Deadlight throws you into a realistic, post-apocalyptic world where a man can only move left and right. Joking aside, this is a truly realised world, where a simple platformer can have more depth and style then I’ve seen before (I shall overlook Limbo for now, although it is definitely in the same league.)
Deadlight follows the story of Randell Wayne, a man who wakes up to all manner of chaos unfolding before him, at which point you have to take control of him and set off. During the course of the game, you’ll learn about Randells past, and his current relationship with other characters, ensuring that you’re clued up on what’s happening in this world. The main things you’ll be avoiding in this game are Zombies. These stupid, slow creatures feel slightly out of place in a platformer, but do allow for some interesting puzzle sequences (e.g. shouting for them to follow you onto a bridge, which you can then activate to make them fall to their death.) The other obstacles to avoid are typical platformer tropes, holes in the ground, spikes etc, and don’t really do much to advance the genre in anyway. There are some chase sequences that are worth noting, but nothing that hasn’t been done before.
So, as I’ve already said before, Deadlight is a platformer, but you wouldn’t think that from looking at screenshots. The graphics look like something that’s been pulled from a FPS, with rich, vivid environments that truly adds to the unique style Deadlight attempts. Just look at the screenshots I’ll post throughout this review and you’ll see what I mean. The one criticism I do have with the art style is that it doesn’t take advantage of its time period in ways that I think could be fantastic for this game. It’s based in the 80’s, meaning Tequila Works could of played with peoples nostalgia by putting pop references here and there. I wouldn’t say it’s lack of 80’s culture detracts from the world, not by any means, I just feel it could of helped pull the player in a bit more.
The controls are solid, and Randell feels fantastic to control. There are a few glitches where you are sure you should of made a jump, and instead die, but overall the controls are flawless. Later on in the game, you gain control of a gun, which does make the game a bit easier, but Tequila Works balanced this by rationing the ammo. It does add some risk/reward scenarios, which is always a good thing, and even mixes things up when you’re not sure whether to use your last bullet on the zombie in front of you. Another nifty mechanic Tequila Works add is a slingshot, which can be used to get around puzzles. In some instances there may be lifts that can be only activated from a switch hidden behind a wall, these occasions are rare but rewarding when the solution shines through.
- Gorgeously realised world
- Solid platformer
- Strong story allows for an in depth character progression with Randell
- Glitches lead to some frustration
- Despite fantastic graphics, a lot of the game is spent indoors
So overall I’m thoroughly impressed with Deadlight, its definitely inspired me with my own game, and is definitely something I would strive to match in terms of game play and art direction. I’d recommend fans of platformers to give it a go, it’s pretty cheap, and is a good 3-4 hours worth of gameplay.