Review- Firewall: Zero Hour (PSVR)
By: Roberto Nieves
Developer: First Contact Entertainment
Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment
Platform: PlayStation VR Exclusive
PlayStation VR has been out on the market for quite some time, and while there has been a bevy of amazing games, there hasn't been many in regards to an immersive first-person shooter. There are rare exceptions, such as Evasion, Killing Floor: incursion, and Farpoint, but most of the time, they resort to being rail or wave shooters, where the movement options for the player are limited or nonexistent. The developers at First Contact Entertainment see a need and so they have the delivered with Firewall: Zero Hour, an immersive first-person shooter which is exclusive to the PlayStation VR. Having released Summer 2018, Firewall: Zero Hour has gone through a long degree of enhancements and additions to become one of the best multiplayer VR experiences, though it is best reserved for those ready for a long tour of duty.
Firewall: Zero Hour is an online multiplayer first-person shooter, consisting of solo, public, and private PvP and PvE modes. As a private military operator, the goal is to win big in the Crypto Wars. There is big money to be had on the Dark Web,, and big money brings all sorts of competitors ready to win big. Across a multitude of maps, players either attack or defend their goal: A Laptop containing classified information.
This Game gives players a chance to get their feet wet through a tutorial and a variety of PvE modes. This is highly recommended, as the game's unique design and mechanics are certainly far different than the usual similar shooters that many players are likely accustomed too. After the completion of these game modes, players are off to compete against the world's best operators. Public PvP is where players earn XP, complete tasks, and ultimately rank up. As each rank is unlocked, more weapons and items are available. Every successful mission, whether through hacking or dispatching enemies yields XP and Crypto. Crypto, the game's currency, allows new perks, skins, and weapon attachments to be acquired.
From the beginning, there isn't much the players have access too, but Firewall: Zero Hour has several pre-selected loadouts for players to use and experiment with. These preset can customized but they are a good starting point for players looking to learn how Firewall: Zero Hour handles. These loadouts include Assault, CQB, Support, and Operation. Assault gives players the traditional loadout of an assault rifle, silenced handgun, and grenades. CQB gives players a short-range combat shotgun. Support and Operator share similarities. Support gives players a silenced submachine gun that is great for close-range environments. The operator gives players a medium-ranged rifle with an ACOG scope. The two classes are equipped with proximity mines that work great in defense, but most importantly signal jammer that can prevent the hacking of a laptop. Even more importantly, both of these loadouts have a healing pistol. One-shot aimed at a downed player will instantly heal them back up. Custom loud outs are available as well, and as players unlocked more weapons, they can create their very own loadout.
Firewall: Zero Hour is extraordinary in its presentation and immersion. Visually, the game feels smooth, and breathtakingly realistic. Each map is large, diverse, and filled with a tremendous amount of opportunities and tactical options. Offices, meetings rooms, tents, cars, stairways, restaurants, each moment of each level of Firewall: Zero Hour is extraordinary in its ability to keep the player constantly guessing and on their toes, Every corner can turn deadly and every door open can be a walk right into a deadly ambush. It's unlike anything that any other shooter has done before. The only comparison I can make is Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Siege, but even then, while both games are similar, the way their mechanics and interactions are executed couldn't be any more different. For veterans and military enthusiasts, they'll have quite the time analyzing how to infiltrate the target or defend it, observing where to plant traps and what positions to hold.
Each weapon feels distinct and dynamic in how it handles and fires, especially when different attachments are added to the weapon, and fire modes are selected. Firewall: Zero Hour uses the PSVR AIM controller, a wireless motion controller that mimics holding a ranged weapon. The PSVR, coupled with the wide range of motion, does present a truly impressive level of immersion. If tactics call for it, players can easily use blind fire from cover and potentially damage or eliminate and an opposing player.
Firewall: Zero Hour does take a while to adjust. Chances are that rookie players will die a lot early on, but the more players play, the more they get used to the overall look and feel. Teamwork is essential and the PSVR is equipped with a mic for communication. Playing with random players can lead to incredible matches, but getting a team together can make for an unforgettable multiplayer experience. When it's time to go loud, the match erupts into a calamity of gunfire, grenades, and radio chatter. Matches hinge on hair raising moments, from destroying jammer with seconds to spare to that long-distance headshot that can win a match. It's a truly incredible tactical experience and one that is rewarding for those that have the discipline to learn.
While the game has been out for two years, and since then, a variety of content has dropped, most for free. New maps, missions, and weapons have greatly expanded Firewall: Zero Hour into a long-lasting and in-depth online shooter with plenty of variety. This is an achievement, given that the only game mode involves either attacking or defending in a mode, not unlike Search & Destroy. There are new operators to acquire, for purchase, but most of the game's weapons and attributes can bee earned through skill, and repeat play.
Firewall: Zero Hour is excellent, but is an acquired taste. Of course, if you haven't guessed it, Firewall: Zero Hour is exclusive to the PSVR, as well as the PS4 AIM Controller, which is a small investment. After that, the players content with the game's singular mode. If this sounds alright, then Firewall: Zero Hour is certainly a worthwhile long-term online multiplayer experience, but for those for looks something more upfront without the investment, they may look elsewhere.
As it has been two years, feel that Firewall: Zero Hour has made great strides, but it could use room for expansion. The foundation is incredible, and I can easily see entire co-op missions being made for the base game. Storming a base, planting bombs, ambushing a convoy, defusing a terrorist situation, are all different objectives I can see in the future for Firewall: Zero Hour. A long-range sniping segment, where a team has to escape but another team has to attack could be an incredible new feature. I can also envision more weapons being added to the game for the future. It's clear that the team at First Contact Entertainment have a keen eye in design and execution, and I can easily see this expanded further.
Firewall: Zero Hour is one of the most immersive tactical multiplayer shooters available today, and perhaps the best one available in VR. It's design, mechanics, and interface make for an action-packed and methodical approach to first-person shooting and tactical combat. It may require a price of entry, and some discipline battles weren't won overnight. For those that dare. Firewall: Zero Hour is, and continues to be, an incredible online multiplayer shooting experience.