Utter bollocks. That’s Bravo Team in a nutshell. Utter. Bloody. Bollocks. It was supposed to be a big game for the PSVR – a sign that Sony was still committed to investing in big-budget blockbusters for its pricey peripheral. Instead it’s just another shallow shooter that at best barely works, and at worst is utterly broken.
Let’s start with the basics. It’s a VR game. You’re going to need a PSVR headset. That much is a given. When it comes to controls you’ve got options. You can either use the DualShock 4, a pair of Move wands, or the PlayStation Aim controller. I opted for the PSVR Aim controller, because why wouldn’t you? Well, that was my first mistake.
Bravo Team opens with the Russian president being assassinated. It doesn’t have any of the clout that you’d expect from such a moment, and it’s all quickly brushed away as you and your partner are blamed for the death and the Russian army is pissed. So much so that it is ordering hundreds of soldiers to blindly wander into your firing line and die. No, really, that’s about as basic as it is. They come, you pop up from cover, shoot a few rounds, they die, then they get replaced.
As you make your way through the game’s levels, you’ll learn the tools of the trade. From switching weapons to taking cover, the game does at least do a decent job at explaining its features. It’s just a shame it doesn’t do a better job at actually implementing them.
Between mowing down faceless soldiers, you’ll be moving between cover in a tactical fashion. Or at least that’s what it’s supposed to be. Instead of allowing you to move from cover to cover using the PSVR Aim’s analogue sticks, you’re forced to watch your in-game self run from one place to the other in a forced third-person view. Sometimes it works, other times you’re left watching the paint crack on an in-game wall as the camera has shat the bed and can’t figure out where you should be looking. It’s pretty poor and it takes you right out of the experience. Once you’re back in control of your character, things don’t fare much better. You may find yourself staring at another piece of wall with no option other than to literally turn your entire body around in order to look in the right direction. Oh, but by doing that you’ll screw with the PSVR’s light-tracking and it’ll send you on a wobble. It’s stomach turning stuff, really, and I’m surprised to see such shoddy work coming from Supermassive Games.
The gunplay itself isn’t the worst, but it’s far from being satisfactory. Using the PSVR Aim controller should have made everything much more immersive, but it didn’t. I’d struggle to line up my aim in-game because it never felt that it matched up with what my real-life limbs were doing. So while my real life hands were barely holding the Aim controller at chest level, in-game I was holding the gun right up to my face. It’s disorienting to say the least.
Weirdly enough, the DualShock 4 is the best way to play. It’s far less cumbersome and it’s easier to get a grip on using the face buttons when needed, but it says something about the quality of the game when a regular controller is preferable to the purpose-made peripheral; it makes the PSVR Aim controller feel like a waste of time, money, and effort.
Moving through the game’s short story is a slog from start to finish. Thankfully you can be done in just over three hours, providing you don’t die over and over again. But why would die? The enemy A.I is so laughable that I found it next to impossible to lose – and I was only playing with my A.I partner, not another human being. Enemies will spawn endlessly from their predetermined spawn zones, so it’s just a matter of wrestling your rifle into the right position and pulling the trigger when the enemies appear. Most bad guys will just run at you with no care in the world. They’re be hitting the ground before their horrible one-liners can be delivered. Other enemies will stand a few feet away from you, silently doing nothing. Others will at least pretend to care about their lives as they duck into cover, but they’ll either fire their weapons into a random wall that’s nowhere near you, or they’ll just sit there quietly and wait for it all to blow over. It’s piss poor.
So the gameplay is weak. The story is utter shite. Maybe the graphics are decent? C’mon, if you’ve made it this far into the review you can surely guess what’s coming next. No, it looks piss poor. It’s a blurry mess with some proper nasty colours; brown and grey are the order of the day. It doesn’t help when you’re trying to spot enemies that are any further than 5 in-game feet away, and most shots just wont register at that distance, so you’re forced to go through the stomach-churning dash to cover again, and again, and again.
I’ve played a fair few stinkers on PSVR, but I think Bravo Team takes the cake. Not because it’s the worst game available for Sony’s headset – there are many poorer efforts – but because it was supposed to be good. Sony told us it was good. Supermassive Games told us it was good. They hyped it up as the next big PSVR shooter but instead of getting a competent shooter, we got a steaming pile of shite. I’d rather have shot myself than play this game. Not in the head. Just, like, in the foot or something. With a BB gun. But still.
Bravo Team PS4 Review
Bravo Team was supposed to be the next big thing for PSVR. A tactical shooter that you'd spend hours of time playing with your mates. Instead I'll probably spend more time telling people about how bad it is than I'll ever spend playing the damn thing. It's that bad.
Review Disclaimer: This review was carried out using a copy of the game bought at the expense of the reviewer. For more information, please read our Review Policy.
Reviewed using PS4 Slim.