Dying Light – Video Review
Publisher: Warner bros. Interactive Entertainment
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
Dying Light Video Review Transcript
Zombie games have really come into their own during the last decade. I, for one, tend to enjoy picking up a zombie survival game now and then just to cause havoc throughout the world. The idea of an open world survival zombie game isn’t new and to be honest the last few games such as H1Z1 and Day Z have been somewhat of a letdown due to unfinished content or their empty promises.
Dying Light feels like a push in the right direction for all those who try to master the survival zombie genre.
Now I can honestly say this game plays more like a Far Cry or a Dead Island game, more than a true survival game we’ve been force fed over the past few years, but I am really quite happy about that.
When an open world survival game such as H1Z1 is released I feel discouraged when playing for a few hours, only to realize that I am playing a very unfinished game with little to no polish whatsoever. Opening up a AAA title such as Dying Light makes the experience so much more enjoyable when things just work.
The campaign showcases the game which is great to see. Instead of hand-holding quests and boring gathering missions, the game tries to introduce different elements to the user with every quest. The player can experience most of the game’s content without having to do the campaign, but if the player wants an explanation or reasoning behind elements of the game they can find out through side quests and story missions.
For example- experiencing night for the first time was a daunting experience due to not knowing what the hell going on, but completing some story missions I find out that “volatiles” appear during the night and are pretty much zombies on steroids and 52 red bulls.
The story plays out well set in the fictional city of Harran. You come across survivors that feel like survivors, not just random people who found a gun on the side of the road. The story throws you in the midst of a war between a rebel-ish faction and a pure survivalist clan.
I was surprised to see the scare factor really got to me during some story missions. One mission when exploring an abandoned school had me expecting to jump with fright around every corner- weaving and ducking around corners with utmost stealth, only to die from a rebel wielding an axe.
Character development and interaction is another highlight. I usually find myself disagreeing with the protagonist in this type of game, but the background of the main character is pretty strong even in the diplomatic situation he finds himself in.
The typical character types are throughout the game as well- the boss man with the ridiculously big chest tattoo; the kid who needs to prove himself; tough female combat commando, and the old man who just wants everyone to be friends.
The free running aspect of the game is pretty enjoyable, if mirrors edge was your thing, but you found it a little too easy, Dying Light would be right up your ally. Not knowing if that jump is a little too far, or if the roof was going to collapse is a fun experience when hordes of zombies are then thrown into the mix.
There really is no limitation on what can be scaled or leaped from, which is what I really do enjoy about open world titles such as Dying Light.
The night and day cycle is pretty great. The game gives you an opportunity to sleep through the night at a safe house or roam the streets, risking those pesky volatiles and hordes of stealthy zombies. Planting a flashlight in your hand, the game wants you to venture out during the night, I am still unsure if free running on the tops of buildings or sneaking through the cover of darkness is the way to go when dealing with night time.
It is a dynamic change up in the way the game plays and functions from day to night and would most definitely recommend going out at night and shitting your pants when a volatile gets a hold of you.
I usually have an issue with AI in games like this, but Dying Light really showed me how smart zombies can actually be- the way that the zombies move can vary in speed, but they always seemed to flank me when I least expected it. Different zombies have the ability to climb up walls to meet you for some rooftop fisty-cuffs, whilst others will spit vile fluids at you from below.
Like Totalbiscuit, I too can be prone to sickness from staring at a game with a smaller field of vision. It is true that Dying Light has a FOV slider which can dramatically help with headaches and eye strain, but unfortunately in this case it also came with some bugs when doing so.
Changing the FOV to full caused NPCs to oddly pause as they go off-screen in cinematic and perform weird combat animations that interrupted combos. These bugs aren’t game breaking, but it took me out of this amazing world of zombies and made me think about climbing an invisible pole due to the FOV slider.
Three talent trees add some unique gameplay, which felt like it would be needed if the game became stale after 60 hours or so. Splitting the trees up into survivor, agility and combat was a smart idea to allow the player to focus on one aspect if it seems to be lacking. Skill points are generated by experience which can be farmed if need be.
Now the combat is where the game, in my opinion, becomes difficult. As an experiment I tried to lure as many zombies as I could to see if we had another Batman: Arkham-style combat system, whereby only one enemy could attack at once and if it were possible to defeat whole armies. Nope, I got squashed.
Combat is hard and I haven’t seen anything quite like it in a while. I was lucky enough to find a gun in the first few hours of gameplay, but with the very (very) limited ammo around I only had about 14 shots. Using melee weapons I found myself running away from most hordes of zombies and that is what I really wanted from this game.
The crafting system is pretty stock standard; you can buy or find different blueprints which permanently allow you to craft a weapon. With the amount of resources around the world, it was quite easy to craft very simple weapons without feeling the need to bash zombies over the head with only fists.
An issue I found with the weapon system was how expendable the weapons are. Buying weapons from the vendor seemed quite pointless due to the repairing mechanic whereby once a weapon cannot be repaired anymore it is rendered useless.
Dying Light was pretty much the game I wanted- I got a little too scared at times, but it added to the frustration upon death and the sense of achievement when completing a difficult task.
Not being a fan of the under developed zombie games floating around, Dying Light was an extremely fun time and I don’t think I will stop playing any time soon. If you’re into Parkour and zombies I suggest picking up this game and killing some infected with friends or just by yourself.
Dying light – 8.5/10