Deadlight had me intrigued ever since I saw the trailer for it ages ago, and immediately I knew this game was going to be something special. But trailers can be so deceptive nowadays. Deadlight is a 2D sidescroller made by Tequila Studios, and it follows a very unique visual style for presentation as 3/4rd of the screen is darkened Limbo style.
That’s not a bad thing, however, as considering it’s a post-apocalyptic zombie game; it actually suits the setting well. Now our protagonist, Randy Wayne – yes, Wayne. He has only one objective in his mind – to find his family. And as you know, things like these don’t end too well usually.
I have to say, I was a bit disappointed with how the pacing was here. It’s quite poor with repetitive gameplay mechanics and same scenarios. The zombies called “Shadows” don’t really have any stunning presence considering how the game is presented. It should have been better. You can mostly find them lying on the ground munching away on bodies until you arrive and then – you know the usual zombie stuff.
Wayne has a stamina meter which ties into whatever he does in the game – like, running, hopping through obstacles, or navigating poles separated by wires. It’s not that annoying but when you use the heavy attack for the axe, the stamina rapidly decreases. Yes, you do get a bunch of weapons in the game along with scarce ammo – which is what you would expect in a post-apocalyptic game anyway.
In my playthrough which lasted almost 5 hours, I rarely fought any zombie which is how it should be but when you get ganged up by a bunch of them, it’s easy to die. In fact, three hits is all it takes to die in this game so avoiding zombies is the best way to play here unless you have no choice whatsoever. The gameplay mechanics are somewhat unpolished requiring you to use the right analogue stick to shoot which is a bit clumsy.
Even jumping over gates is unresponsive sometimes and can be terrible when you have zombies chasing you – there are faster ones as well. The game eases you into the mechanics by providing an in-depth tutorial early on and the game picks up pace as you keep playing throwing a lot of things at your way.
The narrative is quite poor as well, with comic style cutscenes showing you the current and past events. Its very poorly designed failing to grab my attention, and skipping it doesn’t make any difference as well, since ultimately you are stuck in this post apocalyptic world with zombies and what not.
The visuals while dull and drab, is somewhat fitting, especially later in the game when you navigate the sewers under the city. There are hardly any puzzles here and most of them can be solved really fast -something which requires you to find a way to get out of an area. I finished the game in three sittings and in the end I was missing that “satisfying” feeling, and was left pretty unimpressed by the whole thing. The ending is bitersweet and it’s something you wouldn’t expect at all.
Deadlight isn’t really something that provides satisfying in-depth gameplay or a good story, but the only reason to play is if you loved Limbo; a game which is quite similar in its mechanics and visual style. It’s a meaty romp for an arcade game but quite a shallow one too.
This game was reviewed on the Xbox 360.
Fun romp for 5 hours or so. The game's visual style while inspired suits the setting very well. Fun to blast a zombie in the head with a revolver.
Shallow gameplay mechanics. Story isn't that gripping. Comic styled cutscenes don't do justice to the game. Non-existent puzzles.