A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know Daylight is a survival horror game with no onscreen fighting or violence, but plenty of sincere scares and a bit of strong language, including a couple of F-bombs. Players will also discover notes describing grisly scenes of torture, murder, and more as they take on the role of a young woman, Sarah, attempting to escape the shadowy corridors of a long-abandoned medical facility haunted by a ghostly witch. Sarah doesn't say much and never tries to battle her pursuer, but she appears capable and courageous, even while running from danger.
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What's it about?
A young woman named Sarah wakes in an abandoned medical facility alone and with no memory in DAYLIGHT, a downloadable game for Windows PC and PlayStation 4. Armed only with her phone -- which she uses as both map and flashlight -- and a limited supply of glow sticks and flares, she begins exploring the old, dark, maze-like building in which she finds herself, which has a 150-year history serving as everything from a hospital and asylum to a psychiatric penitentiary. Her only companion is a mysterious voice that occasionally emanates from her phone, telling her to look for magical symbols and old notes left by the institution's staff that describe strange and terrible events. Before long, Sarah also begins seeing a mysterious woman floating in the hallway, drifting toward her. When this happens she can light a flare to scare her away. If she has no flares, her only remaining option is to run.
Is it any good?
Daylight begins with an intriguing premise -- a woman exploring a mysterious old hospital who prudently runs from danger instead of facing and fighting it -- that results in some legitimate chills. Its creepy audio effects and the sudden, unexplained movement of objects around the environment are enough to make even seasoned horror gamers want to turn on the lights and check behind the couch.
Unfortunately, it quickly and steadily descends into repetition and predictability. The hospital's mazes of halls and rooms are randomly generated, and, consequently, end up pretty generic and unmemorable. And each of the game's chapters plays out in almost exactly the same way: Search for a magical gate and key, picking up any notes you happen upon along the way while dodging the witch whenever she shows up. It's short -- three hours at most -- but most players will be ready for it to end long before reaching its final, deeply clichéd act.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about games that eschew combat to focus instead on other forms of action and suspense. Daylight is about spooky exploration and has no fighting. What other games have you played that kept you glued to the screen without resorting to battles?
Families can also discuss what they thought of the game's lead character, Sarah. Is she a strong protagonist? Is there any way the game's creators could have fleshed her out a little more? Did it matter that she was female?
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