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Deadlight | review | game | Lollipop


(Microsoft Studios for XBLA)
By Mike Delano

Deadlight, a stylish new side-scroller featured in the 2012 Summer of Arcade, doesn't have many original ideas, but since the ideas it borrows are executed in such a satisfying way, it all works out. The player controls Randall Wayne, one of a dwindling number of survivors of an alternate reality 1980's zombie apocalypse, in his quest through suburbs, alleys, and sewers to find his missing family. The polished, responsive gameplay will feel familiar to anyone who has played a downloadable side-scroller in the past few years: At times it feels a lot like Shadow Complex, other times Limbo, and other times Mirror's Edge on iOS. Those are all great games, so when Deadlight incorporates the exploration, puzzle solving, and chase scenes from them into its own narrative, it creates a compelling mix. The visuals are the most memorable feature of the game, with gorgeously detailed views of a destroyed Pacific Northwest recalling the similarly stunning Alan Wake. Except for the unattractive and overused (think inFamous, Starhawk, and way too many other games) motion comic cutscenes, every frame is a real looker. Deadlight is a tight, focused take on the zombie genre, and the streamlined nature of the experience helps distinguish it from the other, increasingly bloated zombie adventures out there.


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