Deadlight: Director’s Cut (XB1) Review

Ken McKown

The walking dead.

There are a lot of zombie games on the market, so one would be forgiven if they had forgotten, or simply never heard of, Tequila Works’ 2012 entry into the genre. Deadlight was known for its unique visual style, as well as the focus on telling a story about the struggles of its protagonist, rather than simply mowing down hordes of zombies. Fast forward to today and Deep Silver is giving the game a second chance on the new consoles, complete with the quintessential visual polish and some added modes.

The one thing that always stood out about Deadlight was its macabre visual style. The game depicted the destroyed world beautifully, and from a 2D perspective. The use of shadows and light really gave it a look all its own. This new versions improved upon that, but only on a technical level. The frame rate is spruced up, and the resolution really showcases the gorgeous art direction the original game had. Very few games set a mood so well simply through their visuals.

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MSRP: $19.99
Platforms: XB1, PS4
Price I’d Pay: $9.99

Two new modes round out the updates, and both of them add severe tension to the experience. Nightmare mode challenges players to complete the entire game with only one life. Die and it is game over, forcing players to question every move they make. The second is Survival mode, which does change up the core concepts of the game by limiting ammo and changing up the areas of the game. This is obviously the mode with the most thought put into it, and it does make a second play through worthwhile.

The core game remains the same though, and for better or worse, this is the same title we played back in 2012. The campaign is still relatively short, but the new modes really do a good job of encouraging a second play through. Deadlight is more of a survival game than a zombie-stomping simulator. The focus on the main character and what he went through during the apocalypse is still here. It is depressing, and at times refreshing, although we have seen it done several times before.

While the bulk of the game focuses on more mental solutions than physical ones, when the game does require combat, it reveals its flaws. The melee combat is fine in a pinch, but when accuracy and necessity come into play, it can become a mess. The same can be said for the shooting. The aiming feels too soft for precision, which is required later in the game. This makes pieces of the campaign frustrating to say the least.

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As I mentioned the game also focuses on the story of the people involved, which is great, but sadly the writing and voice acting drag it down. There are some truly cringe-worthy performances at times, and the writing isn’t much better. I get the melancholy feel from the game, but when a truly atrocious line of dialogue crops up, it is a quick mood killer.

Deadlight is a unique game that boasts a lot of great ideas and atmosphere. This new version does what it needs to have the remaster moniker attached to its name, but I don’t see compelling reasons to revisit it. For those that have never experienced it before, it is definitely worth checking out, if for nothing else but the aesthetic alone. The entry price feels a bit higher than I would like, and the campaign ends far too quickly, but there really isn’t much else like it floating around.

Review copy of game provided by publisher.

Good

  • Great atmosphere
  • New modes are interesting

Bad

  • Terrible writing and dialogue
  • Short campaign
6.5

Decent

Ken McKown
Ken is the Editor-in-Chief of this hole in the wall and he loves to troll for the fun of it. He also enjoys long walks through Arkham Asylum and the cool air of Shadow Moses Island. His turn-ons include Mortal Kombat, Metal Gear Solid and StarCraft.
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