Taking cover then occasionally emerging just to blast away your adversaries has been a fun formula ever since Namco's arcade classic Time Crisis. However, does that gameplay premise hold up in VR? Load your trusty firearm and let's find out.
Before I started playing Bravo Team, I didn't really know what to expect. However, after diving in to the campaign, I was initially rather pleased with the first-person shooting gameplay. For starters, you aim by moving the DualShock 4 controller around then shoot by squeezing the trigger. This method of control is handled surprisingly well as playing it quickly becomes second nature due to its intuitive gameplay. Anyway, between holding a button to come out of cover and shooting, you can also select cover points then watch your soldier carefully manoeuvre their way there. Finding the optimal spot to take out your foes is quite enjoyable and the gunfights can get intense, too. You'll frequently run out of ammo so you'll need to restock at the convenient ammo crates that are scattered about. Good thing you have a secondary pistol that never seems to run out of bullets.
Bravo Team follows a cliché story where you and a teammate are in charge of protecting a president of some fictitious nation. However, she gets kidnapped and presumably killed in the opening cinematic so it's up to you and your pal to figure out just what the heck is going on. But, who cares about all that? As you play, you and your chum can revive each other which is incredibly handy, especially when the bullets are flying everywhere. Therefore, it's a cooperative shooter through and through.
Speaking of cooperating, you can either play with an AI partner or online with a stranger or friend. The former isn't very fun because there's very little communication. You can make hand gestures but their default behaviour should do the trick on its own. Playing online is clearly the best of the two options as you can communicate and strategize how to thin out the patrolling enemy soldiers.
No matter how you decide to play Bravo Team, there's no denying just how basic and repetitive the gameplay is. In fact, I was starting to feel tired just halfway through the first stage. Thankfully, you can swap your machine gun with a shotgun or sniper rifle later on in the campaign which provides some variety but definitely not enough. The campaign itself is extremely monotonous, too. Whereas the retro Time Crisis games at least provided interesting scenarios and action-packed cutscenes, Bravo Team is comprised of similar gunfights over and over again. The entire campaign only lasts a few hours, too, which is very short seeing as there isn't much else to do.
Finally, there are some ridiculous glitches in Bravo Team. For starters, the game crashed while I was playing online which is frustrating because that other person probably thinks that I quit (unless their game crashed as well). However, the silliest thing I saw is that one time, my AI partner's torso was running in place while inside a drawer on the ground. I don't know where his legs went but I had to quit to the main menu in order to continue. This sort of boloney is unacceptable unless it's some sort of weird joke that I don't get.
Bravo Team is fairly enjoyable at the start but it quickly devolves into a repetitive and mindless shooter that unfortunately doesn't even live up to the classic light gun games of the mid-'90s.
- + Initially enjoyable take on the cover 'n' shoot gameplay dynamic
- + Aiming with the controller is handled well
- + Playing online is pretty cool
- - Gameplay is incredibly basic and repetitive with almost no variation
- - Very short and monotonous campaign
- - Some super-annoying glitches