Bravo Team PS4 VR REVIEW: Great co-op action shooter gameplay worth playing with friends
Bravo Team is the latest VR release from Supermassive games, who have really taken to Sony's PSVR unit since it's initial release, making not one but three titles in the short space of time – Until Dawn Rush of Blood, The Impatient and now the hugely anticipated release of Bravo Team.
Since E3 2017, there have been high hopes for Supermassive's new VR shooter. A virtual reality Call of Duty/Rainbow Six was the easy tag often thrown at the game.
But amazingly – and almost ironically – the game has come under a lot of fire from early reviews ahead of the game's release this week.
However, having played the game ourselves, both solo and for quite some time in a co-op scenario (something a lot of fellow reviews don't appear to have done) we're quite surprised at the flak Supermassive's latest outing is getting.
The truth, we believe, is that Bravo Team is far from the perfect VR shooter, but it is, from what we played, highly enjoyable and well worth every penny of the £25 it's being sold for when played in the right setting.
Part of this enigma perhaps comes down to the previously mentioned cooperative gameplay.
We played the game initially in co-op and truthfully loved every second.
With a friend the action is more intense, the teamwork more enjoyable as you push through levels and even the daft scripted moments where you jump across ledges or slice down the side of buildings are better with a friend.
Largely because you're intent on trying to do it in sync like some hilarious final shot from Lethal Weapon.
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However, when Bravo Team is played solo with the AI by your side, the game is a slower, more lonely affair. That comradery obviously isn't as pronounced and it certainly takes something away from the overall game.
It also requires more work as you're no longer just communicating with your chum on a headset, you're suddenly having to manage your AI friend, calling out signals like telling them what cover to move behind, asking them to lay down cover fire and all sorts.
That, in our mind, is the crux of Bravo Team's biggest problem and one that's probably not been addressed fully in the many reviews which have seemed intent on bashing the game as being too limited.
In a similar fashion, we loved playing That's You on Playlink with a group of six friends. Are we going to play it in a two? Of course not.
So would we choose to play Bravo Team solo? Probably not, but that's only because we know how much more fun it is in co-op.
Are we going to keep playing Bravo Team online in co-op with our friends and family? Absolutely.
Not just that, it's another great excuse for us to whip out our Sony PlayStation VR Aim Controller which has been gathering dust ever since we finished Farpoint.
The option to play without the Aim also exists for PSVR players if they want, either using the standard DualShock 4 or the PlayStation Move stick, but honestly, the result just isn't the same.
If you've used the Aim before it will probably go without saying that Bravo Team is best played with that futuristic u-bend looking peripheral as your virtual rifle in hand.
There's a myriad of reasons as to why you shouldn't try to play the game without the Aim. But above all, it's the lack of immersion we felt when we didn't have Sony's fake assault rifle in our hands in the middle of a firefight.
It just didn't feel natural or as satisfactory using anything other than the Aim once we'd used the peripheral in our first playthrough.
The biggest drawback though was when we picked up the Sniper Rifle, and it seems clear the game still needs some fine-tuning on that particular weapon to make it work more smoothly when you bring the reticle up to your eyeline.
But in general, the Aim is another success in this instance.
Reports of trouble aiming never appeared to impact us and whilst we concur with other reviews that it is indeed more tiring using the Aim, we're not entirely not sure how Supermassive or Sony can get around that problem – no less for a game which requires you to be constantly popping in and out of cover.
Again, that complaint seems slightly petty. Like moaning at the extra effort required in a racing game should you choose to play with a proper rig.
Another major criticism from all quarters seems to be that the game is just too short at three to fours in length – depending on how quickly you make your way through the main campaign.
In truth though, we think it's probably about the right length of time given the limited mechanics the game actually has. Realistically had the game been any longer than what it is, we think it might have dragged on far too long.
There is also the option of playing on a higher difficulty, which will not only prompt the enemy AI to flank you more, but also come at you from behind.
Whilst far from being a new game plus, it does at least add another layer to the campaign for those willing to give each level another pass through on a noticeably more challenging difficulty.
That being said, more standalone levels in the future would certainly be something we could get behind if Supermassive felt inclined to support the game post-release.
And if not, there's always the score attack mode allowing you to rerun each level (solo or with a friend) racking up points as you chain kills.
Score attack, whilst obviously not the greatest revolution in gaming, does at least make up for that short campaign.
Played solo, it's ok. But once again, played in co-op it can be great fun. Especially when squad goals go out the window and you're both attempting to rack up the highest score for bragging rights.
THE VERDICT- 4/5
Bravo Team isn't perfect. Of that we're confident. But it is, in our eyes, incredibly good fun when played in the right circumstances.
Are we going to boot up the game every night? Probably not, like most VR titles. We're more likely to boot up Call of Duty WW2 or Battlefield 1.
But on the odd occasion we feel like playing on our PSVR it's certainly a good title you can drop into for a bit of quick fun. Better still if you've got the time to play with someone else you'll also have a demonstrably better time.
Of what few niggles we had with the game were just that, niggles. Nothing game breaking, nothing that made us sick like certain other VR titles we've tried.
So if you've been looking for an excuse to dust off that Aim controller, you can't go wrong with Bravo Team, provided you don't expect the world when played solo.
• Some of the best co-op VR we've played
• Classic light-gun action. A slower, more methodical Time Crisis
• The score attack mode is good fun some fresh life into the game
• The storyline is completely throwaway
• Graphics ok without being spectacular
• Needs post-release content to sustain it in the long run