Supermassive Games, the creators behind the acclaimed Until Dawn series tested their hand at a VR game. Bravo Team is a spin on the traditional FPS genre. Its tactical gameplay makes the experience a bit slower but its gunfights are where the game thrives. Bravo Team follows the story of two marines that get stuck in hostile territory after the president they are transporting gets kidnapped and killed. While the city seems to be in the Middle East, for the sake of the story and to stay politically correct, we just know it as an “Eastern European country”.
Bravo Team set out to do one thing and that is to place the player in the firefight with the use of a clever cover system and constant waves of enemies that come at you. If there was one thing the game did right, it was that. From the moment the game starts you feel as if you are in the middle of a war against a large army of men. Houses are in ruin, explosions in the distance and the constant fear of your life makes the game worthwhile.
You and partner need to co-operative with each other to make sure you keep the enemies at bay while you pick them off one by one. The game uses a more tactical cover system than say Farpoint, which is the closest I could compare these two games. Looking at a car or a crate in the distance will show an icon that if you press a button you will run towards it. You can then use your analogue to direct your teammate to the cover next to you or tell him to fall back. There is no free movement in the game at all. You simply move from one cover to the next smartly to avoid fire or just to get closer to the enemy to take them out.
The cover system works for the most part. I am tall so my head stuck out a bit which results in me being shot a few times. I had then couch a little lower to avoid the bullets. This is what makes the game so great is that even if you are in cover you can peek around it and over it to try and get a headshot. To stand up and shoot you will need to then hold L1 which then let you stand up and really take aim at those frenzied extremists.
The cover system does not work all the time though as it is extremely clunky. Running to cover works well but the problem is you need to stand to see where you want to move, look at the spot and then hope you can get there. It is also limited to a certain distance in front of you so chances of you running all the way to the front are not happening. To make it worse, if you chose a spot that soon gets swamped with enemies, you cannot run back and jump behind cover to get away. Sure, you can return to the spot you came from with a button but if you want to move somewhere else you first need to run to cover that is actually facing the enemies and then stand up and hope to find a spot behind a crate.
All this takes way too much time and by the time you get to where you want chances are you would be killed. It does not work and I often just wished I could manually walk where I wanted and crouch where I saw fit. The game restricts you for no reason at all. It's a unique approach but in the end is the game's downfall. The same is said for ammo as you need to physically get to an ammo crate in order to open it. You will have to now manoeuvre around the battlefield moving from cover to cover just to make sure you can line up your next move with the ammo crate. It is just clunky and gets in the way of the great shootouts.
Where the cover system plays a major role in the game is in the gunfights and at least these are done very well. I played the game with the VR Aim Controller and the ability to lean in and out of cover and blind fire over cover is a load of fun. I did not hit anything at all but if I had to do it in real life I would not have done so either. I just wish the A.I was better. If I had to blind fire in a war zone they would run for cover. Well, I have never been in that situation but I assume that is the case. In Bravo Team, they don't. Blind fire would have been a great way distract the enemy as you run toward them but instead, they don't move an inch, rather just stand there and keep you pinned down.
This is where your partner does makes this easier for you. Giving him instructions to run to a spot, shoot or fall back makes the fight easier. But then again this means you need to turn around, find him and calculate where you want him to go. He does help suppress the fire on you which is a great thing and he revived me the dozen times I died during the game which was a godsend. The other player can also be replaced with an online friend which I did manage to test out and turns out that the A.I is a better partner. You see, the same problems you deal with in the game with clunky movement, they are dealing with too. The A.I seems to be able to handle the issues much better than you. Where the friend player does do better is in shooting as the A.I often misses to make sure the game is balanced.
Bravo Team lasts around four to five hours taking you through various environments from a broken bridge to the alleys of the city. You also get given a chance to play around with different guns of which the sniper is the best. There is just something great about how it worked with the VR Aim Controller. The amount of precision is unprecedented. Never fear though as even if you don't have the Aim Controller, the game still works with the DualShock 4 and Move Controllers too. The DS4 sees you lift the controller towards your face to aim down your sights. You can then move it around to gain more precision. Sure, you feel like an idiot when you first do it and it is in no way as cool as the VR controller but it works.
Bravo Team successfully delivers a great firefight and has the most intense action I have experienced in a VR game to date. While it suffers from some tedious gameplay and a weak movement system, the shootouts are its strongest feature and the Aim Controller makes it worth your while. Its a decent attempt at a VR game and not your ordinary shooter which is a big plus for me. If you own PS VR then give this a try. It is also reasonably priced at R629.
This review was based off a review code provided to us by SIE
Available On: PS4 (VR) Reviewed On: PS4 Pro | Release Date: 27 February 2018 | RRP: R475