Blood and Truth, Sony’s follow-up to the London Heist minigame in PlayStation VR Worlds, is a funny one. You’d think making a full game out of one of the headset’s most popular launch demos would turn into a surefire hit, right? It certainly worked for Astro Bot.
And yet our reactions to multiple hands-on sessions with the game thus far have been mixed at best. While there’s definitely a blockbuster satisfaction to the cover-based shooting, there’s also some dated mechanics and restrictions that we feel like VR should have moved past by now, especially at this level. I just got the chance to go hands-on with the game myself for the first time, though, and I walked away from some interesting findings.
You Can Do Some Pretty Fun Tricks With Your Guns
Want to pull off your best Revolver Ocelot impression? Blood and Truth lets you do that. Hold down the triangle button on your gun-holding hand and Ryan will take his fingers off of the grip, keeping his finger on the trigger. You can then shake the Move controller and he’ll swing his weapon around like a toy. Or how about balancing a magazine on top of your gun, then flicking it up and catching it mid-air to reload? If you’re using a pistol, you can even bring two hands together to simulate holding it with both hands, for that extra-professional feel. They’re small touches, but they help keep you engaged as you fiddle with your weapon between shootouts.
London Looks The Part
As a Londoner myself, I have to say Sony London has done a pretty good job dressing up the capital for VR. The tower block estate that I fought my way through was designed just like any other cover-based shooter (lots of waist-high items to hide behind), but it was done with at least a little authenticity. I was taking cover behind hallmarks of British roadworks like rubbish skips and wooden palettes and the walkways connecting blocks of apartments (or, as I’d say, flats) seemed like a sprawling maze. It’s the more mundane side of London, sure, but that’s kind of the point.
But The Accents Are Hilarious
I laughed a lot in my Blood and Truth demo. Like, a lot. On the outside looking in people probably thought I took great joy in the slaughter of hoodie-wearing thugs but in reality it was down to what I was hearing more than what I was seeing. Like The London Heist before it, Blood And Truth takes after Guy Ritchie films such as Snatch with its cast of cockney characters. But it lays it on thick, almost to the point of parody. I bellowed with laughter when one enemy retaliated with “You f**king plonker!” after being shot, or as they mocked my status as an “SAS soldier?” with their whiny teenage accents.
As an aside; it was conflicting to be gunning down scores of enemies that looked and sounded like they could be aged anywhere from 15 – 25, especially when the real London is in the middle of a desperate struggle to stop gang and youth violence. I’m not preaching or saying anything should change, but I definitely recalled the warnings of an earlier UploadVR editorial as I played.
Movement Is Both Dated And Intuitive At The Same Time
I’m also somewhat curious about the game’s movement system, which I know has caught a lot of heat. On the one hand, yes, it’s dated. I’ve never been a big fan of node-based shooters in VR and it seems a shame Sony London isn’t embracing full locomotion of some kind, especially seeing as the transition to cover points is just like traditional movement (as in, you glide from A to B). At the same time, what’s there does feel incredibly intuitive, making this one of the few Move games in which I haven’t fumbled over the controls.
Pressing the left or right bottom face buttons to strafe between movement points is super simple, and if you feel better just looking to your side and pressing the Move button to make the same transition you can do that too. I have no doubt Sony London is going to be another unfortunate victim to the army of VR players that berate any developer that doesn’t include normal smooth locomotion from day one. A game shouldn’t be eternally damned for its choice of movement but I have to admit it really feels like the Blood and Truth would benefit from giving players a little more freedom.
It Really Needs PS Aim Support
Not to beat a dead horse, but it seems strange to me that what’s being billed as PSVR’s premiere first-person shooter isn’t using the controller designed specifically for the genre. Aim’s rifle-shaped design creates an amazing sense of immersion in games like Farpoint and Firewall, and titles like Arizona Sunshine have proven developers can adapt to accommodate it. In Sony London’s defense, there are engaging mechanics that require two free hands, like lockpicking, but I can’t help but feel the core of the game would benefit so much from Aim support that the trade-offs made would be worth it.
Blood and Truth is coming exclusively to PSVR at an unknown date.