six. In reality it’s just another wave shooter, even if it uses a nifty gun controller. If you’re waiting on a more fully-featured shooter for PSVR, then keep an eye on Firewall: Zero Hour instead.

Bravo Team releases today exclusively for PSVR. Read our Game Review Guidelines for more information on how we arrived at this score. 

Tagged with: ,

What's your reaction?
  • gothicvillas

    Avoid like a plague 🙁

  • Kasimir De Valtos

    Effectively, this is a terrible game. 5 is generous on my opinion. I do not know what Sony is thinking…

  • Mithrandir

    I sold my PSVR after I saw this announced. Just looked like a step backwards even in the preview.

    • Pkenedy

      same here

    • Soleandro

      I also sold my PC after reading some bad reviews of some games that i will never play in my life. 😀 😀

      • Mithrandir

        Lol 😜 ok my comment was a bit obscure , to explain in more detail … given Sony’s history of releasing stuff and not supporting it, as an early adopter I was already anxious that they had gone all silient on promoting the PsVR. Several game shows had passed with little more then a mention. So when they finally announced their first party titles, with all the whiz bang and it turned out to be this title .. a low effort , generic shooter barely putting the aim controller to use, I decided I should cash out early and move to a a VR platform that was going to see much more of a push behind it, rather then be a side gig.

        • Soleandro

          Ok, this really explains it better 😉 Yeah..i can totally understand
          you. Some PSVR related steps of Sony are totally not understandable. Im
          waiting for the Resident Evil 2 Remake,hoping it will also be on VR.
          Especially because i totally loved RE7 on VR. But im also starting to
          buy a new setup for a new vr headset. Did you allready buy a new one ?
          Rift or Vive ?

        • Mike549

          So far the PSVR has a lot of exclusives: RE7, Farpoint, Skyrim, and a few more. I don’t get wanting to have fewer choices like you’re choosing a sportsball team to root for. Why on earth not have a PSVR *and* a PC headset (and maybe Gear and Daydream)?

          • Mithrandir

            Because the sale funded the alternative, if money was no object then sure. But I had already played res evil & farpoint by then & did not fancy revisiting Skyrim for literally the 5th time

          • Mike549

            Gotcha, that does make sense. If I had to pick one I would narrowly choose the Rift

      • Bergeronius

        I sold my aunt after I read the review of her cupcakes

    • Paul Fitzgerald

      Idiot. Why would you sell a system because of one game that’s being released? On that logic we should all sell anything that plays games because there are shit games on every platform!

      • Mithrandir

        Have you ever heard the term ‘straw that broke the camels back’ ?

        The rift is light years ahead , nothing I have seen in the last 6 months have made me regret my decision.

  • Gonzalo Novoa

    Aim controller compatible but you can’t move, **** absurd. Too bad, I expected something better, to be honest even with the limited movement.

  • Mike549

    I don’t think it’s that bad. Not at all. If this had come out in the early days of VR and was the first example of using the Aim controller people would be raving about how immersive the shooting is in the game. If you go into this game with low expectations (like after reading this review) and have fond memories of Time Crisis then it’s pretty fun. We all want Call of Duty or similar in VR, so it’s disappointing compared to something like that, but for a wave shooter it’s not bad. It’s like a more rudimentary Arktika1 (though I like the setting in this game better because it’s less confusing).

    • HybridEnergy

      Yea but we have things like Onward and Pavlov so it’s just a bad game.

  • lorettajohnson

    Not surprised after playing the horrible Impatient