Platform: PlayStation VR
Developer: First Contact Entertainment
Firewall Zero hour first appeared to the public at PAX in 2017. It was being billed as a Tactical FPS in VR, which excited many. Now it’s finally been released for the PlayStation VR and it’s surprisingly great!
What we have here is a very simple Tactical FPS where the player picks one of two sides. You are either moving in to take control of a Laptop computer, or you are the one defending said Laptop. When you begin the game you can select one of 6 contractors (more become available as you progress) each with different skills and arsenal of weapons. You then choose a side (or team) to play on, either “Attacker” or “Defender.” If you are on the Attacker side, you and your team will move in covertly to take control of server locations, allowing your “employer” to hack the Laptop. Once it’s hacker, you need to move to its location and secure it before the enemy can stop you. If you choose the Defender team, you need to position yourself where you can keep the attackers from the servers and the computer.
While there is a training mode where you can familiarize yourself with the controls and first few areas to fight in, there is no full fledged offline mode. Firewall Zero Hour is completely an Online experience, where you will be paired with other players in each battle. You can go at it solo, with AI opponents but this does not increase your level or your stats.
As you complete contracts, you will be rewarded with experience points that increase your level, character stats and even unlock new weapons. You really do get a feeling of accomplishment when you complete a contract, but a loss can leave you with a feeling of utter failure, urging you to try again and do better! Teamwork is the key here, as you must keep in constant contact with your teammates to score a victory. All is not lost if you happen to be killed though, as once you are KIA, you will have access to security cameras that will allow you to see your remaining team and your opponents. In this mode, you can offer assistance to your team by telling them where the enemy is, or how close they are to the objective. So, even if you die, you can still help get your team to victory from beyond the grave!
There isn’t really much presented in Firewall. It’s very bare bones with no backstory or extra flair. However, this does not mean that it’s a bad experience, far from it. Even though it’s very basic, the game is fun, and presented extremely well. Everything from the visuals to the controls work flawlessly, to give you a VR experience that can rival the bigger name titles out there. If you are lucky enough to own a VR AIM Controller, then you can get an even deeper experience as it’s supported fully. The only other VR game out there that utilized the AIM controller this well was Farpoint as titles such as Bravo Team and Arizona Sunshine come nowhere near the level of compatibility with the AIM as Firewall does. If you do not have an AIM, fear not as the DualShock 4 works just as well, if not better than most VR games.
The graphics in Firewall Zero Hour are nice, but not as polished or detailed as some other VR games. Nothing looks terrible, but some blurring and some questionable textures can be seen occasionally. Character and gun models all look great, but there are some small instances of wall clipping. This can present a disadvantage as an opponent may be able to see you through a wall or object when you are trying to be stealthy. You can also sometimes shoot or be shot through solid objects, but this happens very rarely. Due to the barebones presentation of the game, it’s to be expected that minor issues like this will be present from time to time. The good news is that small issues with graphic detail and the minor clipping will never take you out of the game or ruin the overall fun-factor to be found here.
Even with it’s very basic presentation, Firewall Zero Hour really delivers on every front. Minor issues aside, you will definitely have a good time with this. Keeping in mind that this is a completely online experience so, if you are a shy one who doesn’t like interacting or working together with friends or complete strangers than this might not be the game for you. If you like other tactical shooters like the Ghost Recon Series, then this will be right up your alley! I, for one, will be playing this one for quite some time. See you online!
Note: SIEA provided us with a Firewall Zero Hour PS4 code for review purposes.