The original One Late Night mixed the mundane with the macabre in a way that I very much enjoyed. Using the setting of an after-hours office, with quietly humming computer paraphernalia and lonely trips to the coffee machine, it brought back memories of my previous life as Dilbert, the wacky wageslave. I found it to be a tidy and terrifying experience, unlike most free
Slender horror games, but all the people in the comments who disagreed may be pleased to see me eat my hat, which is perched upon an appetiser of humble pie. The sequel, One Late Night: Deadline, doesn’t look very appealing. See for yourself.
YOU WERE ALL RIGHT
Actually, I was right. I was right all along. When I wrote about the original, I scribbled down a quick sentence about why pint-sized peril works, in my eyes: “Short-form experiences suit horror particularly well, I feel, because the urge to say or show too much is less likely to take over.”
Months later, here we are with a sequel that has a ghostface (probably killah) in the teaser trailer, which is below. It might as well shuffle in like a Gilliam animation, mumbling and adjusting its greasy overcoat. And the game abandons the claustrophobia of the environment by showing the arrival at work, which immediately makes an escape to reality a stronger possibility. There is also, of course, unnecessary voicework. If it detracts from the atmosphere, just stick with text.
BOO. What’s going on though?
Deadline will stay true to the original game with everyday office routines, and therefore you will from time to time visit the kitchen and utility areas to reduce your drowsiness level by drinking energy drinks and saving your game at the coffee and vending machines. The player is suffering from sleep deprivation from being overworked and this plays in a huge factor in the gameplay. Your drowsiness level will be increasing over time as you play the game and this affects your movement and vision and you may begin to see things that you are not sure if they’re real or not. In the end you’ll want to stay sharp if you want to finish your deadline.
Drowsiness meters are good!
As the story unfolds, you will meet some other people in the building that you will have conversations with. Additionally you will get to hear some voice acting from some of these.
I do not want to meet poorly animated people with drab voices and if I did, I’d go to the pub. However this one ends up, I’m still going to stick up for the atmosphere of the first. And hopefully my early impressions of Deadline are entirely misplaced.