If you are seeking a no-frills virtual shooting experience, Operation Serpens delivers
Operation Serpens offers a serviceable arcade shooter experience. Jumping right into the action, you join an elite task force battling the nefarious Snakes organization. After a quick tutorial that introduces you to the motion controls, aiming and granade throwing, you are thrown directly into the main gist of it. Levels see you hole up in fortified positions, gunning down approaching baddies relentlessly.
Each level presents challenges through distinct enemy placements. For example, in the first level you will be up in an apartment shooting terrorist down on the road and across the many windows of the apartment in front of you. The second level, you will be inside an elevator shooting baddies across an office space. Later levels also incorporate vehicular sections, where you are riding on a moving vehicle and shoot an alarmingly large amount of enemies. That's pretty much all there is to the single player campaign, aim and shoot. It's just like Duck Hunt, but in this case the ducks shoot back at you with automatic weapons.
The shooting mechanic is serviceable too. Very easy, just point and shoot while reloading is done automatically for you when you point your weapon down to the ground and close to your waist. There are different types of weapons, that kinda all feel the same. While there is free locomotion, the snap turning isn't good and quickly builds up that motion sickness bar in your mind. Playing seated with teleportation is, again, serviceable and what I suggest you do if you do pick up the game.
Apart from the single-player campaing there are also a couple of other modes like a Co-Op Multiplayer Horde Mode with up to 4 players, a Zombie survival horde mode and another mode sorta like a Time Trial one where you have a set amount of time to shoot down tiny terrorist dolls. I also have to mention that I did not manage to find anyone online to join up, but instead ended up playing the multiplayer mode solo.
Stylistically, Operation Serpens has a funky extremely simple artstyle that I kinda liked.Character models are funky looking big bois whose heads pop out of their bodies when you get a headshot and bodies fly all over the place when you throw a grenade. Environments sport the same artstyle with vibrant colors and with tons of little details.
In the end, if you are seeking a no-frills virtual shooting experience, Operation Serpens delivers. Its mechanics provide pure and simple fun perfect for pick up sessions. But, is this package worth $19,99? I don't think so, but if the game goes on sale or if there's a free trial available, it won't hurt you to try it out. Thanks for reading!
The game was reviewed on a Quest 3 using a review copy provided by the PR. Operation Serpens is available now on Meta Quest and PCVR.