Halloween: the one day of the year where it is considered socially acceptable for kids to run around after dark, dressed up in costume, and bother their neighbors for free candy... or vandalize their house, depending on where you live.
My favorite part about Halloween is not about dressing up or getting free candy (although, free candy is nice), but rather the atmosphere of Halloween. The leaves are falling, the days are getting shorter, and Steam has horror games on sale to celebrate! Where did that last bit come from, and how does it fit in with seasonal changes? I don't know!
One of the many games that is on sale during the Steam's Halloween Sale is Deadlight, a survival-horror, sidescrolling platformer developed by Tequila Works. I bought Deadlight months ago during another Steam sale, and I was immediately impressed with the game.
I enjoyed the game so much that I actually recorded Let's Plays for the game, and kept playing until I got stuck in the Ratman's lair. Seriously, that guy makes puzzles that will drive you batty. See what I did there? Bats and Halloween... moving on.
The game has you take control of Randall Wayne as he searches for his family after a recent zombie apocalypse. Deadlight is set in Seattle, Washington and the game is visually stunning. For a zombie apocalypse, Tequila Works did an excellent job of crafting the various levels.
One of the first things I loved about Deadlight was how fluent the controls were. Being a sidescrolling platformer, you only run either left or right and will need to climb obstacles in many instances. Interestingly enough, the controls to Deadlight are quite similar to the controls of the original Prince of Persia, and the animations are equally impressive.
Randall takes time to climb obstacles, and even has to lower himself down various obstacles to avoid falling to his death, so the game feels realistic. No good platformer is complete without having players jump, and there are several moments where you will have to jump over broken catwalks, or even jump rooftop-to-rooftop. Some reviewers have criticized the controls, but I think it makes the game feel more dangerous--this is supposed to be a zombie apocalypse after all.
The zombies are called Shadows, and players are told early on about the dangers of these enemies. A group of Shadows can quickly overtake Randall, so combat is not always the best option. However, players will have to fight off Shadows occasionally and Randall can handle himself in an even fight.
The main downfall of Deadlight is that the game is fairly linear, and there is not much to explore in-game. Most of the gameplay is traversing each level with a couple of collectibles to be found. Also, the story of Deadlight is fairly short as it only lasts four to five hours.
Overall, I really enjoyed Deadlight, and I only wish the game had lasted a little longer. Four to five hours of gameplay is a little short for a game that costs $14.99--especially when you consider some of the other indie titles available.
With that being said, Deadlight currently on sale right now on Steam for $3.74 and that is a steal! The story is definitely one worth playing through and the environments are grotesque and beautiful all at once. With the plethora of zombie survival-horror games on the market, Deadlight is a pleasant change of pace.