A local pub is an odd place for a game preview; though that’s exactly where I found myself going hands-on with Blood and Truth. I even had to give a code word to the security guard with a cockney British accent working the door.
Once I entered, I found myself in a darkened room with various demo stations set up. In the far back was a blackjack table; I was then approached by a staff member and handed two $100 Blood and Truth-labelled chips.
Video games and blackjack in a pub on a sunny autumn day? Sounds like a perfect afternoon, if you ask me.
Blood and Truth Preview
Exclusive to PlayStation VR, Blood and Truth is inspired by The London Heist experience from PlayStation VR World. In the full game, out May 29, players will take on a criminal empire to save your family.
Not owning a PlayStation VR, myself, my only experience playing The London Heist was way back at a preview event in 2015. Of course, at this point, it was still very much a gameplay demo; little more than a proof-of-concept. Still, with its high-octane vehicle and gunplay action, it illustrated the profound potential of VR in video games.
My initial impressions of Blood and Truth is the realisation of that potential. While the hardware still has some ways yet to go, the gameplay is most certainly there.
Meet Me at the Near and Far
The demo opens in a back alley, which I move through quickly. Movement in Blood and Truth is an almost on-rails experience; you simply look at hovering white markers and press a button on the Move Controller to walk automatically.
It didn’t take long before I stumbled across some goons, who began shooting at me. What, no warning?
To un-holster my pistol, I moved my right hand across my torso and down to my left hip; once I felt the small vibration I pressed the Move Controller’s trigger. With my pistol in hand, I was ready to go Charles Bronson on these thugs.
I fired off a few (inaccurate) rounds, emptying my clip pretty quickly. You can reload your guns via motion-control; simply reach to your chest, grab a clip and then pop it into your gun. You can also slow-down time by pushing a button on both controllers to give you more time to line up your shots.
Despite some accuracy issues with the Move Controller, I found the motion controls both intuitive and fun. Blood and Truth allows you to live out your fantasy of being a gun-toting hero; without the fear of permanent real-life death.
Rats and Mice
Once I’d dispatched the goons, I followed the white markers to make my way further through the labyrinth of alleys.
Blood and Truth doesn’t invite many opportunities for exploration, with a set path to stick with. This said, there are some slight variations to the critical path that rewards the curious.
From ammo caches and grenades to alternative paths forward; whatever limited exploration Blood and Truth offers is a welcomed change from the mindless ‘press button to move forward’. This invites players to actually look around and examine their environment to see if there’s anything useful around them.
Through exploration, I stumbled across one of the game’s best mechanics; climbing. By positioning your in-game hands over a bar/ledge and pressing the trigger you’ll grip on; then pull down to raise yourself up. As far as game mechanics go, it’s a pretty neat one. So, it’s nice to see the developers expand on it by through the use of ladders, ledges and even one daring sequence on the side of a building.
Cop a Flower Pot
The Blood and Truth demo gave me only one gun at the beginning; a standard pistol. By the demo’s end, I’d come across an automatic machine gun and double-barrel shotgun.
You can carry up to three weapons in Blood and Truth; two on your thighs and one on your back. At one point I was carrying two pistols (one with a silencer) and a machine gun. I would come to throw the machine gun away once I got my hands on the shotgun.
With only two shots in the barrel, the shotgun is fairly cumbersome in a game that requires to manually reload. Once you fire off both rounds, the shotgun will pop open; at which point you’ll need to reach at your chest for more ammo. Despite everything else being direct via motion control, you
You can also duel-wield any two weapons, as well. With the shotgun in my right hand, and a pistol in my left, I blasted my way through waves of enemies.
Can’t Keep Still
Blood and Truth plays out very much like an arcade shooter, albeit with far greater control. This means you’ll be crouching behind cover fighting off enemy waves for majority of the time; at least that’s my impression based on the demo.
This isn’t an entirely bad thing. Blood and Truth‘s gameplay made such a profound impression on me that I wouldn’t much mind if 80% of my time was spent blowing away street trash in VR.
For people looking for a little more, however, Blood and Truth also features puzzle sequences. In the demo I played, this equated to lock picking and unscrewing bolts on a wall panel. Here’s hoping the final game has something a little more robust; perhaps something akin to an escape room-inspired sequence that requires you to solve puzzles to get out.
Apples and Pears
Blood and Truth is the realisation of the potential for VR in video games I saw playing The London Heist all those years ago; or, at least, the demo that would become The London Heist. Considering the latter is directly inspired by the former, chances are the quality of the final product will be stellar.
Based on my short time with it, Blood and Truth is shaping up to be the first VR game I actually want to play. Heck, it might be the game that finally convinces me to buy a PlayStation VR.
Jayden Williams attended this preview event as a guest of PlayStation Australia.