Dying Light – you are oh so good. Since I started you’ve been nothing but a rush and so damn addicting. Dying Light takes the established mechanics of Dead Island and puts a welcome twist to these ideas. Parkour, zombies and sheer gore. Yes, please!
Set in the city of Harran; isolated from civilization is the remnants of a ravaged and torn city. A zombie outbreak has signalled the apocalypse and nowhere is safe. Your character, Kyle Crane is air dropped into this hell to look for a secret file. Through this introduction, you meet the various factions that will play a part in the days to come.
After a brief tutorial of the game’s mechanics, the world begins to open up. And the first thing I did? I found a few zombies and kicked them into a pile of electrocuted water to my amusement. Techland added some really great mechanics, but I love the movements of the zombies more.
The parkour adds a fresh and exciting layer to the zombie genre. The first-person parkour fits stunningly well with the other established fighting mechanics to where fighting zombies opens up more possibilities. I didn’t know I would enjoy drop kicking a zombie, but low and behold, I ended up doing just that and this hurtled the zombie into a set of defense spikes on a wall.
The controls in Dying Light will take some time to adjust to in the beginning. During the tutorial I had a sinking feeling in my stomach I was going to hate the control scheme of the climbing because of my shortcomings, but, an hour later I was a natural born free runner in Harran.
What I’ve taken out of playing this game is the tension. I haven’t been so tense of felt so anxious while playing a video game in ages. The first night in Harran was not at all what I expected it to be, I was invaded by another player who was playing as the supercharged zombies that only come out at night. These zombies terrify the crap out of me because once they spot you in their field of view, your options are limited to either run or try to fight and be torn apart.
The Be the Zombie mode is one of my favourite add-ons in quite some time, selectable from the main menu, the roles are switched and I invade others player’s world to devour them in a game of cat and mouse. After a quick tutorials of how to be the best predator around, jumping into someone’s game while they’re busy finishing quests is exciting – but- not as exciting as I eat their face after pouncing on them. One of the most memorable nights included being invade my first night playing and being terrified because I had no clue what to look out for.
The main gripe I’ve had with these open world games is the tedious and redundant fetch quests, I’m not happy being an errand boy for the people of Harran. Whether I’m grabbing herbs for someone or having to trek my way to a power facility at night no less, to turn on a breaker. It’s frustrating when these filler quests are stuffed in to prolong the time I’m playing.
Techland I applaud you on what was accomplished with the graphics. The entire world looks amazing from anywhere you look on the map and has some of the most beautiful bloom effects I’ve seen on a console, ever. This ravaged cityscape is brought to life in vivid detail and is stunning to explore at any time of the day.
The fun gameplay works well with the complimenting soundtrack. The audio is stellar and I am actively seeking out the soundtrack when I get a chance to find it. The voice acting is top quality as well and is some of the best I’ve heard in a long time, each character has a distinct personality to them.
Dying Light has a ton of content to cater to many people. My time spent in Harran was a pleasure despite the fact zombies were hungry for my flesh, and Techland succeeds with Dying Light despite the foibles sprinkled through the world. This is a world I want to explore more of regardless of whether I survive it.