GAME NAME: Daylight
DEVELOPER(S): Zombie Studios
GENRE(S): FPS Horror
RELEASE DATE(S): April 29, 2014
I’m a big fan of horror games and I’ll have to admit I can be a sissy when it comes to playing them alone in the dark, but that’s the fun part right? I invest in my characters and get that pure excitement of being scared when things pop out at you. That being said it took me about 4 hours to complete Daylight by Zombie Studios. Just for reference I reviewed this title on a PC with a mouse and also with an Oculus Rift utilizing a gamepad, so I’ll be talking about those two experiences throughout the review.
In Daylight you are a female lead named Sarah and wake up in an abandoned hospital with nothing but the light from your cell phone to guide you. Right off the bat the mood is set and is very eerie. The one thing that amazed me was the graphics. I had everything cranked up to high. Zombie Studios did a great job at adding a lot of detail, fog and atmosphere to the levels. You’ll wander around hallways in first-person and explore empty rooms, run down littered dusty hallways, hear voices and try to escape. The fact that the levels are randomly generated helps add variety and replay value. I think future horror survival games should take a note from this and utilize this in the future as well. As you progress through the game you’ll notice a lot of fetching to move forward. You’ll have to collect remnants which are scattered throughout the levels to progress. They give clues to characters and events that happened in the past and help add atmosphere and introduce story.
The sound in Daylight is pretty good. There is very light music but most of the magic is in the audio atmosphere that’s created. The sound design was done very well and what makes the core of the game scary. Tension builds slowly and you find yourself rushing or wanting to escape which is obviously part of the fun, it’s amazing how music can trigger those responses. While wearing the Oculus Rift headset I was fully immersed and I noticed myself getting extremely invested in exploring but moving quickly because you actually feel like you’re there and want to get the hell out of rooms when you hear noises.
Now in terms of gameplay there were a few glitches to be had. Since levels are dynamically generated there were a few occasion where rooms took a long time to load, kind of removing you from the game for a minute. Also if you try picking up remnants with a controller plugged in, it’s extremely difficult to pick them up and glitches out. I had to keep unplugging my controller for it to work. Other than that this game is quite fun, you do get a feeling of repetitive tasks of collecting remnants and sliding box puzzles that felt like the theme of the game. Once you got outdoors though the game vibe changes and it feels more diverse, overall a fun experience.
The best experience I had was using a mouse and playing with the Oculus Rift. It was fully immersive; even though the core of the game was fetching quests the whole exploratory facet of the game was quite intense and entertaining.
The idea and concept in Daylight of using a cell phone for light and having randomly generated levels are excellent and extremely fun. The gameplay was solid but can be repetitive at times with fetch missions. If you are a hardcore horror survival fan, you’ll enjoy Daylight for a bit but may get bored as its not truly a horror survival game, you can’t really die. However, if you are into horror games in general like myself or want to check out a scary fully immersive experience you should definitely check out Daylight. It’s no requirement but if you own a Oculus Rift or plan on getting one this is an experience you’ll want to check out!