'Be the action hero' is London Studio's mantra for their follow-up to The London Heist, a short VR game that garnered positive reviews when it released in 2016 as a part of the minigame collection otherwise known as PlayStation VR Worlds. Blood & Truth is designed to be a lot longer than that game, as London Studio anticipates a playthrough to take around six or seven hours. In addition to being longer, the sources of inspiration have changed and expanded. London Heist was very much inspired by cockney gangster movies such as Guy Ritchie's Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels, whereas Blood & Truth mainly finds inspiration across the Atlantic in classic Hollywood movies such as Die Hard and those of, should we say, lesser stature such as Taken.
This is far from the first time Blood & Truth has been shown since its unveiling at Paris Games Week 2017, but this was the first time we had the opportunity to go hands on. The demo opens with an interrogation of our protagonist, Ryan Marks, who, it seems, is having some serious legal problems and as a consequence of that he's looking at life in prison. How things came to be this way isn't explained in the demo - that wouldn't be any fun. Instead, we go back in time to play a rescue mission set in what appears to be a Middle Eastern country.
In this new location, Marks must mow down a small army in order to save his friend and escape the enemy compound with him. For those not in the know, Blood & Truth is a shooter that lands somewhere in-between on-rails and classic FPS. The control scheme utilises the Move controllers in a node-based movement system where it's also possible to strafe from corner to corner and, of course, aim freely. It does feel a bit limited but on the plus side the demo showcases some good set pieces and if London Studio can keep them coming, it would go a long way to justifying the lack of free movement.
Mechanically, Blood & Truth delivers a solid experience. Perhaps the weapons lack a little oompf but other than that the shooting feels good and the game does a lot to keep you busy with reloading, gathering ammunition, drawing weapons from the hip and back, lockpicking, and placing explosives. All tasks require motion controls, which helps to make the game more than just a standard shooting gallery. The demo features a lot of variety in its 15 minutes, which bodes well for the full release. What's more, the visual fidelity is top notch with good looking character models and convincing facial animations. It shows that Blood & Truth is a large-scale production from a team given the time to create a convincing tribute to classic action movies.
All in all, we were entertained by Blood & Truth, but we do wonder if the game can sustain momentum throughout its entirety since there is a risk of it becoming a bit too shallow. However, if London Studio can deliver a well-told story and varied gameplay with good set pieces, Blood & Truth has the potential to be a highly entertaining shooter when it launches on May 28.
For more impressions from our recent PSVR round-up, head this way.