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Operation Serpens

Developer / Publisher – GINRA-TECH
Price – US $7.99 / CA $8.99 / EU €7.99 / UK £6.99 / AU $10.95
Release date – March 22, 2021
Input Method – 2 x Tracked Game Controllers
Play Area – Seated, Standing, Roomscale
Store Links – Playstation, Steam, Meta
Reviewed On – PSVR 2

Operation Serpens has been around for awhile with its original iteration being a stationary and on-the-rails affair though recent updates have added locomotion turning this into a sort-of hybrid light-gun and traditional shooter.  As a member of an elite task force, it’s up to you to vanquish the terrorist group known as the Snakes by taking out it’s leadership and the army of soldiers protecting them.  An opening tutorial teaches you the basics of gunfire, locomotion and grenades before you head to that 1st stage.  Once that’s completed you head back to your base of operations where you can choose from a few other game modes or the next level.

Sniping in VR is always a treat.

It’s quite obvious that a bulk of the stages in here were designed without locomotion in mind as the areas in which you can travel can be fairly limiting.  The 1st stage has you in an apartment building in a singular room, while another has you in the back of a parked truck and a 3rd in an elevator as you travel from floor to floor.  In those smaller stages, the only real benefit from moving using thumbsticks is that you could more easily dodge the incoming bullets without having to juke and jive to get out of there way. In the larger stages that require you to walk or climb, things can get weird as I found myself hitting invisible walls everywhere or clipping into geometry forcing some awkward corrections.

Besides the 7-stage campaign, which you can tackle on 3 different difficulties, you can play in zombies mode which pits you against waves of armed and unarmed undead while you try and defend your position in a singular map.  It’s alright I guess though I found it got fairly repetitive quite quickly and moved on.  The next mode gives you 3 tries to kill as many animated dolls that pop up all over a bar and once you’ve made your 3 attempts, you’ll have to come back another day to try again.  Ultimately, if you don’t care about leaderboard chasing, there’s not too much to keep you going in either of these modes.

Each stage has a boss you need to defeat or capture.

Lastly would be the multiplayer mode which lets you and up to 3 other friends take on soldiers in a mall setting where defeating each wave opens up more avenues from where they can spawn.  Unlike every other mode available, ammo isn’t infinite so you’ll have to pay attention to your surroundings as the guns can be scarce and spawn in seemingly random locations.  Crossplay is enabled and I played a round with a Quest user though neither of us could hear each other so I’m not sure if mic support is available in this mode.  Once again, it’s alright and you can play this mode solo should you choose, but it’s nothing special adding to the overall value for the game, but unless you organize a match with friends, it doesn’t look like too many are playing online.

The driving mission is over the top chaos.

Now, as far as gunplay goes, the pistols feel good but every other weapon is little more than spray and pray and whether I handled machine guns or shotguns single or 2-handed, the bullets seemed to want hit everything but my target.  They are almost all unusable so unless the game forced me to use a specific gun, I always opted for a pistol.  Sniper Rifles are a nice surprise and are fun to use but I found the zoom to be too close making it quite the challenge to line up my targets.  Ironically, in that same stage where sniping is required you can control an armed drone which was more fun than sniping save for the fact that it flies incredibly slow.  To keep all the action fast-paced, reloading is handled by lowering your gun to your waist or just by pressing a face button which might disappoint some, but most of the stages throw so many enemies at you and so many bullets that I couldn’t fire and dodge fast enough, let alone fathom having to manually reload.

On your left wrist is your health and right has your percentage of progress with each stage supplying you with the starting weapons.  Beyond your various guns are health pick-ups, riot shields, explosive grenades, & flashbangs, with the latter 2 being armed by pulling the pin with your off hand or pressing the A button.  Sorry, no pin pulling with your teeth, though you can store small arms in your mouth which is hilariously odd but sometimes necessary.  Flashbangs provide you with 10 seconds of slowed down time, allowing for some Matrix moments where you take out your near helpless foes and does a great job at evening out the odds during hectic sections.

Many of the stages limit your movements to a very small area.

It all makes for a game that is fun but can be quite frustrating at times thanks to that locomotion and the issues it brings up.  Failure in any mission results in a forced restart of that stage which is mostly fine though one stage is setup to not kill your allies but as the game had taught me to shoot 1st and ask questions never, I shot and killed every ally that popped up until I had memorized where and when they all show up.  The final stage forces A LOT of climbing while in combat and I encountered numerous issues where I fell through the environment, enemies shot me through geometry, and I even got stuck once forcing a restart as I couldn’t move to kill the last remaining foe.  As I said…fun at times, but frustrating to a point of irritation.

Times like this, a flash bang would be really handy.

Operation Serpens won’t impress anyone with its stripped back visuals either so for those looking for intense realism, you’ll be disappointed.  What is here though still has a ton of charm thanks to its smaller roots as it still aims to be a larger game than I expected.   NPC models move stiffly and only carry a few animations with their blocky models looking more like cheap child’s toys than actual soldiers.  Lighting effects are non-existent with the overall presentation in here reminding me very much of the 1st Crisis VRigade, both in presentation and gameplay.  You’ll face hordes of foes in a variety of locales as they pour out of windows and around corners, sometimes even appearing right in front of you, which did feel quite bit cheap. One of the stages does have you in the back of a moving truck while foes drive and fly up on you and is absolutely ridiculous late 80’s arcade fun.  I can’t call this a good-looking game, but the overall vibe had me more forgiving of its presentation in favor of trying to enjoy the over the top action.  As far as I could tell the game wasn’t using any reprojection and ran at a stable frame rate, I’m assuming 120Hz.

3D audio is present but with the amount of chaos in any given stage or when enemies are just appearing before you, it became much easier just to look around than try and hear where guys may be coming from.  The soundtrack is only a couple of selections, 1 playing when you get the level briefing from your commander and the other that plays during the shooting sections, but as the gunplay overrides pretty much everything else in the game, it’s easy to forget there is even a song playing at all with said guns sounding perfectly fine.

There’s not much to say regarding haptics as every gun pretty felt the same with the controllers giving off a little rumble when each round was fired or when a reload action was performed. No adaptive triggers in this one.

Shooting while climbing is a challenge.

It’s funny, but I think I enjoyed this game more when I didn’t have to contend with shoddy locomotion mechanics and just focused on shooting and dodging. It’s fine enough and the additional modes will offer some replay value with the multiplayer option being welcome though with only 1 stage to play in, I doubt I’ll be coming back to that either.  That leaves me with an old school shooter that let me turn my brain off and just shoot at dumb NPC’s which would be fine if I wasn’t fighting with games locomotion issues which makes the $20 price tag on this feel quite steep…I’d say by about double.

Ginra-tech provided The VR Grid with a press code for this title and, regardless of this review, we thank them for that!


  • Each stage is relatively unique
  • Classic arcade shooter action
  • Has a co-op map supporting up to 4 players
  • Plenty of weapons and combat options


  • Visuals aren't great
  • Locomotion implementation is clunky at best
  • A few unfair moments thanks to accidental friendly kills
  • 2-handed weapons have too much spray


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