Virtual Reality is still in its early stages and developers are trying to figure out what makes a fun VR title and what doesn’t just like when consoles made the jump to 3D environments. There have been some unique and excellent VR titles. Then there have been some that have relied on being in a virtual as it’s only redeeming trait. However, similar to 3D game development, there comes one title that just entirely clicks and can set a precedent for future development, and that game has finally arrived. Firewall: Zero Hour, developed by First Contact Entertainment, is one of the coolest experiences I have ever had while playing a video game and is a bona fide PSVR seller despite some fixable issues.
Let’s get one thing straight. Yes, Firewall is a fantastic experience. However, that is not what defines it. It is not just an experience. It is a legitimate video game. There are plenty of VR titles out on the market that provides a creative experience, but there might not be much depth to them. Firewall is not that. I spent hours playing, and I never felt like I played enough. I just always wanted to play more.
Firewall: Zero Hour is a tactical multiplayer VR shooter that will remind you a lot of Rainbow Six Siege. In contracts, the online PvP mode, two teams of four are matched against one another. One team will attack and try to access firewall points that will reveal the location of a laptop that must be hacked to win the game, while the other will defend the objective. While this title doesn’t do anything special with its multiplayer concept, the use of the VR headset and the aim controller pushes the gameplay to an entirely different level. You can still play by using the motion controls on the Dualshock four, and it works quite well, but using the aim controller feels much more satisfying to play with.
The versatility of virtual reality is what makes this game so satisfying, immersive, and fun to play. It can completely alter your typical first-person shooter tactics. If you need to peek around a corner, you can literally peek around a corner. Does the enemy have you pinned down behind a wall? Stick your gun out and blind fire to give your self some cover to move. Who knows, I have actually gotten a couple kills because the enemy tried to rush me. Having the ability to aim however you would like provides a sense of freedom not found in any other first-person shooters. I would even hold my assault rifle sideways sometimes like I was Solid Snake.
What I found even more incredible is the community that has been playing the new VR title. I would say that in about 75 percent of the games I played in there were team members communicating with each other, and not one of them mentioned my mom. In a world full toxicity in video games, it is refreshing to see random people online work together to win.
While the gameplay in Firewall: Zero Hour is spectacular, actually getting to play a PvP match can be incredibly frustrating. To start, players are put into eight-player lobbies where you can choose which contractor (characters with different abilities) to play as or to create your loadout. Once the lobby becomes full, a countdown clock will begin starting at one minute. This feels like an eternity if you already have your loadout complete.
Then once the match starts, if the host leaves the game, everyone is booted from the game because of the lack of host migration. To top all of this off, there are no rounds in Firewall: Zero Hour. Each match is a maximum of five minutes long, and most of the time it will finish way before that. Once the game is over, everyone is taken back to the lobby where you will have to wait another full minute to play again. That is only if the lobby stays full or if the host doesn’t leave the match. This game is an incredible experience and incredibly addicting, but it was very frustrating sometimes spending more time waiting rather than playing. However, the developers over at First Contact Entertainment are listening to all the feedback from the community, and I hope will roll out a patch to fix these issues.
I do wish the game had a little more customizable options, especially on crafting your loadout. Each gun has practically the same attachments, and on top of that, there sometimes might not be any reason to purchase some of them. For example, the flash hider has a couple of different options to buy. Each one is better than the last as they get more expensive. Because there are not many other weapon attachments, I found no reason to buy the first flash hider and I would save up for the best one. Rather than just having the same attachment with better stats, why not add some different attachments for some variety. Even the optics are very bare bones. You can only choose from no sight, a red dot sight, or what looks likes a holographic sight. It would have been nice to have a scope that would be able to zoom in a bit to deal with long-range enemies.
Though, despite these issues, I never called it quits. The gameplay is so immersive and fun that I just dealt with them. It can’t be overstated how well everything in VR comes together and puts you right in the action. Aiming down sights is just as fluid as you would expect it to me. Tilt your head and bring your gun up a bit. It is that easy. I always thought that whenever the day came when we would be playing VR shooters like this one that there would be a significant difficulty curve when getting used to moving and aiming. However, when you are the controller, everything seems to just click.
Firewall: Zero Hour is one of those games that you show your friends if they want to see what virtual reality is all about. It wraps everything that VR has to offer up perfectly. Having the ability to put the player in the world created can be such an immersive experience, but this title goes above and beyond that by creating some of the best gameplay VR has to offer. I can guarantee that this game can sell more PS VR units if you just get people to try the game. Despite some frustrating issues that I can assume will be fixed with a patch in the future, Firewall: Zero Hour is one of the best VR games on the market, and everyone should play it.