Daymare: 1998 - PC Review

Daymare is a classic action / horror, 3rd person shooter game where you get to experience a mutated undead infection through the eyes and actions of 3 different characters. Liev, Sam and Raven all are very diverse in their personalities, ways, background and experience, and each react very differently to the spreading of the horrid mutagen.

Coming out on the 17th of September, this title is packed with hard to kill mobs and brain teasing puzzles that are sure to keep you stimulated and on your toes.

Danger lies inside…. Hint: their faces are melted, and they will try to eat you.

The game follows a pretty simple and linear story mode; You must follow the path before you, kill some mobs, do a puzzle, watch a cutscene, have a slightly more difficult mob/boss to kill, then you’re done the chapter. The repetitive process thankfully doesn’t feel monotonous… Neither does it feel too tedious. During the gameplay, the story kept flowing nicely without being dragged down by the continuous sequence.

You start the game by playing Agent Liev, a special agent part of a task force on a mission to recover some highly valuable samples of a bio-weapon, in a lab that has, of course, been contaminated and locked up in a deadly quarantine. From the very first images you get, the game set a gritty, dark and eerie atmospheric vibe, with the ambient darkness and pouring rain. As you guide Agent Liev through the desolate laboratory, 2 things are already certain; 1st thing is that you clearly will be dealing with tons of zombies and an infection spreading far and wide, and 2nd that your current character really isn’t a such a good guy.

It is a bit a bit refreshing in a way that you usually get to play the good guy saving the world, not an arrogant asshole who seemingly takes pleasure in murdering defenseless civilians as much as the infected. Liev obviously has no remorse killing potential civilian and scientists that could cause a threat of failure, or not, to his mission, making snarky comments or feigning some form of empathy just before he blows up their brains.

Discovering dark and twisted experiments in the laboratory.

Unfortunately, from early on, I felt that the dialogue set a humoristic tone, more so than a dramatic one, being very over the top and exaggerated. The characters often made me laugh as they argued like children, or made silly remarks about the world, or other characters around them, which mostly all sounded very unnatural and forced. I get that it is a fantasy game, but nobody would naturally talk like that, stating obvious explanations, making pointless remarks, and talking to themselves in a way to hold the player’s hand, more than once, making the “tragic scenes” unfortunately hilarious.

Your second playable character only manages to make the comical dialogue even worse. Sam would probably be what the game wants us to believe to be the “average joe” reaction to the zombie infection… But he only comes off as unstable, unwise, and very much exaggerated in all his reactions. I simply couldn’t take him seriously and never truly got myself to care about his side of the story… even in all its “tragedy”.

The puzzles are classic in nature. You must analyze some nearby clues to unlock the next part of your chapter, often in form of a locked door. Some are more logical, others more reliant on pure guess or luck.

The now infamous bookcase puzzle kept me busy for quite a while. I’ll never look at books the same way ever again.
That put aside, the character models and general looks of the game are quite decent. It flows nicely, with fluid movements and little details that aim to make the world more immersive. If it wasn’t for the fences and obvious railroading keeping you on the right path to follow, you could almost get the feeling that the cities and areas that you are visiting are immersive, living, and well designed.

The hit boxes can be a bit wonky at times, especially around the shoulders and head areas of the mobs, and with some unflattering camera angles, as your bullets seem to magically teleport behind the mobs, or on unmoving props set before your character, in front of the camera view.
But, aside from that, the mutant zombies feel agile, intelligent considering their infected brains, and dangerous. They are quite fast and resilient. Quiet and deadly. More so than the usual zombies we get in games.

This beautiful face will be chasing, spitting and snarling at you.

They are also quite numerous; to a point that you simply cannot down all of them with the limited amount of ammo that your characters carry. That’s a good thing, though: That factor manages to create a sense of urgency and risk, which encourages you to keep pushing through the dangerous waves. That time sensitive feeling is only amplified by feature that I personally found great, such as real time inventory, reloading, hacking and healing. You also have the option of a slow reload, that puts the empty ammo cartridge back into your inventory or, a fast one, which drops the cartridge on the ground so you can focus on the enemies in front of you.

That urgency does get a bit stalled when you die and must go through what I found to be long loading screens, and you quickly realize that there aren’t that many checkpoints to go around all through the chapters. If you aren’t careful in your endeavors, you will be going through many, many reloading of your chapters, as you go through trial and error trying to figure out where to go, and what to do, since you don’t have enough ammo to waste it. And that gets quite frustrating after 2 or 3 times, and I had to put the game on hold a few times, because I didn’t feel like going through the painful restart of the same, previous segment I’ve done many times before.

Raven being the badass he is.

In general, I felt the game could use some improvement dialogue-wise, and with the current clumsy aiming and background cameras. That said, I also quite enjoyed the background lore, and the characters, Sam aside, felt refreshing and pretty cool. Including the mutated, acid spitting zombies.
If you are a fan of action-based horror games, I think you should give this game a try. It reminded me greatly of Resident Evil 4, both in atmosphere and gameplay-wise, and we all know the world could use more awesome zombie games. I will definitely keep playing it, in goals of finishing the storyline and I look forward to it. I give this game 8 on 10.

Game Information

Invader Studios
Destructive Creations, All in! Games
Action, Survival, Zombies
Single Player
Other Platform(s):
Sony PlayStation 4, Microsoft Xbox One

Provided by Publisher

Article by Mylène


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