Happy 1st Birthday Blood & Truth!


We can’t believe it’s Blood & Truth’s first anniversary already! The time has flown by, but we’re thrilled with how brilliant the journey has been these past 12 months.

Some of our favourite highlights include:

  • It was the first VR game in history to make it to number 1 in the UK Games Chart across all formats, achieving a Metacritic score of 80.
  • We were EDGE Magazine’s PlayStation Game of The Year!
  • We won the Immersive Reality Technical Achievement DICE award.
  • We launched a wave of brand new challenges as free DLC for the fans.

As a studio we’re massively proud of what we achieved with Blood & Truth. The game pushed the boundaries of what is possible in VR, and collectively we have learned so much.

We took the time to reflect on our favourite memories from the game’s development. Here’s a roundup of things you might not have known, directly from our team:

Simon Hermitage, Design Director

The debate around player slow motion (pressing the two move buttons together).

During the development of the game, the ability for the player to trigger their own moments of slow-motion almost got cut! We loved how cinematic it felt and that the player could trigger it whenever they wanted to create their own Action Movie Moments, but it was also really overpowered in combat – especially when we started exposing weak points on enemies to take down in a spectacular fashion.

We had to work on limiting the players use of the feature, which we did by having a very short burst of slow-motion which could be extended through accurate targeting, and introducing a cool down period in order to prevent the player spamming the feature. We added the ability for designers to balance the slow-mo gameplay by changing the slow-mo rate of almost anything in the scene.

The missing jail escape mission!

With all games, there are always sections that have to be cut, and here is one of ours! Early in development we had a fantastic mission planned where Carson was going to bust you out of jail. He would get the cell open at midnight and it should have been a simple stealth escape to the roof. You soon discover that Tony had set up a jail hit on you for the same night, and you have to fight your way out and improvise an escape of your own!

Stuart Whyte, Director of VR Product Development

I remember the day we first met Colin Salmon who played Carson in Blood & Truth. Colin visited the studio and, whilst we’d sent him a lot of background materials on the story and his character, he’d never tried VR before.

Blood & Truth was in the middle of development at this point and we had our announce level, (Casino) as a great showcase of the game – but I was worried about dropping a first timer VR player into the heat of the action, so we booted up Oceans Decent from VR Worlds.

I guess I should have suspected things might go awry when Colin (who is a thoroughly nice chap but very tall and incredibly fit) started to attempt to kick the shark. And not a little kick. Proper ‘going for it’. He didn’t want the shark anywhere near him!

Confident that Colin was no longer a VR virgin and clearly enjoying himself, we switched to the development build of Blood & Truth. It’s fair to say that Colin completely immersed himself in the game. His physicality was that of a trained military man (which I guess you’d expect from someone who’s fought zombies in Resident Evil and been in multiple Bond movies), and he proceeded to duck/jump/lean as he played. I could tell that he was really enjoying the experience and the freedom to move the PSVR headset was something that he was keen to embrace!

Soon Colin had completely forgotten that he was in a moderately sized meeting room and instead thought that he was in the casino. . . and he then proceeded to run, at speed, to the closest wall.

In front of the wall was one of those ‘mobile’ whiteboards (quite large – overhead height) which I think went someway to help cushion Colin as he ran head first into it.

The resultant noise as the whiteboard crashed against the meeting room wall was loud enough for many team members to wonder just what was going on in there. We promptly decided that that was probably enough VR for Colin at this point – and he took off the headset and luckily was completely fine! 😉

Paul MacGillivray, QA Manager

There are so many memories during the game’s development, but one that stands out for me is when Blood & Truth went gold. To celebrate the completion of the game the QA team attempted drawing our own versions of the games box art on the discs.

Our UX Designer, Elle did an anime style one for the Japanese SKU of the game:

… And here was the EU master one I did!

Look at my art skills! 😉 The smudge on the disc is my signature seal of quality, haha.

Each member of the QA team did one, and we took this photo minutes after the Gold Master passed:

Then we took a nice photo with our mascot, the QA bear – who of course contributed hugely towards the game.

Duncan Smith, Head of Music

This memory stands out, and I’m so glad we finally get to share it!

This video is an 80 piece orchestra re-imagining the Diplo vs Autoerotique track ‘Waist Time’ (it features beats & vocals from the original track too). During the development of the game, we originally wanted a short piece that could transition between the commercial track and the original orchestral score, but it worked so well we ended up getting full orchestral versions of this Diplo track by MJ Cole & Tim Deluxe.

It was all recorded at the world famous Air Studios and the track ended up joining the original grime reworks on the soundtrack, featuring production by Zdot and rappers such as JME, Eyez, Kamikaze and Ocean Wisdom.

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