We were recently invited to San Francisco to try out SIE London Studios’ upcoming game Blood & Truth. An exclusive PSVR title set to launch on May 28. I spoke in-depth with Iain Wright, the Design Director, about the game development process and what steps they took to avoid the pitfalls of working with VR, and how they tried to create a first hand, action movie experience that makes you feel like John Wick or John McClane; a true action hero with an uncanny ability to take lives without losing your own.
I’d Catch a Grenade for… You?
The action began as I started my search for a kidnapped soldier. Stealthily I moved through a building, picking locks, opening doors, and silently taking out enemies as I progressed forward on a set path, moving point-to-point and cover-to-cover. Stealth can only last so long when you’re leaving a trail of bodies in your wake, and my presence was finally discovered. I fought my way into a courtyard where more bad guys awaited and these guys brought party favors. Luckily for me they weren’t smart enough to cook their grenades before tossing them in my direction and I was able to catch one and, being the nice guy that I am, return it to them in one piece. They didn’t even say thank you. How rude.
Once I reached the door to the room where my buddy was being held, I placed a breaching charge on the door and stepped back. The next few seconds after the blast was pure carnage as I shot my way into the room, taking out all of the bad guys in the blink of an eye. Luckily my buddy was impervious to friendly fire or he wouldn’t have survived, as I’m sure I pumped at least one round into him on accident. After a nice chat with the rescued soldier, we made a mad dash across rooftops to our ride out of there, taking out more than a few more bad guys along the way. Once in the truck, it was up to me to take out any and all bad guys on motorcycles and in other trucks as they tried to kill us. In what had to be the deepest glove box in the world was an endless supply of ammo that allowed me to keep shooting until no one was left and our escape was complete.
Cover to Cover Movement System
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. This is a game about death and war though, so be warned that the language is not family friendly. The SAS soldier even lent his own voice to the game and does the voice acting for a chopper pilot that is coming in to rescue you. This chatter really adds to the authenticity of the game, as does the great voice acting. You can hear the gratefulness in the voice of the soldier you rescue, and you can hear the urgency in the voice of the chopper pilot as he sees how many bad guys are on your tail, trying to kill you.
Dual Wielding Fun
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. It was an easy system to use once I learned how it worked, and made me feel more immersed in the game.
London Studios has worked in VR before, and The London Heist, found in the VR Worlds bundle, was a pretty fun game. Our review of the bundle called it, “…the cream of the crop.” That excellence in VR is continued with Blood & Truth, with excellent graphics and some seriously fun gunplay. With 7+ hours of gameplay, and possibly speed run leaderboards, this should one helluva ride.