Friday 19 July 2019

Blood & Truth review: Cracking Cockney crime caper

(PSVR) ★★★★★ Age: 18+

Blood & Truth for PSVR
Blood & Truth for PSVR
Blood & Truth
American Fugitive
Ronan Price

Ronan Price

Geezers, guns and gags - Blood & Truth pinches its blueprint lock, stock and two smoking barrels from Cockney crime caper merchant Guy Ritchie. But Madonna's former squeeze didn't lob you a pistol and lock-pick as you walked into the cinema.

B&T virtually does, its VR version of London turf wars all the more evocative for its broad range of physical actions demanded of the player. When your family "firm" faces a hostile takeover, you have to hit back hard with weapons (naturally), but also infiltrate, hide, crawl, steal, tamper and climb.

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Much of Blood & Truth plays out like an on-rails shooter in the mode of venerable arcade classic Time Crisis, a staccato stop-and-pop that's by turns exhilarating and tense. Yet far more atmosphere is packed into its sweary and funny interludes, whether you're planning retaliatory jobs with your family or creeping around rival strongholds.

Pulling yourself up ladders, unpicking locks or shortcircuiting power boards require physical gestures with the motion controllers that draw you into the narrative.

It's hardly flawless - your weird disembodied hands feel wrong for a start - but Blood & Truth showcases VR's innate strength for storytelling. You might just Adam and Eve it, guvnor.

American Fugitive

(XO/PS4/PC/Sw) ★★★★ Age: 18+

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American Fugitive
 

Reviving the top-down template of the early Grand Theft Auto games, American Fugitive notionally makes you a target for the police after being framed for your dad's killing. But the cops in this rural town are shortsighted and lazy, leaving you almost unfettered to commit endless crime - burglary, thuggery, vandalism - while unravelling the murder mystery.

Cue loads of car chases, many fetch quests and quite a lot of theft where you cautiously case a house then rapidly rifle its rooms for loot before the fuzz show up.

It's a cartoonish mixture - aside from the careless murder sprees, obviously. But American Fugitive has a dark sense of humour that cuts through the mindless destruction and repetitive mission structure.

If you're old enough to remember the Dukes of Hazzard (look it up on YouTube, kids), you'll recognise many of the tropes here. Modern gamers will clock the appealing DNA of the GTA juggernaut.

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