If you didn’t know you could catch bullets, Epic Games wants you to reconsider in their physics-bending VR first-person shooter Bullet Train. The game gives you a few well-placed commands in the beginning, and thankfully no lengthy tutorializing as such.
Time dilates around me. Bullets slow down, leaving behind them a visible warping of the fabric of space. And that’s your cue to experiment. Do you dodge them? That was my first instinct, as I ducked down letting two bullets slowly whiz by me.
But then a horizontal rain of hot lead starts flying in much larger quantities—way too many to dodge. ‘Throw Back‘, the game instructs me. That’s when it clicks. I can kill enemies with their own bullets, and you know what? I’m really not half bad at it. In fact, I’m starting to feel like I don’t need guns at all, just my own two hands and the mediocre hand-eye coordination skills developed from painstaking years of picking things up. Of course, all of this is a part of Bullet Train‘s unique game mechanics—tossing back bullets and missiles when you’re in a tight spot—but you can be forgiven if you didn’t know it before strapping into the Rift and grabbing a pair of Touch controllers.
I’m looking forward to more difficult levels in the future, because as far as demos go, Bullet Train is designed to make you feel like an action hero by helping you most of the way with things like slow bullets coming out of your gun (slow like a Nerf bullet) so you can better see how you’re shooting, and guided missiles so you can fudge a little bit of your throwing technique. All of this makes sense though, because without tactile feedback to know when to let go of an object, it’s actually really hard to throw something in VR accurately—kind of like throwing a dart with numb hand.
Hopefully they’ll crank up the difficulty once the player acquaints his/herself with bullet tossing. But in the meantime I’ll be savoring my moment as the bullet-throwing, time-dilating badass from the future.