As a retired UT2K4/Counter Strike enthusiast, there’s nothing more attractive to me than a game that requires precision, quick reflexes and nerves of steel. Enter Deadlock, a combination of puzzle and platforming presented in a first person perspective with a beat-the-clock attitude slapped on top to keep things moving as fast as possible.
Your goal is simple – scale the numerous obstacles each level throws at you in an attempt to finish it in the fastest time possible. Alongside the obvious hazard of falling into the cataclysmic void below you, there’s also giant red force fields, angry mechanised turrets, and giant floating cubes of death to contend with. Did I mention there’s going to be tons of death?
Because of its current alpha state I was given access to three of the game levels, each one featuring more complex and challenging obstacles than the last. What starts out as a simple hop, skip and a jump across a few platforms in the first level soon turns into a spectacular weave of double jumps and lightning-fast dashes as multiple laser grids fly at you from every direction. Of course, we won’t mention the 20 ungraceful deaths and rage-induced shouting that came beforehand, but when you finally manage to pull off that perfect medley of agility the feeling of satisfaction is worth the pain.
I can recall one tense situation near the end of level three forcing me to run down a long narrow beam as laser grid panels flew by. With each panel sporting a slender horizontal gap too small to jump through, you need to try and aim your switch gun at a small pad off the side of these fast moving panels to flip the laser grid and squeeze through the gap. To top off that display of dexterous hell, half way down the beam of Beelzebub is a set of giant fans, with the express mission to knock you and your delusions of skill into the pit of death below.
The scope of Deadlock isn’t entirely certain at this point, but the developers are planning on adding more content over the next few months including two extra levels, extra enemies, power-ups, collectable items, cutscenes for story mode and achievements. From what I was shown in the alpha levels, Deadlock is well on its way to becoming a solid entry in the indie market, where nail biting tension collides with split second precision in a beautifully presented world. Oh and one last thing, F*** these moving blocks!
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