Back in August of 2012, Tequila Works and Microsoft Game Studios launched a new zombie horror game on the Xbox 360 that was something different and out of the ordinary. This game was different because it was a sidescroller and placed the focus not so much on the zombies themselves but the environment that the zombies were inhabiting to a create surreal and foreboding atmosphere that aptly captured the feeling of desperation of a world that has ended. That game was Deadlight and it has made a comeback as Deadlight: Director’s Cut.
Just about everything in Seattle is dead and the aftermath of the zombie outbreak can be seen everywhere.
Deep Silver Games has picked up the publishing duties this time around to presents to you, loyal gamer, a world destroyed by a zombie outbreak where all hope is gone and survival is all that you can focus on. This is the first time that the game has been made available on next-gen consoles and will put you in the shoes once again of Randall Wayne in the year 1986 as he searches for his family in the ruins of Seattle, WA. The zombies here are known as “shadows” by those lucky enough to have escaped their fate and your only way of avoiding them is through intense platforming or facing them down using whatever weapon you can get your hands on. You don’t have to fight them, however, because running and hiding is a good option as well. You have to be smarter than the shadows, because your life and the lives of your loved ones depends on it.
You will need to craft weapons such as Molotov cocktails in order to give yourself a leg up on the shadows.
I played this game back when it hit the Xbox 360 and absolutely loved it. While the story was decent and the gameplay wasn’t anything that I hadn’t experienced before, the combination of the two was unique enough to keep me engrossed through the entire game. Deadlight contains three things that I absolutely love; Seattle, zombies and the 1980s. The city of Seattle in 1986 and the surrounding areas is the perfect setting and a place that offers a plethora of different locations to provide enough visual variety so that you aren’t always backtracking through the same areas over and over. The shadows, while they are not the in-your-face type of threat that we are used to in modern zombie games and movies, can overwhelm you with sheer numbers so being aware of your environment is key.
You can knock the shadows down with a good whack to the head but in order to put them out of commission for good, you must land the killing blow while they are still on the ground.
While the platforming aspects of Deadlight is where this game shines, it is the shadows that really steal the show here. You never really see the shadows up close during normal gameplay but their moaning and groaning will definitely catch your attention and when they start moving towards your current position, you better have a quick escape route at hand because they will get to you one way or another. You can fight them off with axes or boards but you only have a short stamina bar that is completely depleted after three or four good hits. However, while you are fighting one shadow, many others may be sneaking up from behind so it is a must to keep your head on a swivel.
Ammo is scarce so use it wisely.
As to be expected, much of the game is very dark even though the resolution has been tweaked up to 1080p for this latest release. Seattle is a rainy and stormy city so the heavy dark clouds, raging wind and dense forest areas look great on a big screen in high-definition. The cut-scenes that connect the gameplay sections of the game are all done in amazing hand-drawn art that is just as dark and desperate and the rest of the game. Everything in the city is destroyed with buildings crumbling, trash is strewn everywhere and the overturned burned out hulks of cars block your path.
The hand-drawn cut-scenes and the lost pages of Randall’s diary gives you a thorough understanding of the events that lead up to the outbreak.
If you missed Deadlight when it first launched, this is your chance to get on-board now. The game is available on the Xbox One, PC, and is making its Sony debut on PS4. Deadlight: Directors Cut enhances the platforming survival horror title by tweaking the game controls, new character animations have been created, and as I mentioned earlier, the game is now presented in full 1080p resolution. There is also a new game mode that was not available for the first launch called the ‘Survival Arena’ which will challenge your zombie killing talents to their fullest. You can get your copy on the PlayStation Store now for $19.99.
This review is based on a retail copy of the game provided by the publisher.
Deadlight's debut on next-gen consoles
Challenge - 9/10
Gameplay - 8/10
Design - 9/10
+ Great story and setting
+ Background music and ambient sound effects are excellent
+ Fun zombie gamelplay
- Very dark visuals in a majority of the game
- Voice actors sound very hokey