Deadlight

Deadlight is a brilliant zombie post- apocalyptic experience with an engaging story and gameplay.

By RON, Posted 02 Nov 2012

Zombie post-apocalyptic titles are now a frequent caption. When there are titles like Resident Evil, The Walking Dead, Left 4 Dead, Silent Hill etc, how far can an indie developer go to reach its audience? When the game is called Deadlight and has an infectious story and delightful appearance, it has done just enough to dig up the attention it deserves.

During 1986, a virus breaks out and affects the whole city, causing the dead to remain animated. This is obviously a problem, especially for Randall Wayne, who has his family missing somewhere among the undead. It’s not just his beloved wife and only daughter, however, but also their memories. With only a few survivors left, Randall intends to fight back against his anxiousness and look for his family. Unlike most Zombie post- apocalyptic titles, he doesn’t go out and gun down whatever comes in his way. Rather, he must keep himself hidden and as far away from the Shadows as possible.

Deadlight, Review, Zombies, Post-Apocalyptic
It's not every day that Randall finds a survivor with a helicopter.

Deadlight is a 2D ( or 2.5D, if you prefer) sidescroller. Just like any other sidescroller, the character progresses by running and can only move from left to right. He can also jump, roll and do the usual climbing and hanging based on the gameplay sets. There are small puzzles in almost every scene which need to be solved to avoid facing the zombies and progress the story. As stated earlier, it’s best that he avoids the undead and not get too involved in combat, as it’s merely impossible to survive if there is more than a single zombie within the grasp. Randall can swing an axe violently but very unlikely to kill anything by one or two attempts. Even a gun found later during the game won’t do enough to deal with several zombies at the same time. So the only feasible means to survive is by finding the quickest escape route as soon as a new screen loads. There are three health points that indicate Randall’s status and can be refilled by using first aid kits. If you want more health points, you can find power-ups hidden around the environment. Beside health points, there are other hidden objects to find within dead bodies scattered around different places. The Stamina bar will indicate the ability for running and fighting, and when reduced, the character will be forced to take a rest while it refills.

Story of Randall’s family search has been poised in a very engaging manner. The journey takes you through a racket city, into the poisoned sewers and toward the downtown area. Both friends and foes will are introduced and presented with a few unexpected twists and turns. At times the story will take you in places which you can hardly imagine. Overall progress of this game has been shown in a graphical novel style that shares a horrifying tale of humanity. Presentation-wise, work of the Deadlight graphics is worth a mention. As a matter of fact, it’s one of the main reasons why both the story and gameplay blended so well together. The environment design is simply splendid. There is no way you aren’t going to admire the amount of detail implemented in each and every stage. Supported with a magnificent voice-over, background music and character art, Randall’s stand also fit perfectly with the story. In one sentence, Deadlight’s presentation is simply faultless.

Deadlight, Review, Zombies, Post-Apocalyptic
Now, how do I get to the other side!

Unfortunately, it’s not the only feature that defines the game. Even though the gameplay is engaging, it can get seriously testing at times. There are gameplay sequences with so narrow margins to escape that gets to the point of frustration. There are times when you can easily get confused about directions and utterly annoyed with the number of attempts few sequences will take. Randall’s inability to swim will be another scratch on the head. Therefore, journey through the sewerage won’t be very amusing. And sadly for the narrative, it ends rather swiftly.

That said, the game will still drive you to keep going. It’s one of those games that doesn’t give you a very satisfying ending, but you know that it has done just enough. Beside its shortcomings, Deadlight is still an engaging game to play, and a memorable one at that.

Xbox 360 Version Reviewed by Daav Valentaten.


Sarwar Ron, NoobFeed

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General Information

Deadlight

75/100

Platform(s): Xbox 360, PC
Publisher(s): Microsoft Game Studios
Developer(s): Tequila Works
Genres: Action, Adventure
Themes: Zombie Apocalypse
Release Date: 2012-08-01

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