When I heard Zombie Studios was going to showcase their new psychological thriller Daylight at PAX East I became excited for 2 reasons. The first being I play one of their other titles Blacklight Retribution and I enjoy it immensely. Secondly I have always liked the ZS crew as they are community oriented, hard workers, and gamers like the rest of us. On top of that they aren’t your typical developer. They have a, “For the Gamer, By the Gamer,” mentality which is something I always give kudos to, especially since this industry lacks those kind of studios, but I digress. Oh and I guess it doesn’t hurt that this is one of the first games being built on the new game engine by Epic Games, Unreal Engine 4.
The Game in a Nut Shell: You wake up in an abandoned hospital with nothing but your cell phone for illumination and you’re trying to escape. Simple right? Ha!
So I headed over to the Astro booth where the game was being showcased and without knowing the who, what, when, where, why or how I hopped on and started playing. My first play through was interesting, I didn’t do much but walk around and open up doors and at around the 10 minute mark the game thanked me for playing the PAX East demo of Daylight and I moved on. Foolish. Gah I’m such an IDIOT!
I collected my things and walked around the convention some more but the entire time I couldn’t help but think, “There had to be more.” In fact it was eating me up because I knew damn well that there was more to the game than that, so I went back. Now let me preface this by saying the game is uniquely designed, meaning each time you start a new game the layout of the hospital is randomly generated. There are no two games that will ever be the same. How Cool is that? Real cool is how cool.
So I started back up, walked around some more and “voila” I stumbled across a backpack filled with glow sticks so I cracked one open and walked out into the hallway and noticed something on the wall where I just came from. So naturally I backtracked and as I got closer the thing on the wall became more illuminated. Then Murphy’s Law of “Finding Cool Things,” kicked in and my glow stick went out and the map/maze disappeared. “There is more!” I proclaimed in my head and from there I was hooked. What other secrets are scattered throughout the hospital? What was I missing?
Some of you may be able to relate to this but I’m the type of player who in games like Borderlands, Skyrim, Fallout or Diablo tend to find themselves walking around checking every nook and cranny leaving no stone unturned and in Daylight it was no different. I found myself walking behind couches, desks and chairs, you name it I was taking the time to check it out. People waiting to play were giving me shady looks like, “What is this guy doing?” but it’s the reason I went back and demoed the game 8+ times while I was out there. I couldn’t help it. I needed to investigate.
What about monsters? Enemies? In my runs I only came across 1 specter and I either didn’t get close enough to engage it or the flare in my hand kept it from engaging me. I did observe other people who engaged with it and no one was able to fight it off successfully, thus ending their time on the demo. What did they have to do to fight it off? I’m glad you asked because it was as simple as pressing A and D either in rhythm or mashing I don’t know what the successful way to do it was but however it was supposed to be done, no one was able to.
Pro Tip: Keys aren’t always Keys
In conclusion I was very happy with the Daylight demo and cannot wait to see what a Beta or even full retail version looks like. This is one of those games that is designed to be played in the dark with the sound up high. Those who stream video games will enjoy the fact the game randomly generates the world with every new start so not only do they not know whats going on, but the viewers as well are in the dark, pun intended. I look forward to the many YouTube highlights of people jumping and shrieking out of their seats as they play.
UPDATED: E3 Trailer
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