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Deadlight (Xbox 360)
Reviewed On: Xbox 360
Available For: Xbox 360
Developer: Tequila Works
Age: 16 (PEGI)
We've seen them created in labs, kill, multiply, evolve, and even don Nazi outfits during the Second World War, yet we still seemingly haven’t grown tired of zombies and the fearsome fun they can bring. Tell Tale Games recently breathed new life into the undead with their narrative clad and highly unique game in The Walking Dead series, but now Tequila Works have a bash of shining a new light on the naughty little flesh munchers.
The American West Coast has been devastated and is almost devoid of all human life. The streets bear heavily the scars of a zombie epidemic and the brutal warfare that ensued. A survivor named Randall Wayne is determined to find his family – dead or alive.
The dark and gritty aesthetics help to draw the player in, whilst the music creates a chilling and fearful ambience. Zombies, referred to as ‘shadows’, can often be seen in the background or foreground, creating an element of suspense in not always knowing whether they'll manage to reach Randall and cause him a problem.
The environment not only houses a plethora of fun puzzles, but can often be used to cunningly dispatch shadows without wasting ammo or energy.
Randall can call out to the shadows, bringing heat on himself and away from elsewhere – a most handy diversional tactic.
Because of the lack of ammo and the stamina it takes to swing a melee weapon, it’s often easier to run away from enemies than it is to fight them.
The only problem with that strategy is collectibles can easily be missed. It’s often a tough decision.
There are plenty of items to be found; health upgrades, diary pages, ammo and more. Randall's diary is packed with notes and scribblings to provide the player with extra insight into the storyline of Randall and his missing family.
However, Deadlight is all about the excellent gameplay and incredible atmosphere – the storyline is fairly weak and clearly plays second fiddle.
As well as the usual need to keep a close eye on energy bars to ensure Randall doesn't become a human meat feast, there's also a stamina bar to be mindful of. Any type of physical over-exertion, whether hanging from ledges or swinging a fire axe, all deplete the bar. This adds a whole new level of strategy to play.
Gamers who played Metroid Prime, Shadow Complex, Abe’s Odyssey, or even Flashback, will be instantly comfortable with Deadlight’s side-scrolling platform gameplay. It’s a well known style of play fused with a usual enemy – a combination which works brilliantly.
SCORE: 8 / 10
PROS: Great, clever and ridiculously fun gameplay, shrouded in cracking atmosphere.
CONS: The storyline isn't particularly unique or original.