Deadlight: Directors Cut is a remastered version of the aesthetically pleasing original 2012 game Deadlight. This time around Tequila Works has improved the graphics, animations and added a survival mode, however even with these improvements is it worth your time and hard-earned cash?
A fairly captivating and short story, Deadlight: Directors Cut puts you in the shoes of Randall. A survivor with a haunting past who gets cut off from his friends, thrown into a life torn between a corrupt military organisation and the aftermath of a ‘Shadow’ outbreak. The player will progress through a variety of visually compelling environments, in which one tries to find out what has happened to his friends and understand what his recurring nightmares mean. Making use of the basic platformer mechanics of running, jumping and sliding the player will also make use of a couple weapons (3 to be exact) to assist in the journey and overcome obstacles.
Although from a visual point of view, the game has beautiful noir tones emphasising the degree of mystery (especially with the collectables you find scattered around the levels) – it is demeaned and strangely contrasted with annoying voice acting. Imagine Joel from Last of Us trying to put on a voice reminiscent of a terrible 80’s cop protagonist, it’s just weird. The story deviates in the middle and ends off becoming of anti-climatic and unrewarding. I found myself playing the game, not for enjoyment but just so I could say that I finished it.
What little action one finds, is actually pretty fun and the use of the Unreal 3 engine makes it appear decently realistic. Imagine it as cross between Vector and De-Animator, but not in combination, rather as some points are standing and shooting and other points are running. What would’ve made this game way cooler is if you could run and gun – but I guess this element is removed to appeal to the fear of getting caught by the zombies (sorry, shadows).
Would I play the story again? Possibly but unlikely, I’ve heard a lot of people comparing it to Limbo but Limbo was frustrating from the sense of the puzzles, this is frustrating from the viewpoint of controls and problematic level design (is that ledge is a part of the level or the background?). Once you finish the story there is also Nightmare Mode (Which I do believe is story mode with minimal checkpoints) but I would say save yourself from the frustration because you will probably die due to illogical level design
The Survival Mode, is a fun addition, however, like the story loses novelty very quickly. Often I would find myself dying due to poor implementation of the games mechanics such as climbing to the top of the hospital only to be met by a zombie spawning in my face or getting stuck trying to climb from a box onto a ledge and thus getting swarmed – it’s kind of one of those games that works against you with regards to glitches and bugs. I can easily imagine people who have probably set up their survival level perfectly and then ended up dying due to something out of the ordinary. It’s just not worth getting bent out of shape – that being said do give it a shot. Besides the few glitches it can end up being pretty thrilling.
As an extra there is a diary the player can browse through to see some interesting collectables and artwork – but what’s the point of reliving moments of frustration through digital mementoes?
If I could describe Deadlight: Directors Cut as a food it would be a bubaloo gum – a burst of flavour and a slow decline into boredom. Although it boasts a lot of content to keep the player entertained after the very short story, I wouldn’t even bother divulging into searching forcollectabless or replaying the game in Nightmare Mode for the sake of sanity.