Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts


Preview: Deadlight, the prettiest zombie game ever

10:15 AM on 03.05.2012 // Dale North

Upcoming Xbox Live Arcade release Deadlight caught my eye from a distance at Microsoft's Spring Showcase 2012 event. On one monitor in the corner of a room I saw a dark, shadowy silhouette running through a highly detailed post-apocalyptic landscape in platforming action that instantly reminded me of classic games like Flashback or Out of This World.

With its sleek art and design, balls-to-the-walls platforming, 1980's setting and zombie theme, I was already "in." Playing it sealed the deal. Deadlight came out of nowhere and has somehow already landed on my list of most anticipated games. 

Deadlight (Xbox 360)
Developer: Tequila Works
Publisher: Microsoft Games
Release: Summer 2012

 It's 1986 in the Pacific Northwest where it seems that a mysterious disease has spread, making zombies out of everyone. One man, Randal Wayne, does his best to survive in the devastated city, setting out on a lonely journey toward safety, and not some goal of saving the world. Wayne's only advantage in this dark, depressing world is that he is smarter and a bit faster than the hordes of zombified citizens that are out to get him. 

I found the gameplay in Deadlight to be delightfully difficult. Tequila Works says that games like Flashback, Out of This World and Prince of Persia were inspirations, and it definitely showed as far as challenge is concerned. I quickly found that many of the assists we take for granted in more recent platformers and adventure games, like automatic edge gripping, are not available in Deadlight. I accidentally walked off several rooftops and other platforms to my death, and anything outside a perfectly timed jump or turn killed me instantly. But instead of being frustrated, I found this very refreshing. Tequila Works told us that the gameplay is aimed squarely at gamers that enjoyed the challenge of the games from the late 1980s and early 1990s. 

Beyond the ledge climbing and the dashing jumps you'll find a fair bit of area-based puzzle play as you guide Wayne out of some hairy situations. In one early situation the only way to get away from a warehouse creeping with zombies was to break through some weak wooden flooring to access a lower floor. I learned that I had to climb up to the rafters to push a power generator off a platform so that it would crash through the weak flooring. Later puzzles were a bit more complex, with some requiring you to get into the mindset of your typical Day of the Dead-style zombie. One had me running to attract a zombie so that it would move toward me. I had to jump over a pit to reach a small clearing to draw the zombie into the pit, where I could then jump over him.

It's best to avoid combat in Deadlight. In fact, at the game's beginning, Wayne does not have weapons or attack abilities; all he can do is run and climb. Later, he finds an axe, but it works better as a tool than a weapon. Swinging it at a single zombie might work in a pinch, but its slow motion might leave him open in a horde attack. I was shown a later section of the game where Wayne has a gun, but even then using it should be carefully considered. It seems that bullets are pretty hard to come by, and a loud firing noise would only attract more zombies. Your best bet is to move quietly, working to avoid zombies if at all possible. Deadlight is a game that focuses on survival, and not combat.

Even with as great as the play is, the first thing I noticed about Deadlight is that it's a visually striking game. Its side-scrolling 2D gameplay against 3D backgrounds may remind some of Shadow Complex, though most of the game takes place outdoors, with fantastic lighting and weather effects. The way Tequila Works has highlighted the detailed 3D background and setting instead of the main character makes for a striking game that, at first, looks backwards. This visual choice draws the player's eye to what is happening in the surrounding world. I loved that an emphasis has been given to clearly showing impending doom off in the distance, making for a situation that always had me tense and nervous.

In the foreground, you can barely make out the face of Wayne, as the backlighting makes him look more like a walking silhouette. Both the main character and the foreground scenery are pitch black, reminding me a bit of Playdead's Limbo, but, in contrast, the distant backgrounds are clear as day. It's a really unique style that gives Deadlight a crafted look, and it somehow makes the game's world seem even more dark and heavy.

I didn't know I wanted a dark and artful post-apocalyptic zombie action horror puzzle-platfomer set in the 1980s until I saw Deadlight. 

Dale North, Former Dtoid EIC
 Follow Blog + disclosure DaleNorth Tips
I am Destructoid's Editor-In-Chief. I love corgis. I make music. more   |   staff directory

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding * to your whitelists.

destructoid's previous coverage:

View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:

Please contact Crave Online, thanks!

Cblogs of 11/25/15 + Turkey N Stuff

Cheat Codes Podcast - Ep. 73: Stay Classy

best tax consultants in rajasthan india

NVGR: Updated Album "ADBC" (No longer an EP)

hermosas chicas ucranianas

So that just happened: The Talos Principle

Sick, Sad and just dumb news: 25th November - Leighapalooza

Context Matters! Fanservice's Secrets EXPOSED!

To editorialize or not to editorialize: An editorial

Tiny Dangerous Dungeons REVIEW - The Pocket Metroidvania

 Add your impressions

Status updates from C-bloggers

Mike Wallace avatarMike Wallace
Playing New Vegas again because reasons, it occurs to me that it'd be nice if Old World Blues gave me the option to move the Brotherhood of Steel to the Big MT instead of wiping them out for Mr. House.
ShadeOfLight avatarShadeOfLight
Near heart attack as for a minute it seemed like the A button of my 3DS was busted. It's fine now though, I think we'll live.
Barry Kelly avatarBarry Kelly
There's now a £4/$5 Raspberry Pi. So cheap it's a cover extra on the latest Mag Pi. Based on the original chipset, it's single core but clocked at 1Ghz so it's quite a bit faster and oh so tiny. I can't wait to see what folks build with it.
Atleastimhousebroken avatarAtleastimhousebroken
After a lifetime of not spending a single cent on FTP games, I finally broke and dropped €1 in the Nintendo Badge Arcade. I just had to have all the Luigi badges asap. I feel dirty. Plus side, my 3ds will be covered in Luigi.
Jiraya avatarJiraya
The postman just brought me gifts i bought for myself ... [img][/img] [img][/img]
James Internet Ego avatarJames Internet Ego
Umm.. no Microsoft. Where is the 'go away' button? [img][/img]
StriderHoang avatarStriderHoang
I tried driving as Uber last night to start supplementing my income and everyone so far has been super chill. Also, I started practicing in my sleepy small home city so the training wheels were still on. No big city bar hoppers just yet.
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
Just got my Gwent physical edition. I don't understand special abilities - for example, Arachas have an icon with two knights beneath the close combat icon. Avallac'h has an eye in that same spot. Help? (I'm no longer a squid btw)
KyWii avatarKyWii
Happy Thanksgiving all! Load up on carbs and then get back to playing Fallout 4.
Archelon avatarArchelon
New extended television spot for The Force Awakens! [youtube][/youtube]
TheKodu avatarTheKodu
I dunno if I just had a freak incident but I think Ubisoft may have just changed the Renown gain in Rainbow Six Siege to be less shit as in overnight they've patched it. If true, kinda good on them.
Atleastimhousebroken avatarAtleastimhousebroken
Does it mess with anyone else's head that when beating a SMBW level in Mario Maker the music doesn't do that little 'booowoo oop' at the end. [youtube][/youtube]
ScreamAid avatarScreamAid
I've developed a new hobby to indulge in while on Skype with friends: creating stupid Sonic OCs. I have so much fun making them for some weird reason, and once I have enough of them I might as well post a c-blog of them, am I right? Look out in the future
El Dango avatarEl Dango
SeymourDuncan17 avatarSeymourDuncan17
Boy howdy, does Divinity: Original Sin take a while to get going. But, it was worth it in the end. Probably the most hardcore RPG I've played. Stellar writing, at that! Combat's pretty amazing too. [img][/img]
FlanxLycanth avatarFlanxLycanth
So it seems I've locked into the Neutral ending for SMT IV and now I need to find specific challenge quests and complete them...? How (un)fun! Google is your friend - the videogame.
Riobux avatarRiobux
Interested in playing some Pathfinder? Trying to arrange a Dtoid Pathfinder group for Saturday nights (GMT) on Skype & Roll 20. If you're new to pen-and-paper RPGs, I don't mind at all and can bring you up to speed quick. Just comment if interested.
Fuzunga avatarFuzunga
Local convention had a great selection of game soundtracks 5 for $20! I got Halo 3: ODST (2 disk!), Gears of War 2, Deus Ex: Human Revolution, Darksiders 2 (2 disk!), and Castlevania: Lords of Shadow. Some of the best soundtracks of the last 7 years!
Niero Desu avatarNiero Desu
Photos and videos are back on quickposts but clipping on some devices. We're going to add a new quickpost editing interface so photos and videos can only be displayed one way (a la twitter) to solve this. Also, a My cBlog link was added to your user menu
Flegma avatarFlegma
Machine-washed my Wii Fit meter yesterday by accident. Took the battery out and let it dry for the night. Luckily the meter still worked - but it had counted a fair number of steps more that day.
more quickposts



Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme

Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -