FIRE­WALL: ZERO HOUR

PlayStation Official Magazine (UK) - - CONTENTS - Jim_Crikey

Vir­tual re­al­ity, with its unique depth of im­mer­sion, has the po­ten­tial to pro­duce beau­ti­fully emo­tional ex­pe­ri­ences; mo­ments that speak to the vul­ner­a­bil­ity of the hu­man con­di­tion. It also al­lows you to shoot peo­ple in their vir­tual faces. This game takes the lat­ter ap­proach, and let’s face it, that’s what many of us have dreamed of since PS VR was first an­nounced. Is this The Game that we’ve been wait­ing for? The an­swer, it seems, is “yes, but”. First of all, it’s im­por­tant to re­alise that you must play us­ing a PS Aim con­troller. PS Move isn’t sup­ported, and while there’s a DualShock op­tion, it feels awk­ward thanks to re­ly­ing on mo­tion con­trols rather than a tra­di­tional FPS setup. A joy­pad does the job, but only pro­vides half the ex­pe­ri­ence.

It’s no sur­prise, then, that ev­ery sin­gle per­son I play along­side seems to be us­ing PS Aim. The con­troller could have been de­signed specif­i­cally for FZH. Pulling it up to head height to aim down the sight is vi­tal in most sit­u­a­tions, and scor­ing a kill by ex­tend­ing your arm to fire blindly around a cor­ner is a rare but thrilling de­light. PS Aim im­ple­men­ta­tion in cer­tain games has been fudged, but here it works like a par­tic­u­larly vi­o­lent dream.

HACK AND FORTH

There’s just one game mode. One team of four has to dis­able a fire­wall via one of two ac­cess points, then hack a lap­top; the other team has to stop them. Sim­ple. The ex­pe­ri­ence would feel lack­ing in a nonVR game, but as it is it of­fers wel­come fo­cus, and pre­vents the small but ded­i­cated on­line com­mu­nity from be­ing split across mul­ti­ple modes.

It’s just as well things are easy to pick up, as the hope­less tu­to­rial teaches you noth­ing that you can’t learn within 30 sec­onds of your first match. Things it’s im­por­tant to un­der­stand (such as the fact that doors, glass, and even the thin wooden walls in the Shoot House map are mag­i­cally bul­let­proof) are dis­cov­ered through trial and er­ror. Cus­tomi­sa­tion op­tions dan­gled in front of you will see drool join the head­set-in­duced-sweat on your VR-play­ing vis­age. Un­til, that is, it be­comes ap­par­ent that the best skills, weapons, and at­tach­ments are locked be­hind un­rea­son­ably high level re­quire­ments.

There are a few dis­ap­point­ments then, which for me were com­pounded by the oc­ca­sional lost con­nec­tion dur­ing the lobby stage. A few more maps would be wel­come, too. Nonethe­less, each match pro­vides unique sto­ries to tell. Hold­ing an ac­tual gun (well, gun-shaped con­troller) means that kills (usu­ally) re­quire real skill-and-calm-de­mand­ing aim­ing. When you die, you gain ac­cess to the map’s cam­eras, and there­fore the abil­ity to pro­vide cru­cial in­tel to the sur­vivors. You’re never left twid­dling your thumbs wait­ing for the next match – and you’ll find that next match can never come soon enough.

“HOLD­ING AN AC­TUAL GUN IN YOUR HANDS MEANS THAT KILLS RE­QUIRE REAL AIM­ING.”

Com­mu­ni­ca­tion is vi­tal. For­tu­nately, play­ers tend to be both chatty and friendly.

INFO FOR­MAT PS VR ETA OUT NOW PUB SONY DEV FIRST CON­TACT EN­TER­TAIN­MENT

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