Crime pays in PlayWay’s burglary VR game, available now.

Out now in early access, Thief Simulator VR offers both regular users and kleptomaniacs-in-training the chance to experience life as a skilled cat burglar. Equipped with a variety of home invasion tools — including a lock-picking kit, headlamp, hacking technology, and a good-old-fashioned crowbar — players break into various homes located within a free-roam sandbox neighborhood in search of valuable appliances, cash, and expensive jewelry to lift.

Or course, this is easier said than done. While breaking into less valuable homes is simply a matter of sneaking through backyards and shattering windows, homes containing more expensive items feature more complex defensive measures; locked doors, security systems, etc. To properly sack these properties without arousing suspicion, you’ll need to follow the official guide to professional thievery. 

Image Credit: PlayWay

STEP #1: Perform Recon

A good thief knows his target inside and out. Using a variety of devices, such as binoculars and your get-away car, run some recon on every property you plan on hitting. Look for things that could potentially deter your midnight raid. Pay attention to the homeowner’s situation. When do they leave for work? What’s the activity level of their neighbors like? Are there any open points of ingress? How advanced is their security system? The more information you obtain, the more efficient your burglary will be. Even the smallest bits of knowledge can be the difference between a successful break-in and a jail cell. Look for receipts thrown in the trash, spare keys hidden on above window sills, etc. 

Image Credit: PlayWay

STEP #2:  Execute Burglary

Now that you know the situation — what tools you’ll need, the best way to get inside — it’s time to rock-and-roll. After disabling any security and breaking into the home, move fast and move quietly. Quickly identify the most valuable items in the home and secure those first; your backpack does have an item limit so be sure you’re leaving space for only the most expensive goods. Grabbing cash always guarantees a profit, though electronics and jewelry can also fetch a nice price. Avoid items such as clothing basic utensils as this will bag you little to no cash.

If your bag is full or you start feeling the authorities breathing down your neck, quickly vacate the premises and exit the local area in your ride. If for some reason you’re spotted — whether by a home-owner, police officer, or a random passer-by — make a mad dash to the closet hiding spot and wait it out; or, ditch your loot and just bail from the scene entirely. 

Image Credit: PlayWay

STEP #3: Prepare Your Loot

So, let’s say you successfully sacked an expansive home and made it out with your hard-earned loot. Before you can go fencing those valuable items, you’ll need to properly disable any potential security features so that authorities can’t trace your location. Before pawning smartphones and other internet devices, be sure you remove any tracking applications and GPS trackers. After performing grand theft auto, you’ll need to disassemble parts in order to sell them on the internet. 

The title is still in early access, so gameplay is rough at the moment. While the experience does feature impressive visuals and a generous variety of interactive elements, there’s still a noticeable amount of object clipping as well as some visual distortion that becomes more obvious the quicker our turn your head.

Image Credit: PlayWay

Still, it’s an interesting premise for a game that works very well in the VR format. Small acts that would be considered boring in a conventional game are much more entertaining in a headset, which makes all the intricacies of burglarizing a home — picking the lock, rummaging through drawers, climbing through windows — a much more engaging experience.

The experience is so authentic at times that I often found myself feeling genuinely sorry for my non-existent, virtual victims. After several successful break-ins, the act of sneaking into a persons bedroom and stealing their proper while they go about their business in the other room began to feel invasive, probably because it was. But I guess that’s just a testament to the impressive realism of Thief Simulator VR.

It should be noted that Thief Simulator VR is a port of a standard PC title released nearly a year ago on Steam; therefore it makes sense the early access release features several hiccups when it comes to using motion controls. The driving mechanics also leave much to be desired, though to be fair motion controls and VR steering wheels were never a match made in heaven. 

Image Credit: PlayWay

Thief Simulator VR arrives on VR headsets on November 12th via SteamVR and Oculus and will cost $14.99. Those who own a copy of the original Thief Simulator for PC will enjoy a discounted price.

Feature Image Credit: PlayWay

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