The Phantom Danger: Daylight

By Adam Smith on April 3rd, 2014 at 12:00 pm.

Procedural spooks! Daylight is the horror game that randomises the ghost train every time you play. Your first playthrough might involve trundling past a dangling skellywobbler at the first turn, while repeated visits might see a couple of tatty plastic bats in place of dem bones. Maybe a Freddy Krueger knock-off with spatulas strapped to his fingers will pop out one time, or a banshee that screams like a dog in a war. I’d be sceptical about the claim of procedurally generated scares if everything I’ve seen of the game didn’t make it look like the main activity is walking down a corridor while a randomised soundboard squawks and honks in the background. A new video shows more.

Is this a big budget version of the many online Slender games? I’m keen to see if it’ll surprise me (as opposed to simply startling me with loud noises) but I don’t hold out a huge amount of hope at the moment. It’s available April 29th though so we’ll know soon enough.

The Twitch integration sounds kind of cool though.

__________________

« | »

, , .

29 Comments »

  1. Artea says:

    Does anyone even get scared while playing these games? They come across as very gimmicky and staged to me. It’s even funnier when the game doesn’t let you defend yourself, already cluing you in to your role of passive spectator.

    • Kitsunin says:

      Well all I’ve played is a little of The Dark Descent, but yeah, it had me pretty scared. I don’t think I ever more than flinched, but I felt very uneasy throughout, enough that I needed to take a few breaks.

      Not being able to defend yourself is completely realistic. Unless you’re somebody with real martial arts training or a gun (Which it’s perfectly realistic you likely won’t be able to find) you would not fight back, at least, not beyond struggling away from a grapple, or desperate use of the environment. If you claim you would try to punch, knife, or use any weapon with less than a meter of range, you are a lier almost all of the time.

      • Thurgret says:

        I don’t know about that. Why, I encountered a horde of zombies on Dublin’s Grafton Street only yesterday, and made it through with no weapons at all.

      • Philomelle says:

        Saying “realistic” and “combat” in the same sentence with Dark Descent, whose protagonist is two meters tall and can toss a full barrel ten feet ahead of him but cannot fend off an emaciated limping zombie, is the height of comedy. The sole reason why that game has no combat isn’t because it makes the game more realistic, it’s because Frictional’s combat systems before Amnesia were such crimes against logic, humankind and good game design that they simply stopped trying to implement combat.

        Now, I’m not saying all games do it badly. Outlast and Knock-Knock! both provide strong reasons to not engage enemies while maintaining both good pacing and a sense of horror. But Amnesia’s lack of combat is entirely due to the developers’ inability to implement a half-decent combat system and really shouldn’t be listed as the game’s strength.

        • JamesTheNumberless says:

          Would love to see a horror game that takes place entirely in a well lit, modern, densely populated area, in the middle of the day…. Without featuring zombies!

        • Golden Pantaloons says:

          I always assumned Amnesia was a game for people who didn’t like to play video games. There is no way to lose or get hurt, you just progress for a few hours and then the game ends. Every time a monster kills you, you respawn instantly and all the monsters nearby are removed. The game actually rewards you for failing.

          None of the usable items have any purpose besides generating light so you can actually see the game instead of walking around in dark, poorly-textured environments. Healing is pointless as death gives greater rewards.

          Nothing in the game is scary because you are immortal in the same way as a character in a twitch mulitplayer FPS. Death means a few seconds of waiting, except in Amnesia it also removes any and all threats you may have faced when you died. As a game, I think it’s a travesty. As a story, it is mediocre at best. It had some decent scares and some nice gory stuff, but I think that’s far too little.

    • Slight0 says:

      While this particular game doesn’t look that promising, other games like Amnesia and Outlast are definitely well made horror games. If you played all the horror games out there and you can’t find one that made you sufficiently immersed then it’s more likely the horror genre just isn’t for you. If you don’t like the lack of weapons, play horror games that let you use weapons… Like Dead Space. If you can’t see how being generally defenseless and weak make for a good horror element then you certainly don’t understand the catalysts of fear. Maybe you’re one of the cool kids that are too awesome to be frightened by a horror film and you’re cursed to forever wonder what the world sees in the horror genre of entertainment?

      • Faxanadu says:

        Outlast did nothing for me, Amnesia almost made me flinch.

        This game tho, feels A LITTLE scary, because the effects and ambience feel alright. Speaking in general: holy hell, music makes an INSANE difference. You don’t even know – there are some songs that are REALLY disturbing, songs you don’t normally hear. Mix that into a horror game and DAMN. (Wait, I’mma try find the one I’m talking about…) Amnesia and Outlast did nothing with sound imho.

    • JamesTheNumberless says:

      Horror games with weapons are largely just shoot-em-ups or beat-em-ups with horror stylings or horror elements in the plot. Feeling vulnerable is essential for a good horror experience but good horror comes from a growing sense of unease rather than from jump scares. Once the cat is out of the bag in most horror games and movies the horror is over and there’s nowhere to go except by ramping up the ickiness or the violence or raising the stakes in the plot. Horror is best when you don’t know where the monster is, what the moster is, or why it’s there, and when you never truly find out the answers to any of these questions. The suggestions your imagination gives you will always be based on your own personal fears and naturally will always be more terrifying to you personally.

    • GameCat says:

      I’ve played only both Amnesias from this subgenre of horror* but it was only boring. I didn’t even cared about my characters (or rather simple avatar) and without good characters the horror only exist as cheap jumpscares. The “if you die, you will just start from last checkpoint” mechanics are also anticlimatic.
      Meh.

      *Not counting Silent Hill: Shattered Memories which was doing defenseless horror before it was cool. And it did it much, much better than Amnesia. And yet it’s still probably a most underrated horror game ever. Sigh.

    • zbeeblebrox says:

      The second a horror game gives you a weapon, it stops being a horror game.

      • johnkillzyou says:

        The way the Project Zero/Fatal Frame series did weapons in horror, they used a camera. You had to let the enemies get closer to the camera in order to maximize the damage. That was awesome.

      • Philomelle says:

        And yet Dead Space, Resident Evil 4, Fatal Frame, Silent Hill, The Thing and F.E.A.R. were all better horror games than Amnesia and its companion host of Slenderlikes. Funny that.

  2. phelix says:

    Arrrgh that in-your-face chromatic aberration is horrid to look at, it looks just as bad as the overdone bloom and Unreal Engine 3 “godrays” of yesteryear.

  3. PAK-9 says:

    dangling skellywobbler

    that is all

  4. charismo says:

    Oh nice, a game tailor made for every youtube let’s-play howler monkey to make wacky and crazy super scared faces at to put in their videos’ thumbnail.

  5. bosseye says:

    Hmmm. Will probably scare the willies off me just by virtue of the fact that I’m a pathetic shrieking child when it comes to games that put me in the dark and go ‘BOO!’ at me. So I’ll give it a whirl, but it doesn’t really grab me that much at the moment despite my love of dark, gloomy games, real time shadows and derelict asylums as a setting.

  6. BallsOfSteel says:

    Amnesia : The Dark Descent was great. Outlast was incredibly immersive, fantastic horror game.

    Hopefully this one will be as good, and not a disappointing title like Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs.

    Damn that 2nd Amnesia game sucks!

    • Strickebobo says:

      It didn’t suck, you just didn’t like it. A lot of people, myself included, did like it, therefore it didn’t suck.

  7. Faxanadu says:

    Omg I watched Pewds play this! x3 OMG HE GOT SOOO SCARED :’DDDDD

    No really. Looks like a good game. Actually got scared once just watching. Amnesia and Outlast didn’t even come close.

  8. Cvnthvlv says:

    Judging by that trailer, I’m going to put this in the also-ran category.

  9. Shooop says:

    I can already say with great confidence it’s crap.

    Its reliance on procedural generation means there’s no underlying story that will actually chill you, you’re just going to be wandering around in the dark while loud noises randomly come up and you run into something that flashes a face on your screen for a second. There’s no greater context for any of it.

    The chromatic aberration and fact that it’s being purposely developed for YouTube “watch me scream at this game for two hours” personalities is just the shit icing on the urinal cake.

  10. Octuplex says:

    All I know is that there better be at least one exploding door.

    • zbeeblebrox says:

      It’s being reported that the developers have gone to great lengths to ensure that, not only is there one exploding door, but ALL doors will explode. They haven’t gone so far as to say the exploding doors will be exploding constantly, but it’s still early days

  11. BallsOfSteel says:

    Wait why is there a ‘color noise’ filter in this game??

    U know, the ‘dispersed light / color’ effect U see in Outlast when U’re looking at stuff through the cam display?

    She’s ( the protagonist ) not even looking through any sort of device..

  12. RichardGamingo says:

    This game looked like a lot of fun when PewDiePie played it, although the guy IGN had play it had a totally different take on “how to be scared” I found their videos quite humorous as well.

    I am giving away a copy of Daylight tomorrow on release day! You can enter to win a copy of Daylight really easily and there are only 9 entries as of this post. Please enter and enjoy! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I9egd33FOAw

Comment on this story

XHTML: Allowed code: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>