Death Horizon: Cyberfusion Review-In-Progress – Shambling Through A Zombie Apocalypse

Death Horizon: Cyberfusion gives you guns, swords, and implants to mow down the undead, but is this early access title still worth your time? Read on for our full review-in-progress.

I’m usually lenient when it comes to early access games. These are works in progress, and even if I know there’s room for improvement, I might still like the core gameplay or foundations. Then, there’s Death Horizon: Cyberfusion. After playing this arcadey roguelike romp against the undead for roughly six hours, I can only say that I’m glad that I could at least launch the game.

The Facts

What is it?: An action game where you take out zombies with roguelike mechanics.
Platforms: Quest and Steam VR (reviewed on Quest 3)
Release Date: June 6, 2024 (early access)
Developer: Dream Dev Studio & Horizon Lab
Price: $9.99 (Steam) / $14.99 (Meta Quest)

Cyberfusion follows on the heels of its predecessor, Death Horizon: Reloaded. Admittedly, I didn’t play the previous game. My closest frames of reference for the VR zombie apocalypse genre are Arizona Sunshine 2, Resident Evil 4 Remake VR, and The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners. I don’t expect an early access game like Cyberfusion to have a slew of features, but I still expected more than what’s currently available.

For starters, Death Horizon: Cyberfusion doesn’t have a traditional campaign. Instead, progression is broken up into derivative and uninspired mini-tallies, such as “kill X number of zombies,” “get X number of headshots/decapitations,” “survive for X minutes,” and so on.

As you complete these tallies, you unlock additional maps, which consist of drab-looking corridors and samey-looking hallways. The level design doesn’t inspire confidence, even with procedural generation, as you notice that there are only minor changes like the objects in a corridor or the placements of terminals that grant extra health, ammo, or credits.

Enemy variety and design are also sorely lacking. Some zombies shamble toward you, those that move a bit faster, and beefier brutes that wear football jerseys. Drones may appear, but they’re quickly dealt with if you can deflect their laser projectile. Outside of the boss-type foe in later levels/maps – which requires more effort as it charges and chases after you – the remaining hostiles barely pose a challenge. However, if you’re not careful and your character dies, you lose all “unbanked” credits and the purchased firearms you carry. You have to amass credits once more with only a melee weapon/prosthetics to see you through, hence the roguelike nature.

Death Horizon: Cyberfusion tries to delve deeper into futuristic sci-fi and cyberpunk themes by giving your character modifications and implants. Sadly, the early access version only lets you switch between two prosthetic arms in the Horizon Labs hub: one enables you to deal a powerful electrocuting blow, and another gives you Wolverine/Baraka-esque blades that protrude from your knuckles. These are decent combat features, though I have to replenish energy by slaying more opponents.

Firearms, meanwhile, are purchased using the credits earned from terminals or zombie kills. Regrettably, the selection pool is limited. Currently, I can only purchase a pistol and an assault rifle; the shotgun and revolver are currently unavailable at the time of writing. Still, I did have a trusty katana, which is always part of the default loadout.

Given the above, you might be wondering: “Hey, you get a sword, empowered melee attacks, and a couple of guns. These aren’t much, but combat should still be exciting and dynamic, right? Right?”

Sadly, no. Death Horizon: Cyberfusion offers less of a fast and frantic VR workout experience. Instead, it’s more akin to a stroll in the park – except I had my hand held out as though I was walking a dog or leading a marching band.

That’s due to the aforementioned katana. I had to hold it horizontally, ensuring the weapon was roughly head or neck level. Then I slowly moved toward the undead, or I’d let them approach me. The result is near-instant decapitations, all without doing slicing or stabbing motions.

Additionally, deflecting drone lasers is done by holding the katana outward, so I barely had to move my arms during most runs. I was as deadly as Michonne from The Walking Dead, albeit a Michonne on an escalator, aware that her flight’s been delayed and she doesn’t need to rush to the adjacent terminal.

Worse, enemies seemed to only spawn in corridors or rooms that I was not looking at. I’ve never noticed zombies emerging from darkened crawlspaces or ventilation ducts, but they did magically appear several feet behind me if I so much as turned around. That led to runs where I simply stayed near the entrance/exfiltration point, held out my katana, and funneled shambling corpses into my “Limbo Blade” party, amassing credits and XP. The experience was tedious, to say the least.

Comfort

Death Horizon: Cyberfusion touts full-body immersion and dynamic combat, though you can still play while sitting down. Just remember that the katana and pistol are drawn from leg holsters, so make sure there’s enough space in your play area for you to reach them.

The game also has smooth turning and snap turning camera settings, with the latter having 15, 30, 45, and 90-degree options. It’s also possible to disable turning with the right thumbstick, which means you have to turn around with your whole body. These control options and other tweaks can be seen on a wall in the Horizon Labs hub. A height offset slider can be seen on a wall in the entrance room.

The powered prosthetics and firearms feel unnecessary. Although I appreciate the inclusion of manual reload controls, there was really no point in carefully aiming, shooting, grabbing a magazine from waist level, and reloading my weapon – the sword did the trick smoothly and effortlessly. The same can be said for limited physics mechanics, such as pulling boxes and maimed torsos and throwing them at your opponents, though these actions made me laugh a few times. Furthermore, due to roguelike mechanics, weird random spawns, and not wanting to lose credits, I had to choose the most reliable survival method.

Death Horizon: Cyberfusion Review In Progress – Current Final Verdict

Death Horizon: Cyberfusion suffers from poor level design, uninspired objectives, ridiculous physics implementation, and tedious combat. The katana makes things too easy, and other armaments/mechanics are not as fleshed-out. As a result, it’s currently a highly forgettable experience. I’ll revisit the game later to see if these issues are addressed and when it introduces new core features like multiplayer support. As an early access title, Cyberfusion currently has very little to offer and I genuinely cannot recommend it.

UploadVR uses a 5-Star rating system for our game reviews – you can read a breakdown of each star rating in our review guidelines. As a review-in-progress, this is currently unscored to reflect our approach on covering post-launch updates. We’ll revisit this review once Cyberfusion enters full release.

Editor’s note: Dream Dev Studio has released the following Death Horizon: Cyberfusion early access roadmap, which details planned updates across Q3 2024, Q4 2024 and Q1 2025.

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