The meek shine of a cell phone light provides precious little comfort in the dark halls of an abandoned hospital. Its glow throws menacing shadows across every wall and beneath long-abandoned wheelchairs. Creaking steps and whispers flutter down the passage, and the promise of a scare is never far off. But Daylight, which launches on PS4 this April, offers a different take on the classic genre. And with the developers at Zombie Studios taking a keen interest in streaming tech, the horror of playing alone could actually be a shared experience.
Crafted by a small team at Zombie, Daylight follows the frightened footsteps of Sarah Gwynn as she works her way through a series of haunting environs. While many horror games rely on finely tuned scares specific to the moment, Daylight uses procedurally generated play to keep every moment fresh. Levels and scares change for each player, meaning that no two sessions will be identical. And no player will know exactly when that foreboding whisper will turn into a howling spectre hungry for Sarah’s life.
In Daylight, players have no weapons – only flares to fend off the supernatural powers at work in the hospital. Sarah’s only hope is escape. Not fighting for her life, but running for it. And Daylight involves a lot of breathless running, as players guide Sarah through the labyrinthine corridors and thick forests in hope of finding a way home. Collecting items (often in the form of creepy notes) will progress the story forward, and inch players one step closer to the end.
But the team at Zombie has other plans for Daylight. Streaming has been a huge boon to the PS4 community, and the devs want Daylight to have an involved relationship with livestreams. The hope is to allow viewers to control the actual scares in a streamer’s experience, providing a much more interactive dynamic between player and audience. This new form of communal play has been showered with attention recently thanks to the Twitch community streaming a classic RPG as a group.
With harrowing sound effects, random scares, and even 3D support (offering an incredible degree of depth), Daylight is already damn scary. And there’s nothing more horrifying than giving the internet the ability to frighten you, too.