Dying Light

[Review] Does Dying Light bring anything new to the over-saturated genre of zombie killing?
The Details
  • Title: Dying Light
  • Web: Official Site
  • Developer: Techland
  • Publisher: Techland
  • Released: 27 January, 2015
  •  
  • Platforms: PC XBox One PS4
  • Reviewed On: PC

Dying Light, from the makers of the infamous Dead Island, a game that was badly optimised and truly bugged upon its initial release. Also, a game I thoroughly enjoyed, once patched. I’ve had Dying Light since release day and upon its initial release, I didn’t have high hopes, knowing the state of Dead Island when it was released, but Dying Light surprised me. The frame rate was good, the bugs were only very minor and the game was incredibly stable (I’ve yet to witness the game crash). Techland certainly learnt some lessons from that experience, which is great and with those worries out of the way, on with the actual game review!

DyingLight-01

Wallop!

 

Dying Light starts with you being dropped off, via a parachute, into the heart of death central, home of several thousand sports loving zombies. So it’s intro is a little different to the regular “Oh, no, I’m trapped and there’s zombies”. You’ve been deliberately sent here, massively under equipped might I add, but that’s nitpicking. From here you’re introduced to your worst enemy, normal folk. They beat you up, which they’ll do allot of through out the game, then they run away and you’re mauled by zombies, only to be rescued a few minutes later by other normal folk. From there things go down hill, a guy dies, it’s your fault, these guys that saved you patch you up and now you’re their bitch. The story does eventually start to expand and branch out, but it never seems to pick up momentum, or become any more interesting.

On the other hand however, the optional side missions are full of interesting and unique characters, some funny, some quite depressing, but rarely are they dull. This is great for the game, but it makes the main story contrast even more and seem even more boring and dull than it probably is. 

Dying Light - 02

Normal Folk. Wish there were some in this game.

 

Dying Light has a really robust combat system, it’s responsive and fluid and is open enough to let you link moves together to perform some really satisfying kills. The free-running/parkour/whatever name they’re giving fancy running and jumping now, is smooth and responds well to the melee combat system, giving you possibilities within the environment to have fun, murder zombies and never stop heading towards your objective. I found most of the time I would simply be running,  knocking heads off, sliding under obstacles and breaking zombie legs on the other-side, all whilst on a trip to see some dude about some stuff.

The weapon crafting system is good fun too, allowing you to create some deadly weapons with added effects. To begin with I was hoarding weapons, especially the ones I’d created myself, but I soon found they’re so abundant that you can afford to simply waste them by hurling them at zombies just for giggles. There’s nothing quite like hacking the legs of a zombie and watching it crawl along the flaw, it’s bloody, gruesome and very satisfying.

As you progress you unlock more and more combat abilities that allow you to tackle situations in new ways. This not only makes general zombie killing easier, but also more fun. As you progress though, more special zombies appear to counter your new abilities, giving you that extra challenge and really helping to keep you on your toes.

Dying Light - 18

You can climb to some pretty impressive heights.

 

The climbing can be clunky on the odd occasion, though this is rare once you’ve become used to the way it works. Basically, whilst hold the jump button, you’re character will grab what ever ledge that you’re looking at. If you don’t hold the jump key, you simply fall. Where this often fails is in areas where you’re simply not aloud to climb. Now, these objects look like every other object in the game, but you can’t climb them and often you won’t know this until you try, plummeting to your death afterwards. These instances are few and far between thankfully.

The other annoyance whilst climbing is when descending. Throughout the game you have to climb to some ridiculous heights, for example, radio towers. And no, they’re not like Far Cry’s where you simply follow the pre defined path, merrily hitting the jump key when cued. These heights require some skill, some of them being quite difficult. However, getting back down them is even harder, even on the easiest of climbs. I’m still not sure quite how to climb down obstacles. My character either quickly grabs and climbs up the ledge I’ve just dropped from, or he simply plummets to his death. I now go for the dangerous “jump to the nearest flat surface” option, which is much more reliable.

Dying Light - 08

Atmosphere, oh, those feels…

 

Another favourite of mine in this game (can you tell I like it?) is the atmosphere. It’s fantastic. Some areas are genuinely creepy, with odd noises and perfect lighting playing into tense situations that you know are going to end badly. Outside during the day, everything is bright, similar to Dead Island. There’s some shambling zombies roaming around, the odd special zombie to deal with, but generally, things are easy going and you can feel overpowered. That’s during the day though. At night, things are completely different, night time is when those shamblers aren’t so slow any more, the sky is black, there’s hideous screams and roars from all directions and to top it all off, the Volatile come out to hunt. At night, it’s their playground and you become flailing, screaming child, running from building to building not daring to look back just in-case you wet yourself with what’s there. 

The Volatile are some scary creatures, if they see you, they hunt you. They can out run you, out climb you and their only weakness is UV light and even that can fail you in certain situations. Upon seeing you, they roar, signalling all the other nearby Volatile that they’ve found a new plaything and they all begin to hunt you. It’s a thrilling and terrifying experience, one that I love experiencing in multiplayer, looking to my side seeing my co-op partner barely missing the volatiles swipe, too terrified to look behind.

Dying Light - 19

The graphics are fantastic. Here I saw the shadow of a zombie the other side of the tent, I slightly pooed myself.

 

Overall, Dying Light is a fantastic, atmospheric, adrenaline fuelled game that is fantastic both alone and with friends. It supplies just enough RPG elements to keep the game fresh as you progress and gives the perfect learning curve to keep you engaged and frustration free. There’s a lot in this game, far too much for me to comment about in here, so I recommend you pick it up and play it through thoroughly.

As an extra bonus, Techland has released some Dev Tools on the PC, so you can now make your own content! The game just gets better and better.

 

HD Gallery

Judgement
Pros:
  • Great feeling combat.
  • Awesome gore. Love hacking chunks out of zombies.
  • Lots of side missions for you to engage in, if you wish.
  • Great atmosphere, especially at night!
  • Multiplayer is really solid and fun.
  • The Free Running/Parkour is fluid and really enhances the game.
Cons:
  • Fighting humans hand-to-hand can be difficult in the beginning.
  • The main story doesn't really drive the game forward. It can be dull at times. The side missions are far more interesting.
  • Climbing down can be frustrating.
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NaytoE
Web Master at CoupesCorner
Nathan is lumbered with all the technical stuff behind CoupesCorner. If stuff breaks, it's always someone else's fault, but he'll fix it, because he's a pretty awesome guy.

Nathan loves tactical shooters, RPG's and Bro-Ops games. Some all-time favourites of his are Black and White 2, Postal 2, the Rainbow Six series and Pokemon. He also loves playing guitar and fishing with his dad, when Lozzy isn't busy making him do stuff...
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