Deadrop is the first-person shooter (FPS) vertical extraction game in development from prominent YouTuber Dr. Disrespect and his upstart game studio Midnight Society. Its latest pre-release game update, Snapshot VI, launched this week, offering a variety of new features and changes such as a new map, player squads, grenades, and non-playable characters (NPCs).
Overall, many of the changes are supplementary and add new content to the game—but there’s one quirk we found hard to ignore in our second early-access playtest of the game.
Snapshot VI expands on Deadrop’s lore in a meaningful way with the addition of NPCs respectively called Cleaners and the Vendor. These characters are welcome additions to the game, bringing in a layer of sci-fi lore while raising the stakes with the possibility of better loot for players.
Cleaners collect eliminated players’ bodies and unlooted death bags, so you’ll often find a trio of them in matches surrounding fallen players. But in my playtest of the game, they didn’t appear to have animations just yet besides shooting and moving around—maybe players can catch them in the act of “cleaning” in a future update.
While Midnight Society’s patch notes state that players will need to group up with squadmates to kill cleaners, it is possible to kill three as a solo player—it’s just difficult, and you probably will need some spare bandages to heal yourself after the fight.
The Vendor is, as you might expect, a merchant. While he doesn’t appear in-game, he has his own tab accessible via the lobby screen. The Vendor sells guns, gear, and more. Players can now sell items for “Space Dust,” an in-game currency that does not appear to have any connection to crypto. Players can also buy items from the Vendor, but he is known for raising his prices on a whim, per the game’s patch notes.
Group with friends
For previous snapshots, Deadrop’s developers have openly said that “teaming”—when players who could kill each other instead team up for a temporary group advantage—is allowed, but risky. Now, players can squad up for real in parties of two or three, eliminating the risks of teaming and allowing for a more social FPS experience.
A ping system has been added, as well, and works for solo players and groups alike to privately mark locations and items without alerting enemies via the game’s pre-existing proximity chat or “prox chat”—where players can hear enemies nearby automatically if they speak into their microphones.
Snapshot VI offers players a new map called Proving Ground 2, which brings in a new color palette and game experience. Proving Ground 2 has a much warmer feel compared to the industrial Cold Storage map. By comparison, Proving Ground 2 is lush and offers a lot of small rooms in a tall apartment complex, complete with elevators and stairwells.
It also has pipes and ladders you can climb up and down and, like Cold Storage, ziplines that allow you to traverse across the map. I generally preferred gameplay on this new map better, as I found myself less likely to be snuck up on (for some reason), and felt less exposed overall. Overall, both maps are varied, vast, and appealing for a first-person shooter.
Deadrop’s Snapshot VI brings a long list of tweaks to virtually every gun and item in the game. While I don’t personally have a frame of reference for what these guns were like previously, I found the pistols very easy to use and also enjoyed wielding the SMGs and assault rifles.
For FPS players, the gun variety is already appealing, and there’s a lot to love about the feeling of the gunplay in this game. Aiming down sights (ADS) is a smooth mechanic, and the guns have just the right amount of recoil to feel natural while also somewhat realistic.
Overall, as a player of FPS games like Apex Legends, where guns are highly varied and customizable, I was very pleased with Deadrop’s take on guns and attachments.
Coming to terms with the movement physics was definitely my biggest challenge with Snapshot VI. Even coming from a game like Apex Legends, which is well known for having slightly slower movement than shooters like Valorant and Overwatch, I struggled to acclimate to how slow it felt.
Now, I’m not entirely sure whether it was partly due to some kind of lag issue, as my powerful GeForce RTX 3090 GPU was barely able to maintain 60 frames per second on “High” settings, but it felt like there was something in the game that was purposefully slowing my inputs and character movements. Strafing, jumping, and sliding feel very sluggish in this update.
In the games I played, I heard a number of other players complaining in prox chat about “lag” and needing to lower their graphics settings or resolution. But Deadrop’s movement physics don’t feel quite there yet—the delays aren’t organic enough to feel intuitive to players, and this may lead to some frustration.
In FPS games, even a fraction of a second of unexpected lag or unintuitive mechanics can cost players their lives. So while Deadrop’s gun animations and mechanics are already solid, the movement physics could be fine-tuned for the next update.
It’s not entirely clear yet what kind of FPS Deadrop wants to be—or whether it will carve out its own niche entirely in the category.
Deadrop has some elements of Escape From Tarkov, but also Call of Duty: Warzone and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO). In Deadrop, you can spend an entire match without seeing a single person or shooting a gun, and extract yourself early… or you might spawn right next to another player and immediately have to start shooting each other.
Currently, the game feels somewhere in between Tarkov and Call of Duty. Deadrop has the stakes of Tarkov (if you die, you lose all your gear), but with the faster time-to-kill rate and pressure to “extract” of a fast-paced shooter.
But even with some polish still needed, Snapshot VI is a welcomed update to Deadrop—which remains one of GG’s most anticipated games.