By Jeffrey Demelo on August 1st, 2012 (5 comments)
The way I saw it, Deadlight was supposed to be the savior of this years Summer of Arcade. I was sold on what little I saw prior; both in visuals and game play. That was a mistake. Deadlight falls victim to all the misfortune of the games which it pulled its influences, while never attempting to innovate.
Title: Deadlight (Xbox 360)
Developer: Tequila Works
Publisher: Microsoft Studios
Release Date: August 1, 2012 (North America)
Randall Wayne may look like a battered, mid-aged man, but his actions prove otherwise with all the jumping, climbing, and running he's doing. Maybe it's the emotional drive to find his daughter and wife that transfuses his veins with blood of an athlete? Or maybe older men where stronger in the 80's? Speaking of...I sure wished there were signs of the period, in the game, aside from journal entries and such. Some soundtrack love would have been nice. Anything to help flesh out the narrative. Deadlight had its moments in the story-department, but ultimately lost its "cool" to my issues with controls. Which doesnt say much about the narrative, huh?
Early pacing in Deadlight will mask the robotic feel its controls have, and with it initially feeling clumsy it only got worst. Frustration should have stemmed from puzzle-logic, but instead arose from split-second moments which require far more precision than the controls are capable of. Practice makes perfect, I'm aware, but also prove that sometimes you climb a fence holding "forward" while others "up"; leaving me guessing if the game itself knows "what does what?" in this 2.5D puzzle-platformer.
I'm still madly in love with 2D side-scrolling, and the fact that Deadlight packed that together with some beautifully, moody visuals is a definite "plus". I had no complaints with voice-acting, and the sound-atmosphere is definitely there for the most part. Aesthetically, the game's a pleaser. Unfortunately, visuals don't equal fun.
I wasn't having fun. The puzzles were simple environment-traversal ideas we've seen over and over again. Load times constantly punish the player for missing a jump, just 3 seconds from a reload; which begs the question "has Trials and Super Meat Boy not pushed us past this?". Don't be fooled, you're rarely killing zombies here. It is indeed a tired and true puzzle-platformer that cared more about its appearance than innovation in the genre.
Deadlight will go forgotten with me. It's a game that is shielding its faults behind zombies and sexy visuals. As short as Deadlight is, I was glad it was over. There are countless puzzle-platformers on the market that are endlessly more interesting than this one, if that's what you're looking for.
(50-59%: Mediocre – A mixed bag, both the good and bad are about equal here.)
Jeff is the raspy-voiced, Boston-accented staff member that loves everything Japan. Since 1989, video games have been a prominent passtime for this lovable guy…and that doesn't look to be changing anytime soon. When he's not playing games, he's writing, questioning his favorite games of all-time, or producing & composing music at various studios on the east-coast.
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