It was more than a year ago that Dr Disrespect started revealing gameplay clips from his in-development ‘vertical’ extraction shooter, DEADROP. It’s being put together by Midnight Society, the studio that The Two Time himself heads, which was founded in 2021 and has since grown to house around fifty team members. I finally got around to playing DEADROP, and being a fan of extraction shooters, I was surprised in several ways.
I’ll admit that I was an early backer of the DEADROP project, but I’d lost touch with it in recent months. I missed every ‘snapshot’ before the current one – these are snippets of the game released periodically to showcase the developments being completed by Midnight Society. But, seizing the opportunity to finally play DEADROP, I jumped right into the game, eager to see what Dr Disrespect and his team have been cooking up for gamers the world over.
Read on to get my impressions on DEADROP.
What Exactly is DEADROP?
Before we dive headlong into my ‘review’ of DEADROP, let’s take a moment to outline exactly what DEADROP is.
It’s an extraction shooter, which is a type of game that typically sees players suit up, drop into a map, loot various items, fight players, complete tasks, and then safely and successfully extract from that map before a timer runs out. It has been popularised by the likes of Escape From Tarkov, which is arguably the spearhead of the genre. However, where DEADROP differs is that it’s a ‘vertical’ extraction shooter.
But what does that mean?
Well, it’s vertical — it goes up. In DEADROP, players can scale surfaces, climb ladders, ascend pipes, and use elevators, fighting their way up and down maps that boast dozens of levels. The maps don’t necessarily grow outwards but upwards. It’s set in a universe where ‘the 80s never ended’, so it fits in with Dr Disrespect’s ‘synthwavey’ vibe, and the aesthetic of the game is gritty, urban, and a little cyberpunk at times.
It’s a player-vs-player experience (but will eventually be player-vs-player-vs-environment) that is simple on the surface but boasts a few unique features.
So, What’s DEADROP Like?
As a fan of the extraction shooter genre, I’ll say it’s a solid offering. In the games that I played, I found myself performing the typical tasks I would do in any extraction shooter, opening boxes, fighting other players, looting my kills, and filling my backpack with all kinds of goodies. At the moment, there isn’t much to loot aside from weapons, healing items, and armour, but I can imagine that list will expand immeasurably in the future.
It’s a basic game at the moment, but it’s still in the earlier stages of development, so that’s fine. There’s a vendor available in the game, and a recently added mechanic in the form of powerful, customisable vehicles that players can use to fight their way onto the map. Players can tweak their loadouts, team up with friends – or strangers – and battle through DEADROP as they see fit. From what I saw, the maps are very unpolished and resemble testing environments, but they weren’t bad.
As Dr Disrespect is a fan of clean movement, I was pleased to see that, in DEADROP, the motions of the player character feel fluid and uncomplicated. There are sliding, mantling, climbing, and sprinting mechanics that make for a more fast-paced experience than the almost milsim style of Escape From Tarkov. Not only that, but gunplay felt well-developed for a game that’s still being built. There’s a decent spread of weapons to pick from, they can be customised, and they feel relatively balanced already.
What’s bizarre in DEADROP – and I’m not sure if this is just for the ‘snapshots’ – is that death doesn’t mean the end. In most typical extraction shooters, dying means you fail the game and are forced back to the lobby. In DEADROP, you’re reset when you die, given a simple pistol, and must contend again with the lobby, attempting to redeem yourself, find your loot, and extract. It’s not a bad thing, it’s just a little bizarre.
Related: Did DEADROP Steal Skins From COD?
But What’s Wrong With DEADROP?
It wasn’t all good, of course. There are few options when it comes to customising the game’s graphics, for example — which could be a blocker for some players with less capable rigs. Also, for a game that’s Dr Disrespect’s brainchild, I expected flawless audio, and that wasn’t the case. It wasn’t awful, but DEADROP’s directional audio was lacking, and I felt that some sounds were overpowering, making me jump out of my skin at times.
But you know what? That’s about it. For an in-development title, it felt quite polished, and I genuinely had fun tearing through a few matches. I was trash-talked in proximity chat, I held my own against some talented players, and I managed to explore a fair bit of the maps – and I extracted successfully, too.
This current ‘snapshot’ is ‘VII’, and I’ll be honest – I don’t know what’s coming next for the game. Typically, the release of a snapshot is a big deal, and events are often hosted that Dr Disrespect attends himself, offering fans and investors the chance to meet him and play alongside or against him. I’m appreciative of the fact that there is so much more Midnight Society could do with DEADROP, and I do honestly feel that it could be a brilliant extraction shooter once it’s all tidied up.
I’d like to say it has legs. Sure, there are some features that players struggle to contend with, such as microtransactions, ‘crates’, some NFT-like assets, and peer-to-peer tradable collectables, but that’s a conversation for another day.
I can’t say what the future holds for the game, but at the moment, it’s on track, it’s pushing onward with a solid cadence, and I’m very happy with how it looks.
Read Next: Sega Shut Down 'Heist Extraction Shooter'