- Developer: Tequila Works, Abstraction Games
- Publisher: Deep Silver
- Genre: Action & Adventure, Platformer
- Release Date: 21st June 2016
- Platforms: Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC
- Game Supplied by: Koch Media Ltd
Fun but infuriating, Deadlight: Director’s Cut is the kind of game where you end up dying quite regularly purely because you can’t predict the future. See a door that needs smashing in? Well there’s a group of zombies the other side that are going to tear you apart, but you don’t know that until you’ve broken through the door and trying to fend off more than one zombie at a time is quite a difficult task. This does make the game satisfyingly intense, but that coupled up with the slightly delayed jumping mechanics made me want to smash my controller at times.
Deadlight is described as a side scrolling cinematic platformer/survival horror game. You might think that sidescrollers are pretty basic? Well Deadlight is actually quite a refreshing take on the genre. You can climb through windows, onto roofs, and traverse along telephone wires making the game anything but basic in its approach. You can also sprint, crouch, roll and wall jump too so the game is as vertical as it is horizontal. There are a few ‘puzzles’ but that’s using the term lightly, I never found myself wandering around trying to work things out, it was normally just a case of flicking a switch by hand or with my slingshot, or dragging a box to jump on so I could reach a higher ledge.
Health kits are scattered throughout the levels and I definitely needed to pick most of them up as I came across them. Combat consists of shoving zombies so you can run away, hitting them with an axe, or shooting them with a revolver or shotgun. Annoyingly it takes a few hits to down a zombie with the axe, and swinging the axe uses up your stamina so if there are a few zombies attacking at once you have to be quite patient and conserve your stamina between swings. There is a taunt button which can be quite fun, you can use it to lure zombies into electricity and traps such as under a car in a garage as you bring it crashing down on them.
The graphical style was probably what kept me hooked through the game as I can’t say the characters or the story were particularly gripping, but then I guess you don’t really pick up a platformer for the compelling story, it’s more about the gameplay. Cutscenes are done in a comic book style which always works well with the zombie theme, and the contrast between the background and foreground really works well.
Deadlight takes up to 5 hours to complete, taking into account the number of collectibles you can pick up and the amount of times you’ll probably die along the way. It’s a good experience, but I found myself struggling towards the last third of the game due to the repetitiveness and lack of care for the story/characters. It is worth playing to the end though, but I won’t give anything away.
I never played the original so it’s hard for me to compare the two, but I can’t imagine this is the kind of game you would buy again just for a slightly better looking experience. On the other hand, if like me you didn’t play the original, then as long as you’ve got the patience I’d recommend this providing the price comes down a bit from the current £15.99 price tag.