Lock, Stock, and One Broken Move Controller
I’ve been told by a lot of people that London Heist was a highlight of the Winter 1998 Demo- I mean PlayStation VR Worlds. Now, I haven’t played that, and I have no intention of going back and playing a three year old tech demo for an hour to add some context to what I’m about to say about Sony Interactive Entertainment London’s latest game, Blood and Truth. But I have seen a lot of British gangster movies, so prepare for lot of extremely dated references while I tell you why you probably should pick up a PSVR for this one.
Look, you’re gonna hear a lot of people saying Guy this and Ritchie that. That’s not inaccurate, to be fair, as a good 70% of Blood and Truth reads as a love letter to the movies that made British gangsters awesome again. It doesn’t have the cool factor of Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels, nor is the plot comparable to the wonderfully convoluted web of Snatch, and it certainly doesn’t have any… cakes… worth… layering.
Anyone remember Layer Cake? Didn’t think so.
You’re trying to save your family from a crime boss. Relateable. Sure, you’re an elite soldier, and your own family isn’t exactly innocent… or at all innocent, really. But hey, loyalty is loyalty. Your family aren’t unlikeable, as such, but I definitely tried to take a swing at my brother at least once. Rude, that’s what he is. Rude. But the bad guys are more gruff, so take em out.
Blood and Truth, true to its inspiration, isn’t just a shooty shooty bang bang game. There’s plenty of that, obviously, but there’s also some very nice story and dialogue, and while it’s not an open world – far from it – the locations you’ll visit will certainly impress you. This is a pretty game, and the team have made sure that even though you’re not here for a long time – about 6 or 8 hours, depending – you’re definitely here for a good time. You’ll appreciate the effort that’s gone into designing the setpieces, even while some Cockney rival yells at you while you shoot wildly in his general direction.
While I like the dialogue and shooting, the plot couldn’t shoot its way out of a paper bag. A wet paper bag. But damned if it’s not presented with style by the developers, and played with real commitment by the actors. The shooting also has some issues; I know a poor gamer blames their controllers, but either my Move controllers were playing a completely different game, or I couldn’t hit the East End from halfway across the Thames.
That’s a London joke. About London. Because that’s where the game is set, innit?
Spoiler alert: it’s the Move controllers. Trying to do anything other than spray and pray is like carving a roast chicken with a chainsaw; it gets the job done, but leaves an awful mess behind. Plus your cousins never invite you round for dinner anymore.
Unfortunately, one of my Move controllers died the final death during my time with Blood and Truth. It wasn’t even a violent sequence; I was having a chat with the Marks family matriarch (me old mum) and suddenly Lefty gave up the ghost. This was how I discovered you can play the game with a DualShock, and also how I found out it’s not nearly as enjoyable. For all the faults of the Move controllers, they are vital to enjoying this experience.
Speaking of physical issues, why on Earth this has released in May is beyond me. Have you ever tried playing a VR game in summer? Yuck. Luckily for those of us in the coolest Hemisphere, this isn’t an issue, and we can enjoy a gritty crime game without our faces becoming a swampy mess.
Yeah, how’s that for a visual?
If anything, I wanted something grungier than what Blood and Truth turned out to be. I don’t know, it felt… clean. I don’t want fancy casinos and all that; I want mobsters operating out of a caravan while some old guy takes an unknown amount of time to cook a sausage.
Blood and Truth manages to make you forget that you’re wearing a lump of wires and plastic strapped to your face, and makes you think you’re a cool gangster. Which is hard to do when you have a lump of wires and plastic strapped to your face. Thing’s noticeable. This may not be the best game in the world, or the most original, but I had fun with it. We haven’t had anything like it in a while, and it’s definitely the best PSVR exclusive I’ve played; not a long or promising list, true, but it’s still a victory.
The PSVR has Snatched up a pretty damn good game. It’s a satisfying experience. This is what VR should be; a combination of enjoyable gameplay, solid immersion, decent story and acting, all brought together into one Layer Cake of gaming.
… Look I’d like to see you do better.