At its core, Blood & Truth is a first-person shooter. You’ll run across rooftops gunning down thugs, blow open doors with explosives, take out a warehouse full of criminals, and survive a high-speed car chase, to name a few. In typical VR fashion, though, it’s not just the frantic, video-gamey stuff that’s super fun to execute; VR manages to also make seemingly mundane things like picking a lock, opening a car’s glove compartment or flinging a clipboard across the room totally interesting, too. One of my favorite moments in the demo was sitting shotgun alongside my in-game partner and firing at bad guys as we drove and bantered, like some sort of vintage buddy cop movie. It made me want an entire PSVR game centered around two friends on a road trip.
The controls were tight, for the most part. Aiming and shooting felt great, as did reloading my gun (by motioning to push a clip from my left hand into the bottom of the gun in my right hand) as well as strafing, pushing forward through the games’ increasingly chaotic set pieces, and holstering my weapons when things calmed down. Only when I ended up dual wielding a handgun and a submachine gun during a highspeed car chase - and subsequently struggled to reload either gun without a free hand - did things get a bit cumbersome, but that was probably entirely my own fault for being ambitious.
You can basically go from cover to cover point using the PlayStation Move controller. You can also move side to side using the X and O buttons on the Move controller. It definitely feels like a different game to The London Heist in these moments and I’m not sure if I loved these specific parts as much as the massive set pieces where you’re stuck to the one spot taking out enemies, but they were still fun to play through and required a decent amount of accuracy using the gun sights. As with The London Heist, the shooting mechanic still feels phenomenal and is one of the best experiences you can have in VR.
There’s some pretty clever things being done with the PlayStation Move controllers. For instance, reloading is still done by putting your left Move controller up to the bottom of your right hand (although it feels much smoother than it did in The London Heist). You also essentially pull out your pistol by putting your PlayStation Move controller to your hip, or grab your assault rifle by reaching over the back of your shoulder, so there’s some more realistic movements that work well on-screen and add to immersion.
There were also several times where I’d use both my PlayStation Move controllers to picklock open a door. At first it felt a little bit clunky, but this was probably because I wasn’t really expecting the game to use such intricate details, but once I got the hang of it, it definitely worked, which has me excited to see what other mechanics the game will hold.
I have seen several versions of Blood & Truth over the years, as Sony’s SIE London Studio has been making the game for a long time. It was originally based on The London Heist demo on the PlayStation VR Worlds disc. You mimic the motions of holstering, pulling out your weapons, loading them, and shooting as you would do in real life. The whole idea is to be an action hero in a full-fledged game in VR.
I asked Iain about the movement system being used, and in order to limit any VR user side effects, he said they employed a system that gives you set points to work from with a quick movement system. You can strafe between some of these during a firefight, but most are point-and-click spots that you’ll move to as needed. The system worked very well and allowed me to take out the bad guys safely while staying in cover and popping out to shoot. Movement transitions were very smooth and gave the game military like precision when it came to advancing on the enemy. That military precision can be explained by the fact that they had an actual SAS soldier advising them during the development process.
That same soldier also helped with terminology when it came to the script for voice actors, and hearing the chatter between your character and the soldier you rescue bears this out. The studio also had a Hollywood consultant to help create the overall game script, so that should make for a great story.
The weapons for the demo were limited to just one pistol and one assault rifle, but these two could be dual wielded for twice the fun. While picking locks, I had to holster the weapons and this was a simple process of miming out the actual holstering of the pistol or slinging the rifle over my shoulder. Reloading also required miming the actual motions needed and started with grabbing a fresh magazine off of my chest and then jamming it home into whichever weapon I was using