This is Dropship Down. It's a brand new multiplayer shoot-em-up from Fast Forward Games. You're stranded on an alien planet and have to shoot your way to safety. It's a promising premise for a game that recently hit Steam Early Access. I know you have a lot of questions, so let's crib this.
This looks a lot like Helldivers!
Yeah, I noticed that too. But there's definitely a difference in scope between this and Helldivers. Instead of being an epic multiplayer adventure filled with objectives to complete and giant levels to explore, Dropship Down has a more singular focus. This is little more than a wave-based horde mode, where the game keeps throwing harder enemies at you until you eventually die. There isn't much of a story here and you aren't going on a grand adventure, it's just a simple arcade mode where you and your crew fight for a high score.
You make that sound like a bad thing.
No, no, I think Dropship Down is a lot of fun. I was immediately drawn to the sharp visuals and quick action. I'm a sucker for this type of overhead shoot-em-up, so I immediately warmed up to the theme and had a blast shooting down giant alien insects. As horde modes go, this does a good job of checking off all of the essentials and giving our heroes a fighting chance.
We're able to buy new weapons between rounds and pick up temporary items that can swing the momentum back in your favor. We're also able to add permanent perks to our hero after certain rounds, giving us more health, faster recharging shields, more powerful bullets and more. Of course, all this is erased the moment those nasty bugs finally break through your defenses and make your heart stop beating once and for all.
Are there a lot of different locations?
Not currently. As it stands, this Steam Early Access build only has two stages to fight through. We're treated to a desert wasteland where everything is wide open and the arena is surrounded by giant rocks. There may be plenty of places to run in this stage, but you'll quickly discover that those aggressive insects won't let up.
The other stage takes us to a forest filled with lush foliage. There are narrow paths surrounded by large trees, masking the enemy locations and making it difficult to get around. This is an attractive stage that is a pain to play, something that is made worse by the fixed camera perspective. There's a lot of fun to be had in both of these stages, but I do wish there was more variety in this current build.
While it may look like Helldivers at first glance, Dropship Down is a much more limited experience that caters to an audience looking for short arcade-style fun. The smaller scope also comes with a smaller price, as this Early Access build is listing for only $4.99. That's a good price for the game, though you'll quickly grow bored of the two stages found in the package. The basics are here and Dropship Down has a lot of potential to be an action-packed multiplayer shooter, but it definitely needs more levels.