The first time I played Rainbow Six was completely by accident. I went to a game shop in my youth intending to purchase 007: The World Is Not Enough on N64 but they were sold out, so I got Rainbow Six instead based on cool box art alone. I was hooked. Friends would come over and we’d spend hours clearing missions and facing off in tense multiplayer battles. Firewall: Zero Hour looks like it aims to replicate that tactical multiplayer FPS feeling perfectly.
Developed by First Contact, the same studio behind ROM: Extraciton, Firewall looks like the type of game PSVR gamers have been clamoring for ever since the PS Aim controller was revealed. While Firewall will have DualShock 4 support as well, the best way to play the game will undoubtedly be with Sony’s sleek, plastic peripheral in your hands.
Notably, Firewall looks to be the exact game that many people assumed Bravo Team would be when it was unveiled at Sony’s E3 2017 press conference earlier this year. On closer inspection, however, Bravo Team turned out to be nothing more than a Time Crisis cover shooter without any direct movement at all. This time around however you can not only freely move around the environment such as you could in Farpoint using the Aim’s front analog stick, but you can face-off in competitive team-based tactical warfare as well.
The main game mode in Firewall involves competing teams of four known as Attackrs and Defenders. The Attackers must infiltrate a location, bypass the firewall at access points, locate the laptop, and hack it. On the other end the Defenders must secure the access points and prevent the hack. Adam Orth from First Contact alluded to other game modes in the works, but they couldn’t talk about those just yet. It will have single player content in the form of playing scenarios with and against AI soldiers, but there is no narrative-based campaign mode to speak of.
Playing matches and winning earns players “cryptocurrency” and XP that can be used to upgrade your in-game contractor mercenaries with new weapons, equipment, and customization options. I wasn’t able to see any of this in my demo, but I did get to try out both the close-quarters shotgun glass and the auto-rifle based Assault class.
I was the first member of the media to try out Firewall at all of PSX this weekend and I can thankfully report that it feels great in action. Movement is a lot slower than you’ll find in something like Farpoint or DOOM VFR because this is a very slow-paced tactical shooter. The moments between and preceding firefights in which you’re cautiously wandering hallways, poking your head around corners, and trying not to be seen are just as impotant as when you’re firing at enemies across a room.
I got to play on the Attacking team twice. The first time I used a shotgun and we rolled up guns blazing straight through the front door. We decided to ignore the objectives and just cleared out all four of our enemies to complete the mission instead. Using the front trigger buttons I can throw out a frag or flash grenade for certain scenarios, which came in handy during the next match.
For this scenario I opted for the Assault class instead with an auto rifle. We took a much more measured and sneaky approach this time around, circling around the outside of the building to a balcony entry on the second floor. Before we could get inside we made contact with the other team. I was ducking behind a window opening, tossing in grenades to keep the scattered while the rest of my team worked their way inside. The other team’s shotgun guy made quick work of them and downed all three of my teammates before long. I thought it was just me and one guy left standing, so I ran in and made quick work of him, then shot my gun in the air in celebration.
I wasn’t alone.
His other team members showed up to avenge him and forced me to retreat into the house. I ducked behind a door and tried to shoot them from across the hall, but being out of grenades and not knowing the building layout, I didn’t stand a chance.
The full, smooth locomotion worked great and the back analog stick enabled snap turning. Since you move so slowly and deliberately in a game like Firewall I didn’t notice any motion sickness at all. The rest of my team did a great job of calling out appropriately military-themed phrases like “I’ve got your six!” and “Contact left!” to amp up the immersion even more. Playing with a good group of people that take the game seriously like this is going to be key once it launches next year.
Firewall: Zero Hour is slated for PSVR in 2018 and is in development in partnership with Sony as a platform exclusive. Let us know what you think of the game so far down in the comments below!