Ginra Tech announced that Operation Serpens is set to release on October 15th and aims to stand out among VR shooters. Its gameplay features the same reflex driven chaos you'd expect from the lovechild of Time Crisis meeting Contra, and it offers a huge array of in-game equipment. As the elite agent in its titular task force, players lob everything from grenades to flashbangs, snipe, dual wield different guns or even take up shields and red pills to make it through. On top of all of that, this upcoming title is developed by a one-man team who actively engages his playerbase, and even sent us a few words.
Itzik Goldman, the man behind Ginra Tech has an easy explanation for why this game might trigger a nostalgia-vibe in so many. "I like VR shooting games and was looking for one that gives you the feel like you are in 80's action movies. When I did not find it, it gave me a good excuse to make such a game." What's resulted is a commando-style wave shooter requiring an absurd number of frags to make it through levels, as well as the ridiculously fun (albeit implausible) ways that players can survive through missions.
That 80's effect also explains the near-cartoonish graphics as well. Unlike the VR shooters that try to simulate actual gun and reload mechanics, Operation Serpens isn't a title that goes for combat realism. Instead, it offers pure, saturated action intended to put its players into a zone of bullet dodging, counter-attacking, shoot, and blow 'em up fun. Instead of motion sickness or frustration at reloading failures, new players are likely to feel like they've entered a VR-mastered world of an old Nintendo shooter.
The story of the game itself is simple: take down the head of the ominous Snakes organization. The Snakes have managed to throw innumerable bad-guys and gear your way, but that's OK, because you've got a team, and are also just that bad-ass. That's all apparent within one minute of getting into the action, and despite this simplicity, the man behind Ginra Tech is happy to tease that, "the ending is also very surprising!"
Itzik Goldman also has lots to say regarding the technical aspects of this game's creation. Coming from a background extending beyond 20 years of software development, Operation Serpens is his first big game. He says that community responses have been one of the most rewarding parts of the creation process, stating "[He] really did not expect such enthusiasm."
Goldman initially released early levels of Operation Serpens and let the word out via social media. After players trialed those versions, the game went through innumerable tweaks in response to what players gave back — ranging from consistent frame-rate and performance controls to additions like gun-spinning or exploding cars causing chain reactions — all demonstrating that he takes player feedback quite seriously.
"My biggest advice is to get feedback from real players from the first stages of development. VR is a different medium and what you see from here you do not see from there." He says. "I once got feedback from a guy saying his head is inside the ceiling and he can't play the game. After talking with him I realized he was really tall (over 2 meters) and that helped me figure out what I need to fix in the game."
As a fellow VR player in the 6+ club, I can say first-hand that Ginra Tech has covered its bases for a smooth and satisfying VR wave shooter. The first few levels of Operation Serpens are still free and available on Steam VR, or to Oculus Quest side-loaders who can play wirelessly. After October 15th, the full game will release and switch to a one-time pay model with a final climbing level, horde Zombie mode, and plans for future multiplayer content as well.