The game features a number of futuristic aircraft, including agile fighters, and slower transport aircraft. The game also features levels in which the player drives military vehicles such as armored personnel carriers.
Unlike many science fiction flight simulator games, Dropship is set in the near future, and the vehicles and weapons, although futuristic, are grounded in reality, and bear many recognizable traits of modern military aircraft. The game has missions where the player must fly slow, more vulnerable craft and deliver or pick up valuable cargo. Another feature of the game is the VTOL ability of most of the game's aircraft, allowing the player to switch to a hover mode and land the aircraft manually.
After seeing the sci-fi concept of a military dropship being launched from a space platform; for delivering troops and vehicles to any part of a planet so well realised in the movie Aliens, many developers had expressed an interest in creating the experience within a videogame. Joe Money and Nick Ryan were able to get their take on this choice concept green-lighted at SCEE's Camden studio.
The project was first made public in April 2000, along with a host of other PlayStation 2 titles from SCEE's various studios. From the offset, the title promised a chance to pilot a dropship from planetary orbit, straight down to a combat zone. Pre-rendered images releases at the time pointed to just such an experience. The mock ups also show craft that are far closer to sci-fi spaceships than the designs that would later appear.
Though the game was critically acclaimed, it was a commercial flop.