When first seeing the trailers and gameplay of Drop Dead: The Cabin it gave me the feeling of Call of Duty Zombies in its approach – which is something we have not really seen in VR yet. I have now taken on the waves of zombies, so what did I make of Soul Assembly’s latest title?
Drop Dead: The Cabin will have you starting in a cabin, but you will need to move outside of this in order to progress and successfully complete an extraction – which is the aim of the game and your run. With this approach in mind it introduces the games rinse and repeat gameplay loop.
The aim is to stay alive, keep power to the cabin and systems inside of cabin and be extracted to safety. Where this might sound like an easy task, the team at Soul Assembly have made sure you will face some difficulty in doing this – be warned you will die and it’s all part of the aforementioned rise and repeat system implemented into the game.
Firstly you need to make sure you survive, which means you need find weapons, supplies, health and ammo to survive. With a lot of this being sparse, and ultimately costing you some of your research points to unlock crates placed around the level.
These research points are rewarded for every zombie kill, but spending these correctly becomes an essential element not only to your possible survival but progression – as these are used to unlock doors, new areas and shacks (that could contain some great loot). The team make sure this is spawned in different places in each game, meaning you can not just mark what has the good loot in and return there each run to get an advantage.
While surviving you will need to find three fuel canisters and power the cabin with them, each canister will take around five-minutes to deplete. These are placed around the immediate cabin, out in the open, in a shack or a focal point. Again the position of these are changed, meaning you need to locate them all on each run you do and not just run to where they have been kept previously. Once the generator has used all three fuel canisters it will start your extraction. Again this is not an easy task, as if you leave the generator for too long the zombies will attack it and remove the canister or attack the battery powering it. Meaning you cant just leave it and need to make sure they are both protected or repaired if damaged.
Now, you might be thinking why make it as difficult as it is? Well the games rinse and repeat approach does hold some ground in what makes the game what it is. Although you will be dying a lot, each run will grant you XP and as you level you get permanent perks meaning you will be returning stronger and more prepared. Added to this is weapon improvements the more you use a weapon – again making you more prepared to handle what is being thrown at you.
The game can be played single player of co-op, but I really it only excels with a friend over trying to do on your own and do not see myself trying solo-runs. The reason for this is where the solo-runs will have a place for some, I just find the enjoyment really comes working with others.
I am a huge fan of the how the game looks, with them mixing the dark and foggy atmosphere with the feel of the 1980’s. With the neon glowing eyes, veins and lights around the more dark cabin and settings standing out – and allowing for the more cartoony graphics to work really well.
Adding to this a good mix of audio to the same design profile, making sure you are kept immersed in the world with the visuals provided. With the atmospherics sounds, the moans and groans of the zombies being mixed with 1980’s action style music making this possible.
When it comes to comfort the game can be played either seated or standing – with it cleverly adjusting automatically if you change your position. It allows for snap or smooth turning, however, the game does not come with a teleport movement option, which I am guessing is due to how the game plays – but it does include vignette options to try and negate some of the issues with motion sickness.
The controls are what you come to expect in games in the genre and one many players will be used to by now. The the analogues being used for movement, grab buttons being used to pick things up and grip them and the trigger being used for actions. Your ammo is placed on the front of your belt, with an item slot being either side of your belt for smaller weapons and items and a slot over each shoulder for larger items like larger weapons and fuel cells. The only thing that is a little different is the game does use some voice commands and if playing co-op you can high five your downed team mate to revive them.
How long the game will last for players really does depend if you take to gameplay loop and can look over the current lack of content within the game. If you can, there is no reason you wont find yourself returning to the game to unlock more perks for you and the weapons – and possibly trying to beat your best runtime and top those leaderboards. But, if you are not taken in by the rinse and repeat nature of the game, it might be something you are bored of quickly.
reviewed using meta quest 2
For the purposes of transparency, this review was created using a review code provided by the company or their respective PR company. The use of a press code does not affect my judgement of the product.
Where I got the feeling of Call of Duty Zombies from what I seen ahead of playing the game, and can see it has taken some inspiration from this after playing it, Drop Dead: The Cabin still does enough to make it different. The game will appeal to those players who like to feel progression the more you play the game, with deaths being expected until you level yourself gaining more perks and levelling weapons you use along the way. However, at the same time this could make it not appeal to players seeking instant gratification from a game. So, in essence if you are into games that reward you for perseverance and a gameplay loop of try and try again Drop Dead: The Cabin will be for you.
Release Date: February 16th 2023
Developer: Soul Assembly
Publisher: Soul Assembly
Price: US $24.99 / CA$ 28.99 / €24.99 / £18.99