Daylight ReviewGuest_Jim_* - May 14, 2014
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As much as I would like to say that the graphics and performance of Daylight are superb and amazing, that is not the case. Both are still good, but have issues that hopefully will be patched away.
The primary source of light for you is your phone that you always hold up providing you with a map. Its light does a good job of revealing what is around you, but the darkness does have an uncanny ability to absorb light. The two secondary sources of light are glow sticks and flares that both come with some special mechanic. The glow sticks illuminate secrets and flares drive off the Shadows; the things that will kill you with a look and a scream.
In the hospital, you can see it has been abandoned for a long time by the paint peeling off of the walls. It is not just chipped and falling away, but actually peeling off and curling away from the wall and ceiling. At least that is how it is supposed to look. In a couple of places I have seen things attached perpendicularly to the walls, instead of having a more natural looking geometry. The first time I saw it, it was paint sticking out, and the second time it was cobwebs.
(The first two images show the peeling paint, while the third shows it sticking out.)
Another issue I spotted was with some light rays coming through some boarded up windows. The rays look a lot harder than they should have been, making the scene just look off to me. I also spotted a large piece of cloth attached to the ceiling, spinning around and around at high speed, obviously due to some physics glitch.
As far as the static environment is concerned, the game definitely looks good, forgiving those issues above. Really, it does set the atmosphere of a haunted world very well, especially when combined with the sound effects that never let you forget you are alone. They also do not let you forget what your footsteps sound like. One of the first things I noticed and thought about was that it seemed really weird that someone as terrified as Sarah, your in-game character, would not be creeping around as silently as possible.
As the footsteps already demonstrated to a point, once you start interacting with the environment, its quality starts to fall apart. The game does have some physics objects, primarily cloths hanging over objects that will move like there is a breeze and react to you running into/through them. Small boxes, wheelchairs, and more though are completely stationary and immovable. It is definitely weird to be walking around and have a cardboard box, half the height of your knees stop you.
There are a few more issues, but I want to bring up the performance and options first, so here are my specs:
- Processor: AMD A10-5800K @ 4.40 GHz (44.0x100)
- Cooling: Corsair H110
- Motherboard: ASUS F2A85-M PRO
- GPU: EVGA GTX 770 2 GB
- PhysX: EVGA GTX 570 1280 MB
- Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws 4x8 GB (32 GB total) at 1866 MHz 10-10-10-27
- PSU: OCZ Fata1ty 750 W
- OS: Windows 7- Professional 64-bit
I put the game to its maximum settings for every option and it largely runs perfectly, without any drops from 60 FPS. However, it does suffer from occasional stutters that are very noticeable and definitely annoying. In one error, the stuttering was really bad as Daylight was apparently taking a while to load the area I was already in. The objects in the room were loaded when I entered, but when the stuttering stopped, the coloring of the room changed. At first it was dark with a more yellow light filling it, but then it spontaneously switched to being primarily lit by a blue light. While there is nothing wrong with the scene being lit with a blue light, it should not have changed in front of me like that.
Even though I have depth of field turned on with the Bokeh filter, it really does not look that good to me. The blurring at distance seems more extreme than it should be, and it also does not always blur. In one area, I spotted a light down a long tunnel, and at a certain distance I could see what the light was illuminating. One step back and only the light source was visible.
Two more graphical issues I have found are related to the edges of objects. For some reason, every edge in the game has a border around it, like you are looking through a prism or some kind of 3D rendering option is enabled. As I do not have a 3D monitor and have the option turned off in the menu, I have no explanation for this.
The other odd edge issue is really only evident when you are somewhere that water drops are falling, which are not uncommon. For some reason, even though the drops are falling in front of your phone and hand, they will actually take on the color of your phone and hand. If the drops were between your hand/phone and eyes, then it would make some sense for the droplet to change color, as the light passes through it, but that is not the case. The drops are clearly beyond your hand and phone, and there is no way they are going to be reflecting your skin color. If anything they should be reflecting the light of the phone back at you.
Returning to the interaction with the environment briefly, despite the areas you find yourself in with the water drops practically raining down on you, they never actually fall on you or your phone.
So that was a lot of talk about issues, but luckily none are too horrible. Irritating and bad looking, yes, but nothing that is totally unforgivable. Many of which are things I would like to see patched away though.
Altogether I am comfortable saying two things about the graphics. The first is that, while the graphics do a good job of setting the game, they overall fail to be impressive. The second point is that I am looking forward to that Unreal Engine 4 powered AAA game that does a better job of showing what is possible with it.