Last Friday night I played Burning Daylight, an immersive and completely free sci-fi game. With a cup of tea in one hand and the mouse in the other, I went to a place that I know well, Netflix. Unfortunately, my dear Netflix didn’t store anything that got my interest or that I haven’t watched already. It was then that I remembered something, Steam.
A couple of days ago I got a message in the middle of my work that a new game was free in the Steam Store. So as the fan of freebies I am, I went to the website, downloaded it right away to play it as soon as possible. However, time is ruthless, and I found myself consumed by work and forgot that I even had the game, until last Friday night. So here I am, wanting to share my experience, with the pleasant surprise of Burning Daylight
40 minutes in a dystopian future
Burning Daylight is a 40 minutes PC game developed by 12 students from the Animation Workshop. The title was released for free on April 19th on Steam. The game is a sci-fi adventure that takes place in a Cyberpunk dystopian future. For starters, this game is more the walk-em-up type of gameplay. It’s supposed to have some light puzzle elements. Yet, I could barely say it’s a puzzle game. What you are intended to do in each scenario is so clear that never did I consider it a puzzle. I do find the experience more like a walking simulator.
You will wake up naked and surrounded by darkness and dead bodies in what seems a giant slaughterhouse and with no idea of who you are or what’s happening around you. The feeling of vulnerability it’s palpable in the air. Yet, Naked or not I felt the need to get out of there so I start our journey. While walking, you will this giant machines recollecting dead bodies. You don’t get much about the game, but as you progress and keep on walking you will discover more about the place you seem to be trapped on.
Great aesthetic with a touch of darkness
At first, I couldn’t stop comparing the game with similar experiences like Limbo and Inside. Even though it does seem to be lightly inspired by those titles, it still does a great job of demonstrating its individuality.
The moment you get to walk through the streets(completely naked I must say) is clear technology seems to be the antagonist of the story. You will encounter a lot of people. Even though I did get closer to them to see if we could speak and finally get some information, I noticed that wasn’t a possibility. You won’t get a single word from them. However, if you observe them you can get clues of what is happening.
An enticing virtual world
Every single person in the game you find seems to be engrossed in their own world by using some kind of headset/goggles. A couple of minutes into the game I found some clothes(don’t want to say I steal it, but yes I basically did) and the augmented reality goggles that everyone seems to be using. It was then I understand what made everyone so distant from reality.
Once you put on the goggles, you experience the world that everyone else is seeing and it does look enticing. there is a variety of colorful ads and what seem like 8-bit coins are showing the path you need to follow. The goggles also provide you with a company in the form of the AI Sara.
Sara will narrate every move and will guide you on what to do. At first, I was intrigued by everything I saw. Sara sounded so cheerful and sometimes even funny. Everything started looking more like a colorful game thanks to the goggles. Yet, something felt off, especially when Sara gave me my first mission. To get access to certain places, you will need to hit what looks like a hologram. However, without the goggles to cloud your vision of the real world, it’s clear that a real person is receiving all the blows from everyone. I was a relief when my goggles went off. I didn’t have to listen to Sara’s voice again.
A well-crafted adventure
By this point, I can say without doubts that Burning daylight it’s a well-crafted game for being a students project. Most of the time, the animation and backgrounds are just breathtaking, especially when you are nearing the end of the story. The nudity is something you should be aware of. However, every single scene has a purposed in highlighting the world displayed.
The game seems to be inspired by 80’s cyberpunk sci-fi movies. So if you are a fan of films like Ghost in the Shell or Blade Runner, you will find Burning Daylight a great experience. The light and the Camera Angles works perfectly on making the background shines on every shot.
Knowledge or power?
By the time I got to the final stage I was able to understand the type of world our protagonist is living in. After everything that I saw, I found myself in front of two choices, Knowledge or power. I remembered the words “Without the knowledge even power is useless.” So I found myself choosing what I thought was the right thing to do. However I played the last chapter two times to see if the end depends on what you choose, but it ended with the same results every single time. Which I feel it’s just little bummer considering it will have been awesome to get different endings.
An ambitious project
I found burning daylight a creative and ambitious project. It touches a couple of delicate themes subtly and unique way. I did experience a couple of glitches like sound lost or getting stuck in an escalator. Although nothing that was a major problem. There is a chapter system which allows you to get to specifics points in the game.
On the other hand, there isn’t a saving point. In case you left at the end of a chapter, you will be able to start that chapter from the beginning, but nothing else. Steam describe Burning Daylight as a puzzle game, but the puzzles were barely there. At some point, you will have to move a table to break a glass. Then, you will open some doors or steal a pair of shoes from a dead body. But nothing of it will be quite a challenge for your brain to figure it out.
Is it worth playing?
Burning daylight, it’s more like an immersive experience as it is. However, I hope to see more of this game in the future as a more evolved version. Even if it means paying for it like any other game. Considering that right now the title is completely free on Steam, it’s better than I could ever anticipate from a students project. I believe it’s a memorable title worth playing.
Are you having a hard day? Check out our pick relaxing games for a complicated day, you might find something for you.