When the PlayStation VR launched back in October 2016 one of the first games many of us played was PlayStation VR Worlds from Sony London Studio. It was a collection of five experiences that gave us a taste of what virtual reality could bring to gaming. My personal favorite of these five was The London Heist because of just how much it made me feel like I was actually in a James Bond movie or something similar. It was over far too soon but London Studio heard all of our cries for more and decided to expand The London Heist into a full game. The result is Blood & Truth, a new PlayStation VR exclusive that takes what The London Heist did almost three years ago and turns up the action dial to the extreme.
Blood & Truth is like a Hollywood blockbuster action movie and the cast of characters in this story help to drive that home. You play as lead character and soldier Ryan Marks who is called home after his dad dies. Ryan then finds himself in a war with another family and must take up arms in order to protect his own. The story was pretty enjoyable with it being told via flashbacks for awhile and then playing out in present day later on. Blood & Truth is full of action moments and set pieces but it also wisely takes time to let you catch your breath and enjoy the story and the characters in it. It features plenty of cinematics and all of the characters in the game felt real to me. London Studio struck a nice balance here.
Now in order to play Blood & Truth you’ll need a Dualshock 4 or two PlayStation Move controllers. There is no Aim controller support here and I highly recommend playing with the Moves over the Dualshock 4. It’s playable with the controller but it doesn’t feel anywhere near as good and would most certainly make for a lesser experience. Blood & Truth doesn’t feature free movement but rather you pick from certain points in the level to click and move to. While moving the game doesn’t restrict you so once you click to traverse to a new spot you are still free to shoot or perform other actions while in transit. Speaking of the shooting, Blood & Truth’s shooting and sequences made me feel like an action movie hero perhaps more than any other game I’ve played in or out of virtual reality. When you get in shootouts with enemies you can move from cover to cover and of course actually lean up or out of cover to take shots. It feels really good for the most part but it isn’t perfect.
I played through the whole game while sitting down and for the most part that works great. Sometimes though the action on-screen doesn’t seem like you should be playing it while sitting down though and the same thing can be said if you were to be playing it while standing up. That’s really down to the type of movement this game uses and I don’t think there is much they can do about it with the control limitations the PlayStation VR has. This isn’t a big deal in this game by any means but rather just brief periods where the immersion is broken slightly.
When you’re not shooting goons you might instead be traversing ladders, picking locks, discovering collectibles and so on. Again, London Studio does a good job of mixing the formula up and not letting repetition set in. I also just want to mention some of the really cool things this game lets you do such as when I reached out and grabbed a grenade an enemy threw at me and tossed it right back at them. Another time I’m barreling down the streets in a car chase and I reached out and cranked up the radio to blast some tunes while trading gun fire.
The weapons in the game are really fun to wield and you’ll unlock new ones as you play such as shotguns, revolvers, grenade launches, and rifles. When you return to your safe house you can upgrade them with new parts such as silencers, sights, extended magazines and more. There is also an option to paint them which doesn’t do anything but does let you add your own personal touch to them. You can get a good feel for all the weapons at the shooting range in the safe house before you start up the next mission. I wasted a lot of time here just playing around, emptying my clips, tossing ammo up in the air and letting it fall into my gun and then proceeding to empty it again. It all just felt so good with the two PlayStation Move controllers and these kinds of feelings that I get to experience is why I prefer to play shooting games in VR now. If you’re worried about tracking issues then don’t as I never really had any issue with the Move controllers not tracking correctly.
The whole game took me around 6 hours to finish but there are a few things you can do even after. There is a Time Attack mode and score challenges you can take on and you can go back to any mission to try to clean up any collectibles you might have missed. London Studio has also said that some free post-launch content is on the way such as a harder difficulty, a New Game+ mode, online leaderboards and more timed and score based challenges. I personally feel like what is here is worth the price of admission and that future content is going to make this an even more compelling package.
I already mentioned earlier about how real the characters in the game feel but the whole graphical presentation as a whole is pretty stellar. The gritty environments in the game are full of little details throughout that I would constantly notice. There were a couple odd graphical glitches here and there that I saw but nothing game breaking. Voice performances are extremely well done too which is important because if they weren’t the characters wouldn’t feel as real or be able to be taken as seriously as they are. The cinematic soundtrack and sound design fits perfectly with this world and type of game and further makes you feel like you are in an action movie. The game has a massive 49 trophy list full of different objectives you’ll have to do. It’s a great list and further encourages you to replay the game so long as you care about trophies.
Following up on other hits like Astro Bot: Rescue Mission and Firewall: Zero Hour, Blood & Truth is another exceptional PlayStation VR exclusive. It isn’t wildly different from the London Heist demo we played almost three years ago but rather that game with a greatly expanded scope which is what we all asked for. London Studio has delivered a jam packed action movie experience that you actually get to feel like you are a part of. The PlayStation VR Crown has just added another valuable jewel to itself with Blood & Truth.
*Blood & Truth is available now on PlayStation VR. Reviewed on a PS4 Pro. Review copy provided by Sony Interactive Entertainment for this review. See this review and all of our VR reviews on vrgamecritic.com
Blood & Truth$39.99
- Great, Immersive Story and Cast of Characters
- Controls are Responsive and Accurate
- Great Visuals and Realistic Looking Characters
- Voice Acting, Soundtrack, and Sound Effects All Contribute to an Overall Great Audio Experience
- Minor Grievances with the Movement System
- Some Slight Graphical Bugs