I have always admired people that write fan fiction pieces. When executed correctly, fan fiction can provide some really entertaining content with characters that you know and love. Daymare 1988 is a fan-fiction piece that tries so hard to be like Resident Evil, and in the midst of trying, Daymare 1988 becomes a nightmare to play. The very clunky controllers and just poor writing have made Daymare 1988 one of the worst gaming experiences I have had in a while. I was relieved by the time I was done with the game.
In Daymare 1988 you start your journey with a character named Liev, and your goal is to retrieve some chemical from a lab. You start this story as the bad guys. As you progress through the game you’ll play as three different characters. In the roughly eight hours that it will take you to play the game, you will play as Liev, Sam, and Raven. These three characters are just lifeless. Without going into spoilers, there is a scene where Sam is faced with something horrific, but his acting and horrendous dialogue make you laugh at this particular situation. I did not care for any of these characters, at all! I literally laughed out loud when one of the characters used, “Dead melted thingies” to describe the monsters they are facing. The story has all the horror movie/game tropes and they are executed very poorly. The emotional moments have no punch, but what else can you expect when the characters that you are introduced to have no life. All of this would be easily overlooked if Daymare played fine. If Daymare was fun to play, I would not have cared as much for the very bland story that’s presented here, but that’s not the case for this game.
Daymare 1988 is a survival horror game that tries to play a lot like the Resident Evil games. Now for a game that’s supposed to be scary Daymare 1988 fails big time. Resident Evil 2 gave me a couple of jump scares last year. Its atmospheric environments really shot chills down my spine. Daymare tries to do the same by taking you through cities, forests, and tight corridors, but none of these locations have that scary feeling to it. Yes, all of them are super dark, but we all know that it takes more than a dark room to scare you. Once you do come across a zombie and he or she gets a hold of you, these zombies will spit some green like poison and let me tell you something, they all spit green like poison. These short animations are laughable. These zombies instead of trying to bite you they try to drown you, I guess. Daymare also introduces puzzles to keep in line with the survival horror genre and these puzzles are straight-up dull and some are just confusing. One particular puzzle that comes to mind is found in the very first chapter. You are having to answer three Greek Mythology questions. That sounds fun, right? Well, it’s not. Once you have the answers to these questions you actually have to write the answers in greek. Yes, you read that right. If you want to answer this puzzle, which is required to keep the story going, you have to answer the questions in Greek! Better break out those history books. The rest of the time you’ll be shooting your way through the story and the shooting feels all right at best. The bullet hits don’t have that kick that other games have. You’ll use your handguns, shotguns, etc. Everything you have seen in a survival horror game is here, just in a worse state. There is one particular mechanic that Daymare introduces that I wish I could see in other games and that’s how they handle how you reload your weapon. In Daymare 1988 you can reload in three different ways, quick reload, slow reload, and getting them from your quick slot. If you decide to quickly reload you will drop your magazine and you need your magazines to reload your bullets. If you slow reload you will keep your magazine but it will take a while to fill that magazine up. Or you can just have the magazines ready and select them from your quick slots. This reload system added a sense of intensity with every gunfight. I just wish the game kept that intensity throughout the whole game.
Daymare 1988 is the first game you should pass on this year. I’m okay with games trying to copy other games. There have been a lot of games that copy a particular game or genre and these games have been quite successful, Daymare, however, is not one of them. Daymare tries so hard to be like the other survival horror games that in the midst of this they fail at pretty much everything, and Daymare ultimately ends without an identity. In cannot, in good conscience, recommend this game to anybody.