Deadlight

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Deadlight on Steam

MSRP: $14.99

Platforms: Windows, XBox 360

Release: 8/1/12


In case you haven’t guessed, I am compulsive about buying games on sale.  So compulsive sometimes, I don’t thoroughly read the descriptions before clicking on the buy button. This was totally one of those purchases.  I picked up Deadlight on sale on Steam for 75% off because the screenshots were gorgeous and it was a zombie apocalypse survival game with puzzle elements, and I glossed right over the word “platformer”.

And I’ve wanted to play it.  But to say that platforming games are not my strong suit is a understatement of epic proportions. My fingers don’t want to work right, I goof and I bumble and I forget to hold down left shift to jump extra far and I die. Over and over and over I die.

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So it’s really saying something that this is one of those games that makes me want to train myself to play a platforming game. Because it’s beautiful and compelling and I want to see how it all turns out.  At the same time, I’m praying there are no decisions that would make me feel the need to replay it, because I’m pretty sure in my first 30 minutes of play, I died no less than 15 times. And there were totally cut-scenes, so that’s more than a death every two minutes of actual game time, folks.

Because I have such limited experience with platforming games, there’s things that – to me – feel innovative that very well may not be (now, or four years ago when the game was released).  I associate platformers with a rush to the finish line and Deadlight discourages that. Each scene is its own puzzle – you want to avoid confrontation wherever possible because you only have three little bars of health, and Shadows (as the game calls zombies) will kill you fast. So you need to figure out the best way to get from point A on the left to point B on the right, and check the environment for items you can drop on the unsuspecting undead.

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I love the choice the developers made to use comic-book style art for the cut scenes. I think the whole idea of collectibles that flesh out the story even more is brilliant. I love the sound of the game, and the limited amount of voice acting is decent. I just wish I weren’t so damn terrible at it.

I’m not sure how many hours to completion would be average, but I expect it’ll take me that many times over.  I almost wish I had bought this for the XBox rather than PC – I feel like controllers are more platform-friendly, and if worse comes to worse, I could probably convince my husband to play while I watched.

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