If you’re on the fence about Sony’s PlayStation VR (PSVR), Firewall: Zero Hour is a great argument for picking one up. (I never thought I’d say that about Sony’s $300 accessory.)
Developed by First Contact Entertainment, the multiplayer title pits two teams of four against each other, in an attack and defend format, and it’s a blast to play. When you dream of immersive VR content, Firewall: Zero Hour is the kind of experience gamers have been waiting for.
Think of Firewall: Zero Hour as a VR version of Ubisoft’s Rainbow Six Siege. Matches are frenetic and fast-paced, challenging attackers to find and hack a briefcase, while the other team defends said briefcase. There are tactical elements to the gameplay, like putting down well-placed mines and finding favorable angles at bottleneck points.
But the real fun comes when communicating with your teammates, which is chaotic and oftentimes hilarious, but in a good way. In the demo arranged by Sony last week, there were four stations setup side-by-side, with another four stations offsite against the game’s developers. Trying to shout out an enemy’s location while you’re being shot in VR is harder than it sounds, and that’s what makes it so fun.
When matches get underway, the attacking team is required to navigate a maze of corridors and rooms that ultimately lead to where the defending team is camped. When the action gets underway, you begin to see all of Firewall: Zero Hour’s components beautifully come together.
You need communication, quick reflexes, tactical awareness, and all the other necessary skills of a competitive shooter. The difference here is Sony’s VR, which adds an entirely new level of immersion you can’t get from something like Rainbow Six Siege. It really does feel much different from a typical consoler shooter.
The game supports the PS4’s standard DualShock 4, but is best experienced using the PSVR’s Aim controller. It makes aiming easy and intuitive, adding to the feeling of immersion. I really thought the controller would be complicated, but it was incredibly easy to pickup and use.
Matches in Firewall: Zero Hour are fast-paced and unfold in exciting ways, regardless if you’re attacking or defending. Unfortunately, only one map was available to test, but more are expected when the PSVR exclusive launches later this year.
I’ve been ambivalent toward VR titles because they’re like lightning strikes: they provide a brief moment of excitement before they’re over. Firewall: Zero Hour feels like that rare title that will be endlessly replayable. Players will be able to upgrade characters, weapons, and equipment, too.
Firewall: Zero Hour is tentatively slated to come out later this year.