I’m a simple man with simple tastes. Grand sweeping adventures with complex characters are all well and good, but usually, all I need to be happy is a gun and an enemy to shoot in the face. Mortal Blitz for the PSVR delivers on the face shooting and surprisingly, it does so with more gameplay depth than similar games of its ilk.
I’ve felt since launch that the biggest letdown for PSVR is its dearth of simple lightgun-esque shooters. On the PC, motion-controlled VR gun games are a dime a dozen, and while it’ll be some time before PSVR sees that level of quantity, Mortal Blitz does help towards filling that void. Like most lightgun games, Mortal Blitz is straightforward and easy to play. This title has players wielding guns (obviously) explosives, and telekinesis to tackle futuristic linear levels. The standouts are the two stages set on moving trains, as tight spaces lend themselves well to frantic shootouts. While the PSVR is not room scale, Mortal Blitz utilizes space far more than most titles. Avoiding gunfire requires actually crouching in real life so that your avatar crouches behind barrels or other barriers. From here you can peek your head around or blind fire. The superb tracking and sense of space do wonders for immersion, sucking you into the action. Not only is the headset perfectly tracked, but the guns didn’t lose tracking once in my 6-7 hours of playtime, which is no small feat considering poor motion controller tracking is one of PSVR’s main problems.
As I’ve alluded to before, Mortal Blitz owes a lot to its lightgun arcade ancestors, but it features depth not usually seen in these titles. Mostly that depth comes from the groggy system; a gameplay mechanic wherein bad guys will enter a dazed state after being shot a number of times. At this point, you can remove the gun from one of your hands and telekinetically grab the enemy, flinging him in the air towards you in slow motion. Shooting the airborne enemy will reward you with extra points depending on how many times you shoot him. This creates strategy, in that it not only serves as the best way to gain points, but also opens up new possibilities. You could shoot the airborne enemy for points, or you could choose to forego points in favor of safely dealing with the remaining soldiers or monsters, thanks to the advantages of slow motion. Besides the groggy system, there are other uses for the telekinesis power that add flavor to the gameplay. You can disarm one or both hands to pick up weapons, grenades and even objects such as chairs or crates littered around the environment. Grenades are hard to use properly as they’ll often fly past your foes and bounce around, missing the targets completely. Environmental objects, such as crates fly in direct lines and are big enough that they often hit their mark. Doing this is rarely as useful as merely shooting the enemies however, and I only used it occasionally for the heck of it.
The guns that can be picked up are the stars of the show, and while there aren’t a lot of them, each one is suitably powerful compared to your default pistols (meaning they’re always worthwhile to grab). A shotgun, rail gun, mini gun, and missile launcher make up the additional weapons, and all can be dual wielded. Any game where I can live out second tier Arnold Schwarzenegger movies, such as the “Eraser”-like dual wielding of rail guns, occupies a special place in my heart.
A downside of the campaign is that it’s over in about an hour. For 20 dollars it’s not unfair to expect more content. Luckily there is a fair amount replay value that comes not only from the score chasing and unlocking extra difficulty modes, but largely from the fact that the levels are a blast to play even on multiple playthroughs. In this way Mortal Blitz successfully apes the most important part of arcade shooters….the fact that the gameplay draws you back in, not necessarily the amount of content. In terms of content, there is also a bonus “training” mode that rounds off the package, which offers 50 levels of increasingly difficult target shooting. And I do mean difficult. I firmly believe that level 30 of this training mode is literally impossible and until I see video evidence of it being completed, I stand by that statement. It’s a shame too because completing a set amount of training levels unlocks customization options for the pistols, and unfortunately, most players won’t unlock everything due to the frustratingly high difficulty.
Mortal Blitz is how a VR shooter should be. It utilizes player space well, has a reasonable amount of depth to the gunplay, but most importantly, it’s just fun to play. It lets you feel like you’re the star of a cheesy action movie and is a great addition to any VR enthusiast’s library. While it’s content may be on the shorter side for $20, Mortal Blitz makes a solid argument for quality over quantity.
REVIEW CODE: , to obtain review A complimentary code was to Brash Games for this review. the publishers / developers in any way whatsoever as we have had several instances of fraud and deception by freelance reviewers asking for codes directly and not reviewing them, they have since been dismissed from Brash Games along with their profiles so please make sure you only send review code to a valid email address ending in @brashgames.co.uk. For all review code enquiries, please email email@example.com
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