Heading into this year, Deadlight was constantly on those list of games that gamers were projecting to be a sleeper hit. It had a unique visual style and was a 2D platformer that revolved around a zombie apocalypse. It seems to have the ingredients for an indie game hit. Yet when reviews came out, many of the critics that were once praising the game in their previews tended to have mixed feeling about the finally product. Despite the mixed reviews I decided to pick this one up out of curiously.
There are two things that jumped out at me while playing the game. The first was the Limbo-ese visual style of a washed out colored background with a completely black foreground. I tend to like this art style despite it not being the most conducive to a platformer. There were times when I wouldn’t know if a shadow was part of the background or a platform I had to use to advance. Though I didn’t experience that a lot, when I did I found it frustrating as hell. Anytime I have to go online to see what plaform to jump on n a game is not a good thing.
The second thing that stands out is the writing. The Spaniard fellas at Tequila Works were behind Deadlight, and unfortunately it shows that English is not their first language. The dialogue and their delivery seemed off and the dialogue seemed extremely inorganic. Here is an example of what I am saying.
You murdered her! She’s dead …. A bit redounded huh?
The gameplay itself consist of the typical platformer fare. You must jump from building to building and find ways to cross large gaps to advance. There is some puzzle like elements that require you to figure out a way around an obstacle or hungry pack of zombies. I found these to be relatively easy, especially with the call button that allows attract zombies to where you are and jump over them from a elevated platform. There is some small amount of combat in the games, but it is kinda wonky.
You have an axe but using it to kill zombies is almost more trouble than just finding ways past them. Once you get a gun however things get to be a bit easier as you can just aim for the head and fire. Of course like any zombie story, you eventually run into evil humans and the combat with them boiled down to them be set on a invisible timer to kill you before you have the chance to shoot them. Luckily combat isn’t a huge feature in the game so I was able to look past these squabbles a bit.
Unlike many reviewers, I had fun with this game despite a lot of the weird quirks that a few more month of development may have fixed. The story was a bit cliché with some of the basic zombie troupes on full display. The major “twist” about your character’s past can be seen from a mile away, yet it does add some interesting questions about the reality of what you were seeing in portions of the game (especially the collectables.) Also the middle act in the sewers ran a bit too long.
Overall Review: I say that if you’re a fan of zombies and interesting art design give this game a shot. The price may be a bit high for a 4 hour game that has some story and gameplay issues so I would wait until a price drop
Rating: wait for price drop!!