Posted by drew10 on Aug 26, 2012
Deadlight – XBLA – Tequila Works

Deadlight – XBLA – Tequila Works

It seems that every summer XBLA’s Summer of Arcade dishes us up a brilliant side-scrolling platformer. We have had the excellent Shadow Complex and last years phenomenal Limbo. This year is no different with Tequila Works’ Deadlight.

Set in 1986 Deadlight tells the story of Randall Wayne, a normal guy who is searching for his wife and daughter after a zombie apocalypse. Okay so, yes it is another zombie title. You know how much we love zombies right? But even we think that perhaps there are other genres that the gaming industry could embrace. Luckily Deadlight isn’t your standard zombie game. The use of shotguns and baseball bats with which to dead your undead foes is kept strictly to a minimum. Instead Randall spends more of his time looking for ways to escape the hoard of red-eyed nasties that want his brains. The use of the surroundings is also imperative to stop becoming a zombies main course. Opening trap doors or dropping parts of scenery on the inflicted will aid in your survival.If a zombie grabs you you will be able to shake yourself free but if you get caught by more than one its party time for the brain eaters. There are also a few levels where you need to just, for want of a better phrase, leg-it! Traversing the levels at speed leads to a breathless and exhilarating, if sometimes frustrating, adrenalin rush.

The storyline serves to move the game along and cut scenes are told though comic style-drawn images that Randall narrates as he tries to locate his family. Along the way, and quite excellently the game holds a few plot twists and surprises that add an unexpected depth. The final twist is a corker!

Deadlight is aesthetically stunning. Randall is silhouetted against some amazing backdrops, this graphical style really makes this game shine. The foreground is in darkness and set against the colourful gorgeously drawn city-scape’s it gives the game a level of maturity and artistic integrity that sets it apart. The level set in a dreary sewer only highlights how gorgeous the rest of the game is as you long for those stunning vistas again.

The controls are generally easy to get to grips with but some of the platform sections will have you chewing the pad as you retry to hit the right ledge. This is especially frustrating in the sewer level as platforms are not always as easy to spot as in other levels. The final scene can also be a bit of a pain but believe me it is worth persevering with.

Overall Deadlight is a class apart and certainly a worthy addition to the zombie game hall of fame, what do you mean there isn’t a zombie game hall of fame? Well if there was this would be right up there! The feeling of despair and desperation translates brilliantly throughout the five or so hours of gameplay. The plot twists add to the depth and the final twist is a real treat. It is certainly a contender for the XBLA game of the year. If you don’t already own this game then do so now!

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