Hands-On Preview: Daylight – Random Horror Picture Show

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As I was cruising the showfloor at PAX this week, something caught my eye. Whoops. Sorry, my ear. Screaming. Looking over at the Astro booth, I immediately saw a terrified young woman virtually being killed by a ghost. A common sight at PAX, to be sure, but this particular game seemed different.

Daylight is a procedurally generated first-person horror game by Zombie Studios, who you might know from the free-to-play Blacklight: Retribution. Oh, and I guess maaaaybe it’s worth mentioning that it’s running on Unreal Engine 4.

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It’s got quite a scary concept for a horror game, to boot. Playing as an isolated female character locked inside of an asylum with no weapons, it’s up to you to escape.

Though I was playing on relatively buggy pre-alpha code, Daylight immediately brought back good memories of Amnesia: The Dark Descent. With its dark, oppressive atmosphere and its lack of combat, the developers seem to understand what made Amnesia the stellar horror experience that it was.

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Using only a cellphone to light your way, the demo consisted of listening to scary ghost noise while my character freaked out (so much swearing!) and opening doors to press on through the asylum. Creepy happenstances encircling me on the way; with each creak of a rusty door or sound of a footstep I could feel my neck tightening.

At least until I was killed by a ghost as soon as I entered a room.

Daylight is going to be a game to look for. At its best, it could be horrifying and intense. At its worst, it will be interesting. Look for it on Steam later this year, though you’ll probably need a beefy PC to run it.

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Tyler Humphrey is a bearded fan of all things video game, Tarantino films, comic books, and professional wrestling. Follow him on Twitter (@AlmostApollo) to keep up with his nonsense and misadventures.

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