One of my favorite arcade games to feed quarters into has always been Time Crisis. Picking up that lightgun and stepping on the pedal to peek out of cover was a thrill, moving through the level and shooting every bad guy that wanted to shoot back. Virtual reality has desperately been awaiting its own iteration of the arcade classic, and while Bravo Team may not wear the Time Crisis branding, it’s got the same kind of style that could make it an ample replacement.
Holding down the L1 button will pop you up out of cover to better see and fire at the oncoming enemies, just like the pedal in Time Crisis allowed you to do. The benefit of VR is that you can still blind fire the Aim controller and peak around corners using your head. The demo was a pretty simple scenario, pushing slowly forward on a bombed out bridge, hiding among wrecked and burning vehicles. Another journalist sat at the station adjacent to me as we played co-op, and coordinating our attack was imperative in making sure we made it through. Enemy AI seemed to be pretty intelligent, attempting to flank and using cover smartly. Our positioning was important to make sure they didn’t overwhelm us.
Instead of being ambulatory, movement is handled by selecting a spot in either half or full cover and tapping X. You will watch your character run forward from an omniscient view and then snap into their vision to once again start shooting. It’s a jarring moment that took some getting used to, and I really hope this transition is handled better in the final release of the game. You’ll need to coordinate with your partner though, as you can’t both occupy the same space at once, and ammo crates will only provide ammo to the player that reaches it first.
My short run through the available level used the Aim controller, so it’s unclear how Bravo Team will implement the DualShock 4. If anything, it seems like it will be similar to Farpoint, where using the Aim is the far superior gameplay experience. Having the feeling of holding the gun directly in your hand is just what the Aim was designed for, and I reviewed it highly for that very aspect. Bravo Team will also support the Move controllers, given that no analog sticks are required for movement. Being a game that supports all three control methods for PSVR makes it massively accessible for everyone (as long as you have a headset anyway), and giving a lot of choice for how you want to play, though final release will show which of these methods is the preferred one. So far, being showcased with the Aim, that seems to be the primary input method.
Supermassive is an incredible developer and they’ve got three games on deck this year alone, two of them being PlayStation VR titles. My time with Bravo Team showed a game that, with some polish, could end up being the ultimate co-op arcade shooter for PSVR owners. Holding a similar mechanic to Time Crisis certainly doesn’t hurt.
Bravo Team releases 2017 for exclusively for PlayStation VR. Check out all of our E3 2017 coverage.