The survival horror genre has changed a bit over the years. In the past it was little more than a scary game with finite resources, where as today it has evolved to include all types of scenarios. In the case of Deadlight Director’s Cut, it’s a chance to change/enhanced the classic platformer genre with some new elements. With an interesting story, couple of extra modes and bleak setting, is Deadlight Director’s Cut a must for zombie fans or is it nothing more than dead weight?
Deadlight Director’s Cut takes place after a zombie apocalypse, where you lose track of your group and need to brave the horrors of this world alone. In order to survive, you must fight your way through zombies and vigilantes to meet up with others in the safe zone. While the story sounds fairly generic on the surface, there is actually a bit going on in Deadlight Director’s Cut.
Throughout your journey you’ll question your memory of the events leading up to the apocalypse, in addition to get memories that fill in the blanks. There is a bit going on and it takes a fair bit of time to get there, but the end experience is worthwhile. To further enhance the story there are also collectibles that offer more details, along with alternate endings that take things in an interesting direction.
In addition to having a lot going on, the story is told through gritty, comic book-esque pictures. This helps sell the basic concept of what has happened, in addition to allowing players to focus on specific scenes. So instead of seeing someone get hunted down by a zombie, you’ll just see them get killed with some narration going on in the background.
Even though Deadlight Director’s Cut is a survival horror platformer, it feels like something closer to a visual novel. It takes a while for enemies to pose any sort of threat to you and a lot of the scenes use zombies/horrors as ambience. Often times you’ll escape them with relative ease, with their pursuit being fairly limited. Even the combat system takes away from the core concept.
From time to time you’ll encounter enemies that you need to deal with. This is where your trusty axe comes into play. This weapon can be used to easily take down enemies, taking a bit away from the central survival concept. The only thing that will hinder your ability to survive is how well you manage stamina and even that makes little difference in the end. Often times you can come out unscathed by randomly swinging your axe, followed by a brief finisher.
The same goes for much of the world too. At its core, Deadlight Director’s Cut’s world feels somewhat artificial. The puzzles are fairly underwhelming, with the traps existing to build up the story, instead of offering engaging gameplay. For these and the other mentioned reasons, the gameplay sections can drag.
This isn’t to say the gameplay is horrible, just that it isn’t as ambitious or well thought out as the story. When survival isn’t much of a question and puzzles are fairly limited, it’s hard to take the threat seriously or feel any sort of tension. Higher difficulties, such as nightmare, do resolve some of these issues, but it certainly could’ve been handled better on lower difficulties.
For those who want more gameplay, there are a number of additional modes you can unlock. The biggest is a survival mode where you need to fight hoards of enemies until you finally die. This can be fun if you just want to try your luck at surviving, otherwise there isn’t much to it. In addition to that, there are also some silly mini-games you can play to unlock minor things or best your high score.
Deadlight Director’s Cut is a good story with poor gameplay. Its value will hinge on how important story is for you. If it’s the only thing that matters, then Deadlight Director’s Cut will probably be a blast. However, if you want a true survival horror experience with some thrills and chills along the way, you’re going to be very disappointed .
[Editor’s Note: Deadlight Director’s Cut was reviewed on PS4 platform. The game was provided to us by the publisher for review purposes.]Deadlight Director’s Cut Review,