Deadlight is a stylish horror game set on the 2d…
It’s Halloween season, and just in time for it Deadlight sees the light of day. The game borrows a few story elements that are familiar to many a horror game and movie, but puts them together into a fun and enjoyable package. Similar to Vanishing on 7th street, your enemy are shadows – but unlike the film, they behave much more like the traditional zombies. Slow witted, and wanting to take a bite out of you. Deadlight does many things right – a great art style, tight controls and good narrative.
Deadlight’s asthetics are beautiful
For a moment, with the level of detail that can be seen stretching off on streets in the background, or passageways in an abandoned building you might forget that you cannot simply move to explore it. Everything in the game has been created with a stunning level of detail. Characters are extremely well animated, and the graphics are frankly, gorgeous (as you would expect from the Unreal Engine). The lighting in Deadlight is part of what makes it look so impressive, for the most part, your main character is a lone shadow creeping by hordes of enemies. The occasional cutscene breaks things up, drawn in a comic book style that is both well animated and tense.
It’s all the sound…
Voice acting in the game is for the most part, tight. There is the odd line here or there that isn’t quite as strong as it should be – but it is at least B movie quality. The main character narrates various events – and you can hear the desperation in his voice. The music in the game is subtle, playing in the background in a similar way to say Alan Wake or Silent Hill, there to lend atmosphere, but there to take the attention away from the story or action. Sound effects are plentiful, down to flags rustling in the wind as you run by, to the murmurs of the dead hungry for flesh.
Control me baby
The game does work fine with keyboard controls, with the usual left shift to run, space to jump and of course WASD to move. You can crouch, run, climb and do all the usual things you’d expect of a platformer. I kept being reminded of Flashback (a game released on the Amiga’s and 16 bit consoles, although has been ported to goodness knows how many systems by now) in terms of how the character controls. Running leaps for long distances, crouch to get into blocked areas. You can also kick down doors, or smash through them with a shoulder barge. I will however point out that a control pad (such as the Xbox 360 pad) does lend itself very well to Deadlight. The analogue controls help, and the jumping feels (at least to me) slightly more natural.
The gameplay of Deadlight
As mentioned earlier, you character can run, leap, climb. Later on as the game progresses you can find various weapons for fighting off the fiends in Deadlight – such as a fireaxe which also doubles as a way to break open padlocks for example. Diary journals can be found throughout the game which give backstory. Although can fight the enemies, if possible you will wish to avoid them. You can use the environment to your advantage, such as luring them under a car and releasing it while you are in a garage, or say electrocuting them with a fallen power line. You can even taunt them to make them follow you. Your life is precious, and despite a fairly generous system if you die (you will not be more than around a minute back from where you were) you will be wanting to keep on your toes if there are a lot of enemies.
It’s also unusual to be playing as a middle aged guy with a beard rather than the usual 20 something cop. It makes the whole thing seem that much more… real.
All in all, Deadlight is a fantastic game. Highly recommended.