Game Review: Deadlight [Xbox 360]
Over the past few years we have seen many types of Zombie games, some of which proving to be very successful. Deadlight follows the genre’s fashion, and puts players in an infested world riddled with Zombies. The game does offer a lot of interesting elements that at times get shot down by Deadlight’s biggest flaws.
Deadlight offers a brilliant side scrolling experience with both beautiful visuals and interesting gameplay elements, with some polished animations and locations. The game is intriguing and welcomes you with open arms in the infested Seattle, where developer Tequila Works have really focused on delivering a cinematic experience. It’s a shame that the rest of the game suffers from a variety of issues. Deadlight takes place in the 1980′s, where you the player takes control of Wayne. Wayne is a survivor who is looking for his family and tries everything he can to try and find them. The different Acts have a lot of variety of locations and objectives with some of the objectives consisting of you escaping from “The Rats Lair” to saving your friends, before reaching a bigger plot twist. The game offers a lot visually, though features a poorly scripted cast.
The script is awful and at times I just shook my head. The game balances it out however, as even with the poorly written script the story can still be enjoyed. Throughout the game as you venture through Seattle you will come across various different collectables which help develop the story. You will come across ID’S, Wayne’s Lost Diary pages, photographs and even handheld video games and audio files. Before I forget to mention, the little handheld devices you come across are also playable once found which is a nice added extra feature to the game. Tequila Works have done a great job with setting the game in the obsolete Seattle. Visually the game is outstanding and provides a lot atmosphere making you feel alone in the infested world.
The game’s script really is poor and it could be that the Spanish studio Tequila never translated the English script with any emphasis on making it feel natural. Randall however is possibly the only character that is worth listening to throughout the whole game and Tequila have presented Wayne as a character that you want to relate with, but can’t. The plot is also dragged on a bit, making some of the gameplay elements feel very tedious and frustrating at times. Checkpoints and save points are set fairly well throughout the game, however there are many checkpoints that will cause frustration for players due to some glitchy mechanics.
The overall narrative of the game is more set and focused on finding collectables which delivers the story far better than the script itself. Throughout the various collectables as you progress closer to the end of the game you will start to learn how much he misses his wife and child.
Deadlight has a very different atmosphere to the majority of Zombie filled games, and is in fact a very silent game that has you run through various abandoned environments, avoiding water and taking out any Zombies that cross you path. There are also some gameplay elements which will have you fleeing from the military or Zombies, and whenever I encountered these sequences, my heart would race as I tried to escape for freedom.
Deadlight also features combat elements, and while it’s a much needed addition to the gameplay, the combat itself doesn’t feel challenging, and at times will slow the game down. The frequent encounter with Zombies or ‘Shadows’ as they are called in the game occur at the most easy and less vulnerable times. The combat however does work very well, and having the choice between a Fire axe and firearms later in the game can bring some light entertainment, even if you do find yourself just running past the enemies.
Tequila Works have managed to deliver an interesting concept, with some stunning visuals and an interesting plot presented by collectables and cutscenes, but with some very poor scripting that can take away from the game’s overall feel, which sadly affects the game more than I hoped. The lack of puzzling areas and sequences may leave a little to be desired from veteran gamers of the genre, and the glitches may frustrate those who are new this style of gameplay.
Deadlight is a very interesting concept that would have been an even greater experience if it didn’t have as many frequent flaws. The scripting creates the games weakest point, however the game still can deliver some exciting gameplay elements, for example when players flee from a mass groups of Zombies to get to a safe-point. The visuals are the standout here, and even though the game is often very enjoyable, the lack of challenge to the gameplay, and depth to the story may cause frustration, even if the collectables do help to add a little more for those willing to find them.