Virtual reality as a gaming genre has often felt to be heavy on experiences, but light on story. Many virtual reality offerings are exhibitions of development talent. But, they lack the final piece of true immersion: narrative.
Whilst many are still getting to grips with the storytelling abilities of virtual reality, the award-winning London Studio’s latest PlayStation VR exclusive Blood & Truth delivers blockbuster action and plenty of drama.
Be the hero
Whilst the PlayStation VR Worlds effect, the London Heist, was a classic cockney gangster experience, London Studio describes Blood & Truth as a love letter to their favourite action movies.”Be The Action Hero” is an apt tagline. The immersive nature of virtual reality puts you directly within incredible action sequences.
Blood & Truth’s main protagonist is Ryan Mark. He is conveniently an elite SAS soldier trained in all aspects of close quarter combat, guns and espionage. Ryan also happens to be (presumably, much to the surprise of government background checks) a member of London’s largest crime family.
While in deep cover in a war-torn country, Ryan receives horrible news. His gangster Father has died. During his return home, a prominent crime boss seizes the opportunity to take the throne.
Missions within the game are episodic in nature. Interactions with CIA operative Agent Carson drive the narrative. Many of the missions are flashbacks during an interview, with Agent Carson unravelling mystery in an attempt to infiltrate a larger conspiracy.
At its core, Blood & Truth is an on-rails virtual reality shooter. Movement is preset, with ammo conveniently placed throughout. Ryan must use an arsenal of weapons at his disposal.
What elevates Blood & Truth from the typical on-rails experience is the incredible polish that motion capture and stage-actors provide. Quite often, the characters are literally in your face, barely a meter or two away. Each nuanced performance has been wonderfully captured. Key characters are incredibly expressive and their personalities are key to creating an immersive virtual reality experience. I found myself much more captivated and enthralled with the experience because of this.
Virtual reality immersion
Blood & Truth has done an incredible job with creating a virtual reality experience that feels light on limitations. The missions always put the action front and centre and each mission provides unique ways to create variety in virtual reality.
An art museum mission showcases immersive virtual reality experiences through the installations on offer within it. Construction site shootouts feature climbing sections. Throughout the game, gunplay is separated by a variety of espionage-themed puzzles, such as picking locks, planting bombs and cutting power to key locations.
In fact, the gunplay is incredibly satisfying. You can carry two pistols via holsters and a primary weapon on your back. Guns range from silenced pistols, magnums, sawn-off shotguns and semi-automatic machine guns. You’ll also find sniper rifles and even grenade launchers.
Switching between your weapons, even whilst dual wielding, is incredibly fluid. And, you can carry additional ammunition via chest holsters and there is plenty throughout the missions. The act of reloading magazines and cartridges soon becomes second nature. Eventually, you can unlock a ‘focus’ mode is, which provides an action movie-esque bullet time effect. This allows you to line up shots with more precision or take out multiple enemies in an action-packed sequence of events.
During one mission I found myself pinned down by three enemies. Taking damage, close to death and with the ever increasing beeping of an incoming grenade, I activated bullet time. After reloading reloaded both my pistols, I holstered my right, caught the incoming grenade. I threw it back and then proceeded to take out anyone who survived the grenade blast. In this moment I became Jason Bourne incarnate, living out every action movie fans virtual reality fantasy from the comfort of my living room.
Blood & Truth is an incredible action-packed virtual reality experience. It will allow you to step into a wonderfully-crafted action movie where you can experience deft defying stunts first hand. It is a must for all PlayStation VR fans.