Daylight: ward off insane spirits with a cell phone

Omri Petitte at

Daylight

True terror: awakening in a decrepit asylum with incredibly smooth hands, armed only with iOS 6 Maps to save you.

Zombie Studios sent word last December that it'd licensed the powerful Unreal Engine 4 for an unnamed "psychological thriller game." Now, the studio behind Blacklight has a totally-non-ironic name for its project: Daylight, a horror-wanderer of Amnesia: The Dark Descent ilk set in a decayed, procedurally-generated insane asylum.

With no name and no memory of unceremoniously arriving at the asylum, players piece together the events of the past while seeking escape from the building's tangled ruin. The procedural generation tech, Zombie claims, means no two playthroughs will be the same. The studio says each session lasts around half an hour, which suggests a need for multiple runs to figure out the full story.

"Different players will have a totally different experience," Creative Director Jared Gerritzen says. "You’re essentially a rat in a cage, but the cage is an asylum and it’s scary as hell. You need to find your way out, and each time you do it it’s completely different."

Instead of weapons, you're given a cell phone that warns you when psycho phantoms are lurking nearby and acts as a compass and makeshift flashlight. It also occasionally becomes "possessed" to play snippets of expository video or show images. This is the true power of 4G LTE.

Contemporary torches like as flares and glowsticks stave off ghostly foes for a short duration, but Daylight's clear directive, like Amnesia, lies in avoidance and moments of panicky cat-and-mouse chases. And with an expected 2013 release date and $20 price on Steam, it should be one of the first Unreal Engine 4 games you'll get your hands on.

Below, a couple exclusive screenshots Zombie shared with us:

Daylight moonlight

Daylight asylum