Good shooters in VR are hard to come by, for a couple of reasons. First, unless you have motion controllers, it's usually not as immersive. Second, running around in the less capable phone-based VR is usually a good way to become ill. Most of the time you find stationary shooters in mobile VR, and while that's fun for a while it's usually pretty repetitive. The folks at Pixel Toys have just released their answer to these lacking experiences with a zombie shooter with more than enough immersion to keep you busy for a while. It's called Drop Dead, and based on our early hands on you're probably going to want to install it on your Gear VR right now.
Drop Dead is all about bringing a better FPS experience to mobile VR, and so far that mission has been accomplished.
You're the last agent on the planet capable of taking out the evil, crazy doctor who keeps resurrecting people into zombies to take over the world. With an arsenal of weapons provided by your team, and the promise that when you die they'll keep bringing you back in non-zombie form through time travel, you journey forth to save the world! The story is fun and simple, with no shortage of one-liners built to make you laugh and keep you wanting to play for just a few more minutes.
Drop Dead is mostly a shooter on rails, but you're moving through a bunch of different environments with your handy zombie tracking headset and so much firepower. You can play with both the trackpad or a gamepad, because the gun floats next to the HUD and offers up a targeting system to make it easier to take down zombies. Instead of focusing on jump scares — they still exist, it's just not the focus — Drop Dead is all about getting the highest possible score through headshots, trick kills, and bullet time-style escape sequences. You shoot your way through to the end, and if you happen across a grenade or two along the way it won't hurt.
This game works because it's simple and not repetitive. The HUD does a great job adding a little bit of immersion as you move through the game, and being able to look around instead of being fixed in a 180-degree shooting gallery makes things a lot more fun. Drop Dead is the next logical step in shooters for mobile VR, and the zombie focus is perfect for passing the headset around to friends with Halloween right around the corner and The Walking Dead picking back up on television.
We spoke briefly with Pixel Toys CEO Andy Wafer, who had some experience delivering a fun zombie shooter to mobile devices in the past with Gunfinger – The Zombie Apocalypse. That game inspired a lot of what you see in Drop Dead, but Wafer made it clear this is an entirely different experience. Including two different game modes to ensure those who don't handle motion in VR quite as well was a big deal too, though the fully engaged combat mode really looks and feels great if you can handle it. Drop Dead is all about bringing a better FPS experience to mobile VR, and so far that mission has been accomplished.
It's not clear whether we'll see Drop Dead on other VR systems in the future, so for now Gear VR owners have something unique to grab and enjoy.