Tequila Works is an indie studio based in Madrid, Spain which consists of former Blizzard , MercurySteam, Pyro, Sony Computer Entertainment, and Weta Digital members, who worked on major projects like Diablo III, Heavy Rain, the Motorstorm and Commandos sagas, and Castlevania: Lords of Shadow.
Their first attempt as a Studio is Deadlight, a promising cinematic puzzle platformer that draws similarities to Prince of Persia, Limbo and Shadow Complex in terms of gameplay,and has touches from I am Legend, 28 Days Later and The Walking Dead. The game is set in an apocalyptic world where existence is futile, and you take control of Randall Wayne, a solitary who man treks the American west coast.
“America is a magnet for catastrophes! The 80s have a unique visual appeal, and also marks the beginning of the end of the Cold War. Paranoia and fear defined most of the 80s; add chaos to remove civilization and you will get a world based in distrust and individual survival. The Pacific Nortwest was ideal to boost the feeling of solitude and isolation that Randall feels all the time. The dead are the lucky ones in Deadlight, as they don’t have to deal with the pain and starvation that will slowly turn the living insane.”, said Raul Rubio of Tequila Studios discussing the concept of the game.
Many zombie related games like Dead Island, Left 4 Dead, Dead Rising and DayZ, managed to present us post apocalyptic survival zombie elements on a very unfamiliar and intriguing way keeping the interest in the genre high. Does Deadlight manage to deliver something unique in this over-saturated universe? Read on to find out.
Sound & Vision
Even though Deadlight brings a 2D gameplay its 3D graphics, featuring suburbs, sewers, office blocks and abandon motorways, in dark grays, blacks and browns colours, are more than satisfying. Powered by Epic’s Unreal Engine, the emphasis on detail is obvious and gives you the impression that Randall can move everywhere in the game however this is not the case because of Deadlight’s linear nature. Some visual glitches where enemies can go through walls don’t manage to ruin the overall good impression.
The 80’s are present everywhere with Retro Playboy calendars hanging on the walls of inner city garages, mouldy posters fluttering in the breeze and scraps of gig posters for hair metal bands resting half-torn on the ground.
The orchestral soundrack accompanies the game perfectly, supporting the haunting atmosphere created by Deadlight’s graphics. Voice work is at times brilliant and at times a disappointment. If Tequila Works had been able to spend a bit more in that field, this would have been a contender for a best voice acting award. Randall and The Rat Man sound as you would expect but the rest of the crew is not so memorable. The background sounds manage to increase the suspense that the game has, with noises of things falling, sounds of dripping water and grunts.