Firewall Zero Hour is finally out! One of the biggest VR game launches is now upon us and the internet is abuzz with excitement for this 4v4 online-only multiplayer tactical shooter. It’s exclusive to PSVR, feels great with the Aim controller, and totally rewrites the way you should approach an FPS when compared to a non-VR game. You can lean out of cover, blind fire over and around objects, and do things you could never do outside of VR.
It’s pretty clear at this point that Firewall Zero Hour is easily one of the best VR shooters to date and lots of people are gonna be playing it over the next few weeks, so we rounded up these tips to help you get started.
Understanding the Game Modes
When you first load up Firewall Zero Hour the main menu has a Tutorial, Training, and Contracts listed as the game modes. You should definitely do the Tutorial first. In fact, I’d say that even if you’ve played a ton of shooters in VR and outside of VR, you should definitely do the Tutorial first. There are just a lot of nuances to this game that are best learned through the game’s official teaching mechanism.
Once you do that, jump into Training. I’d start with Solo and pick the Attacking side on an indoor map like Office or Hotel. That will get you comfortable with shooting enemies, hacking firewalls, and securing the laptop intel. It feels a little like Terrorist Hunt on Rainbow Six Siege.
Then, switch over to Defense on Training. This is really just a wave-based survival mode in which enemies constantly flood towards the laptop trying to secure it. If you can hold out then you win. You can do Co-Op training as well with some friends.
After all that, I’d say you’re ready for Contracts. This is the 100% PvP online 4v4 tactical mode that makes up the vast majority of Firewall’s appeal. Two teams of four are placed on a map in which the Attackers must hack a firewall access point then secure intel from a laptop while the Defenders must wipe them all out and/or protect the laptop. No respawns. It gets pretty intense.
Know Your Objectives
In Firewall Zero Hour it’s extremely important to understand what your objectives are. As it stands currently, there is no Team Deathmatch mode (although that may change in the future) so it’s crucial that you work together towards a central goal to achieve victory.
As the Attacking team, your main objective actual is not to kill the enemies. Instead, you’re intended to hack one of two firewall access points (it doesn’t matter which) to reveal the laptop’s location. Then, you must secure intel from the laptop — in that order. That’s it. Wiping out the other team certainly would help make your objectives much easier, but it’s not required. In fact, if you kill the other team but don’t complete your objectives, then you still lose the match.
Then as the Defending team, it’s the opposite. You either can wipe out the other team to win, or just delay them enough so that they never access the laptop before time runs out. I’ve literally won on the Defending team before after we all died because the Attacking team wasn’t able to get the access point and laptop in time.
Communication and Teamwork are Crucial
Since Firewall Zero Hour is a team-based game, that means working together is absolutely critical. If you’re not talking to your teammates on mic, then you’re putting your team at a disadvantage. There are no respawns in Firewall, so calling out where you see enemies and objectives is extremely important.
You’ll need to practice actual, legitimate tactics in this game unlike any other shooter you’ve played. Even in Rainbow Six Siege, ARMA, Insurgency, and others you’re limited by the confines of your controller or keyboard, but in Firewall you can physically motion your gun to teammates, lean around corners, or blind fire over cover.
Deciding when to move, where to go, how aggressive to be, and calling out decisions not only makes your team better, but it makes the game better. You haven’t experienced the true intensity of VR until you’re suppressed, under fire, and chucking grenades over your head, blind firing, and yelling to a teammate to come back you up.
Take it Slow
Because of the lack of respawns and intense gameplay, Firewall isn’t the kind of game you should play like a lone wolf Rambo-era badass. This isn’t Call of Duty. You need to stick together, watch your flanks, and approach each scenario carefully. A couple well-placed shots can easily take you down.
That’s a big part of the reason why the default movement speed is so slow. It looks agonizing when watching a 2D feed of the game, but in practice it actually feels very realistic and appropriate. When necessary L3 lets you sprint, but it makes a lot of noise unless you have the right perk.
Utilize Your Surroundings
Every map in Firewall is very, very different. And I don’t just mean in the different tileset or skybox way, but in the “this feels like a different corner of the world” way. From the UK and Russia to the Middle East there is a strong sense of personality in every level.
Learning the maps and their various intricacies is extremely important. When you’re in VR, it’s easy to get tunnel vision and forget to check behind, beside, below, or even above you and almost every map has some element of multi-level verticality that you don’t want to forget about.
Once You Die You Can Still Help Your Team
Death isn’t the end in Firewall Zero Hour. For starters, if you’re just downed, then a teammate can come revive you up to two times — on your third downed state, it’s for good. And if the enemy finishes you off, then you’re dead. But even once you die, it’s not the end.
At that point you can start cycling through security cameras and relay enemy locations to your teammates via voice chat. This is an extremely important facet of the game and can be a major turning point if you’re able to communicate well and help your remaining teammates come back from your death.
But remember: the enemy can do the same.
Attacking vs Defending Advice
Finally, in addition to knowing your objectives (as explained earlier) there are some key tips to keep in mind for each side of every map as well. If you’re Attacking, remember that the objectives are all that really matter. If you’re confident enough, sending a lone wolf to distract the other team while everyone else focuses on the objectives could be a good strategy. Or, be aggressive, wipe them out, then clean up the objectives afterwards. The problem with that though is that you need to make sure you’ve got enough time.
Until the community starts to learn the maps better, playing Defense is a bit easier right now. You can hold down a position and wait for Attackers to approach, set traps like mines, and eventually unlock other gadgets like door blockers and C4 as well. Using all of the tools in your arsenal is important as a defender. Taking frag grenades every match might not be the best idea if you want a balanced team.
That just about covers the basics. If you’re still struggling don’t be afraid to ask people for help. Most people in the PSVR community are friendly and happy to assist, so you should feel comfortable asking for advice from your teammates. You can also just do more Training missions to get comfortable.
For more on Firewall Zero Hour, make sure and watch our nearly two hour long launch night livestream or check out this massive info dump with everything you need to know about the PSVR shooter.