Wednesday, October 17, 2018

[Shangrila] Towers of Terror - Deadlight

Halloween is upon us again, and as usual, I'll be putting up horror-themed posts throughout the month. Tonight's post is a review of "Deadlight," a zombie apocalypse video game developed by Tequila Works.

"Deadlight" is what they call a cinematic platformer. The game's protagonist, grizzled ex-park ranger Randall Wayne, can't leap 20 feet into the air or safely fall from four stories up like Sonic the Hedgehog. Instead, Randall realistically runs, jumps, and climbs through a somber post-apocalyptic Seattle, all while being hunted by the infected "Shadows" (can't use the "z"-word) and a brutal militia known as "The New Law."

The world of "Deadlight" is beautiful and atmospheric, especially considering this is a 2012 downloadable game running on Unreal Engine 3. The game also smartly discourages direct combat with the infected - come upon more than two or three of them, and you're dead meat unless you have a gun or you run for it. The controls might feel a bit stilted and alien if you've never played games like the original "Prince of Persia" series, "Another World," or "Flashback," but they work well enough.

The game's real problem is that it's only 3 to 4 hours long, with linear gameplay that's too shallow to support multiple playthroughs. I understand the developers originally planned an inventory system, which would have enriched the puzzle-solving and combat; as it is, all you get are uninspiring box puzzles and trial-and-error traps. The hackneyed zombie B-movie plot doesn't help things, either.

I still liked "Deadlight" overall, but it's definitely a $5 game, not a $15 one.

Rating: 73/100


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