Daylight was announced back in June with a teaser trailer that showed some hallways and a levitating child’s doll. The new pictures build on this trailer and showcase the way the player will interact with the increasingly spooky environments.
All You Can Do Is Run
The first major accolade of the game is that there are no weapons. Taking a leaf out of Amnesia‘s book, our protagonist, Sarah Gwynn, has no gun, no knife, and no steel pipe (a la Silent Hill). She, as far as we know, is defenceless unless the ruined teddy bear in her left hand can do some damage. I cannot stress enough how important this step is for a horror game and for a non-sequel to realise this is almost reason enough to buy it.
Each Level Is Different Every Time
Gwynn’s primary tool is her cell phone. This appeared at the end of the trailer and in every screenshot. It functions as this game’s lantern/torch/flashlight as well as her map. This represents the second triumph of Daylight. Open levels to encourage exploration and give players plenty of opportunity to get into trouble but a self-updating map to keep you on track.
While there is a certain romance to playing cartographer on a whiteboard, it pays to keep people moving in the right direction. Which is a good thing, too, as Daylight uses procedural generation to ensure no play through is the same and offers possibly different story elements each time.
Daylight Is Content And Story-Heavy
Unfortunately, Daylight happens to take place in perhaps the most clichéd locations for any horror game. Sewers and abandoned hospitals are stock scenery for any scary adventure and get a bit old. It’s understandable why Zombie used them, and the lore of the game certainly makes it clear. So we have Mid Island Bay Hospital that was closed back in 1948 after a tragic accident killed thousands and only once since by a company excavated twelve “grave-sized holes.”
Under the hospital, its expansive network of sewers connect it to what is presumably the source of the supernatural happenings in the trailer. Only time will tell just where Daylight’s plot will take it.
Another tactic that Daylight borrows from pool of generic horror game elements is that of an amnesiac protagonist. Sarah Gwynn wakes up in the aforementioned hospital with no recollection of how she got there. It is a small complaint and a perfectly valid plot device to use but I cannot help but feel a more original way to throw her into the fray would give it more punch. In the end, however, the amnesia may be incidental. We will just have to wait and see what comes after and make an opinion based on that.
Without seeing and hearing the game in action with a gameplay trailer, it is hard to make a call about Daylight. But from these screenshots and new pieces of information, Daylight may very well be the excuse I have been looking for to buy a PS4.