Even for a game releasing less than a year after its predecessor, Out of Ammo: Death Drive comes off as something of a rush job. On the surface, this might seem like it’s got everything you’d want in a sequel, including a zombie-filled campaign and brand new systems, but like so many VR experiences before it, the shallow gameplay is all over before either you or the hordes of undead really get to sink their teeth into anything.
In fact, Death Drive is really more of a spin-off to Out of Ammo, if anything. The campaign mixes first-person shooting with base building, ditching the military strategy angle in the process, and there are no cooperative or competitive options to speak of. What’s here might have made for an appreciated if unnecessary free expansion to the existing game, but as a standalone product it falls apart almost immediately.
The seven level campaign might last you two hours if you get stuck in the game’s laborious first-person missions. There are a handful of instances in which you embody one of a crew of survivors of the zombie apocalypse, and you’ll be tasked with either fending off enemies or hunting for items. What could have been an intense zombie-fighting experience lacks bite; level design is cookie cutter and there’s simply no thrills to waving your Touch or Vive controllers around to whack the heads off of Minecraft-style flesh eaters.
Weapons have no impact or heft to them, and the game’s realistic firearm reloading animations only serve to frustrate when you can instead just find the longest melee weapon and bat baddies away without breaking a sweat. There’s absolutely zero threat here, and none of the slapstick charm and gore of something like Gorn, leaving the entire thing longing for a sense of purpose. It might like to think of itself as a sandbox zombie killer, but the lack of invention in kills and death animation gives you no real reason to smile.
Much more interesting are the game’s base-building missions, in which you’ll have to gather scraps to make repairs and build defensive platforms. The player hovers above the now miniaturized world and issues simple orders to a band of survivors. You’ll have to strategically place towers to make sure survivors are as effective as possible and keep watch of their ammo supplies incase they find themselves in need of a quick top up.
I can easily see how the foundation for these levels could have been grown into a full game, but sadly there’s no room for it to grow in Death Drive’s campaign. Of the four base building missions, I completed the first three in no time at all using the exact same tactics. Only on the fourth and final mission did I struggle, and even then it only took another turn to get things straight. At least the environments are nice to look at from up high.
It makes you wonder why RocketWerkz went to the trouble of building these systems and then not even attempt to do anything in the least bit interesting with them. Death Drive feels like it’s had the bare minimum of effort poured into it. From the generic visual aesthetic to the tour of zombie apocalypse cliches, there’s absolutely no life to it.