Drop Dead: Dual Strike – Oculus Quest Review

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The Oculus Quest released with a handful of story-based shooters when it launched over a month ago. Most were overshadowed by the likes of Robo Recall at the time, however, there were a few other capable shooters that were also available. Now that the launch dust has settled we are seeing more shooters releasing, being announced and people are also revisiting some games that they may have overlooked at lunch, one game in particular for me was Drop Dead: Dual Strike Edition.

In amongst a zombie apocalypse, you play Cipher, the last agent that’s alive who’s able to stop the evil Doctor Monday and save the world from his flesh-eating zombie creations. You travel through three separate timelines (chapters) in the game’s story mode, using a variety of zombie-slaying weapons, gadgets and the odd baseball bat, axe or pitchfork, it’s your duty to fight your way through the zombie hoard and defeat Doctor Monday.

Luckily you’re not alone in this conquest. From the very beginning, you are introduced to former CIA operative Billy-Bob and his daughter Celia-Jane. This family duo is at hand to fix-up your high-tech visor and train you up to being a zombie-killing badass. Communicating through your visor, your team guides you through the game’s main narrative along with helpful tips on the various zombie types you face along the way and how to defeat them with your arsenal of weapons.

With an Oculus Quest Touch controller in each hand, you are able to wield two weapons at once. The game plays out on rails, as it weaves through the world whilst you shoot your way through waves of zombies before you move on to the next area. You first start out with your default eight shooter pistol that remains always by your side, but your arsenal soon expands by picking up weapons that lay in the world around you. 

The weapons that litter the world around you in Drop Dead include double-barrel shotguns and machine guns to multi-barrel chain guns and rocket launchers. Early on in the game you soon discover that you can also decide to wield a variety of melee weapons instead – if you fancy getting more up, close and personal with the undead. Choose a baseball bat to send zombie heads flying, hack off limbs with an axe or reach for a pitchfork to keep zombies away at arms reach. It is great to have a wide choice of weapons to have in each hand, as it allows you to tailor the kind of experience and difficulty that you wish to face whilst fighting against waves of walking dead.

Thanks to the 6DoF room-scale tracking of the Oculus Quest, you are also able to duck and dodge rocket attacks and green slim projectiles that come flying towards you. You can even choose to use your melee weapon to stop the flying slime from hitting you or bat them back at them. The melee weapons in Drop Dead can be a little hit and miss at times. You have to wait until they are toe to toe with you, so you have to make sure you land that first strike perfectly, otherwise you can find yourself in imminent danger from any following zombies that are close behind.

I found just using guns to be the optimal choice of weapon in both hands when it comes to getting through the story campaign without too many retries. As long as you reload whenever there is time to do so, the levels are much easier to complete. Reloading is done by simply dropping your weapons beside you and wait for the reload meter to fill to the top. Similar to the reload mechanic in Gears of War, you can stop this meter early as soon as it hits a marker to reload faster. This is something you soon have to learn in order to reload fast enough during any spare moment before the next zombie shows up.

Visually, Drop Dead looks and runs great on the Oculus Quest. This has been helped by coming from the mobile Gear VR platform. The world around you does have a mobile gaming feel to it. It is more cartoony than dark and photorealistic, with zombies that are very green in colour, as if they have been freshly peeled out of a cartoon comic book. This doesn’t mean they are any less scary. Especially when you find a zombie standing out of view just beside you, clawing at your limbs. Both guns and melee weapons feel great and if you can learn to get the throwing of axes right, you can have some good fun killing zombies with just a pair of throwing axes in each hand.

The solo campaign spans 3 chapters with up to 15 levels in each chapter to enjoy. Each mission takes you through a variety of different locations, from ranch grounds to wine cellars, from creepy woodland to desert canyons and finally inside Doctor Monday’s own lair. It doesn’t take too long to get through the solo campaign and defeat Doctor Monday, however, the difficulty level does ramp up steeply near the very end. After this, you can turn to the game’s solo and multiplayer horde modes where you can enter into one of four arenas and face waves of zombies alone or team up with a friend or someone online and take on the walking dead between you. 

For $14.99 from the Oculus Store, Drop Dead: Dual Strike Edition does offer you more for your money than some other shooters in the similar mid-tier price range on the Quest Store. Its solo campaign is challenging and extensive, whilst the solo and multiplayer horde mode adds some longevity to the game with its own online leaderboard. Drop Dead: Dual Strike Edition is one of the better story-based shooters out there that will certainly keep you entertained for a number of hours and it will certainly fill the gap before the next challenging shooter arrives on the Quest.

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