It has been a great time of late for PSVR owners, with a steady stream of quality titles being released over the last two months. Supermassive games have also had a purple patch with a great response, both from critics and gamers for their last three years of releases. They are no stranger to the format, with Until Dawn: Blood Rush, Tumble VR and The Inpatient all being reasonably successful, fun, well-crafted releases. The hype around their latest PSVR addition was high, but could Bravo Team stack up?
In what seems like a match made in heaven, Bravo Team see’s you take control of a military soldier with the task of guiding the president of some country that seems like Mexico to a disclosed location. Whilst on a bridge, the convoy is attacked, the president taken and assassinated, and everyone besides you and one other soldier is killed. What follows is a fight for survival as you attempt a war-torn city.
Bravo Team can be played either in single player, having an ai companion, or with another player via online co-op. The gameplay is quite reminiscent of the Time Crises games, in that you go from cover to cover and shoot hordes of enemies in first person. Moving from cover to cover is achieved by choosing your next position and pressing X. The camera moves into a 3rd person perspective and follows your character as he runs to the next point. There is no ability to move about whatsoever, and here lies the first of Bravo Teams many, many issues.
Being unable to move alleviates the feeling of motion sickness, it also makes the game quite extremely linier and very repetitive. The cover points are reasonably close together, which is good since you cannot control your man halfway through a movement. You can’t shoot, you can’t slide, you are a jogging target for enemy fire. You do have the ability to reload on these runs and the animation here is good but it is frustrating to say the least, that you can’t defend yourself or evade. It seems that enemies too have these same movement patterns enabled. This creates much hilarity, at times seeing you run to point and an enemy running to a different point behind you. They literally run right next to each other, close enough for a quick high five even. Considering VR is all about emersion, this is disastrous.
Bravo Team makes use of the Aim Controller, being the second game to do so. Where Far Point got so much right, Bravo Team gets so much wrong. The aiming is inconstant, the collision detection is terrible, at times you will look over cover but your gun won’t fire as the game thinks you’re behind a wall. At other times the game doesn’t acknowledge a wall and you can put your gun through it and shoot away. The shooting is average, but some of the fire fights are intense, or at least for the first few minutes. You then realise that enemies will continue to respawn, from the same point, forever, until you simply run to the next scenes entrance. Due to the terrible enemy ai, you can take your time getting to thee points, which is good considering you’ll have to move a million times from cover to cover to get there.
Over the course of your, barely two-hour playthrough, you will see a twist in the story, a bazillion enemies although only four enemy types and three different weapons. Starting with an assault rifle which is reasonable, you stumble across a shotgun which is fun and a sniper rifle which is the worst experience I have had in VR ever. For some stupid reason the sniper scope is so fogged that unless you headbutt the end of the aim controller you can’t see through it. This makes aiming horrendous, I actually replayed this section with the assault rifle just to get past it easier. None of the weapons are inspiring, but they are a standout compared to the enemy variety.
By the time you have finished the uninspiring, who cares storyline you feel like you deserve something, well you are close to getting it. This is easily the quickest platinum trophy you’ll get, and if you ask me it is earned, to sit through this tripe you deserve a reward.
Graphically Bravo Team resembles the equivalent to a PS3 game, but not a game like Uncharted, more like a cheap game, or perhaps a Wii game. Yes, it is ugly, the environments are ok but graphically this is ordinary. This could be forgiven if it translated well or had some sort of technical stability but unfortunately Bravo Team fails here too. The game is a glitchy mess, with collision issues, game breaking tech issues and average sound.
The female who talks you through the mission is as boring as the game itself and strangely when you hit enemies with a headshot they let out a huge “uuuuurrrrggghhh” as they die. I must admit, I have not shot any people, let alone in the head but I do imaging that they wouldn’t be yelling about it, or about anything else?
This is Bravo Teams strong point. Playing through co-op was actually fun, in a bad way. I played through both in single player, with a very useless ai partner, and with my brother via co-op. We actually had fun, like laugh out loud fun, sometimes resulting in tears of laughter. This was all about how bad this game is, and some of the glitches were absolutely hilarious.
My brother had joined a game and for some reason the camera was pointing directly behind him. His gun on his character was actually pointing backwards through hi head, it had me in stiches. He attempted to play the game until I restarted, my headset was too blurry from the tears of laughter, great stuff!
Bravo Team is a horrible game that I can’t recommend. If you want to try the Aim Controller by Far Point. If you can get Bravo Team for $5-$10 in a bargain bin, soon I would think, then it may be worth a buy for an easy platinum and some laughs at its expense.
Thank you to Sony for providing a copy of Bravo Team for review purposes.