Just when you thought the zombie craze had died down, Tequila Works comes across with its latest game Deadlight – although not preferring to call the demons zombies, but giving them a more generic name – Shadows. The premise is fairly simple. You are Randall Wayne, a forest ranger, who is separated from his family – namely his daughter and wife – and are alone in the west coast of America facing armies of zombies intent on killing you.
There is enough action to keep you occupied in the game for a while, and the backdrops have to be commented on, with strong visuals and action sequences when zombies come unexpectedly out of nowhere. You’re not left to fend for yourself without any weapons though; you have axes, guns and a catapult (yes a catapult, which goes to show that if America has been infested with zombies, technological advances have pretty much come to a standstill). You can also use stones and noise to distract the zombies, so it pretty much depends on how ingenious you are.
However despite all these tools, you can still end up as food for zombies especially in areas where there is water and you as Randall Wayne cannot swim. It is a stretch of imagination – he is after all a forest ranger – never mind. But between choosing from flight and fight, the better option is definitely flight, so you will most probably be running through the game to save your hide, and if you get through without getting three hits on your life bar, you have made it safe.
To be honest, there is nothing unique about the game in terms of the story. The idea is to escape zombies while making your way to a safe zone. What is unique about the game is the game play, the vistas that you encounter as you are running, and the animations that are done with an eye for the aesthetic, something that we could not fail to notice. The monochrome lighting does much to set the mood for the game, and don’t be surprised to find yourself so immersed you become unaware of your real surroundings, and jump when someone calls out your name. Especially on an Xbox, where you can truly appreciate the game’s features, you will see what we mean when we say the visuals are absolutely stunning.
But now we come to the sorry part. Tequila Works could seriously have done more to work with the script. The script is weak, lacks emotion and corny, with the voice over so laughable that sadly you are distracted from the beauty of the game. In fact, the best parts of Deadlight are when you are running silently through the scenes, and the plot in itself is so clichéd that you’d know you have seen and heard it all before. The narrative is punctuated with diary entries by Randall where it is shown how much he misses his family – and hates having to run with zombies – something that you figure Tequila would have left for us to grasp without the need for diary entries.
For serious gamers this game may not be much of a challenge. Once you get through the levels and realize the strategy there is not much else left to discover. But if post zombie apocalyptic worlds are your interest, you will find yourself returning to Deadlight.