Preview: Legendary Hunter VR – Duck Hunt for the 21st Century

It's simple but effective gameplay hides a few surprises.

If your old enough you may have owned an original Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) back in the 80’s – or possibly managed to get hold of a Classic Mini NES recently – which had some iconic videogames. One of which was Duck Hunt, a basic lightgun title where you had to shoot ducks. Brilliantly addictive for the time, developer LastnOni has taken that simple premise and given it an upgrade for the 21st century, virtual reality (VR) style, with Legendary Hunter VR. Re-imagining that classic experience is all well and good, but with VR’s penchant for shooting titles, what can it offer that other shooters can’t?

Well Legendary Hunter VR falls into the bracket of wave shooter without a doubt, with a succession of targets flying about for you to shoot at. It’s also stationary, so there’s no need to worry about teleportation or first-person shooter (FPS) mechanics, you’re stuck on the spot and that’s it. Just as basic is the weaponry to take down these pesky waterfowl. You’re supplied with five boxes, four of which have ammo clips in and the fifth has a pair of pistols. If choose to go for the dual wield option then you won’t be able to reload unless you let go of one gun, so it was actually easier to just use the one and hold spare ammo in the other hand.

Legendary Hunter VR screenshot 4

As soon as Legendary Hunter VR begins you can tell it has a high quality production feel to it. From the pistols to the surrounding environment everything looks and feels very well put together. Having to manually reload the guns, dropping out the empty clip before inserting a new one with a satisfying ‘click’, works perfectly. There’s no fumbling around trying to line it up while the ducks quack in laughter as they fly away.

LastnOni seems keenly aware that in this modern age just having a few ducks to shoot wouldn’t cut it, so there are several other animals to watch out for. Crows fly in that’ll disturb bee hives (not a good thing), alligators will slowly appear out of the water, and if you’ve got a keen enough eye – and are quick enough – there’s a rabbit or two to spot for some big points.

The studio hasn’t stopped there either. The videogame begins in the daytime with a timer next to the ammo. Once that reaches zero, nighttime begins and there’s a whole lot more to worry about, namely its dark, you don’t have a torch, and that’s when the wolves come out. Suddenly shooting a few ducks becomes a lot more terrifying, especially when you hear that first growl and all you can see are some faintly glowing eyes in the darkness.

Legendary Hunter VR screenshot 1

There’s only one area at present, which cycles though day and night for as long as you can survive. LastnOni has showcased some good ideas that certainly make Legendary Hunter VR an interesting prospect. At present it has the aura of a nicely tuned tech demo that’s good for VR beginners. To really tempt VR enthusiasts into purchasing another FPS it will need to do a lot more, so hopefully over the course of its Steam Early Access release it’ll be expanded upon to offer a sizable experience.

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