One of the most boring 'horror' experiences in years, the only thing scary about Daylight is that anyone would take it seriously. A cheap mixture of lazy horror cliches (lank haired ghost ladies! Mobile phones acting as Supernatural Early Alarm Systems! Terrible writing!) and grating game mechanics, it's lazy, obvious, and barely worthy of anyone's time.
The setup is weak, and disintegrates from there. Awakening in an abandoned hospital, protagonist Sarah has to find her way out, guided only by the aforementioned phone and a doctor (played, impressively for a dead man, by Vincent Price), whose disembodied voice acts as a tour guide around the world's worst haunted house. Each stage requires players to acquire a certain amount of items before escaping into, essentially, a warp gate. You're hindered in this quest by scary ghost woman, who can be seen off via flares you pick up along the way.
The levels are procedurally generated, which would be interesting if it helped build a creeping sense of disorientation. Sadly, Daylight's pacing is all wrong: you start in a dark, dank room; you walk through dark, dank rooms; you know there are more dark, dank rooms coming, each of which seems constructed using the Big Book of Overused Horror Iconography. The best horror is based on juxtaposition with reality. The Overlook Hotel's evil is hidden, at first, by its seemingly ordinary nature. Silent Hill, in some form, could pass for a real town.
There's a dread to these places that's merely augmented by the antagonists. By the third or fourth creepy ward/office/jail in Daylight you're not scared, you're settled in. It doesn't help that what you actually do in these environments is incredibly dull: either running around hoping to stumble onto the items you need or solving basic crate-pushing/power-switching 'puzzles'.
Throw in some truly dreadful writing (the newspaper clippings that tell the story are so nakedly expositional and poorly delivered as to be laughable) and an enemy that actually runs away from you at times and you've got a stinker.
Version Tested: PC. Played for 3 hours.
4 / 10
- Erm...the running animation is quite good.
- Crate puzzles?!
- Terrible story.
- Repetitive gameplay.