Drop Dead: The Cabin is a horror zombie survival-style game. In a dark forest, two lost backpackers stumble across a strange old abandoned cabin. Taking refuge from the eerie fog drawing in, they fire up the rusty generator and the house lights crackle into life as they attempt to call for rescue. Yet they are not alone, for out of the surrounding darkness emerges a strange horde of hideous proto-zombies created by the mad scientist Dr. Monday. They have been waiting deep in the woods for fresh meat and are hungry for brains! Once you enter this cabin, you will be in for the fight of your life! The game’s intense combat and strategy elements opened my eyes to a style of game I never knew I’d enjoy.
Developer & Publisher // Soul Assembly
Platforms // Meta Quest 2
MSRP & Release Date //$24.99, Feb. 16, 2023
Reviewed On // Meta Quest 2
Outstanding Setting and Design
If you know me you know the first things I look at are the game’s atmosphere and the design of the surroundings. When it comes to Drop Dead: The Cabin its setting is perfect. When you find yourself stumbling into the woods in the opening sequence for the tutorial, it puts into perspective what might unfold. As the tutorial begins and you walk up to the creepy cabin, in the woods, with plenty of fog it makes the hairs stand up on your neck. The lighting is dim in areas that add to the already eerie feeling you get. Throughout my playthrough, I was completely immersed and the jump scares got to me as well.
Once inside the cabin, the decor is very well placed. You have a rug that is unfurled and as well as many other items strategically placed. Everything from the pictures to old furniture as well as small stuff like forks and knives adds to this. You see old radios and you can hear the person on the radio that is trying to come to rescue you, adding to the immersion that you are stuck. The decor throughout the cabin is dirty and rundown in certain areas, which fits the decrepit and horror themes. I normally don’t play these kinds of games. But I’ll tell you I loved everything about its setting and design. This creates a thick atmosphere and truly makes you feel like being stranded.
Superb Graphics and Audio
Drop Dead: The Cabin was very designed. Inside and out you had creepy surroundings with the trees you would think of that look spooky and were designed to be those creepy trees you remember from your dreams. Zombies and monsters all had different appearances so they didn’t all look the same. Graphically, it’s not as detailed as AAA games such as God of War, but they don’t need to be. Depending on which monster or zombie you are fighting, you can tell which ones are scarier and more powerful. The game’s presentation was effective and is one of the reasons why I liked it as much as I did.
The audio for the game is superb. The wind blowing or distant zombie groans builds up the anticipation right before they strike. Can’t tell you how many times while playing I had a good position based on sound then hear the floor creaking behind me then boom zombie attack. Drop Dead: The Cabin‘s audio design is by far one of the more immersive I have experienced.
Drop Dead: The Cabin has some intense combat. Several times I would start well using pistols with much success. As time progresses and more zombies as well as other monsters appear, I begin to struggle. The times I would manage to fight my way out I truly felt accomplished. While playing and dual-wielding a revolver and a Glock I felt at times I could shoot my way out of anything. Luckily, the added benefit of being able to call in an EMP to temporarily stun the zombies helps. Locations of weapons, supplies, health items, and fuel are always random each time you load in. When you kill enemies you earn research points which are crucial to open doors and containers to gain access to different areas and items. Controlling the weapons felt smooth and easy, unlike other VR games I played.
I’d say the revolver was my favorite, as it was easy to use and easy to reload in a pinch. It’s also crucial to maintain the power, lighting, and communication systems active because that’s how you escape. If you don’t find the fuel and keep things going it interestingly impacts both visuals and gameplay. Obviously, without the lights, it gets darker adding to the eerie feeling and immersion. During the darkness, zombies seem to be faster, deadlier, and way harder to see. There were times while playing when I got swarmed because I didn’t see some of them adding to the intensity of the situation.
When I couldn’t find the fuel to keep it humming, I would take a deep breath and shoot my way around till I found it. Having this sense of urgency to have to find fuel to keep the generator going was great. This added to the panic and stress of the situation cause you needed the generator and battery working to make it easier to survive. Panicking and being scared were fun, so the entirety of this system was well-implemented. So make sure to find that fuel to keep things going your way, even though it still isn’t easy in Drop Dead: The Cabin.
Perks and Progression
You are successful when the beacon’s power finally reaches 100%. Then you can call in the forest rescue pilot to whisk you off to safety from the extraction zone. While playing no two games ever seemed to be the same which drastically adds to the replayability of Drop Dead: The Cabin. After each run, whether completed or failed, you level your character which unlocks new weapons perks. Allowing you to go back in with more knowledge, skills, and the strength to survive. There was a great feeling of accomplishment when you get to the extraction point and saved. I felt everything worked well from the guns being easy to use and being able to EMP if I got in a bind.
All this is to keep the player on their toes and focused otherwise you will fall victim to the zombies like I did multiple times. The only other 2 zombie VR survival games I played both had clunky controls and led to some difficulties. The more runs you do the more experience you gain afterward, which allows you to unlock different things to use in games like guns. Drop Dead: The Cabin has the best-implemented survival horror combat in a VR game I’ve played or seen.
Fun Items and Controls
Drop Dead: The Cabin has some great things in place that add interesting aspects to the game like the watch being one of them. You have a watch on your arm that displays your health, research points, and rescue countdown. Very rarely did I look at my watch while I was being swarmed by zombies and monsters. Still very useful for many others to help them out. To unlock a door grab the handle and hold for a few seconds then the door and box will open if you have enough points. Cartons of milk are what you use to recover hit points and other downed players. Trust me there was not one game where I went without having to drink some milk. You can also high-five downed players to revive them, but it only brings them to 50% health.
Though I didn’t get the chance to play with anyone else. So didn’t get to experience the high-five revive. Considering how all the other controls were while playing I would say more than likely it’s pretty simple and easy. I had no difficulties with any of my movements at all. There is so much going on that there is never a dull moment in-game and you are always on your toes once things hit the fan. Always adding extra layers of intensity!
Minor Glitches and Multiplayer
I don’t have many gripes at all when it comes to Drop Dead: The Cabin. I will say I didn’t get to experience any multiplayer. Either access was unavailable or no one else was playing. I was a little disappointed here, but I won’t knock off much for that here. I can say playing with someone else would help ease the difficulty. When I was playing by myself there are so many windows, doors, and different directions to watch, it is very hard at times. In-game it tells you when you enter a solo mode that it is hard and will fail more than once. Despite this, I still enjoyed it, because I like a challenge. For the purpose of this review, I didn’t get access to multiplayer. Regardless, the game provided a great experience. Though I will be jumping in multiplayer soon as I get the chance.
I didn’t experience many bugs or glitches, but there was one that did bother me a bit. Sometimes in-game, I would be standing in front of a window shooting a zombie. Then one would climb through the window and somehow be glitched above me in the air or the wall. Half the time when this happened I couldn’t kill the zombie. So I would run off and focus my attention elsewhere. I will say that this didn’t happen a lot, and even when it did my immersion wasn’t broken.
One thing I never experienced in Drop Dead: The Cabin is motion sickness. It didn’t matter how much I was moving or shooting not once did I feel motion sickness. I would run up the stairs, down the stairs, outside, and around corners and they did great at helping with motion sickness. The estimated playtimes are 15-30 minutes per session which would help with many other people’s motion sickness as well.
Final Thoughts Drop Dead: The Cabin
Usually, I don’t play these kinds of games. I took a leap of faith here on this game to try and break my normal feelings on horror VR and zombie survival games. Drop Dead: The Cabin did just that and has been one of the best VR experiences I’ve had. It is top 3 at this moment. Its setting and design were perfect and kept me completely immersed in the game. did find that I was running off before I started being attacked just to see how things looked.
The guns and weapons in-game were all fun to use providing a different path of combat for everyone. If you want to beat a monster with a bat, you can. If you wanna hit them with a pan, do it. All this added plenty of replayability, so you can find yourself playing this game over and over. The price is well priced at only $24.99 and it’s available on Meta Quest 2. Soul Assembly did an excellent job and I highly recommend Drop Dead: The Cabin!