Release Date: August 1, 2012
Publisher: Microsoft Game Studios
Developer: Tequila Works
ESRB Rating: M
Well it looks like we have another gory zombie game on our hands, and its a great one. Deadlight really has a lot of great gameplay mixed in with one of the best presentation's I have seen in a XBLA game to date.
I know that a lot of people are getting a little worn out on all the zombies in video games, including myself, but when you have a great game with zombies, you shouldn't skip it because of the lurking dead. The game takes place during 1986, and spoiler alert, zombies have overrun the country. You play as Randall Wayne, who is searching for friends and family. Yeah I know the game has a lot of cliches in it, but the narrative is told really well. Speaking of story, the dramatic story is told throughout beautifully drawn comic style cutscenes, that are believably voiced. The voice acting is solid, but some of the characters just don't sound that great, actually a few sounded a little stale. Luckily Randall stands out with a great performance, and a shockingly familiar voice, which I'm still trying to put a voice to a face to. Graphically, this is one of the best looking 2D games out there. It can be stunning at times, when storms are raging in the background and you have strong winds that shake your environments. The slick rain will pound the broken pavement and dilapidated buildings. These effects really create a melancholy filled atmosphere that is necessary for any serious zombie game. I have to bring up the beautifully animations of Randall, climbing up buildings, scaling obstacles, and crossing telephone wires, all appear smooth and lifelike.
Deadlight is a 2D sidescrolling platformer with a lot of puzzle elements mixed in. This isn't all the game has to offer, it has a lot of action as well. Bullets won't come often, so you won't be mindlessly spraying lead into the closest zombie near you. You'll need to decide whether its necessary to use your gun, otherwise your trusty axe will get the job done. When there are multiple zombies near you, which will happen often, the tension heightens dramatically. Although you can shove a zombie off of you, if you're surrounded, you'll be restarting from the last checkpoint in a matter of seconds. The platforming of the game is straightforward, but it can be imprecise at times. This can cause a bit of frustration, instead of jumping straight up, you'll do a long jump that sends you into a pit of nearby zombies, which ultimately means death. There are a few moments in the game where it trades all the gameplay elements for a high octane chase sequence where you'll be running for dear life. These separate instances are very fun, but sadly there are only a few of them.
Deadlight is true gem that comes exclusively from the XBLA store, hopefully for fans of other systems, they can get there hands on it eventually. I believe everyone with a console or PC should be able to play this one. Xbox fanboys should definitely be gloating to there PS3 fans about Deadlight.
S&S Rating: 8.75/10