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Bow To Blood sails from PSVR to flat PC screens in April

Despite a brutal-sounding title, Treasure Planet-ish space-pirate shooter Bow To Blood: Last Man Standing looks like a cheerful affair. Originally a PSVR exclusive, developer Tribetoy’s PC version has a longer title and won’t require futuristic space-goggles, but will support them. It’s an intriguing cocktail of weird ideas – wooden sky-ships with laser cannons compete in a Survivor-styled reality TV event to be the last still sailing. There’s even a little bit of roguelike in there, with each playthrough being a ‘season’ of episodes with random competitors and events. See the PC version trailer below.

The PSVR version of the game is played from a captain’s-eye view of your space-sailing ship’s deck. Guns are targeted at where you look, while you steer freely. You also have a bunch of crew scurrying around on your deck, and they can be assigned to various stations as needed. The original version offered two different control systems – one using the basic PS4 gamepad, and one using two position-tracking Move controllers. From what I’ve heard, the latter offers a lot more interactivity (you can even draw your personal sidearm to zap smaller targets with), but the former is likely what non-VR players will be using, or something close to it.

Bow To Blood is a single-player game, which might seem odd considering it’s technically an aerial shooter with multiple competitors, at least in part, but unless you had players filling every slot, I doubt the reality TV angle would work. Players can negotiate and make bargains with the other competitors during each round, and votes of support from other players can keep you in the game during the Survivor-styled voting phase. Of course, completing tons of objectives (with a bit of racing in amongst the shooting) and coming away with a huge haul of points can also keep you safe, but it’s interesting there’s a social aspect beyond that.

The console version did offer one pseudo-multiplayer option; audience participation – something I’m hoping comes to the PC version, too. Up to fifty extra players could connect to your session (that they’re presumably watching being streamed, or are just sitting in the same room while you’re in VR) via an Android or desktop app. From there, they could make small tweaks to the game, like spawning in extra enemies or more ammo. It’s an intriguing blend of stuff, and just one more game to really dive into once I can justify buying a VR headset, putting it high on my wishlist.

Tribetoy aren’t ready to give Bow To Blood: Last Captain Standing a firm launch date, but they reckon it’ll be ready to weigh anchor in April. You can find more on its Steam store page here and official page here.

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Dominic Tarason

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