Being a video game journalist doesn't give you the qualifications to be a video game designer: Daylight is proof of that.
Created by a staff comprised of two former IGN employees, Anthony Gallegos and Jessica Chobot, the only thing scary about this game is that someone will purchase this over Outlast.
Haven't I Played This Before?
Daylight reads like a "Greatest Hits" version of the various horror tropes that have come before it. You play as a young woman who can only run from her enemies. The game takes place first in an abandoned hospital, then in an abandoned forest. The story is told by finding items throughout the environment, such as notes. The majority of scares revolve around "jump scares." The basic premise of the game is just an elaborate fetch quest. The list goes on and on. Everything in Daylight you've likely seen someplace else, and done better at that.
The story, written by ex-IGN employee Jessica Chobot, is disjointed, confusing, and filled with more holes than a piece of swiss cheese. The fact that Daylight's direct competitor, Outlast, does a much better job telling its story is another mark against it. It's clear that Chobot, who made a name for herself as an on-air personality for IGN and whose only writing credit seems to be Daylight, has no real writing experience and only succeeds in bringing the game down. The ending in particular is just awful.
However, we play horror games for the scares and even then Daylight falls flat. The ghost that chases you is boring, predictable and at times, obnoxious with her incessant screaming. You never feel frightened by the ghost chasing you, and one of the major reasons for that is the poor graphics.
A Poor First Showing For Unreal Engine 4
Daylight is the first game to use the Unreal Engine 4 graphics engine and unfortunately, that fact does more harm than good. The game has substandard textures, stilted animation and looks far worse than games running on Unreal Engine 3. Expectations were high for the first commercial showing of the Unreal Engine 4 and Daylight sets the bar very, very low for the engine. If I was Epic, I wouldn't really be too happy.
One of the game's selling points is that the levels are procedurally generated, so no two experiences are the same. Unfortunately, the game is so bland that repeated playthroughs don't feel that unique at all, with the only real difference you'll notice is that the location of items and exits on each map is different. Despite its claims, the game doesn't lend itself to replaybility at all since it's unlikely you'll want to experience it twice.
One of the game's strongest points is it's Twitch.tv interaction, where viewers can vote on the outcome of the game as you play through. If you're someone who has a large following on Twitch, you'll love this feature. It works well and is fun, provided you have a big enough Twitch following.
What's Scary is How Many Bugs This Game Has
Daylight is riddled with bugs, glitches and other oddities that will make you wonder how it managed to pass certification. Ghosts will glitch through walls, at one point my character fell through the environment and the game locked up at least three times while I played it.
One of Daylight's best features is that the game can be completed within two to three hours. If you're a fan of horror, Outlast's Whistleblower DLC, released one week after Daylight, is a much, much better experience for a few dollars less.
If you've already finished Outlast and are really, really wanting a horror fix, you might find some value in Daylight but for everyone else, you're better off just running the opposite direction.
Final Score: 3/10
Article by - Joshua Phillips
Insert Date: 5/2/2014