Hero shooters are a dime a dozen across PC and console, with each effort bringing their own unique cast of characters and gameplay mechanics in an attempt to make them more appealing than every other title available in the genre. Some have succeeded, with titles like Overwatch, Apex Legends, and Valorant showing that there are some REAL big hitters out there with lasting appeal. Others though? They’ve not always fared so well, with the likes of Battleborn and Lawbreakers considered to be complete failures. Larcenauts is one of the latest releases to embrace the genre, with its cast of eight unique specialists facing off against each other in intense six-versus-six showdowns.
Want to know what makes this game stand out compared to other titles in the genre? It’s a virtual reality release, giving players an extra sense of immersion as they blast away at foes in battle. It’s a really fun game to play too, even IF it could do with a bit more content to keep players hooked in for the long-term.
Check out a gallery of screenshots down below:
If you’ve played a hero shooter before, you’ll know exactly what you’re getting with Larcenauts. Players will choose from one of eight different specialists (which you unlock as you progress) and then head into six-versus-six showdowns across one of the game’s four maps. Each of these specialists bring something different to the fray, so you can either go for one that just suits your playstyle, one with a weapon you like, or even make a strategic choice if you’ve been plotting out a plan with your allies. With the quick pace of the action and the frantic nature of virtual reality though, there’ll be plenty of occasions where strategy goes out of the window and it becomes an all-or-nothing shootout with everyone. That’s not a bad thing either, especially since the gunplay of Larcenauts is slick throughout.
Mobility is key too, with plenty of running, jumping, and gunning taking place. Whilst this may sound pretty intimidating in virtual reality, there are options in Larcenauts to ensure it remains comfortable for players. It is worth noting that there’s no teleportation movement though, so if you can’t handle smooth locomotion, you’ll want to steer clear. There are settings in place to make it easier for those who don’t have their virtual reality bearings though, so it’s nowhere near as daunting as it might sound. Personally, I had no problem with the standard settings and felt no nausea whilst playing, but it’s certainly more intense than a lot of other Oculus Quest titles out there.
“Each of these specialists bring something different to the fray, so you can either go for one that just suits your playstyle, one with a weapon you like, or even make a strategic choice if you’ve been plotting out a plan with your allies.”
As mentioned, the eight different characters have their own unique abilities and weapons that they take into battle, so it’s definitely worth experimenting with them to see who works for you.
Those who like sniping will enjoy playing as Evander for example, with his powerful Hylon 13 sniper rifle proving effective at taking opponents out from range. His cloaking ability allows him to stay out of sight of enemies too, which is ideal when trying to find the perfect spot to get a full view of the battlefield. He’s also equipped with a snare trap that can lock enemies in place, making them even easier targets to land that perfect headshot. Boom.
Prefer to play more of a support role? The bird-like Chi may be for you, with their healing abilities not only allowing them to keep themselves in ship-shape, but their allies too. Heck, their Transfuser gun’s main purpose is to heal allies (though it can also dish out damage), so it’s pretty clear that they’re all about keeping everyone in good health. Admittedly, this isn’t my style of play in a game like this, but it’s always handy to have someone in your team who is willing to look after you.
“I had no problem with the standard settings and felt no nausea whilst playing, but it’s certainly more intense than a lot of other Oculus Quest titles out there.”
It can’t be a hero shooter without some wacky creature showing up, and that’s where the alien creature VOD comes in (which stands for ‘Very Obvious Danger’, which feels quite fitting). VOD is unique given that their choice of weapon is their fists to pummel foes, though their abilities certainly cater for this: one surrounds enemies in a cage of thorns to keep the battling close, one will grab a foe and launch VOD at them, and another will launch a grenade at them that slows down movement. VOD’s skillset certainly takes the close-quarters combat aspect of Larcenauts very seriously, but it helps make them a fun and very different specialist to play as.
That’s just three of the eight specialists on offer, with others bringing with them unique skillsets – Bosun is an engineer who can create turrets, Salters has a super-powerful grenade launcher, whilst Calima can dash around the area quickly and hit out quick-fire shots with her shotgun, just to name a few more. Eight might seem like a small number of characters as far as hero shooters are concerned, but Larcenaut’s roster is both versatile with their skillset and cool in design. There’s something for everyone as far as playstyles are concerned, but they’re all fun to use in their own ways.
“Eight might seem like a small number of characters as far as hero shooters are concerned, but Larcenaut’s roster is both versatile with their skillset and cool in design.”
As it stands, Larcenauts has three different game modes to play: Team Deathmatch, Uplink, and Refuel. Team Deathmatch is exactly what you’d expect, with players racking up scores by killing the other team. Uplink and Refuel are a bit different, but play much like Capture the Flag (albeit with a drone instead of a flag) and Domination where you have to control specific areas. Each is fun in their own way and the varied biomes of each of the four maps bring plenty of variety to each showdown, but I couldn’t help but to wish that the game offered a bit more on this front. I felt like I’d seen everything the maps had to offer quite quickly, whilst the limited game modes saw a lot of battles play out the same way. It’s not that I wasn’t having fun playing and the experimentation with characters ensured that the frantic action was great, but it would’ve been nice to have had a few more game options to spice things up. With a new game mode and map coming in the near future though, there’s still plenty to look forward to.
There’s plenty to be found across Larcenauts gameplay to keep players hooked in though, with weapons bringing with them different fire modes and charged attacks to add depth to your arsenal. Players are able to increase their stats by levelling specialists up too, giving them that little bit of advantage over rival players. This isn’t something that I’m typically a fan of in a competitive shooter, but I will admit that my souped-up Evander was fun to play as. Players can also unlock new loadouts and skins with the currency they earn, with loot boxes bringing with them some neat goodies. It’s worth mentioning there are no micro-transactions to be found in Larcenauts, so it’s a far way from being a pay-to-win shooter and is all about player progress instead – this is always a big plus in my eyes.
“Unlocking characters and progressing with them has kept me hooked in, but I’m looking forward to more game modes, more maps, and, of course, more specialists.”
As mentioned, I just wish it had a little bit more to offer. Unlocking characters and progressing with them has kept me hooked in, but I’m looking forward to more game modes, more maps, and, of course, more specialists. It’s promised in the game’s current roadmap so they’re coming, but I want that little extra something to keep me playing Larcenauts now. Whilst it’s a whole lot of fun to play, sometimes I need that extra bit of motivation to invest myself in virtual reality shooters when compared to more popular conventional titles.
It hasn’t stopped me playing a ton of the game lately and having a good time though, so it’s clear that it’s doing something right. The general gunplay is great throughout, whilst the mobility and unique skillsets of characters adds an unpredictable sense of chaos to each match. I’ve been playing with a handful of friends regularly and we’ve had matches full of strategy and matches where we go in all-guns blazing, and honestly, both make for some excellent moments in-game. It also looks sharp throughout too, with the visuals on the Oculus Quest 2 proving to be of a high standard for the platform. Don’t get me wrong, the character models can be a little simple and there isn’t a lot of detail found in the environments, but the game does adopt a visual style that looks good and feels befitting of the frantic vibe.
Larcenauts is a very fun hero shooter that has a whole lot of promise, especially if the developers continue to release more content for the game. I had a blast playing as the eight different specialists, whilst the game is flexible enough to offer plenty of entertainment whether you’re playing with a team and adopting a strategy or simple going all-guns blazing. It certainly nails the excitement of team-based shootouts, with it standing out as a highlight of the genre on the Oculus Quest platform.
I’m just looking forward to seeing more maps, more game modes, and more specialists, with the current offering a little on the low side when compared to similar releases. There’s plenty here to get players invested in the game, but if it wants to keep them in for the long-term, it’ll have to deliver it soon.
Still, with the current offering, it’s easy to recommend Larcenauts to fans of multiplayer shooters. If the developers deliver on their long-term plans, it could easily stand out as one of the best multiplayer experiences available on the virtual reality landscape.
Developer: Impulse Gear
Publisher: Impulse Gear
Platform(s): Oculus Quest 2 (Reviewed), Oculus Quest, Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, Valve Index