Deadlight Xbox 360 Review

August 13, 2012 by  
Filed under Reviews & Features, Xbox 360, Xbox

Publisher: Microsoft  Developer: Tequila Work  Genre: Platformer, Puzzle  Players: 1 

Age Rating: 18+  Other console/handheld formats: N/A

There are lots of zombie games in this day and age, although none quite like Tequila Works’ Deadlight. A side scrolling puzzle platformer featuring the walking dead is something you don’t hear of all that often, after all. The revival of such side scrollers in recent years has certainly been a welcome one.

Being a zombie game, Deadlight is obviously set in the aftermath of a zombie outbreak. The game takes place in 1986 and the protagonist is Randall Wayne, a park ranger who has become separated from his family before the events of the game. As things normally go, Wayne is on a mission to fight through the hordes (or shadows, as they’re known as here) and find his family. The story, for what it is, is decent enough, although some of the lines of the main character are delivered in a rather hammy manner.

Zombie games are ordinarily about fighting off the flesh eaters with an army of weapons, although Deadlight is less about confrontation and more about running away. True, there’s a fire axe, revolvers and shotguns to be found, although ammo is scarce, and it’s best to avoid emptying lead into shadows unless you really need to. Another technique that you are able to make use of is distraction – whistling or calling out to attract the attention of the shadows, often leading to some darkly comical results, with shadows walking into traps and off of ledges during their pursuit of you.

Deadlight also has a stamina meter which must be taken into consideration. Swinging the axe, sprinting and leaping around the levels will be the cause of lost stamina, although a short breather will see it topped up once again. In a nice touch, the screen will flash when you’ve nearly fully depleted your stamina, warning you that you’ve been overdoing it.

All the running and jumping about is, thanks to the quality of the animation, a real joyful experience. You’ll be climbing and making major leaps of faith in a bid to find your lost family. The bleak Seattle environment will also draw many players in, and the dark and stylish visuals give you a real sense of place.

Puzzles are there, although their existence feels more like a distraction to break things up as opposed to putting the old gray matter through any strenuous exercises. This should only prove to be a problem if you are looking for something to tax the brain, and with that said, this may not be wholly for you.

Deadlight can be completed in under five hours, which may prove to be too slight for some. There’s secrets to be found in this 1980’s zombie filled Seattle, so, for the perfectionists out there, there’s certainly reason to return to the game if you didn’t find everything during your first run through.

At 1200 Microsoft Points, is Deadlight overpriced, then? Well, yeah, maybe it is a little. But while it lasts, it’s a very playable game with a horrid and dark atmosphere, as well as some very stylish visuals. If only the game lasted for another two or three hours, Deadlight would be much easier to recommend at its current price point.