Deadlight: Director's Cut Review


The Diary of Randall Wayne: Zombie Decimation

Game: Deadlight: Director’s Cut
Developer: Tequila Works
Publisher: Deep Silver/Abstraction Games
Reviewed on:

deadlight box

(Review copy provided by publisher)

I guess before we get into it I should say that I have an unnatural attraction to all things zombie related. For a long time I was worried about the zombie orientated genre and then Dead Island Definitive and Deadlight were remastered/re-released and the pilot light that is my heart was re-ignited. Sadly I didn’t get to play the original Deadlight as it somehow slipped under my radar – does it live up to my expectations? Well dur! Of course it does. I guess in addition to zombie games, I also really love me a puzzle. I mean, 9 times out of 10 with puzzle games my brain is left in pain before completion, but thankfully somehow not this time.

What is Deadlight? Deadlight: Directors Cut is a beautifully enhanced 1080p reanimation of Tequila Works/Microsoft Studios version of 2012’s Deadlight, however this time it is being published by Deep Silver in conjunction with Abstraction Games. In a nutshell, Deadlight: Directors Cut is a side-scrolling, zombie killing, survival horror/action 2D plat-former with a tonne of light puzzles and environmental hazards. Set in an apocalyptic late 1980’s Seattle, you step into the shoes of one Randall Wayne. A man who was rip-torn from his family and civilization itself. A somewhat paranoid, natural born survivor with a particular set of zombie killing skills! Though clouded by the sea of brain seeking undead (known in Deadlight as Shadows) that stand before him, Randall has one simple mission – get his family back and get to the “Safe Point”… no matter the cost!

Originally our hero Randall has the comfort of travelling alongside a band of fellow survivors also looking to travel to Seattle’s Safe Point – A win/win really for Randall as they all share a similar goal. When the story begins the player is pretty much thrust into straight into a certain creek without a certain paddle, as some Muppet in the group has been bitten by a shadow. For the good of the group, Randall quickly steps up and decides to introduce Mr Bullet to the infected survivor’s brain and inevitably invites the local shadow riffraff to wine and dine. Clearly being the hero that Randall is, he helps the survivors escape death but inadvertently forces himself further into the aforementioned creek and has to venture forth through Seattle alone. I won’t go into the story any further, but from one player to another – you should know that the campaign itself quite short. For me the journey from the start point to the games end lasts approximately 4-5 hours and that really depends on how many times you impale yourself on spikes, get eaten by shadows or let’s say misstep and throw yourself off the roof on an office block. Don’t let that put you off because honestly, what Deadlight lacks in length it gains in gameplay mechanic girth and the new (and rather damn difficult) survival mode.

Depending on your playstyle, Deadlight can be as fast or as slow paced as you make it. There are certain scripted moments that will have you running for dear life from hordes of shadows and so on, but in most situations you can take your time to explore what’s on screen. You’re continually moving to the right whilst navigating the games light puzzles by using various parkour methods, ladders, scaling buildings, squeezing yourself through air ducts and so on and all of this is happening whilst trying to avoid the environmental hazards or take on whatever the game decides to throw at you. When you start out, you’re pretty much armed with nothing but your voice to shout at and taunt the shadows into moving towards you so you can traverse some way around them. As Randall progresses forward he finds a conveniently placed fire axe that Randall can use to break locks, smash barricades and destroy the undead scum that roll around Seattle in hordes. There are a bunch of different weapons in the game that Randall can use throughout his journey, however remember that the sound of gunfire attracts unwanted attention. Deadlight has a built in stamina gauge – and actions like sprinting, hanging from wires & ledges and using the fire axe will drain Randall’s stamina, however this regenerates over time and can be enhanced through the collection if in-game items. Speaking of in-game items, a fair whack of the lore and back story is told through the collection of scattered pages from Randall’s diary that can be found basically anywhere in the game. I found that once I started picking them up, that I would then actively go out of my way and even put myself in danger to find them because they really are worth the read!

Deadlight’s brand spanking new survival mode is yet another game that reduced me to rage induced sweaty mess. At the time of writing this review, I have managed to survive a meager 2 minutes and 57 seconds and that is every fault of my own. Unless your version of Randall Wayne has a death wish, then don’t be like me. Don’t shoot first and ask questions later. Seriously, you’ll regret it. Each gunshot attracts more and more shadows, so you need to plan every move and if you can kill a few with your fire axe then you’ll be better off in the long run. However, if you’re looking for something more thrilling than a fire axe, then the Directors Cut has 3 new weapons to add to your arsenal and to aid in Randall’s survival; The Molotov Cocktail, Sniper Rifle and Machine Gun – All of which cause a serious amount of carnage and can get you out of a jam.


I seem to be saying this more and more these days but I honestly can’t tell whether I am just terrible at games now that I am getting on a bit or whether playing games on nightmare mode is probably a bad idea… never-the-less, taking all of the above into consideration and the fact that I didn’t encounter any game breaking bugs – Deadlight: Director’s Cut is pretty damn awesome. It’s got everything that a zombie survival game needs and tonne more spoiler related hidden gems to offer. Deadlight’s story has a couple of cliché moments and was a little short for me, but the game is absolutely stunning and controls beautifully!


Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments