Deadlight Review: Platforming, Zombies a Good Mix

The weakness of this section of the game is likely in the translation of Deadlight’s original Xbox 360 controls to keyboard controls. A keyboard isn’t the best way to play a platformer as is, and in cases in which speed is key, Randall’s platforming shortcomings become pretty readily apparent. It’s a bit of an irritating section in general, and it lasts longer than one might like.

Overall, though, the issue with Deadlight is not that it lasts too long, but that it’s not long enough. I wrapped the game up in a single sitting, somewhere around three hours, and it felt like it never really ramped up. One section that takes place in a trap-laden sewer was pretty exciting, and carefully moving through Seattle neighborhoods, diving into houses and trying to get out of them before their undead occupants were roused, were among the better moments in the game. It felt as though Deadlight could stand to have more of them.

Meanwhile, the game leans fairly heavily on story without ever really delivering. Randall’s pursuit of his family and friends is referred to constantly, and you can find all manner of collectible items that tell backstory both of the character and the world in which the game takes place, in which the zombie apocalypse took place in the 1980s during the height of the Cold War. But the game never really gives enough context for you to care about anything, and when you meet strange characters along the way, you’re given no real information about them.

Deadlight feels like a good starting point, but could have stood to be more fleshed out for the price. The art style is cool and it definitely has its moments, and the game manages to be exciting and interesting without being a zombie-headshot-mowdown. But it feels like it wraps up a little fast for what it costs, and with platforming that never really pushes the envelope of what we’ve already seen in the genre, it lacks a reason to keep you engaged. Let’s just say, you probably won’t be diving back in to track down all those collectibles.

Pros:

  • Cool take on the zombie apocalypse in a genre that doesn’t usually include zombies
  • Slick art style
  • Good mixture of zombie horde action and platforming solutions, rather than combat
  • Lots of interesting areas to explore
  • Finding collectibles adds a little more to do

Cons:

  • Not much in the way of challenge or especially new-feeling platforming or puzzles
  • Weak story that’s not very engaging
  • Pretty short — lasts only a couple hours
  • Despite a huge amount of collectibles, not much in the way of replay value

Final Score: 72/100


Follow Hornshaw and Game Front on Twitter: @philhornshaw and @gamefrontcom.

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1 Comment on Deadlight Review: Platforming, Zombies a Good Mix

SweetPea

On November 3, 2012 at 7:42 am

Good review as always, thanks!