An odd origin story, perhaps, for a studio that’s now mostly known for their bright, colourful artwork and raw, emotional sucker punches, but Deadlight was very much a product of its time. When Telltale’s The Walking Dead was at the peak of its popularity and everyone wanted in on some munching zombie action.
Considering it was the first game Tequila Works ever made, it looked incredible. It was a 2D side-scroller at its core, but the lush, 3D backdrops seemed to stretch on for miles, adding a welcome sense of depth and texture to this chaotic apocalypse that helped keep the game on a permanent knife-edge. It seemed like anything could stumble into the foreground as you moved through its dense, multi-layered environments. I don’t think I’ve seen anything quite like it, outside of the stomach-churning dog chases from Playdead’s Inside, which gives me goosebumps to this day.
Sure, Deadlight’s story was a bit naff and main chap Randall Wayne was a gruff, walking, talking cliché of a man, but at a time when most zombie games were either The Walking Dead or third-person shooty-mc-shoot fests like Dead Island or DayZ, this felt like a breath of fresh air by comparison. It might not feel like anything special today, but as a museum piece in the zombie genre as a whole, it’s worth taking a run at.