With many developers experimenting with what virtual reality is capable of; it's surprising that there aren't more first-person shooters. Firewall Zero Hour is here to help fill that void and it's an impressively tight experience.
Firewall Zero Hour has you control a soldier in order to either gather intel from a laptop or protect the laptop depending if you're on the attackers or defenders side. The best way to play is via the competitive team-based online mode which has two teams of four soldiers try to thwart each other's objective. Overall, this basic dynamic of swapping between attacking and defending results in some rather exciting matches, especially once the gameplay starts to click and you begin to effectively carry out your mission.
When you get shot, a teammate has a short window to revive you but don't count on it. Once you inevitably perish, you're out for the rest of the match but thankfully, each match is only a few minutes long so you won't have to wait much. If you happen to bite the dust, you can watch the rest of the match through the lenses of security cameras which is a great way to pass the time.
Firewall Zero Hour's controls are intuitive as you basically aim by tilting the DualShock 4 controller which I conveniently rested on my chest so my arms wouldn't get tired. You can also use a PlayStation VR Aim Controller but I don't have one of those so I can't comment on how well it performs. Anyway, you can shoot, reload, aim and throw grenades, and switch to a pistol. There's nothing more satisfying than seeing a group of enemies sticking together only to lob a grenade at them and watch a couple perish in the process. I don't usually enjoy first-person shooters but the simple gameplay works extremely well in VR and being on a team takes a lot of pressure off.
One aspect of Firewall Zero Hour that's accomplished exceptionally well is its intricate stage designs. Most stages are composed of an elaborate series of hallways, multiple floors, and complex interconnected rooms that force you to constantly observe your surroundings so an enemy soldier doesn't sneak up on you. Each environment looks fantastic, too, and you'll find yourself within storage facilities, offices, hotels, etc. I would even buy DLC to play within more stages; they're that well-crafted.
Finally, I'd like to discuss some less desirable aspects of Firewall Zero Hour. The first is that the whole stealing data from a laptop structure gets kind of stale after a while. I wish there were more modes that added extra variety. Speaking of which, playing solo or cooperatively against AI soldiers is much more boring than competitively against other players. To remedy this, there could have been some sort of story campaign but there is none to be found. Lastly, I found myself waiting around far too much while playing online. Instead, if AI soldiers could fill players' spots whenever they drop out then that would have reduced the wait time substantially. As it is, you have to go back to the lobby after every short match only to wait 1 to 10 minutes for the next match to start.
I thoroughly enjoyed my time with Firewall Zero Hour and I'm looking forward to seeing what the developers come up with next. Whatever it is, I hope it has a bit more substance than what's featured here.
- + Simple first-person shooting that's easy to learn and works very well in VR
- + Exciting competitive online matches
- + Stage designs are just awesome
- - Could use more multiplayer modes
- - Lacks any sort of story mode
- - Too much waiting while playing online