The third game in the 2012 Xbox Live Arcade Summer of Arcade promotion is Deadlight from developer Tequila Works and Microsoft.
Initially, Deadlight seems like it is destined to be the next Shadow Complex or Limbo or The Dishwasher: Dead Samurai. Featuring a 2-D sidescroller gameplay base, interesting visuals, tricky puzzles, neat story, and lets not forget the zombies, Deadlight should have everything going for it. Instead, though, it all sort of crumbles once you get a few minutes in. The premise is certainly interesting - a lone survivor wandering around a zombie-filled city looking for his friends and family - and the gameplay seems neat - 2D platformer mixed with puzzles - but the execution falters pretty early on.
When you first start Deadlight, it seems awesome. Your character runs and jumps and can grab onto ledges to help you explore. You find a fire axe and soon a gun to help you take out the zombies. All too quickly, though, the puzzles start getting a little too demanding of precise spacing and positioning of your character and even the basic platforming sections start asking too much of the controls that suddenly seem a little too slow and too stiff, which leads to frustration.
For the first 15-minutes, Deadlight is absolutely incredible. For the rest of the 3 or so hour long game, however, nitpicky issues keep piling up which makes the game increasingly hard to enjoy. For the 1200 MSP ($15) asking price, Deadlight just isn't polished enough to be worth it, especially with several similar (and superior) artsy platformers on the system. Skip it, or wait for a sale.
Image © Microsoft
Review code provided by the publisher.