Blood & Truth has it hard. After all, it’s not easy to be a VR game.
It has to nail a ton of different things; visuals, a smooth frame rate and fun gameplay. Mess up a single aspect and everything basically falls apart.
Yeah, it’s true for other types of games too but more so for VR titles.
So is Blood & Truth one of the must play VR games or is it something to be bought during a sale?
What is Blood & Truth?
Blood & Truth (B&T) is a first person VR shooter, with limited environmental interaction thrown in here and there. It’s a game based off the London Heist level from Playstation VR Worlds, so elements of it (specifically the gunplay) might feel really familiar to those who’ve played that.
You’re put in the shoes of Ryan Marks, a Special Ops soldier who’s recalled after the death of his father. Unfortunately for Marks, forces are arraying against him and his family, out for their fortune and empire.
As Marks , you’ll shoot, sneak and sabotage your way through a variety of stages to put those who threaten your relatives out to pasture.
The easiest way to describe B&T is that it’s a lightgun shooter, but in VR. It’s feels very familiar to those who grew up playing later SEGA lightgun games like Confidential Mission or Ghost Squad, with elements of Time Crisis thrown in for good measure.
Shoot first, ask questions after.
As the major gameplay component, the gunplay in B&T is extremely well done. The guns all sound and feel (you’ll want to wear headphones to get the best bang for your buck…literally) AWESOME, though it’s a bit of a letdown that the PS Aim controller isn’t compatible.
Despite that, you CAN hold rifles with two hands via two PS Move controllers. It’s a bit weird but it does let you aim down the gun sights better than using one hand.
Shooting enemies is fun too, though I wish the game more visual indicators of where your bullets are going. At times I could swear I’m emptying my clip into a guy but the bullets just aren’t on target. Tracer rounds for pistols (or more sparks and background visual effects for bullet impacts) would’ve been very welcome.
Enemies react relatively realistically to where they’re shot too, but sometimes you’ll need to hit them multiple times before they register. It’s a bit weird (and I hope it’s patched out) since sometimes you’ll be plugging somebody a few times before they notice they’re hit and react.
Of course, spraying and praying works pretty well too. You’ll definitely want to calibrate your PS Move controllers but once you’re dialed in, you’ll be having a great time. Reloading is awesome as you’ll need to manually grab an ammo clip from your chest and jam it into your gun.
The motion really enhances the shooting experience since there’s no HUD to let you know how much ammo you’ve left. Either you keep track or you’ll find yourself going dry at inopportune moments. Motion is also taken into account when you’re behind cover.
Moving around lets you peek out of cover, though you can also move from cover to cover or strafe by pressing a button. I got a bit queasy from the movement because it’s too smooth. There’s no head bob at all, and it feels like you’re on a sliding around instead of moving with your feet.
I’m fine with other parts of the game (like the jeep or car rides), it’s just the player movement that doesn’t sit too well with me. I’m somebody who can stand VR a fair bit, so if you’re easily queasy, beware that this might be a deal breaker for you.
You get a variety of guns to use (from assault rifles to SMGs to automatic pistols) and all of them are fun.
Before every mission, you can choose and customize what gun you’re going to be bringing. You can add on accessories like a silencer or enhanced sights but you’ll need to get stars from missions to unlock them. You can even dual wield if that’s your choice.
I personally prefer pistols (silenced) or revolvers because the game has a special feature that allows you to twirl them.
I’m not lying when I say I probably spent more time just fooling around with that feature in the shooting range than doing anything else.
You can control the speed and motion of the twirl and it REALLY makes you feel like RoboCop or Shalashaska/ Revolver Ocelot after a while. It’s badass and I say is worth the price of admission alone!
Tools of the trade.
Apart from gunning down everybody else, there are also secondary components to the gameplay.
You’ll be picking locks (one hand twists the PS Move controller to find the sweet spot, another pushes to unlock), disabling alarms, pressing buttons (setting C4 charges was damn awesome), climbing ladders (you can even climb them one-handed if you don’t want to holster your gun) and opening lots and lots of doors/drawers. It’s basically what you’d expect a VR game to be.
Locking picking is the most involved, but is a bit underused in my opinion. Climbing is in the same boat. I would LOVE to see this same mechanic implemented in a horror game, with you slowing climbing and peeking around.
One thing I wish the game did better were the cutscenes. They’re all in real-time and can drag on for what seems like an eternity. There’s no option to skip them either, so you’re forced to endure them whether you want to or not.
Characters aren’t as detailed as you’d like too, particularly up close.
They’re nowhere near the quality of major PS4 games (like God of War or Detroit) and it really shows when you’re looking at one for extended periods during cutscenes.
In fact, the whole game is visually underwhelming.
Words are blurry, even when you’re bringing them right up to your eyes. Detail for the game is rather low, making it a bit of a chore to make out items that aren’t nearby.
Luckily that’s not a problem most of the time (as you’ll be too busy shooting to look around much) but it’ll hit you during the game’s quiet moments.
The most important thing visually is the framerate, which is pretty solid throughout. That’s not to say you won’t get motion sickness (as mentioned, the moving is pretty jarring) but discomfort is pretty minimal, even with extended play.
Motion detection is pretty spot on most of the time, though I do have issues trying to holster handguns. Perhaps that’s due to you needing to press the trigger when the PS Move controller is at your hip, but I keep discharging the weapon most of the time I do it, unless I’m really careful.
If this was real life, I think my thigh and calves would be swiss cheese by now.
The bottom line.
I honestly thought the London Heist (along with the shark cage dive experience) was one of the best things to show off the PS VR with. As an expansion of the concepts found in the London Heist, Blood & Truth is awesome, capturing everything that made the original so good and then ramping it up.
It’s not all good as the movement system is unnatural and will definitely induce motion sickness is some. That’s especially troubling, as most of the core gameplay involves you moving from point to point.
On top of that, the game also forces you to sit in on cutscenes, with no option to skip.
Sure they set up the story but most people can’t handle playing VR for long periods. An option to skip would’ve been wonderful for anybody who just wants to dive it, play the game and get out before motion sickness or some other VR induced effect sets in.
At the end of the day, Blood & Truth isn’t the quintessential VR experience.
It is however, still one of the best VR games on the PS4 and you really can’t go wrong with the game, whether you’re looking for a short VR game or something substantial. Just be aware of the potential for motion sickness while moving.
– The gunplay.
– The guns.
– Movement might cause motion sickness.
– No skipping story cutscenes.
– The visuals.