Impulse Gear’s class-based team shooter is now available on Oculus Quest and Oculus Rift. Coming soon to SteamVR.
If there’s one genre of VR that players never tire of, it’s first-person shooters. Just take a look at the excess amount of mil-sim VR shooters currently flooding the market. Onward, Pavlov VR, Zero Caliber—the list goes on. With so many options available to players at the moment, it can be tough for a developer to set their title apart from established competitors.
This is where Larcenauts comes in.
Brought to us by developer Impulse Gear, Larcenauts is an expertly crafted VR hero shooter oozing with personality. Think of it like Overwatch meets Valorant, only instead of controlling the action from behind a screen, you’re right there in the world alongside these outrageous characters.
Available now on Oculus Quest and Oculus Rift headsets, this unique class-based multiplayer shooter has you taking on the role of one of eight different Specialists as you partake in a daring heist lead by Captain Eleanor Kas (voiced by the incomparable Jane Lynch). This includes a giant sentient mushroom with a pair of incredibly destructive fists, a deadly accurate sniper capable of hiding in plain sight, and a strange alien medic equipped with powerful healing abilities just to name a few. The goal, according to Impulse Gear, was to develop a game that stands out from the surplus of realistic shooters on Oculus and SteamVR headsets, resulting in one of the first true hero shooters developed from the ground up for VR headsets.
As you explore a dangerous sector of the Ludus galaxy, you’ll engage in 6v6 multiplayer shootouts across four unique environments, each with its own unique layout to explore and tactics to master. Each of these battlefields feels unique in its own right, thanks in large part to some clever map design. One thing you will find across most maps is a grappling system that allows you to quickly scale hard-to-reach areas. When used correctly, this tool can have you running circles around your opponents. Like any good hero shooter, the game features numerous game modes to compete in. This includes Refuel (claim key territories across the map), Uplink (a futuristic take on capture-the-flag), and—of course—classic Team Deathmatch.
As previously mentioned, each of the aforementioned characters features its own unique abilities to master. Calima, for instance, is an Infiltrator class character capable of deploying a smokescreen and dashing around the map at incredible speeds. VOD, on the other hand, is a Brawler that’s most effective in close-quarters, using its “Grasp” and “Fungal” abilities to close in on enemies and deal massive damage with its powerful fists. Unlike VR mil-sims centered around nameless soldiers, each Specialist in Larcenauts features its own background and perspective. Each character is also fully voiced, which injects an additional layer of personality into the experience. In order to properly utilize each of these Specialists, however, you’ll need to spend a decent amount of time learning their individual capabilities.
That’s the beauty of Larcenauts; it’s the type of game that’s easy to pick up, but difficult to master. In addition to unlocking new skins and weapon load-outs, you’ll also have the chance to earn Power Slates which can be used to upgrade a character’s attributes. For example, Calima’s “Dash” ability allows her to make small quantum jumps across the map two times before requiring a cooldown. By adding a Power Slate to this ability, you can bump that up to three dashes per cooldown. Players can equip three Power Slates to any of the eight characters, allowing for plenty of customization.
According to the team, there are no plans for paid microtransactions at this time. All abilities and skins can be unlocked using in-game currency which can be earned by simply playing the game. Daily and weekly missions help keep the experience feeling fresh with new challenges, such as winning a certain amount of games with a specific character or killing a set number of enemies using a particular ability.
Honestly, it’s a little overwhelming just how much content the team has packed into this game. And this is only the beginning. Impulse Gear has already provided a roadmap detailing a variety of upcoming features and content, from private lobbies and manual reloading to new maps and Specialists. Personally, I can’t wait to see how Larcenauts continues to develop over the coming months.
Speaking with Impulse Gear, it’s clear the team has much in store for this ambitious VR hero shooter. Apparently, the team will be providing ongoing support for years to come, which means we could be looking at a very different game down the line. While there are no definitive plans set in stone just yet, the developers have expressed interest in the esports sector, which makes perfect sense once you go hands-on with the game. Larcenauts require a heavy amount of communication and coordination between you and your teammates, from planning your loadouts to strategizing your plan of attack based on the Specialists being used, the map being played, and the game mode you’re competing in.
All in all, Larcenauts succeeds with flying colors in offering players a well-balanced and incredibly addictive hero shooter in VR. From the unique characters and lore to the well fleshed-out gunplay and map design, Larcenauts is truly a one-of-a-kind experience. One that I highly recommend you check out.
Larcenauts is available now on Oculus Quest and Oculus Rift headsets for $29.99 with support for both cross-play and cross-buy. The game was scheduled to launch simultaneously on SteamVR, but has been delayed due to compatibility issues between the game engine (Unreal Engine 4) and SteamVR.
Feature Image Credit: Impulse Gear