Paperwork And Peril: One Late Night – Deadline

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.


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.


  1. Sheogorath says:

    I disagree with the article’s writer, but respect his right to have an opinion contrary to my own. I further applaud his criticism of what he perceives as negative changes to gameplay styles while retaining a positive outlook for new mechanics.

    • Premium User Badge

      Adam Smith says:

      Kind Sir/Madam, I thank you for your comment but would it be rude to ask if you have ever visited the Internet before? This is simply not how things are done in these parts.

      Pistols at dawn shall settle the matter.

      • Sheogorath says:

        Pistols at dawn is for QTE loving console scrubs. Rapiers or nothing, sir!

  2. Philomelle says:

    I thought a ghost that chases you around and tries to kill you was the worst part of One Late Night. It really distracted from the whole “you’re alone in an office at night and every sound/sight feels different from what it really is” experience. A shame that they decided to shove the sequel in that direction.

    What next? A Year Walk sequel where the Brook Horse chases you around with an axe while spewing pseudo-philosophical drivel?

    • CookPassBabtridge says:

      You know what I find terrifying?
      The death of my children. The fading of my abilities.
      Someone should make a game about that. Like, include a mechanic where I totally fuck up throwing a grenade at some enormous insects and accidentally blow up a Wendy house, then I maybe piss myself. Money. I would pay.


      • frightlever says:

        There are people who want to have sex with cars. No not THAT kind of auto-erotic. These people think, hey I like sex, and I like cars, so why don’t I combine the two… genius.

        Me, I like games that make me feel like superman and if I want an emotional experience I’ll read a book, or watch a Pixar movie.

        • CookPassBabtridge says:

          Not sure if this was clear but I was making a joke at Gabe Newell / HL3’s expense, as opposed to genuinely wishing for a game involving infant mortality

  3. Jollyrogers says:

    Bleh. The Deus Ex highlight interaction feels really out of place here. The whole thing just feels like a “look at this pretty level I made” showcase. The voice acting also bugs me to no end.

    But at least it’s not an asylum, I suppose.

  4. Ultra Superior says:

    Is that a scream? Surely I couldn’t have imagined it!

    Dear player, in case you wonder why I talk to myself, let me offer an explanation: it helps me

    keep bad at bay – bad at bay
    My voice is the light
    Scaring darkness away!

    I’m so talking with you
    Purge the soul
    Let my voice be your goal!

    The power of voice
    A force from voice chords
    Cleaning your soul
    Flame on burn desire
    Mouth with tongue of fire
    Purge the soul
    Make my voice your goal!

    My words will protect you from the hooded claw
    Keep the vampires from your door
    When the chips are down my voice will be around
    With my undying, death-defying
    Speech for you!

    This time we don’t go sublime
    I tell you all – rewind rewind
    My voice is danger, my voice is pleasure
    My voice is pure – the only treasure

    I’m so talking to you
    Purge the soul…

  5. yhancik says:

    That footsteps sound.

    • Muzman says:

      yes! footstep sounD singular! Aaargh
      They go to all the bother of putting together the rest of the building nicely and then show the game with that. People can say what they like about Amnesia’s tricks, but that game had some of the finest audio.
      Work on that, indie devs, if you’re going to do immersive stuff.

  6. The Random One says:

    The worst part about One Late Night is that it’s essentially how knockoff slenderlady haunts an office for some contrived reason. The ghost/monster could be related to something untoward the company was doing, but no, let’s just transpose the background of the scary house in the woods directly to the office next door.

    • dskzero says:

      The concept without a ghost might have been wonderful, but as it is, it’s a pretty mediocre game. I still wonder what made it seem better to reviewers.

  7. tnzk says:

    You could count “subtle horror” games on your fingers, so they really haven’t gone anywhere. They’re just sporadic.