Ahead of its launch last month, PSVR exclusive Bravo Team looked like a promising VR FPS, bringing PS Aim support and a fully cooperative campaign to the table. But critic and player reactions turned out to be overwhelmingly negative. Speaking with Eurogamer, anonymous sources from the studio behind the game explained how the ambitious title turned into a flop.
Speaking “under condition of anonymity to protect their jobs,” staff from Bravo Team developer Supermassive Games claimed their team was understaffed for the scope that studio leadership wanted to achieve. Eurogamer’s Tom Phillips reports:
“We had fewer resources than promised,” one person told me. “It felt like we would fail, and mock reviews in September confirmed this independently. But the delay from November to March didn’t help because the sole focus was frame rate and most of the team were moved off. This ‘optimisation’ work made the game worse than when we had the mock reviews – we stripped visual effects, reduced enemy numbers, lost behaviour and inserted loading screens.” “The team was begging for change,” another person told me, “more resource or reduced scope, and no action was taken. And then it was, and everything needed to be torn to shreds.”
The internal issues shown clearly in the outcome; Eurogamer gave the game an ‘Avoid’ rating, titling their analysis: “Bravo Team review – an astonishingly bad VR shooter from a team that should know better.” Our own review gave the game a 5 out of 10, citing a “paper thin narrative,” and “limited number of weapons [which] do little to mix up the monotony.” Metacritic’s averaged score of 35 reviews (including ours) gives the game a 4.5 out of 10.
In Phillips’ Eurogamer report, a statement from Supermassive Games CEO Pete Samuels addressed reactions to Bravo Team and promised that a patch is in the works:
We were disappointed by the reception to Bravo Team at launch. Since then we have been reviewing all the feedback and have been working on a patch to address a number of the issues raised. We plan to release this in the near future. Our number one priority is to satisfy fans and create compelling gaming experiences. We were thrilled by the response to Until Dawn and Until Dawn: Rush of Blood, and this compelled us as a studio to move forward with a number of projects exploring different concepts, skills and techniques. We have learned a lot from these experiences, and will be putting all of these learnings into practice as we refocus the team and move on to new projects. As a studio we appreciate all the feedback we receive from fans – both good and bad – and we’re all hugely excited about the future.
So far we have no details on when the patch will come or what it might include, but it’s doubtful that anything short of a complete revamp could do much to change the game’s fundamental flaws.