Editor’s Note: This is our preview of Blood & Truth from Paris Games Week. The same code is now on show at PlayStation Experience, so we thought we’d show you our impressions again.
It’s no secret that The London Heist is the highlight from PlayStation VR Worlds, a collection of small VR game concepts that released alongside the PSVR last year. The package was created by Sony’s London Studio and The London Heist, a short, interactive narrative experience about thieves and an epic car getaway, stole the show. Now a year later those same developers are working together again but this time they’re taking what they learned from working on PSVR Worlds and making a single, fully-developed game called Blood and Truth.
Blood and Truth was announced yesterday during Sony’s Paris Games Week presentation and is being billed as a modern day action game that puts you “in the shoes of an action hero” like never before according to the PlayStation blog post — it feels a bit like James Bond to me from an aesthetic perspective. They weren’t willing to tell me how long it will be, but they did say it’s much longer than a short demo-like experience.
At a private PlayStation press event yesterday I got the chance to go hands-on with the game and play through a brief section. My objective was to track a mobster guy in a hotel/casino and interrogate him to find out the location of his boss, the game’s main bad guy. I could reach down and pull out the silenced pistol on my chest with my right hand and grab an ammo clip from my hip using my left hand. Reloading was done by slamming the clip into the gun, just like in The London Heist.
Movement is a bit unique in Blood and Truth. In the trailer (embedded below) it seems like the developers included smooth, free locomotion as a movement option but that’s not the case based on what I’ve seen. Instead, there are pre-defined waypoints spread throughout the game that you select and your character will automatically slide across the level towards them.
You could also strafe from side-to-side between movement nodes as well. It feels less like you’re walking and more like the experience is on rails of some kind or you have on rollerskates. I didn’t notice any discomfort, but the lack of control was a bit odd.
The content of my demo was promising and makes me feel like the finished product will feature a lot of gameplay variety. Things start out nice and slow as I’m slowly sneaking into the facility and have to monitor my target’s movements across the casino using security cameras. Eventually I’m discovered and a security guard opens fire, forcing me to creep down the hallway.
On the ground floor of the building I start setting C4 charges on slot machines to rig the place to blow up. Taking my time not to get caught, it was satisfying to focus on VR’s interactive potential. Instead of just tapping a button like you would in a non-VR game, I had to open the pouch, remove the C4, attach it to the surface, and press the red button to arm it. This series of actions coupled with the intensity of enemies searching for me, dramatically enhanced the atmosphere.
Gunplay felt great once the shootout commenced and I was able to easily move between cover even though it was just node-based sliding movement. When the bullets started firing I didn’t care much about the lack of free locomotion because I was so focused on not getting killed, but I could definitely imagine the absence of freedom to explore will get frustrating as the game goes on.
My demo concluded in a foot race as my target tried to flee that was entirely on rails, moving me through the halls completely automatically. Since I needed information I couldn’t shoot my target due to the risk of him dying, so I had to shoot all of the enemies that popped up in my path during the chase, but take care not to hit him in the back. The best moment in the whole demo happened when I shot a fire extinguisher that exploded and resulted in a super slow-motion bullet-time sequence that earned me several headshots. Watching enemy corpses sink lifelessly to the ground is super satisfying, if a bit jarring, due to the game’s relative realism.
Blood and Truth is shaping up to be the game that everyone wanted The London Heist to be in the first place. We look forward to learning more about the game in anticipation of its release for PSVR in 2018.