One of the best team-based shooters for the original PlayStation VR was Firewall Zero Hour. Developed by First Contact Entertainment, it offered tense, tactical matches as well as being one of the best reasons to own the PlayStation Aim controller. Its sequel, Firewall Ultra is in the works for PlayStation VR 2 and with new gameplay details released recently, there’s even more reason to keep the title on your radar.
Rather than being a plain old sequel, First Contact Entertainment describes Firewall Ultra more like an evolution of the franchise. This will mean fans of the original will see content carried over and improved, as the studio has retooled the core experience thanks to player feedback. Naturally, there’s going to be plenty of new content and features designed specifically to make use of PSVR 2’s features.
Unlike some VR first-person shooters (FPS), Firewall Zero Hour was constantly supported with new seasons and content. Even so, there were always things players wanted to see improved. Thanks to the power of PlayStation 5 and PSVR 2’s capabilities, these wishlists have been added. Dedicated servers, new skills, contractors, maps and weapons have been added and improved in Firewall Ultra.
For example, all the character models have been remade to look awesome in 4K HDR. Older maps will have new areas and new textures, whilst the weaponry will be even more customisable. Part of that graphical overhaul is thanks to the studio switching from Unreal Engine 4 over to UE5. A switch many Unreal Engine devs are making to make use of the software’s latest graphical tech.
This evolution will also see gameplay adjustments. It’ll still be 4 on 4 teams but this time matches will be over three rounds. As mentioned, the maps will be bigger and while the defend/attack methodology remains the same, you’ll still want to scour the environments for Crypto. This in-game currency can either be found on a first-come, first-serve basis or earned by winning matches, completing objectives and so on. Crypto can then be spent on new contractors, cosmetics, new guns, and new attachments.
PSVR 2 eye power
When it comes to the new features there’s even more to get excited about. First Contact Entertainment has embraced PSVR 2’s eye tracking like no other.
The studio previously revealed that you’ll be able to swap weapons with your eyes. That should make switching gear in the middle of a firefight far quicker and more intuitive. Secondly, natural actions like looking down sights will be made more precise, closing one eye to fine-tune where your gun is aiming.
And there’s more. We’ve all dealt with flashbangs in military shooters, they’re an inconvenience but not too much of an issue. In Firewall Ultra, lights will blind you, and not just flashbangs either. Use the torch on the front of your gun to disorientate an enemy. Their vision will go white for a moment, and if it’s from a flashbang they’ll get double-vision.
You can, of course, close your eye to avoid this or avert your gaze if you’re quick enough.
Additionally, thanks to PSVR 2’s Sense controllers you could even place your hand over the light, tactically blinding opponents around corners as you hide in the darkness.
More, more, more
Firewall Ultra has even more to offer. Utilising the headset’s 3D Audio you’ll listen out for enemies and plant traps. How about some carefully placed C4, for example?
Or how about the haptic feedback which has been tailored to every weapon. So the Sense controller triggers will feel different depending on the gun you’re holding.
Lastly, death doesn’t mean the end of your gameplay session. Should you fall then you’ll be able to view the match from a number of security cameras dotted around each map. This has a strategic edge to it. Watch an enemy and keep them in view and you’ll highlight them in red for your teammates to see, regardless of walls and other obstructions.
When and Where?
Currently, there’s no launch date for Firewall Ultra, just that it’ll be a PSVR 2 exclusive.