The world of virtual reality is a tricky one when it comes to games. While tons of companies are trying their best to realize the tech and provide the greatest experience for players, VR titles haven’t been a smash hit across the board. This is especially true when it comes to PlayStation VR, which hasn’t caught on as incredibly as Sony likely would’ve hoped. However, Blood & Truth is not your typical VR game and may be one of the very rare titles that you absolutely have to check out if you own a PSVR.
Blood & Truth comes from Sony’s SIE London Studio, the same company that gave players The London Heist on the initial PSVR demo disc. In The London Heist, players were treated to a very brief tech demo that was more or less meant to showcase the abilities of the PSVR, but what SIE London Studio has done in their follow up is nothing short of extraordinary.
When you first start Blood & Truth, you’ll be placed into the shoes of Ryan Marks, a soldier who comes back home for a funeral of a family member, but is quickly thrown into the world of organized crime in an effort to save his family. Things get even crazier from there, as you’re then introduced to a much wider world of crime in an effort to help protect your family. The game is filled with tons of cliché’s and typical set pieces from both action movies and heist flicks, including club fights, jumping out of windows as you fire a gun, and chasing enemies through the best streets of London as you try to take them down.
Despite the generic feel of it, however, Blood & Truth manages to pull off the story well thanks to some great acting work from the entire cast. Of course, with the game being in VR, you’re right up in the action of the story, and things look incredible in that regard. While some VR titles can get too muddy and look terrible on a standard PlayStation 4 (what I played on for this one), Blood & Truth looked pretty great, with the lightning and resolution doing an excellent job of holding up inside the PSVR headset. While the cinematic experience of Blood & Truth might be enough to draw players in, where the game really gets going is in its gameplay.
While you can play the game with both a DualShock 4 and the PlayStation Move controllers, the ideal way to play is with the Move controllers, simply due to the slight advantage you get when it comes to moving. Movement in Blood & Truth is mostly relegated to allowing you to walk by using arrows that are placed throughout the map, although there are on-rails moments that feel like something straight out of a futuristic arcade game. The ability to “choose” where you want to go does add for some variety at how you might complete a mission, but it still feels very linear throughout.
Sprinkled throughout the map are a variety of collectibles that will increase your score in any given mission should you find them, and SIE London Studio has promised to continue updating the game with more challenges for players to try. As is the case with most VR titles, you’ll be using your arms a lot here, aiming your guns with the PS Move controllers and firing them off with the triggers. Aiming in Blood & Truth might be a bit difficult for players at first, as getting the proper shot on your weapon is all about precision aiming. You’ll be aiming your weapon all on your own, which can be a problem when you start but is something I was able to quickly get the hang of.
From a purely technical standpoint, things hold up pretty well in Blood & Truth, although there were a couple of moments where the motion controls simply didn’t register what I was doing and caused me to die in the game. This happened mostly while using weapons that required two hands to operate, like a shotgun, where the tracking on the PS Move controllers simply didn’t respond. Despite the hiccup, however, gunplay in Blood & Truth is very solid and allows for a ton of variety when it comes to customizing weapons, thanks to the warehouse that you can head back to after each mission.
Your character also comes equipped with several weapon holsters, so you’ll be as kitted out as possible for each mission. Reloading is also done in a way that adds to the seamless feel of the game; simply grab a clip from your chest and insert it in the gun, and you’re ready to go. Once you get the hang of holstering and reloading weapons, you’ll be able to flawlessly move through levels and take out enemies, and it does make you feel like you’re the star of an action movie in the process.
Shooting guns isn’t the only thing you’ll be doing in Blood & Truth, though, and the game does a great job of making sure to keep you busy in the meantime. Picking locks, shimmying through alleyways and engaging in car chases are just some of what you’ll find in the game, and all of it is done in a way that will make you feel like you’re really in the action, which is the purpose of it all. While the game is pretty long (about 6-8 hours to finish the story), there isn’t much to do after you’ve beat it, unless you really enjoy running through the levels again in order to finish everything.
Although there are still some technical issues to work out when it comes to gaming on the PSVR, Blood & Truth is by far one of the best games that the PSVR has to offer. Not only were they able to take a tech demo and turn into a fully-formed action thriller, but they also delivered an incredibly exciting and engaging VR experience just in time for the summer. It may be flawed in some areas, but if you have a PSVR, you won’t want to miss this.
This review was written based on a digital review copy of Blood & Truth for the PlayStation VR provided by Sony.