Metascore
68

Mixed or average reviews - based on 79 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 79
  2. Negative: 5 out of 79
  1. 70
    Strong atmosphere in an extremely stylish platformer is spoiled by some frustrating parts and overall shortness but yet Deadlight is definitely worth trying. [Oct 2012]
  2. Oct 27, 2012
    60
    Deadlight is an amazingly beautiful game. The combination of a simplistic foreground and incredibly detailed backgrounds is breathtaking. However, the gameplay isn't as elaborate. It relies heavily on trial and error, especially in the second half of the game. This made the game both frustrating and boring.
  3. Oct 14, 2012
    73
    Delivers good story with oppressive atmosphere combined with stunning 3D visuals on 2D action spiced with great music, but trips over stiff gameplay and repetitive puzzles. [Sept 2012]
  4. Sep 18, 2012
    60
    Spectacular, state of the art dowloadable gaming that struggles to deliver interesting gameplay to match its technical accomplishments. [Oct 2012, p.52]
  5. 80
    Ignoring the price, Deadlight is a solid and entertaining game that brings crude oil-thick atmosphere to Xbox Live in the same way Limbo did two years ago.
  6. Aug 29, 2012
    70
    Despite its very short campaign and some other flaws Deadlight is a strong title with great atmosphere. [10/2012, p.73]
  7. Aug 27, 2012
    65
    Drawing inspiration from games such as Limbo and Prince of Persia, but also from TV Shows like The Walking Dead for the storyline, Deadlight doesn't actually propose an original zombiefied experience. Because despite a pleasant art direction, Tequila Works' title suffers from a classic gameplay and a terrible game length that only some players who are not very particular about this kind of details. will enjoy for a short afternoon.
  8. 80
    Deadlight is a mix between storytelling, side-scrolling, puzzle solving, and good old fashion survival horror. It reinvents nothing, but it successfully integrates components from each genre.
  9. Aug 23, 2012
    77
    Beautifully styled puzzle platformer held back by movement frustrations and cheap kills. [Oct 2012, p.84]
  10. Aug 20, 2012
    80
    Deadlight, long-awaited highlight of this Summer of Arcade, does not disappoint the fans. Mixing platforming, action and survival in a wise manner, the title conquer all the favors of the public.
  11. Aug 19, 2012
    70
    It's full of a unique dark atmosphere and character, but its very short campaign will leave you wanting more.
  12. Aug 18, 2012
    70
    Captures some of the brilliance of its setting, but fails to take advantage of it with gameplay, which is a real shame. [Issue#88, p.84]
  13. Aug 14, 2012
    71
    For all of its shortcomings, its flaws, and its failures, I still enjoyed my time with Deadlight. I wanted to find out what happened to Randall and his family. I was driven, compelled to finish, and I would still recommend that it be played. Fans of side-scrolling platformers, and zombie games in general, will find an original, if imperfect, experience here. And while the price is a bit steep for the content, I think there's a great game to be found in here.
  14. Aug 14, 2012
    70
    Tequila Works certainly understands the 2D space and there is some sense of satisfaction in navigating Randall Wayne through miles of hallowed out buildings, a treacherous underground, and zombie-infested roads.
  15. Aug 14, 2012
    60
    Deadlight had everything to be the perfect Summer of Arcade killer game. But its Prince of Persia like mechanics seem as dated as their reference, and it comes a little bit short of the expectations we had for it.
  16. Aug 13, 2012
    70
    The game is a bit high priced; the production value is very good. For some players this may make it well worth the Microsoft points it costs.
  17. Aug 11, 2012
    70
    Deadlight a game is quite interesting to know and to finish, but after that we are left with practically nothing to do.
  18. Aug 9, 2012
    70
    Deadlight will take you around 3-4 hours to finish. It's not the longest of games, and there's a big chance you probably won't want to play it through again. That said, it must be noted that Tequila Works should be commended for trying to spice up the use of zombies, and while that doesn't make this game great – silly things like that dumb underground lair spoil it - Deadlight is still an enjoyable title to play. When it's at its best, the game is a thrilling experience that tickles nostalgia for the genre it represents.
  19. Aug 8, 2012
    50
    Full of unrealised potential, Deadlight is a passable game that's as bland as the cookie-cutter zombies it presents.
  20. Aug 8, 2012
    75
    Once you've beaten the two and a quarter hour experience you'll find little to go back for.
  21. Aug 8, 2012
    60
    Deadlight shows a lot of promise but ultimately falls short.
  22. Aug 8, 2012
    60
    There are elements of the game that are both enjoyable and disappointing and for me I would recommend saving your money until this Summer Arcade title gets put on sale and just enjoy the summer.
  23. Aug 7, 2012
    40
    Deadlight begins well with a lot of atmosphere. But soon the illusion is shattered by clunky controls and a frustrating amount of trial and error.
  24. Aug 6, 2012
    70
    Your enjoyment of Deadlight is dependant purely on what you want from the game. The gameplay is a solid compliment too, it is a shame it ends so soon, but it was an experience we could enjoy before moving on to the next game.
  25. Aug 6, 2012
    70
    An atmospheric 2D platformer. Even though the game is extremely short, it still manages to touch your very heart.
  26. Aug 6, 2012
    70
    It's a really pretty and atmospheric platformer that lacks ingeniuity and something new. I have been waiting for something exceptional to happen, for a situation that would make me understand that I just did something intriguing, uncommon and difficult. Instead the game offers uneven scenes, frustrating parts and a somewhat disappointing ending. The game should be bigger and perhaps a little more daring. Right now Deadlight is a game for people heavily interested in a zombie apocalypse and platformers in general.
  27. Aug 6, 2012
    88
    Deadlight, not as innovative as Limbo, is a nice potpourri of known elements, mixed with a unique style and definitely a must-download of this gaming summer.
  28. Aug 4, 2012
    67
    You feel more as if you're performing a repetitive series of tasks rather than surviving by your wits, but there's still a certain satisfaction in overcoming the game's challenge.
  29. Aug 3, 2012
    80
    Deadlight will bring you a short but thrilling ride trough the apocalyptic world of Seattle. The gameplay is really good and despite some minor shortcomings, the game works really well. The surroundings in the game look magnificent and you'll be sitting on the edge of your seat the entire game, because zombies always stay unreliable.
  30. Aug 3, 2012
    75
    A brilliant platform in many ways, that is unfortunately ruined by the lacking storyline and extremely short campaign. Still a great buy for fans of the genre though.
  31. 86
    Deadlight is a blast that reminds me of a game I loved in my youth (Flashback) without soiling that nostalgia or feeling like a blatant ripoff. It's a bit short, but it's perfectly suited for spending a lazy summer evening with.
  32. 60
    Still, Deadlight has many visually striking and mechanically satisfying moments in store for you... In some ways Tequila Works might just have reached their goal: The punishing qualities of their game does indeed evoke its older cousins – Flashback and Another World. It's just a shame that they had to use the wrong means to do so.
  33. Aug 2, 2012
    50
    Outsmarting zombies, rather than facing them head on with whatever weapon is handy, is a great idea, but the game's environmental puzzles feel too samey after just a short while. The story has its own share of clever seeds, but it's presented so poorly that you probably won't bother to find them. Without satisfying mechanics or narrative, there's nothing pushing you forward towards Deadlight's conclusion.
  34. Aug 1, 2012
    90
    The quality of content is amazing, and when you combine the psychotic storyline with the fluid gameplay and top it off with amazing use of the Unreal engine for graphics and a soundtrack that will drive suspense deep into your soul, Deadlight is easily one of the best Xbox Live Arcade games to come out this summer or arguably this year.
  35. Aug 1, 2012
    63
    The game's fleeting moments of atmosphere are occasionally striking, and will be what Deadlight is most remembered for. It's just a shame that there just isn't enough brains to truly sink your teeth into.
  36. Aug 1, 2012
    70
    Yes, Deadlight is a short game, one that feels especially brisk when the puzzles lack challenge.
  37. 45
    The environments and the reasonably compelling flashback atmosphere lend what would otherwise be a pretty poor game a glimmer of hope.
  38. Aug 1, 2012
    85
    Tequila Works show how to inject fresh ideas into a theme as worn-out as the zombie apocalypse. The mixture of puzzles and challenging fights works extraordinarily well to make Deadlight one of the most atmospheric XBLA games of the year.
  39. Aug 1, 2012
    60
    Deadlight shines in its detailed world-building: The art direction, IDs, diary entries and pieces of hidden lore are glorious. It's the gameplay that fails to live up to the standard of these beautiful fragments, with unresponsive controls and frustrating scenarios that can't decide if they want to be puzzles or action sequences.
  40. Aug 1, 2012
    65
    It's obvious that Deadlight is a game that was borne of passion. It's not perfect, but it is by no means a cookie-cutter cash grab. Given the short length, limited replay value and 1,200 MSP ($15 USD) price point, it is difficult to recommend across the board. For genre fans, though, Deadlight is a refreshing take on the zombie trope and an experience that stands on its own.
  41. Aug 1, 2012
    40
    Deadlight could have been something great. Unfortunately, it's as mindless as the zombies it features.
  42. 40
    The cinematic atmosphere is highly impressive throughout, but that's about the only thing that is in this weirdly inconsistent 2D survival horror.
  43. Jul 31, 2012
    65
    Deadlight draws you in with its rich, pervasive atmosphere, but doesn't give you much to do once you're there.
  44. Jul 31, 2012
    50
    Deadlight isn't a poor game, just average. Mediocre. Inoffensive. If Deadlight developers Tequila Works developed another game with some more original ideas, I'd like to play it.
  45. Jul 31, 2012
    78
    Great visuals and animations are partially countered by unexciting game design and a banal story. It's still a decent buy for zombie lovers, but it could have been much more.
  46. Jul 31, 2012
    70
    Part of that fault lies in the game's dialogue. Some of it's rather cheesy, about on the same level as Resident Evil, while other lines just drag out the usual examples of poorly exploited horror. It just doesn't add up in spots.
  47. Jul 31, 2012
    60
    You could finish Deadlight in a single sitting and forget about it completely by the next day. Not because the game is actually bad – it's mostly quite enjoyable – but it's too slight and unimaginative to make a lasting impression. It has some nice ideas and sections, but more than anything else it made us want to go back and finish Shadow Complex for a sixth time.
  48. Jul 31, 2012
    60
    There are sparks of inspiration here and a beautifully realised setting, but beneath that veneer of intrigue lies gameplay that just doesn't cut it with the best. There's just about enough to enjoy in this broken version of 80's Seattle, just expect to be frustrated in digging out the treats.
  49. Jul 31, 2012
    70
    Tequila Work's debut's confident craftsmanship and considered design more than compensates for its shortfalls with the narrative's impact and the intermittently niggling handling. It's by no means a smooth ride, but this dank and desolate landscape is worth braving.
  50. Jul 31, 2012
    60
    For the game's opening third, this all works brilliantly as you move through claustrophobic, yet forgiving, urban environments. But a trip to the city sewers further down the line places platforming over survival and reveals that Deadlight's controls just aren't up to the task.
  51. Jul 31, 2012
    60
    There aren't many action games in this particular mold to begin with these days, so those with fond memories of Deadlight's spiritual predecessors will likely have a reasonably fulfilling few hours here. Without an existing sense of nostalgia for the source material, though, you may find Deadlight's minor flaws collectively outweigh all the things it does right.
  52. Jul 31, 2012
    70
    Even being extremely short, Deadlight is one of most captivating downloadable experiences available right now on Xbox Live.
  53. Jul 31, 2012
    65
    Deadlight tries to do something new with the zombie genre by paying more attention to solving puzzles and using platforming elements to get away from zombies. While I applaud the effort, it just falls flat. Dodging the fast, pack-forming zombies is extremely frustrating, and if caught by one, you are as good as dead. Topped with jumping that requires absolute perfect timing, the result is multiple retries that add frustration and suck the fun out of the game.
  54. Jul 30, 2012
    70
    Tequila Works pushes the presentation and production values of the genre past where anyone could reasonably expect, and has a game that stands out because of it. If it were longer, it would suffer more, but the time investment required and the ultimate rewards Deadlight offers make it a standout for this year's Summer of Arcade.
  55. Jul 30, 2012
    80
    Creating a compelling zombie game in a generation with too many of them is a hard task. Tequila Works manages to do this while successfully merging it with the unlikely action-platforming genre. The lame narrative and lack of consistent challenge can't overshadow the fun I had with Deadlight. I'm crossing my fingers for a sequel.
  56. Jul 30, 2012
    80
    With Deadlight, Tequila Works has clearly taken inspiration from the critical and commercial recent success of Limbo on Xbox Live Arcade. The gameplay in this original survivalist horror title nods to PlayDead's masterpiece, but that is not a bad thing.
  57. 82
    Some of the technical issues hold the game back; however, I for one will keep coming back to Deadlight as it is an experience I will want to enjoy for weeks if not months on end.
  58. Jul 30, 2012
    50
    Deadlight has all the style, substance, and gameplay you could want, with none of the originality you need. The word "cliche" never left my mind, even for an instant. If you loved Limbo and want to recreate that experience, you could spend $15 on this, or you could just play the game you already own and have a much better time.
  59. Jul 30, 2012
    75
    Deadlight looks absolutely gorgeous in motion, and I adore every bit of it that involves me ducking through open windows into abandoned motel rooms, houses, warehouses, and just seeing the absolutely wrecked world surrounding it all. It feels and looks like you'd expect a post-apocalyptic world to be, but all within a 2D space, which is unique enough to make Deadlight worth your time.
  60. Jul 30, 2012
    80
    Deadlight is an original zombie platformer in which the emphasis lies on surviving and puzzling. The graphical style reminds us of other XBLA games, but Deadlight gives it its own twist. The few downsides to the game make it a living hell every now and again, but you'll quickly forget them when you chop your hatchet into a zombie skull.
  61. Jul 30, 2012
    70
    A charming game with a lot of great ideas, but too short. Its atmosphere is perfect, its gameplay varied and interesting, but its duration is too much of a flaw.
  62. Jul 30, 2012
    84
    Deadlight is a fantastic game with wonderful platforming segments and magnificent art direction. It is a bit short, but is probably one of the best downloadable titles on XBLA right now.
  63. Jul 30, 2012
    70
    Like its original and captivating art-style, Deadlight's gameplay has shadows and lights to share with players, but it's quite a good first-try for Tequila Workd team.
  64. Jul 30, 2012
    70
    Deadlight was a fantastic idea whose execution just didn't do it the justice it deserved. It's too short, its challenges too cheap at times, and it occasionally loses focus of what it wants to be-and yet, at the same time, Deadlight is also a surprisingly beautiful adventure through a world of chaos that does more right than it does wrong.
  65. Jul 30, 2012
    60
    It's a game in which an early sense of delight and intrigue soon turns to weariness, the standout scenes and ideas failing to compensate for an increasing sense of deja vu with each new wall run and puzzle, wrapped in a tired storyline that does little to propel you forward. In the end, it's the zombies that make you flee to the conclusion, rather than the design that draws you towards it – a subtle distinction perhaps, but a crucial one.
  66. Jul 30, 2012
    50
    Deadlight, on the other hand, has an entire one third of the game that feels like it could have been utterly discarded. What's even more jarring is that the third act can also invoke that same feeling of redundancy. The game starts off as a bang, then descends into this fairly uninteresting second act, before presenting a largely uninteresting on the nose finale.
  67. Jul 30, 2012
    80
    It's inevitably going to be lumped together with other "zombie games" in the minds of some, but it actually does something fresh and unique both with the theme and with the inspirations it pulls together from games as disparate as Another World and Mirror's Edge, and it puts them together with enough aplomb that – for my money – it's certainly worth the asking price.
  68. Jul 30, 2012
    60
    Even with this lack of focus Deadlight is a fun game with wonderful fast platforming segments and magnificent art direction. But in the end the style stands tall, and the substance is but a shadow of what it could have been.
  69. Jul 30, 2012
    80
    The satisfaction of solving well-designed puzzles set in a visually interesting post-apocalyptic version of an alternate-history Seattle is worth it. The tone and excellent aesthetic design of the title only increases its value as a gaming piece of art.
  70. Jul 30, 2012
    85
    Deadlight lacks neither style nor substance, and it lasts just about the perfect amount of time. The story is minimal but engaging, and the ending is unexpected -- in a good way. A couple of sections stumble a bit, but not enough to detract from what is an engaging, memorable experience.
  71. Jul 30, 2012
    65
    In Deadlight you play as an ordinary man instead of an indestructible hero, who just wants to survive in a rotten world. It's one of the graphically prettiest games on Xbox Live Arcade to date, but the gameplay unfortunately doesn't reach the same heights and the length of the game is disappointingly short.
  72. 60
    While the game itself is never diffi cult or badly designed, it consistently contrives to point out its restrictions: neither controls nor narrative are ever slick enough that you ever feel immersed.
  73. Jul 30, 2012
    40
    A beautiful intro does not a great game make, and the full product is a disappointment to say the absolute least. Tequila clearly has a lot of talent and an ability to craft genuinely intimidating, memorable environments -- Deadlight demonstrates the wealth of inventiveness the studio possesses. Yet it feels squandered on lazy design in the second chapter and mistreatment of player trust in the third.
  74. Jul 30, 2012
    60
    The visual design is absolutely sublime, but these cinematic influences create a wonky gameplay experience much too afraid to do anything but guide the player through tedious chunks of unwanted script. Deadlight does not create a compelling narration no matter how hard it tries, and it's galling to see Tequila Works choose to sacrifice an entertaining game in the process.
  75. Jul 30, 2012
    70
    So Deadlight can lay claim to being as smart and atmospheric as previous 2D XBLA hits such as Limbo or Shadow Complex. There's one problem, though: Deadlight is an incredibly slight experience. A single play-through comes in at under two hours, and that running time's been bloated by an uncomfortable number of trial-and-error moments.
  76. Jul 30, 2012
    85
    Deadlight is a good game, a bit too short and with good mechanics which should have been put to a more intense use by Tequila Works' level designers. If you can stand the taste of a somehow rushed storyline, you are up for an intense and entartaining experience.
  77. Jul 30, 2012
    90
    Deadlight is probably the best downloadable title on the market right now, but that comparison does the game a disservice. Tequila Works have taken a step further to reduce the gap between retail games and downloadable titles and Deadlight will likely be the shining star of this year's Summer of Arcade.
  78. 85
    As simple as it all may be, it makes for a frantic, dizzying, four- to five-hour rush. And that's Deadlight's strongest suit: you feel a constant, adrenaline-fueled urge to just. Keep. Moving.
  79. Jul 30, 2012
    90
    Tequila Works delivers a breathtaking adventure that mixtures the best elements that we've seen so far on Prince of Persia or Flashback on a 2D survival horror base. Although the main campaign lasts only five or six hours, there are plenty of reasons to enjoy the story of Rusell Wayne twice and explore this world to discover all of its secrets and enjoy its great atmosphere.
User Score
7.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 187 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 37
  2. Negative: 10 out of 37
  1. Aug 7, 2012
    4
    I will keep this short.
    Amazing graphics.
    Amazing atmosphere.
    Shocking length of gameplay.
    Shocking length of story (It ends abruptly. I
    thought I still had hours up my sleeve.)
    Voice acting is terrible sucks the believability out of the situation.
    The dialogue is shocking beyond belief.
    The control scheme is clunky. (It just doesn't quite work the way you want it to...intuitively)
    A large portion of the level design at one particular point is jarring by comparison to the rest of the game and, as a result, becomes a struggle to enjoy.
    Shocking story in general. This game probably boasts the worst closing moments of a video game. Badly written. Nonsensical. And whole bunch of other bad words are all that can describe it.
    The achievements are not achievements...they are gifts.
    No replayability, you will collect everything on the first try because the game is that linear. There might be a couple of items you miss, (if you aren't a curious gamer) but a quick scene select at the end of the game sees you find 'said item' in a matter of minutes.
    1200 MP is over-priced for something that is under-delivered - This game needed to be twice as long at least.
    Puzzles are lame and easily solved...I'm not actually sure if, by definition, they can be called puzzles.

    Overall, this game is disappointing. I had such a big smile on my face when I started the opening levels. I even boasted it to my friends and showed them some of what I had already done.
    Within 20 minutes of actually playing the game properly I realised my mistake and the fact that arcade games on xbox live a non-refundable. Don't make the same mistake I did. Wait for this game to drop in price, or, better yet, wait for shadow complex 2...if it ever comes out.
    Full Review »
  2. Aug 2, 2012
    5
    Honestly....wait for a price drop. Things start out good with a very L4D feeling to the world and characters. Voice acting is decent although the main character, Randall Wayne, reactions randomly alternates between realistic and just plain bored. Gameplay is mostly solid with some light platforming and puzzle solving despite the sometimes wonky controls.

    Sadly, and perhaps fittingly, everything goes downhill as soon as you enter the sewers. Now as any fan of Spoony knows, sewer levels always suck...but apparently nobody told the folks at Tequila Works that info. Whoever at that studio thought it would be fun to send players through a gauntlet of trial-and-error death traps deserves a swift kick to the junk. There is simply no way to get through them your first time because they give zero margin for error, and you will have no way of knowing whats coming before it happens. Even if you happen to have the clairvoyance to know that the dual wall blades will come together instead of going in the same direction (like the previous visually identical pair you encountered!) you will still die constantly because Wayne only does what you want half the time. You have to be be perfect with timing your jumps or he will fall just short of a ledge he needed to grab. Oh and did I mention that Wayne can't swim....at all...instantly drowning in any body of water deeper than chest high. Even after you manage to drag yourself back to the surface these problems will hound you the entire remainder of the game. And that is what kills any enjoyment to be had here. What was a simple but fun zombie platformer action game just becomes a slog. You will die so often because of something you had no way of knowing would happen and given no time to react. It's not the good kind of challenge that comes from skill and mastery, it's just cheap deaths over and over until eventually figure out the one vague solution to move on. It really just starts to feel like artificial difficulty to pad the game out.

    As for the story the fact that its set in the mid 80's is barely touched on and hardly noticeable. The hidden collectibles offer some vague hints as to what caused the outbreak but its never really explained nor matters. And finally the ending was as predictable and stupid as the final segment leading up to it was frustrating.

    The ideas and beginning are pretty dang good, but is it worth paying $15? No. Wait for it to drop to $10 or (preferably) less. Or just play the free demo and leave it at that...
    Full Review »
  3. Aug 5, 2012
    5
    I'll start off by saying that it's not a terrible game, and a 5 by my standards is only moderately below average. I often enjoy games that I would call a 7, or even a 6. There is some enjoyment to be had in this game, but not much in my opinion. First off, the I didn't find the story compelling in the slightest. This is for several reasons. The whole zombie apocalypse has been done to death, and the "spin" they put on it just didn't do it for me (i.e. calling zombies "shadows" doesn't add much). While the art itself was solid, I didn't care for the cutscenes. The comic book-esque, still-frame visual style clashed with the straightforward dialogue and it came off as a little cheesy. Also, I just didn't care for the main character; it couldn't sympathize with his plight, and his constant whining about his family annoyed me more than it instilled sympathy. The secondary villains weren't explained; they just seemed to be there for no real reason other than to give some variety to the enemy types and set pieces. A lot of the story felt like filler; it didn't really feel like a logical string of a events (save a few). Much of the game just seemed like a series of placeholders that the developers filled in hopes to change up the gameplay. And the story element suffered for it. Finally, I thought that the twist ending was laughable, but I'll spare the spoilers. I could live with that, though. I've enjoyed plenty of games where I didn't care about the story; my biggest qualm is the gameplay and design. For starters, I didn't care for the controls. They weren't necessarily broken; they were just unintuitive. For instance dropping down from a ledge in pretty much every game that I've ever played has been down and jump... not this game. That, by itself, doesn't seem like a huge issue, I know, but many things like that began to compound. Another thing is that ledge-grabbing was treated more like a prompt, rather than actually jumping and grabbing a ledge. In some instances, I would end up jumping underneath a ledge because I pressing a direction instead of standing right below it and just pressing jump. When you are hanging on a wall, you press jump to climb up, unless you are just switching to the other side, then you press right (or left). Again, this may seem benign, however there are parts in the game where that distinction is not always clear, and your life literally depends on knowing that. There are countless instances where I didn't feel my deaths were my fault, but rather because of an unintuitive, and slightly sluggish control scheme. I would like to preface this next section by saying there are a few clever puzzles and design choices, but it seems like for every one thing they did right, they did two things wrong. Something that annoyed me until the end of the game was the prompts and indicators. Everything from ledges, to doors, to almost everything you could interact with was highlighted in some way, even in some areas where they didn Full Review »