Estimated reading time: 4 minutes
Having released Daymare: 1998 on PC in 2019 and consoles in 2020, Invader Studios are back with a prequel to their take on the zombie apocalypse with Daymare: 1994 Sandcastle. Taking on the shoes of Dalila Reyes, a former government spy now in the service of H.A.D.E.S. unit, our first look has her going through a seemingly secret government facility in which only corpses can be found littering the ground as something is banging on the outside door trying to get in.
Check out Mylene’s PC Review and Pierre-Yves’ PS4 Review of the original Daymare: 1998.
Overall enjoying my time with Invader Studios’ first title short of how zombies just didn’t die which was my only major complaint, I liked having a classic zombie based puzzle horror Resident Evil styled experience that was made by someone else. On that point, Invader Studios delivered a solid experience with its own mechanics and quirks to help you survive. Back again and with its own new quirks, this is really just a quick taste of Daymare: 1944 Sandcastle but I think we are in for a good time if the introduction is anything to go by.
Not exactly sure where it’ll fit into the overall adventure, other than perhaps somewhere close to the beginning, the current build that we got to take a look at set us up in some sort of US Government military installation. Dark and quietly eerie, this space works as a great introduction for how to move around as Dalila as she searches for a man named Commander Foster.
From the moment that you are given control of Dalila it is clear to see that the development team have put a lot of work into their latest title. While no longer being able to walk, jog and run like in Daymare: 1998, walking and running are easy to swap between and both feel natural as you move through the installation that we got to play through. Switching from looking around to aiming is the same thing and there are no issues with lining up for a headshot even with a controller which felt like it was thought of from the beginning and not an afterthought.
As for what you’ll be aiming at… that’s something I’m going to want a lot more context on but my interest is piqued. In this quick look you will not be going up against the undead, or at least, I don’t think they are the undead. Creatures which look like muscular burnt husks of what may have once been humans will be charging at you in either a blue or red energy arcing variety.
It’s a little odd compared to your standard and mutated undead but it was also a bit refreshing to see something other than a zombie. What’s neat about these versus the traditional undead is that once they die the energy is released and if you calculate it properly, you can use it to help take out others once you are no longer dealing with one at a time. I’m fully expecting to see zombies in Daymare: 1994 but as a prequel I’m also expecting, especially after this, a bit of creative weirdness as who knows what else goes on within these secret government installations.
What I also enjoyed about this first look is that it wasn’t just a run and gun. Slowly starting there’s an atmosphere that builds up as it’s just too quiet. Other than the beings charging at you you’ll have to figure your way through a few doors and passageways which is where the puzzles started to come into play. Not just needing to get a key card or adjust a platform to the right level, Dalila also has a cryo extinguisher to put out flames, cool off pipes or stop a creature in its tracks to allow you either a very easy kill shot, or at least enough time to reload.
Just when things start to get really good though our first look ends but you can also get a glimpse of this during the currently on-going Steam Next Fest February 2022 edition. With what we’ve been able to see so far though, Daymare: 1994 Sandcastle should be fairly interesting once we get to sit down to the full experience once it launches for the PC and consoles later this year.Score: N/A