Review: Blood & Truth (PSVR)

Platforms:

  • PlayStation 4

Platform/Hardware Used:

  • PSN Download
  • PS4 Pro
  • HDTV 4K HDR

Extras:

  • PlayStation VR Required
  • DualShock 4 Optional (1)
  • Move Optional (2)
  • PS VR Aim Controller None
Title: Blood & Truth
Format: Blu-ray Disc / PSN (37.73 GB)
Release Date: May 28, 2019
Publisher: Sony Interactive Studio
Developer: SIE London Studio
Original MSRP: $39.99 (US), £34.99 (UK)
ESRB Rating: M
PEGI: 16
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes.
PS Nation Review Policy

Gameplay:
Let’s get this out of the way. Blood and Truth is a node-based action shooter. Node-based, meaning you select where your character, Ryan, moves by looking at location in the environment and clicking a button. Ryan then proceeds to that location automatically while you are free to shoot enemies. One might also use the term, “Choose your own rail shooter.”

Blood and Truth is a spiritual sequel to the 2016 PlayStation VR Worlds demo game The London Heist. In that short demo, you pretty much did the same thing, except you couldn’t actually move around your environments at all.

So, expecting the sequel to all of a sudden be a different type of game might lead to disappointment. If you are, however, aware of the locomotion system for Blood and Truth and are still curious about this AAA VR game, then read on, because you are in for quite a ride.

London Studio’s game is more of a modernization of those old Time Crisis games. While they might have been looked at as simply shooting galleries, fans of those games would say otherwise. And in the case of Blood and Truth “Shooting gallery” would be an injustice. Because Blood is a major showpiece for PSVR and is probably some of the most fun I’ve had under Sony’s headset.

Leaning heavily on story and character development, Blood and Truth doesn’t apologize for lengthy cinematics. This is a very good thing, because you are basically getting to know your own virtual family members, and in virtual reality, these people start to feel real.

But the real meat of Blood is the gunplay, and there are a lot of creative set pieces and epic sequences that truly make you feel like you are the hero of an action movie (probably more so than any other video game I have personally played).

It’s pretty clear that London Studios has taken care in keeping the story under wraps, so I won’t go into details, aside from saying that this is a story of family. I was briefly reminded of the Archer cartoon, minus the humor, of course. This camaraderie between the characters you interact with plays a role in adding some substance to all the shooting and killing you will be doing. And you will be shooting a lot.

Gameplay is somewhat linear, but you will experience gun battles in some locations where you can move from cover to cover and actually be able to select which direction to go. Additionally, you can physically take cover by ducking and standing. I ended up playing the game in sitting position, because there are some scenes where you are in a vehicle and it feels very weird to be standing in the passenger seat of a car that’s obviously meant for sitting. However, I could still stand whenever I felt I wanted to come out of cover for a clear shot of an enemy.

While Blood and Truth is not an open world game, it does allow you to experiment with weapons and upgrade them in your safe house. You can add components to your guns and paint them. There is also a range where you can test out your skills and modded weapons.

Tracking was pretty seamless on Sony’s headset, and that was a relief, as any issues with tracking would have resulted in unnecessary deaths.

Considering the type of game Blood and Truth is, you’d expect it to be fairly short. And while it can be completed in about six hours, this is a pretty admirable length for a game of this type. I also found myself repeating certain scenes because I had such a blast experiencing them.

Visuals:
Triple-A visuals adorn this polished title. Characters look and move like real people, which contributes to immersion that only VR can deliver. But the environments also shine. I spent some time admiring some of the minor visual details, some of which are interactive. I blew a whistle with my actual breath, messed with my brother’s car’s AC vents, and even vaped. The particle effects are also brilliant, and make for some of the most epic scenes I’ve seen in a VR game.

Audio:
Play this one with headphones. Seriously. Not only is it crucial to knowing where the enemies are coming from, but the cinematics also adheres to positional sound and compliment the virtual reality component. Voice acting is top notch. London Studios did a great job bringing these characters to life visually and chose the right talent to voice them to life. Sound effects are also brilliant, and when things get messy, it’s the symphony of destruction that makes the chaos all the sweeter.

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

Conclusion:
It’s clear that Sony is still in the game with their headset. Games like this prove that they are striving to give gamers higher-end VR experiences. Blood and Truth is a highly polished title that will give you a lot of “quite literal” bang for your buck. Its presentation is evocative of Sony’s traditional flat games, and carries a strong narrative voiced by a talented group of actors. But it’s the gunplay that really shines here, and there is a standard set for future entries into the young genre that is virtual reality.

Score:
9.5

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

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