Back at launch in 2016, we waxed lyrical about the London Heist in compilation game PlayStation VR Worlds. At just an hour, London Studio’s short crime drama perfectly captured the potential of PlayStation VR, immersing you in a variety of interactive vignettes, from a particularly harrowing interrogation sequence right the way through to an explosive car chase. Ever since then we’ve been eager to see the idea expanded upon, and having gone hands on with the brilliant Blood & Truth ahead of launch, we can confirm that it delivers with cockney aplomb.
While there’s been no shortage of top-notch software on PSVR, this is the first game to rival the likes of Uncharted in the cinematic stakes. You play as an ex-military meathead named Ryan Marks, who finds himself embroiled in a Guy Ritchie-esque gangster blockbuster. The game wears its explosive action movie inspirations on its blood-stained sleeve, with red barrels and extra ammunition around every corner. It’s equally heavy on story, though, with motion captured actors bringing its cast of somewhat seedy characters to life. As always with virtual reality, everyone feels more real.
However, it’s the gameplay that’s undoubtedly the star of the show. While the PlayStation Move wands are starting to show their age, they take centre stage here, as both of your hands can be moved independently of each other. You can holster your weapon to your thigh, grab ammunition from your chest, and generally pick up and observe any of the objects in the game world. It’s a highly interactive experience, with the developer constantly putting objects in front of you to investigate. Whether you’re picking locks or planting charges, it’s all extremely tactile.
This makes up for the fact that the traversal is somewhat on rails. While there are veterans of PSVR who may balk at the node-based navigation, the reality is that the developer wants to put the emphasis on your hands. And so the fun in combat gauntlets comes more from your firearm skills than your body’s positioning. For example, holding the triangle button enables you to spin weapons on your finger, allowing you to follow-up quick draws with some showboating before picking off the enemies in front of you.
It goes further than that, though. You can toss ammunition up in the air and then catch it in the butt of your gun, or you can feather revolvers like you’re in the Wild West to increase your shooting speed. Everything feels intuitive, natural, and, most importantly of all, fun – heck, you can even flip some foes the bird before you put a bullet in their bonce. It really doesn’t take itself too seriously, which means there’s one moment in a nightclub where you can assume the role as DJ and start mixing some tracks to an empty club. Again, everything is completely interactive using the PS Move wands.
While the story’s unlikely to last longer than six hours, London Studio is packing it with extra content. There’s a whole bonus location which serves as a museum for you to horde your collectibles – and yes, you can collect and smoke vapes in a variety of different flavours. There’s a shooting gallery for you to test out your weapons, each of which can be customised with different attachments that you unlock, and there’s even a spray paint tool that you can use to physically paint your firearms different colours. Everything is completely interactive – even balls of paper which you can toss in the bin.
And then there’s the arcade shooting galleries, which test your accuracy and speed across a variety of locations taken from the game. It sounds like the developer has plans to update the title post-release, and there may yet be a skill mode which will not only challenge you to take out targets, but to also showcase your weapon wielding abilities. Leaderboards will make their way into the title post-release, so you’ll be able to compare your personal bests against others. And the studio may not be done there, although it’s currently keeping a lid on any other future plans.
One thing also worth noting is just how good Blood & Truth looks in virtual reality. Naturally, it’s not on par with a non-PSVR title, but it’s by far the best looking title we’ve seen in the hardware thus far, with stunning visual effects like smoke and dust adding to the depth of the scenes. We played one of the set-pieces from later in the campaign, and it effectively sees you running through a dilapidated tower block as a crane crashes into it – an exhilarating experience when you physically feel the sense of vertigo as you look down from an extraordinary height.
And special mention must go to the sound, which leverages 3D audio in much the same way as the London Heist, and gives you that insane sense of presence. One of the developers explained to us that they wanted the shooting galleries to be playable blindfolded, because you should be able to hear the positions of the targets. Of course, there’s still room in the soundscape for music, and in addition to licensing tracks, the company has also had its original orchestral score remixed by real-world grime artists – perfect for capturing the “sound” of London itself.
All in all, we came away from our hands on with Blood & Truth beaming. We’re eager to see if it all holds up in a real-world environment – the demos were definitely optimised to minimise the flaws of the PS Move controllers – but assuming it all holds up then this is all but guaranteed to be a next level PSVR experience. We’ve never seen production values quite like this in the headset before, but perhaps most impressive is how London Studio has married its cinematic ambition to arcade-style gameplay that would be impossible to replicate outside of virtual reality.
Are you looking forward to Blood & Truth? Have you been waiting for a game to really push the potential of what virtual reality can do? Flip the bird in the comments section below.
Looking forward to it! Was worried after the lukewarm hands on previews last year but seems like recent previews have been great!
I may buy it, but only when it's on sale. My backlog isn't going anywhere fast.
This sounds amazing!
Last screenshot.. I wonder if that part will be Hotline Miami inspired.
I want it. That is all. Thank you.
Pre ordered,loved the landan hiest geeza
Between this and Everybody’s Golf, I should have plenty to keep me busy for a bit.
I can't wait. Loved the London heist and I'm eager to see what they've done with a full game.
Oh yeah, now this is more like it and I really can't wait for this one
Why, why, WHY have Sony not just split a DS4 in half and stuck a tracking ball on top of each, to give you independent hand movement AND full movement controls? For me, it's a no-brainer which would greatly enhance control in PSVR games.
You can use a DS4, which gives you a full set of controls but no individual hand movements.
You can use a Move and it's associated 'navigation' controller, which lets you move freely but removes buttons and only lets you move one in-game 'hand'.
Or you can use 2 Move controllers, which gives you two independent in-game 'hands' but no sticks, so the experience HAS to be on rails.
But splitting a DS4 in half (figuratively) and sticking a tracking ball on each would give you two sticks for full control, all the buttons, AND two independent in-game hands. It would greatly increase control options, and be ideal for a game like this, removing the on-rails limitations.
I can't believe they haven't thought of it themselves; they must have, as they've got far better minds than mine working in their R&D teams. So why haven't they implemented something so blindingly obvious?
@Paranoimia it's even stranger when you realise that the move controllers originally had an analogue stick on the PS3
@carlos82 That's the Navigation Controller I mentioned above. You can still get them, and they work with PS4 to a limited extent. Not sure if/how they work with PSVR though.
Okay now I'm psyched.
Wow sounds like it's gonna be my next VR game. Was thinking it's a toss up between this and Everybody's Golf VR, but probably gonna get both to be honest.
So many VR games I've yet to play. I still really wanna get Tetris Effect And Beat Saber. Then soon No Man's Sky VR patch. Can't keep up. It's great.
"someone PLEASE give that studio the rights to make a game based of John Wick"
Honestly day one. One of my most anticipated
I am very much looking forward to this. This is all the confirmation I need. WALLOP!!
@themcnoisy how good would that be!!
@Paranoimia Because it's too late and would split the install base even more. They already can't guarantee whether people will have PS Moves, then having to potentially design around a different type of PS Move is way too complicated.
We just have to wait until next-gen now. There's a helluva lot going on in this game, so the node-based movement works fine.
I have this pre-ordered, cannot wait, gonna be awesome. Some smashing VR games on PS4, and this will be another top VR experience, for sure!
@get2sammyb Yeah, I fully appreciate that it's too late now, but the Move has been around since 2010, just over halfway through the life of PS3.
My suggestion seems like such an obvious idea that I'd have thought they'd have developed such a thing alongside PSVR and released it at the same time. It probably wouldn't even have cost them that much to develop - all the tech is basically already there in the Move and DualShock controllers, they just need to mix-n-match and design some ergonomic left/right hand grips.
@Paranoimia They wanted to keep the price as low as possible. A new set of £200 controllers on top of a £350 headset or whatever it cost at launch would have been way too much.
you can vape in the game? pretty neat, so i will vape for real and then vape in the game too lol
good preview btw, can't wait to get my hands on it come 29th.
@get2sammyb I doubt they'd have cost anything like that. The tech is already done, they just need new plastic shells to put it in. No need for them to cost any more than standard Move controllers at retail.
I'd rather London Studio make The Getaway 3 really for the PS4 and not in VR to. Every Gen SONY waste their time and money making games for other stuff that I don't really care for.
I hope every psvr owner buys this game. I hope the money earned from us is enough to convince Sony to drop more first party AAA vr titles. I'm so glad I got vr and a Pro. I'm all set for now, glad to be alive! VR is **** amazing!
I can't wait for this game it looks like a game that I will be spending hours and hours in.
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