Action! Adventure! Espionage! Explosions! London Studios’ blockbuster game has it all.
Last week, I got to be an action movie hero. More specifically, I attended a PS VR demo event and strapped into the world of Special Forces soldier Ryan Marks, living out what can only be described as an explosive action spree in Blood & Truth. The London Studio blockbuster has come a long way from its London Heist origins, the popular PlayStation VR Worlds experience that set production of this game into motion. Where London Heist gave a small taste of the action, Blood & Truth rockets you into the fray, saturating the senses with pulsing action sequences, an adrenaline-fuelled soundtrack, and kinetic gameplay that had me cackling with glee.
My playthrough started off where the new trailer revealed during last week’s State of Play begins. Seated at a table in a rusty abandoned building, facing a government official who reads a laundry list of his supposed misdeeds, Marks is keen to set the record straight. From there I was dropped into a mission from Marks’ Special Forces past – infiltrate an enemy base, rescue a fellow soldier, then blow that popsicle stand. Traversing the desert base was smooth, with indicators popping up allowing me to move forward or strafe. Creative Art Director Anthony Filice says this guided movement is intentional — Marks is a Special Forces soldier with a trained sense of infiltration strategy from the get go. Exploration is still encouraged, like looking behind crates or pulling open desk drawers for ammo or other secret collectibles.
What makes the game so delightfully immersive is how natural the weapons feel. At the beginning of my playthrough I calibrated the camera so the gun holster appeared at my waist, allowing me to simply move the Motion Controller down to my hip and squeeze the trigger button to draw my weapon. Similarly to reload, I raised the other controller to my chest where the ammo pack was strapped, pressed trigger, and then moved to slap the clip into the bottom of the handgun. Y’all, I cannot stress enough how deeply satisfying that slap is. Moving through the base and taking down enemies felt exciting, but quickly slamming a fresh clip into my pistol put a wacky smile on my face. It’s a small mechanic in a larger-than-life game, but it made me feel like a real part of the world in a way that no other PS VR game has before.
The level was expertly paced, seamlessly switching between high-stakes shootouts to quieter stealth lock-picking sequences. I had a moment when I finally located my imprisoned ally where he stood up beside me, and I just marvelled at how grounded he and the entire setting felt. We then immediately barrelled out of the base into a frenetic fight sequence featuring a few focused movement shots — sequences where the world shifts into slow motion while you lay the enemy to waste. I treated these moments like challenges, taking advantage of the slow-mo to throw in some stylish flair like catching a grenade and throwing it back, or switching between my handgun and SMG like a practiced gunslinger. The final showdown was a harried escape sequence from the passenger seat of a truck, where I felt myself leaning out the window to shoot, as if I could feel the phantom truck door below me. As enemy trucks and motorcycles whizzed by, my eyes lit up with every opportunity to blast an enemy truck’s gas tank, or make them spin out on their bikes while my ally cheered me on from the driver’s seat.
All this, and the thumping cinematic soundtrack, had me feeling like the star of a major action movie moment. I can’t wait to dive back into Ryan Marks’ world when Blood & Truth comes to PS VR on May 28th.