Take a Look at Daylight, The Terrifying First Unreal Engine 4 Game

By Michael Epstein email: m.epstein@gamenguide.com , Updated Feb 08, 2013 09:58 AM EST
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Daylight, a procedurally-generated horror game from a small indie developer, will be the first game released using next-gen design engine Unreal Engine 4.

The game, developed by a six-person self-funded team at Zombie Studios, will use procedurally-generated level design to create a horror experience that players can return to over and over without knowing where all the scares are. According to Polygon, Zombie chief Jared Gerritzen has a history of making frightening games, with experience working on two games in the F.E.A.R series and Condemned: Criminal Origins.

Penned by IGN host Jessica Chobot, Daylight tells the story of a woman who wakes up to find herself trapped inside a haunted insane asylum. Players will be forced to avoid and escape the spectres of the asylum's past residents: The woman will have no weapons, and will only be able to ward off her attackers using bright light sources like flares. The story was inspired by urban legends, as well as Chobot's own experiences as an Urban Spelunker.

Elements of the story will be told in short, non-linear bursts, and players won't be likely to piece the entire story together in a single playthrough. The minimalist storytelling style also plays a key role in creating an air of tense mystery. "We used a lot of true history and elements of truth to make it really scary," Gerritzen said. "We don't want to tell the player who the character is, we want them to learn and speculate." Though Daylight will be a complete game right off the bat, Gerritzen says that he plans to release extra "chapters" post-release, which will add new areas to explore and extra story elements. 

Unreal Engine 4 will also play a pivotal role in striking fear into the hearts of Daylight players. In addition to the obviously enhanced graphical fidelity, the Zombie team is spending a lot of time to use the game's lighting to help establish the game's pacing and ambiance. Using items like glow sticks and flares will technically help players navigate the world and keep enemies at bay but creepy shadows and evidence of evidence of the asylum's violent past may make players wish they had left world dark.

Daylight will be released on Steam later this year.

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