As a fan of survival horror titles, I was initially confused about Daylight. I heard about Daylight and Dying Light at the same time, and ever since then they have been confused in my mind. I knew that one had zombies in it and the other was made by Zombie. Sadly, after beating the story in less than 2 hours I can attest that I will always remember which game is Daylight is.
Zombie, the studio behind Blacklight: Retribution</em) has created a rogue-like first person horror title. It starts with Sarah waking up in the foyer of an abandoned place. All you have to guide you in the beginning is your cell phone, until you reach a bag full of glow sticks. Thinking about it now, it seems that maybe a rave occurred here and that's how the glow sticks are everywhere, but there really doesn’t seem to be any real rhyme or reason for their presence. This is the crux of my issue with Daylight.
With most of the many things that you learn, experience, and explore there is no reason for it to be there, nothing that ties it down and gives it a real cause for existing. The notes are interesting at first, and the enemies too, until you realize what they are. The Shadows give away the plot more than anything else, and as you learn about the place and people who inhabited the island the plot becomes terribly transparent. The writer had good intentions but ultimately failed in executing the plan. I know that as a rogue like there are supposed to be different clues and bits of the story involved, but I can’t do it. For me, there is no longer any reason to explore. The plot makes no sense, even at the end where all is revealed. If anything, it becomes cheap and hokey when you realize what the plot entails. There’s no real explanation for why or what occurs, it just happens. The last three sections are difficult to figure out where or what to do, and in several levels there are no clues.
There’s no way around it: Daylight looks horrible. It’s the first Unreal 4 game to be commercially released and it looks awful. I’m running an AMD 3.8 Quad Core with an Nvidia GTX 470 with the graphic settings set to medium. I currently have screenshots posted throughout the review, and I want you to guess which ones are mine using Steam. There are bugs and glitches that occur randomly. Once I ended up having to reboot the game after I fell through the game box. There is little to no interactivity within the game world outside of searchable containers. Objects that are placed will not move unless dictated by the developers. The emergence of a new engine shouldn’t be static environments, but areas full of movable objects and the like.
The basic requirements for clearing each level or area are finding six articles related to what happened in the past, finding a key, and escaping. That’s it. The game is basic in its mechanics, the devs needed gameplay to extend the play through and it just wasn’t there.
There are certain things that should and shouldn’t be done in a survival horror game. Unfortunately I feel that Zombie has done everything that shouldn’t be done. Cheap jump scares, empty and boring rooms and hallways, and a blah feeling is present in almost every interior setting. The one exterior setting at the very end is interesting, but you have to rush through it so quickly you can’t explore it much. Sarah doesn’t speak much, and when she does it doesn’t fit most of the time.