Blood & Truth has all the over-the-top action you could ever desire, without falling foul of any schlocky lameness the Gangster genre sometimes has a habit of abiding to. It’s a tour de force of exploding planes, epic car chases and casino shoot outs that I’ve never experienced in such a fun and engaging way until now. Guy Ritchie eat your heart out.
In the tough underbelly of London, Ryan returns home from the army for his fathers funeral, only to be embroiled in a gang war between two local crime brothers and his fathers estate. With the help of his family, he sets out to right the wrongs done to his family the way only a professionally trained soldier knows how – by mowing down endless waves of opposition via any explosive method necessary.
VR shooting has never been so satisfying. Despite not being compatible with the Aim controller, the game makes fantastic use of the motion controls to offer an incredibly intuitive system that’s both simple and accurate. Ryan’s main weapon is located in its holster, easily accessible with a quick reach down to your side, but reaching to your back allows you to grab whatever heavy weaponry you currently have equipped. While ammo is pretty much unlimited (it’s dotted at almost every corner of the map), you do have to reload your guns from your ammo belt across your chest. It doesn’t impede progress, however, as changing simply requires you to quickly move your free hand down and back up to lock your new clip back into place (unless you want to get fancy, in which case you can throw a clip into the air and twist your gun to lock it into place). Aiming is mostly accurate, and while you can shoot wildly at enemies and pretty much make a hit, aiming down sights is the preferred method and doesn’t feel clumsy or disengaging.
For tougher enemies, the game optimises a slow motion mechanic, showing you where to aim to make the most damage. You can still take out these bad guys if you ignore it, but making the most of these moments is immensely fun, watching a tough, armour wearing soldier fall to his knees when you shoot his kneecaps before delivering the final, brutal blow to his extremities is a satisfying way to do business.
Something the game gets perfectly is the feel of the weapons, a problem I’ve encountered in a lot of games previously. They feel heavy and not floaty like you would expect from a VR title, and, especially bigger weapons such as shotguns and assault rifles. They require some skill to perfect when faced with the recoil and spraying you’d expect from such large guns. Grenades however, are ridiculously bouncy, and I wouldn’t have them any other way. You can throw them towards enemies, towards walls to explode them on impact or even return enemy grenades to give them an unwelcome surprise. They’re massive amounts of fun and, just like the rest of the weapon play, super accurate to use.
As well as gunning down every bad guy you see, the game makes use a fun little tool kit to get you out of sticky situations. You can pick locks using lock-picks, turning the motion controllers to open doors and free prisoners, as well as use a screwdriver to open locked units you need to get into. These little breaks are quick, but vastly enjoyable and give you a quick breather from the insanely fast-paced action. The same goes for moving through tunnels and climbing ladders. It’s a quick break from the constant gun shooting, but sneaking through air vents to escape an exploding casino feels super cool.
But while gun play and lock picking is incredibly satisfying, moving won’t be for everyone. There’s no free movement, but rather you move Ryan on-the-rails a la Time Crisis, strafing left and right to predetermined positions. Personally, I think it’s a fantastic way of neutralising the problems that come with free movement in VR, even if sometimes it feels a little restrictive, especially if you want to go back to previous locations if you’ve noticed a pesky star you’ve missed or want to pick up an extra grenade.
And while shooting waves of enemies is the main quota here, Blood & Truth doesn’t forget that it’s a VR game and it really hones in on pushing the immersive aspects us virtual reality nuts have come to love. The little things are still what counts, like tossing balls of paper into waste bins in the many intervals that come between destroying London’s mobs, or messing around with the dashboard of a car for absolutely no reason other than you can.
But there’s more to the extra curricular than just nonsense interactions, such as progressing through the game and unlocking new add-ons for your weapons. In your hideout you can add attachments to your guns, like new sights for rifles or silencers for your pistol. You can even unlock new colour patterns, and using a paint gun, decorate your AK47 in the hot-pink shade you’ve always wanted it in.
For a premium VR title, the main concern for me has always been does the amount of content warrant the price-tag? Blood & Truth’s main story is around 6 hours long, but there’s plenty of secrets to discover, as well as collectables to find. While it currently lacks any modes (save for a short and pretty boring time attack mode) outside of the main campaign, it’s absolutely fun enough to play through again. The developers have however said there will be extra modes released via free DLC, offering up hard modes and a game+ mode, as well as online leaderboards.
Regardless of length, the content that is here is just superb. I’ve not had this much fun with an action game in a long time. Yes, it’s over-the-top and frankly ridiculous at times, but the VR controls feel natural and accurate and the level designs have enough variation that the gun play never gets old. It also doesn’t look half bad either, the character design is a standout, but the environments are perfectly passable. Frankly though, who cares when you’re shooting the tires from a pursuing car, only to have it spin out of control and take out a bunch of bad guys on motorbikes?
The only thing that Blood & Truth is missing is Jason Statham playing the staring role. If you loved the London Heist mission in VR Worlds, then Blood & Truth is everything you could ever ask for. Not only is it the best PSVR action game, but it’s one of the best action games in recent memory.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Sony Playstation 4 code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Blood & Truth Review
Gameplay - 9/10
Graphics - 9/10
Sound - 9/10
Replay Value - 9/10
User Review( votes)
If you loved the London Heist mission in VR Worlds, then Blood & Truth is everything you could ever ask for.