PAX East 2013: Hands-on with Daylight


When I went into this appointment with Zombie Studios, I didn’t really know what to expect. I knew Daylight was a horror video game, and I knew…well, not much else, really. My bar for first-person horror games is set fairly high, thanks to Amnesia, and from what I played, Daylight makes quite an argument for itself.

Playing games on the show floor of a convention is a very difficult way to experience them. So when I say that the game freaked me out on at least two separate occasions, understand that it isn’t an easy thing to do. Playing with a pair of headphones on, I started my slow trek through an abandoned building on the prowl for… I don’t know what. The labored breathing of the character, the wind blowing, as well as the creaking of the building around me set the tone. Oh, let’s not forget the spooky-ass voice that I heard when I slowly opened a door, that wasn’t very cool of Zombie Studios.

One thing I really must mention is how fantastic the game looks. It is running on Unreal Engine 4, and it shows that it is really some next-level stuff. Everything feels very alive and lived in; and the environmental textures are some of the best I have seen in a videogame. Normally I wouldn’t harp on how a game looks so much, but the visual aesthetic is a big part of what drew me into the experience.

The layout of the building is procedurally generated. So each time you play the game, the experience will be different for you outside of the story beats. Walking around with only your cell phone out to light the way, you have to find your way through the institution. Along the way you will come across doors that have…spooky stuff(?) hovering in front of them in which you are required to find a relic that will allow you to pass through the door. This is when the demo ended.

Overall, I played through the demo on the floor two times, and it took only a little over ten minutes. If the rest of the game holds up to this vertical slice, however, Daylight will be fantastic. There is no timeframe for the game announced right now, but I was told to expect something very soon. If you are at PAX East I strongly urge you to check out Daylight in the Astro Gaming booth. It is well worth your time to see.

Author: Eric Smith

News Director. Eric is an experienced freelance writer. He serves as a co-host of The SideQuest, the Lazy Sunday Gaiden, and plays far too many competitive games. When he isn't thinking about videogames, he is probably watching TV or a movie. You know, productive stuff.

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