Monday, July 13, 2015

Review: Deadlight (PC)

The funny thing about PC gaming is that it's filled with deals, humble bundles, and what not. Because of those deals, I sometimes end up with games in my Steam library that I have no memory of how or why I bought them. Most of them turn out to be pretty crappy, while an occasional few turn out to be gems. Deadlight is one of the latter.

Deadlight has two things going against it: first, it's a puzzle platformer, and I usually dislike platformers. Secondly, it's got zombies. I don't know about you, but I'm pretty much done with zombies, and that's by itself a turn-off nowadays.

Against that, it has several things going for it. First of all, the art is gorgeous. This has to be one of the prettiest platformers I've seen. Most indie platformers for whatever reason take pains to look like retro-games from the 8-bit era, but I didn't pay for a high end video card to stare at pixelated garbage. The music is also well-executed. Far more importantly, however, is that the game's puzzles are logical. There were very few places where I couldn't think through a puzzle and figure out what I'm supposed to do. (Only 2 locations required me to youtube it, and after the reveals I did a face-palm every time) Because of this logical nature, I found myself drawn into the game, playing on and on for just one more level until I got to the end!

The story's fun, and even justifies some of the extreme platforming. Some of the reviews on Amazon complain about the latency of the controls, and indeed there are several sections where being off by a few milliseconds would force you to restart, and you'd just have to play over and over again in order to get through it. That's not so fun. But if even I can do it, it shouldn't impose a challenge for most players. It could also be that if you have a less than capable PC, the latency could be so bad that the game's unplayable. (I played with an XBox 360 wired controller: it's entirely possible that the game is worthless with keyboard and mouse, since it was originally designed for the XBox 360)

All in all, a worthy experience. There's no need to pay $15 for it though. Just get it as a humble bundle or steam sale, and don't pay more than about $5 for it. Recommended.

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