Deadlight: The Best 5 Hours of My Life

I hope you will excuse me for writing about another zombie game. It is not that I do this on purpose but as it appears – the world is too obsessed with the zombie ideas right now and developers keep on releasing games telling us stories about people who survive in zombie apocalypse. Some of them are great, others seem to be a piece of something smelly. But that is not the point! The point is that it is almost impossible to create something that will be incredibly good and will stand out among the numerous zombie games. Deadlight is definitely one of those games and, I have to admit, that I was pretty angry about myself for not knowing it earlier. Though, a few days ago I completed it on the hardest possible level and I feel proud for myself. So, would you like to hear a few thoughts about the Deadlight? I bet it will change your way of thinking too.

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I recently noticed that there are 4 game shortcuts on my desktop that have the word “dead” in them: Left 4 Dead, Dead Island, Dead Space and Deadlight. For some reason, the last “Dead” appeared to be the best one in years. I also realized that sometimes you need to listen to your friends because this is how I found out about the Deadlight zombie action platformer. Ye, I’m still having problems with giving this title a proper category recognition. If I were supposed to describe Deadlight in games, I would say that it’s a decent mix of Limbo, The Walking Dead, Assassin’s Creed and, probably, something else. You recognize Limbo in platformer movement and puzzle challenges, The Walking Dead is felt in the atmosphere, colors and surrounding while Assassin’s Creed does the rest in jumping, running, holding, tricking and else. Probably, the last one has had the highest influence.

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From the very first seconds Deadlight feels different, even though it is another zombie game. The very first thing you notice is the interactive front and back grounds. While you can move only up and down, back and forward, there are things that happen beside that line. For instance, you can see a zombie walking somewhere on the background trying to eat a dead body. In this state you can’t reach him but he also can’t reach you. Though, when you come closer and the walking dead notices you, he reaches your playing line and now you can either kill him or run away. Things like that do change the game vision and make everything look better and more realistic. Aside from zombies on the background you will also see cars exploding, people walking and other great things. Once I was surprised with a zombie who, instead of attacking my character, ran right past by me on the front ground. It was not scary but it was very catchy.

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By the way, for some reason zombies in Deadlight are called Shadows. Probably, because those fellows have no souls and the only thing they project is a shadow falling behind. Another thought is that it was made on purpose to distract people from thinking about zombies, though – playing another zombie game. If you think about it, you do realize that it has some sense. Usually, when people do not know something, they start asking questions and I would do my best to figure out who the hell are Shadows? So, this is both – a marketing move and a questioning puzzle. But, this is definitely not the only thing that makes Deadlight special.

Deadlight and its Plot

Frankly speaking, I would even say that Deadlight misses one. I do not want to be rude or something but the plot itself plays a very little difference in the game. Sure, there is something happening and technically, you start your journey only because of that. But, you would have begun the journey anyway no matter the story background. Though, if you need to know – it all starts with a dead body and 3 people. You find a dead girl who happens to be a twin sister of another girl from your little group. You have no idea what have happened but you realize that it is not safe to stay here. So, you decide to find a better place and someone of you says that there is a safe area, cleared from zombies and that you can go there and worry no more about being bitten or shot in the back. Though, when it is your time to climb the ladder, it breaks and you have no time to fix it. This is how you and your group get separated and all the fun starts.

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Now, you are on your own and your task is to make it to the safe point. Though, your travel won’t be easy and it definitely won’t be safe. After all, running through hordes of zombies is kind of a dangerous occupation. But Deadlight is not about what you do, it’s about how you do it! I am not sure that there is a corresponding word in English vocabulary to describe Deadlight but the closest one that comes to my mind is “stylish”. Yes, of course – Deadlight is very and very stylish game, probably, even more stylish one can imagine. Everything you do here, in apocalyptic world, looks and feels amazing be it jumping, running, screaming or shooting. The world around as well as the bearded character himself create exactly THE atmosphere I miss in zombie games. Those moments when you fall down just when the horde of zombies breaks though the doors or when you can’t stop running because they are after you are priceless.

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Deadlight and its Gameplay

This, probably, is the Limbo part of the game. Sure, Deadlight is in color and a bit more 3D graphic, but still – it gets you the feeling of Limbo gameplay. First of all, locations change the very same way they change in Limbo. When you complete your tricks in one area and get to the right side of the screen, your character will appear on the left side waiting for another challenge ahead. Also, those areas are checkpoints and if something happens and you die – you won’t have to restart the level all over again. Though, if you are playing the hardest possible mode, this won’t work.

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Another thing that reminded me about Limbo was the Hotel trip. I do believe that it won’t be a major spoiler on the Deadlight but if you don’t want to spoil all the fun, you can skip it to the next paragraph. So, when you get outside the window, you will have to climb the Hotel letters. As you climb them and jump from one to the other, they start to shudder and if you don’t jump to the next letter – you will fall down together with the “E” or “T” or whatever letter you are on. Those, who’ve played Limbo will confirm that there’s a Hotel thing in the black and white game as well, though, this match (be it accidental or intentional) don’t spoil the fun.

Deadlight is also famous because of the number of things you interact with. You can touch, grab and hold to pretty much everything that can save you from falling down or that can help you to climb up. Ladders, walls, air conditioners, street lanterns or electricity cables – they are all at your disposal. Thanks to this, Deadlight never gets boring. I can’t say that running and jumping from one edge to the other is challenging and in most cases you will be able to complete the trick from the first attempt, though, there are places where you will be forced to press the replay button again and again, not to mentioned the frustration you are going to get because of this. I remember some parts of the game where I was almost ready to delete it from my computer because of the ridiculously simple and almost impossible to complete part of the game. Luckily, I didn’t do that and I do not regret it at all.

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Using Weapon in Deadlight

Well, weapon in Deadlight is not as important as you might think. There are some parts of the game where you are supposed to have a couple of bullets in your pistol or an axe behind your back. But game developers have got this covered and you won’t miss this or that when in need. The variety of your arsenal is pretty poor but, as it appears, there is no need in having more.

Your very first weapon is a fire axe. It is ok for dealing with a zombie or two but it gets pretty tough when you need to slash 3 and more walkers. The trick here is that whenever you use an axe or do some serious cardio, your character’s stamina bar gets shorter and shorter. In the gameplay it looks like this: your first axe swings are powerful and can even throw a zombie on the floor. But, when you are out of breath, your character starts swinging with one hand only because he can’t do better. That is why the hits are not that hard and your chances to die are a lot higher. But, if you take a few seconds to catch your breath, you will be ready to strike again.

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Fire weapon is represented by a revolver and a shotgun. They are both loud and attract attention. But due to Deadlight’s gameplay peculiarities, it won’t attract zombies from the neighborhood, just those in the room, so – use your fire weapon whenever you want. However, you are very likely to get out of ammo pretty soon. I can’t say that you will have to complete the game with one ammo only but you won’t find them lying all over the map. On the top of that you can carry 30 or so shots for your revolver and a bit less for your shotgun. But the biggest problem is not the amount of rounds you have but the reload speed of your character. Sometimes it feels like it takes him forever to put another round in the gun, so – just keep that in mind, OK?

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There is, also, another item in Deadlight that, at first, I thought could be used as weapon. Unfortunately, I was mistaken and it is not good even for distracting zombies. And yes, I am talking about the slingshot. In the hands of a tough bearded man it looks deadly but not a single zombie will fall for its deadliness. But don’t rush to throw it away – just on the contrary: there is a certain passage in the game where you will need to use it almost all the time in order to interact with the places that are out of reach. The best thing about the slingshot is that you can fire it at a certain angle and try to hit the target even if it seems to be impossible. Deadlight is really good at making simple things special.

Why do all Good Things Come to an End?

One of the biggest downfalls of the game is the possibility to complete it in 3 hours or even less. There are enthusiasts who managed to make it to the end in about an hour or so. Sure, they left all the cut scenes behind and played only for the ending. As for me, I spent about 5 hours, checking every corner and trying different strategies where it was possible. By the way, Deadlight has two different endings depending on the complexity mode you play. In order to unlock the hardcore mode, you will have to complete it at least once for the first time. After that the hardcore option will be at your disposal. The trick of this one is that when you complete Deadlight on the hardcore more, you will get an opportunity to watch an alternative ending which, by the way, is a lot better than the original. But this won’t be easy as far as when you die – you will be forced to start from the very beginning of every chapter and that is not an easy task. Though, if you are not into competing Deadlight for another time, you can go to YouTube and find the corresponding video. But don’t even ask me adding it to this post – I won’t fall for that. After all – you are grownup enough to do that by yourself.

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Last Thoughts About Deadlight

To be honest – I do not want to make any conclusions on Deadlight because I want to see the story going nonstop. Before Deadlight I thought that it is impossible to make something better than the Walking Dead series from Telltale Games. Boy, I’ve never been so wrong. Ok, ok – I’m just kidding! Deadlight is not better, but only because both games represent different game categories, you can’t compare them. Otherwise, it would have been a great battle!

And to make my “confession” sound like a real deal, I would like to say one thing: try to do your best and collect all the diary pages in the game. Trust me – they are amazing and while reading them afterwards you will open a lot of new things regarding the Deadlight’s nature. Bon Voyage, my dear friends!

Author: Oleg Repetskiy

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