Gamebytes and Bots
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GAMEBYTES AND BOTS
Deadlight screenshot
Deadlight screenshot
Deadlight screenshot
Side-scroller, Platform
screenshot

DEADLIGHT: Aug 2012
DEVELOPER: Tequila Works
GENRE: Side-scroller, Platform
MODES: Single-player
STEAM RATING: Very Positive

screenshot
screenshot

DEADLIGHT: Aug 2012
DEVELOPER: Tequila Works
GENRE: Side-scroller, Platform
MODES: Single-player
STEAM RATING: Very Positive

DEADLIGHT
REVIEW: Played Jan 2017
DEADLIGHT
REVIEW: Played Jan 2017

Deadlight is a 2D platform game with a theme where zombies are called shadows for the sake of trying to differentiate itself from every other zombie themed game. The setting is 1986 Seattle and the game opens with the zombie apocalyse already well in its stride. Our character, Randall Wayne, has hooked up with a small party of other survivors, but during a confrontation is cut off from them. He then decides to make his own way through "shadow infested" areas to a safe zone where he hopes to find his missing wife and child.

The story is conveyed through different means. One method is through still life comic cut scenes, which indicate chapter breaks. Another is through collecting diary pages, and lastly through a 60 page journal that tells of events leading up to the current timeframe. Randall also experiences some dreamlike sequences that will eventually lead him to remember a past event. During the game, spoken narrative by Randall is minimal with some interaction with other characters met along the way and I'm afraid to say these dialogues are really rather cheezy.

Deadlight screenshot

When it comes to the visuals, I have to offer a lot of praise. The art style and presentation are quite interesting and very well done. Although movement is 2D, the background appears 3D, which is enhanced by the neat effect of having shadows come from these areas into the playing field. Everything is done through the skillful use of lighting with Randall depicted in silhouette against this detailed background.

Unfortunately, other things about the game fall somewhat short. Weapons are singularly found at particular times and consist of a fire axe, a revolver, and later a sling and a shotgun. As far as unarmed melee and the axe go, you can knock back one shadow if they get too close, but if you are attacked by more than that, then you are dead. There is a stamina meter that runs out fairly quickly while in combat and while sprinting or hanging on ledges. However, at a couple of points in the game, health and stamina are increased by a bar. Other moves consist of kicking doors, ramming through barricades, grabbing moveable objects to block openings or to climb up to higher areas, and wall jumping where necessary. However, deep water means insta-death. Although there is nothing intrinsically wrong with any of these these things, sluggish controls that sometimes don't react to commands and the necessity for precise positioning of the character for certain moves makes for some frustrating gameplay.

Regarding the enemy, killing shadows is not easy and you can get surrounded quickly, especially since they can come from the background. Headshots will kill them instantly, but bullets are in short supply. The only other option is melee and it can take numerous hits with the axe plus a finishing move to kill them, which constantly drains stamina. If possible, the best option is to run past them when possible. However, while evasion is good for your health, it's not so good for adding interest to your experience and this is where the gameplay comes up a bit short. Dying is much too easy during enemy engagements. One other option is to use the environment to kill them, but unfortunately, for the sake of variety, those opportunities are rare.

As to the platforming, there are some long stretches with no narrative and they all involve doing basically the same few moves in a straight line. This is not particularly out of line, but what is crucial for these types of games is a responsive control system. With Deadlight, during timed runs, controls can be a problem with the delayed reaction of the keys. In fact, the most likely source of dying is due to this and you will die a lot. Fortunately, you will respawn at the location you died or in the case of timed runs, at the beginning ot the run. Since you cannot see very far ahead, you cannot plan the moves required ahead of time and the character will bounce off climbable elements when you hit them and slow you down as you try to place him in the correct spot to jump up. Consequently, there is one area that almost all users have a problem with – the infamous helicopter run. It happens in other places as well, but these are not quite as serious.

Although the presentation and visuals have their own style and are quite interesting and well done, it soon becomes apparent that the game doesn't have enough other stuff to save it from becoming somewhat boring. Being 2D only allows for so much variety in movement and the story is not fulfilling enough to carry the rest. There is lots of story if you're willing to read a 60 page journal to get it, but it's not narrated within the gameplay itself. The diary explains the background story on your character Randall Wayne and the events that led up to his current circumstance.

Basically, Deadlight is a bit of a mixed bag. The graphics are stunning, but the gameplay is flawed and a bit repetitious with a limited set of puzzles and platforming moves. You cannot store health pick-ups in your inventory and re-mapped keys don't register in the hints.

UPDATE: In June of 2016, a Director's Cut of Deadlight was released, which adds a survival arena mode. This version does not have as good reviews as the original and seems to have a save game issue. Both versions are still available.

Game Issues Experienced

I only experience one problem. The helicopter sequence on the second playthrough was completely borked. The helicopter disappeared, there were clipping issues and the game would not reload the checkpoint. Restarting the game fixed the issue.

Development Note

Tequila Works is located in Madrid, Spain and was establish in 2009 by some former employees of Blizzard Entertainment. Deadlight is their first entry as an independent studio. The game was initially an Xbox Live Arcade exclusive, but was soon afterwards released on Steam.

Deadlight opened to mixed reviews withh the concensus that the PC version was better. It was all-around praised for its graphics and atmosphere, but criticized for its length and controls. A Directors Cut was released in 2016, but fared worse in the reviews.

Tequila Works released a new game in April of 2017 in collaboration with Cavalier Game Studios called The Sexy Brutale, and another of their own in May of 2017 called Rime. Both games get very positive reviews on Steam.

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WHERE YOU CAN PURCHASE
DEADLIGHT
Other games in series:   None
GAME SPECS & REQS
  • Genre: Side-scroller, Platform
  • Developer(s): Tequila Works
  • Publisher(s): Microsoft, Deep Silver DC
  • Platforms: Microsoft Windows, PS4, Xbox 360 & Xbox One
  • Release: Oct 2012, June 2016 DC
  • Mode(s): Single-player
  • Media: Download, Optical Disc
  • DLC Available: No
  • OS: Windows XP SP3, Vista, Windows 7
  • CPU: 2 GHz or better
  • RAM: 2GB
  • Hard Drive: 5GB free space
  • Video: 512MB
  • Sound: DirectX 9.0c compliant
  • Shader Model: 3
  • Input for PC: Keyboard & Mouse, Xbox Controller
  • DRM: Steam, Gog Drm free
NOTE: Minimum requirements are those officially published at the time of the game's release.
AROUND THE WEB
Official Site - Tequila Works   Deep Silver
Achievements: GameFaqs
Cheats: cheat happens
Patches: Steam Auto Update
Mods: None
CAN I RUN IT?
To indicate what kind of performance you may get, compare your specs to the system this game was played on. You can also try  Can You Run It
screenshot
  • Version:  Steam Download
  • OS:  Windows 7 SP1
  • CPU:  Intel Core i5-3570K 3.40GHz
  • Ram:  8GB
  • Disk Drive:  DVD/CD
  • Video:  ATI Radeon HD 7870 2GB
  • Shader Model:  5
  • DirectX:  11
  • Resolution:  1650 x 1050
  • Input:  Keyboard & Mouse
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