Review: Bow to Blood (PSVR)

Review: Bow to Blood (PSVR)

Platforms:

  • PlayStation 4

Platform/Hardware Used:

  • PSN Download
  • PS4 Pro
  • 4K HDR

Extras:

  • PlayStation VR Required
  • DualShock 4 None
  • Move Required (2)
  • PS VR Aim Controller None
Title: Bow to Blood
Format: PSN (2.51 GB)
Release Date: August 28, 2018
Publisher: Tribetoy Inc.
Developer:
Original MSRP: $29.99 (US), £24.99 (UK)
ESRB Rating: E10+
PEGI: 12
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes.
PS Nation Review Policy

Gameplay:
Part Star Trek Bridge Crew, part Starblood Arena, all cop.

No, not really. But Bow to Blood is a very nice combination of the “game show of the future” aesthetics of Starblood Arena and the team management gameplay of Star Trek Bridge Crew. It’s an awesome little VR game that may have released at a bad time, but also one that should not be ignored.

As a captain of a flying ship, you enter into a TV show-like contest where you engage in battle against other captains, form alliances, search for treasure and complete small missions across a small open-world arena.

Review: Bow to Blood (PSVR) Review: Bow to Blood (PSVR)

Using the Move controllers to issue orders, as well as aim your ship’s cannons, you must survive and earn enough reputation to avoid being voted out at the end of each mission. Doing so means aligning yourself with other pirates and coming to their aid. The whole concept is intriguing and makes for some RPG-lite moments.

While combat in Bow to Blood is primarily based on pointing your Move controller at incoming vessels, your character can also engage smaller enemies by drawing a hand gun and shooting them as they try to disable your ship.

Fortunately it gets deeper than that. The line between victory and defeat isn’t simply dependent on your ability to shoot enemies. Two teammates are at your disposal, your crew members as it were. You command them to man different stations that buff your ship or provide additional weapons and defense mechanisms like shields or battle drones.

Knowing when to put your crew on shields, or have your man the scanning system is part of the fun of approaching different scenarios.

Review: Bow to Blood (PSVR) Review: Bow to Blood (PSVR)

I was one of the people that jumped on Starblood Arena and was bummed when no one was playing online. I ended up playing against bots until I just got bored. VR is still in its early adoption phase and it’s helpful that campaign-driven games like Bow to Blood provide a great experience while not being dependent on another player’s availability.

Visuals:
I played this on a PlayStation 4 Pro, and while the visuals themselves are stylized and consistently appropriate for the theme, I feel like the developers could have taken advantage of the Pro’s strength a bit more because I’ve seen games with stronger visuals look less jaggie. Nevertheless, Bow to Blood looks great and its cartoony style keeps it running smoothly under the hood.

Audio:
The talented voice work of Erik Bree and Vivian Lu, as well as Greg Chun, give life to this steam/cyberpunk world, where giant ships battle it out for the pleasure of millions of viewers.

If it’s not Chun’s game-show host announcements, then it’s Vivian’s gung-ho character, Elly, griping about how much she wants to jump on the cannons to deal some pain to the enemy. Bow to Blood oozes with personality thanks to these talented voice actors, as well as the sound design in general.

Online/Multiplayer:
This game is one player only with no online component.

Review: Bow to Blood (PSVR) Review: Bow to Blood (PSVR)

Conclusion:
Bow to Blood released the same week as Firewall Zero Hour and I’d like to think that the audience for one game wouldn’t affect the other but the competition might be take away the spotlight for this brilliant little game.

If multiplayer only isn’t your thing and Bow to Blood was on your radar, then worry not. It’s a fantastic VR game with unique game mechanics across different genres, brilliant visual design, and gobs of personality thanks to its witty writing and audio performance.

Score:
8.5

* All screenshots used in this review were taken directly from the game using the Share functionality on the PlayStation 4.

Twitter Digg Delicious Stumbleupon Technorati Facebook