You are Randall Wayne a 33 year old mountain warden from British Columbia, Canada.There is a virus epidemic believed to have been purposely put upon people by launching chemical agents over a small town. People say that the virus is a mutated version of rabies.The virus has infected many causing them to be zombie like and these beings have been named “Shadows” by the uninfected.
Randall returns home to find his wife and daughter (Shannon and Lydia) missing.After hearing on a radio that Seattle has a safe point, Randall and his friend Ben go on a journey in hope that at the location they will be reunited with their loved ones but will this be the case?
I love the story. Giving you the feeling of intense survival and an eerie outlook on what could possibly be like to be a survivor in this messed up world. There is no doubt about it, Deadlight has one of thee best stories when looking at games in general and not just in the Xbox Live arcade section.
Gameplay in Deadlight is very good overall but has a flaw.You will mainly be starting on the left and moving to the right as in most side-scrollers with the slight deviation every so often.During your move from one end of the level to the other you will encounter survivors, the Shadows (Zombie like people) and environmental hazards. I don’t want to go into details regarding survivor encounters but will talk about the shadows and hazards.
The shadows as mentioned above are victims of a rabies type virus.They will act in ways that we have always been told zombies react.Make a noise and a shadow will come over, walk too near to them and they want to hurt and eat you.Obviously this means you will want to avoid the shadows as much as possible and only take the risk of going near them if you are sure to win the fight.Hazards are located throughout the game and can cause you problems and/or the shadows problems.You may be standing near a power point that would allow you to drop a car so surely you would make a noise to lure the shadows in and then press the power button in order to drop the car on them and kill them clearing the path.Other hazards include terrain that will give way shortly after you have put your body weight on it and traps set up by other survivors whether it be to keep out the living or the shadows (dead).
I said above that the gameplay is quite good and not brilliant or very good because the controls will let you down at times.The buttons are simple enough with A being jump, B melee attack, X examine/action, Y taunt, RB sprint, RT shoot, LB reload, LT crouch and the D-Pad being weapon selection and then tapping LT whilst running to do a forward roll but they are occasionally slow to respond and will cause you quite a few deaths.A few times I wanted to jump in one direction quickly but because I was already moving in the other direction it didn’t recognise that I chose to quickly change and therefore lead to me jumping into death.This REALLY annoyed me at times because I felt it was unfair and ruining my experience.
Throughout your travels you will find a few weapons, an Axe, pistol, a shotgun and a sling shot.The axe is always available being a melee weapon but use gun ammo wisely as it is sparse.Don’t just assume that your ammo is for killing the shadows because at times you will have to think outside the box.
Also remember that the only way to kill a shadow is by penetrating the skull so if you shoot, go for the head and if you choose to use the axe, make sure the shadow has been downed and then go for the killer blow.
The weapons work well especially the gun aim because it is the same as in most side scroller shooters whereby you will use the right analogue to aim and RT to shoot.
You will also find collectibles whilst searching for your wife and daughter but not all are all on your normal path.There are times where there may be a ledge or a slight diversion from your normal path and if you want the collectibles you will have to explore these areas.I strongly recommend you find all of the collectibles, not because of achievements but because you will be rewarded with all pages in Randall’s diary and it is honestly a great read.
The visuals in Deadlight are amazing.Like Shadow Complex, the world is 3D and things go on in the background like people talking and moving but they are not reachable. Two of my favourite scenes are when you are running through a Canadian town because of the shops, people and background environment and a scene where you are by an RV and you are surrounded by trees and a long road leading to….. I don’t know but your imagination can make that up. This gives the sense of a large world and brilliantly sets the perfect environment for the games story.Car parks, famous land marks, military bases are just a few of the areas you will discover and Each area has the perfect lighting for that particular level.
You cannot fault the art and visuals in Deadlight so I’ll leave it there.
The theme music fits in very well because of its subtle yet powerful and emotional touch.It has a sense to it that in my mind suits the environments you encounter.
I completed Deadlight in 2 hours on my first play through and I died loads of times and tried to explore as much as possible.Deadlight can be completed in under an hour but this is only possible if you run through everything and don’t stop to look around.I don’t want that to put you off because no matter how long it takes you, you are in for a treat.
I am glad to say that Deadlight has finished in a way that could lead to DLC and/or a sequel and to be honest I’m hoping for both.Deadlight may have its flaws (and I was hoping for a little more Shadow Complex styled gameplay) but it is still worth playing just to experience what developers are capable of pulling off in under 2GB of storage.