Let’s start with a statement: Shooting stuff in videogames is great. You know it is. Whether it’s first-person, third-person, side-scrolling, or anything in between, if a percentage had to be put on the amount of titles that allow you to kill something with a gun it would be high, very high. And that’s no different for virtual reality (VR), in fact VR is dominated by them – generally wave shooters – so even after a year in consumer hands some refreshment is needed, but don’t necessarily expect that from one of the latest titles to be revealed for Sony Interactive Entertainment’s (SIE) PlayStation VR, Bravo Team.
Debuting at the recent Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) 2017, Bravo Team is one of two titles unveiled at the event by Supermassive Games – the other being The Inpatient. Both go for a high level of realism, then splitting into a team based first-person shooter (FPS) and creepy horror respectively.
Developed for PlayStation VR and it’s Aim controller, Bravo Team will be familiar to anyone who’s played any sort of co-op FPS – especially titles like Army of Two. For the show demo two players had to make their way down a bridge filled with wrecked cars and other vehicles, taking out enemies en-route. This is your usual cover and shoot affair, where movement is limited to running between cover points, designated by half or full shields – a la XCOM. You could then peek out to shoot bad guys, or communicate with your partner to try and flank them.
Using the Aim controller feels very natural and intuitive. The normal face buttons let you reload, switch between cover positions and swap to an emergency sidearm in a pinch, as you might expect. While properly looking down the assault rifle’s red dot sight gives you a much more accurate targeting reticule for getting those head shots. You could also quick turn 180-degrees if you moved too far forward and enemies were behind you – also good for returning to a better defensive position. Additionally, the feature is required due to the tracking system on the PlayStation VR, turning more than 90-degrees away from the camera makes the Aim controller highly erratic and almost unusable.
While the demo only showcased Bravo Team in co-op mode there is going to be a single-player version. If it’s the same as the co-op just without your team mate – or possible AI – then Bravo Team should really be looked at as a purely two-player experience, as that going to be where the most fun will be had. Not only will players have to pick each other up should one go down, they’ll need to carefully manage ammo, as the crates available on route only dispense to the player that opens it.
Currently Bravo Team feels like a safe bet. A by the numbers approach to VR FPS titles, offering more interactivity and tactical opportunities than the stationary John Wick Chronicles, but lacking that special something that makes these early reveals one to watch. The main draw of Bravo Team is going to be its buddy system, whether that’s enough for players remains to be seen.