A great deal of amazing and innovative games have been released for VR. However, Bravo Team is not one of them. When PlayStation VR was announced in 2015, under the name Project Morpheus, developers seemed to have a seemingly limitless amount of potential to stun gamers over the coming years. With Until Dawn: Rush of Blood and Tumble VR, Supermassive Games quickly become known for engaging with the fledgling medium, even if those efforts were only lukewarmly received. With the upcoming release of Bravo Team, the quality of Supermassive’s VR games has dropped from mediocre to abysmal.
Bravo Team is presented as a tactical cover-based shooter that relies on a squad dynamic. In reality, the game is little more than an expensive round on a Time Crisis arcade machine. As a member of Bravo Team, the player is tasked with a series of missions that ultimately results in ‘go here, shoot bad guys’. During a gameplay demo, players were put into a co-op session that tasked them with reaching the end of a war-torn bridge similar to San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge as enemy soldiers scurry around abandoned cars. Before even starting the game, players were warned by staff about using the PlayStation VR’s new gun controller as it was not yet properly integrated. The lack of proper integration caused random tracking issues and the need to aim the controller at deformed angles to hit a target. The various issues made Bravo Team’s early development stage clear, including the fact setting up a co-op session took just as long as completing the demo.
Despite gamers being able to physically move up and down to avoid fire, Bravo Team uses a similar mechanic to arcade shooters where the player steps on a paddle or presses a button to get in or out of cover.The only real use of VR in this game is the 360-degree vision as players are forced into a stationary position with a point-and-click system for movement. While many VR titles have adopted similar ideas, the way Bravo Team implements movement shatters the immersion, as the camera is pulled back to a third-person view while the player-characters shamble behind cars.
The crux of the matter is that Bravo Team is shaping up as a disappointment for any individual who bought a PlayStation VR expecting an immersive boots-on-the-ground experience. When VR titles such as Onward and Pavlov are being created from independent developers, the lacklustre experience offered by Supermassive Games is unjustifiable. However, the recent delay of the game from late 2017 to March 2018 leaves one hoping the developers address and fix many of the issues plaguing the current build.
Despite Bravo Team’s many failings, gamers can still look forward to the titles announced for PlayStation VR during Paris Games Week. While only be a few titles are currently available for PSVR, Sony promises multiple new projects ranging from whimsical adventures to bone-chilling horror in the near future. However, the questionable quality of Bravo Team may be enough to turn some players away from purchasing VR headsets at all.