A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Deadlight: Director's Cut is a downloadable side-scrolling platformer where players have to run, jump, and climb so they don't get eaten by zombies. While zombies can be shot with guns or smacked with an ax, players can also just run past them (and, in many cases, probably should). But while there are some graphic and bloody movie scenes that set up the game's story, the game is actually played in silhouette, which minimizes the gore. The game also has a scary vibe, with violent death around every corner, whether it's falling from the top of a building, landing on some spikes, or just being chomped on by the undead. This is why the hero, on occasion, uses such curse words as "s--t" and "hell." There are also times when players will run past liquor stores but won't drink.
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What's it about?
DEADLIGHT: DIRECTOR'S CUT casts you as a middle-aged man who's trying to find his friends and family in the middle of a zombie apocalypse. The game is set long after society has collapsed, and you do what you must to survive while making your way across the remains of Seattle, and it largely involves running, jumping, climbing, and, on occasion, killing some of the undead. Along the way, you run into other survivors and a lot of zombies, while also having flashbacks that reveal what happened to your family before the zombie apocalypse began.
Is it any good?
By using a unique, visual style that casts you, the world, and your enemies in silhouette, this side-scrolling platformer set during a zombie apocalypse manages to be both scary and invigorating. In the game, you have to make your way through the zombie-filled streets of Seattle, which often means taking detours across rooftops, through abandoned buildings, and even into the underground. But while you do a lot of running, jumping, and climbing -- as well as some zombie killing -- what sets this apart from other virtual obstacle courses is that the game is all played in silhouette, which not only gives it a scary vibe but is also often used to great effect, such as when you jump onto the ledge of an apartment building only to have it revealed that there's a zombie inside. Unfortunately, the shadowy visuals can also sometimes be a problem, such as when you can't tell that you're supposed to climb through a fence that's been cut. The director's cut also adds a shallow and redundant mode called Survival where you use a variety of weapons to face off against waves and waves of zombies. Still, even with these minor issues, Deadlight: Director's Cut is still a scary good time.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about violence in games as it relates to the undead. Does the violence in this game feel different because it's against zombies? How does it feel to shoot something that used to be human but is now a monster, as opposed to a human or something that was always a monster?
Talk about the visual style of the game. Does having the game played in silhouette make you feel differently about killing zombies? Does it change the perspective of the player for the action sequences of the game?
Talk about surviving a catastrophe. Do you know what to do in the event of a cataclysm along the lines of a zombie apocalypse?
- Platforms: PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox One
- Price: $19.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: Deep Silver
- Release date: June 20, 2016
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Topics: Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
- ESRB rating: M for Blood, Violence, Sexual Themes, Strong Language
- Last updated: November 2, 2020
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