Dying Light Brings a Duality of Gameplay and Even More Zombies
Techland’s Dying Light is a far cry from their previous zombie themed game, Dead Island. There is a greater emphasis on the story, how the combat mechanics unfold, and most importantly how insanely scary the zombies can really be. In this game, you learn to evolve from the original stealth-and-run style of playing (as you balance day and night modes), and learn to adapt to the dynamic-parkour-themed combat that completely changes the approach and pace of the game. Continue Reading
Release Date: To be released on: 27th January 2015
Available on: Xbox One, PS4, Windows, PC Download
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Playing it Safe
You do not need to have played other survival-style zombie games (like DayZ or H1Z1) prior to playing Dying Light –the game’s opening sequence will be enough to get you on your feet and ready to go. And by go, it usually means carefully scouting around new locations and making sure there are no zombies waiting around corners to take a bite out of you. The world of Harran is huge and there are plenty of places for you to explore and learn about. We highly suggest doing your exploring during daylight.
Speaking of exploring Harran; your character does so because it is his job. You take on the role of Kyle Crane, a specialist who has been sent into the quarantined city in order to find a target. As you would expect, there is more to this mission than meets the eye, and accomplishing it is just going to be one of several important goals you will have in the game.
As the title of the game suggests, the periods that the sun is up plays a critical role in what you do: during the day, dealing with zombies is easier. Not just because you have better visibility, but also because they are more docile in terms of behavior. Once nighttime comes, the lowered visibility makes it even harder for you to spot the now-more aggressive zombies.
Eventually, players get the hang of running around and even using combat –combining different swings in order to precisely hit zombies where it counts, and even dealing with ones that are able to dodge and fight you back. The parkour style movement system allows you to scale walls and gates in a way that other open world titles cannot –and this opens up a new kind of gameplay.
Kicking Up the Pace
The feel and flow of Dying Light changes by a lot once you become well versed with the controls and exploration system of the game: the zombies become less scary and combat encounters become something exciting for you to look forward to. And this is where Dying Light truly start to shine as a game.
There’s a definite sense of satisfaction once you get past the initial fright and horror that the zombies present at the start of the game. As you become better at killing, you also get to meet new, and more dangerous, enemies –other survivors. Stealth no longer becomes a means to avoid zombies, it becomes a way for you to sneak behind targets for quick kills. You learnt to confront once-dangerous situations with a more straightforward approach. And in a world where danger lurks behinds every corner, you adapt by becoming even more dangerous.
From the abandoned streets to the cluttered building interiors, it is clear that the devs behind Dying Light set out to create an intricately detailed urban landscape –and they succeeded. For lack of a better way to put it: the backgrounds are so well detailed, they practically tell the story. The character models are also pretty well done and the animations are convincingly lifelike –even from afar, you can easily distinguish the survivors from the undead judging from the way they walk and move. The combat animations have also been done with flourish –allowing you to fully appreciate the system once you learn to masterfully execute attacks.
The Verdict: Satisfying Growth
How long can a combat based zombie game stay scary? Not too long –as most games later unlock or provide access to high powered automatic firearms, the slow and shambling undead become less of a scary threat and more of a moving bull’s eye. Dying Light’s ammo-scarce environment does not give player that same sense of power over time –but the approach to melee combat will allow you to feel that throughout the course of the game, you have ‘matured’ in terms of dealing with the fear that the zombies bring. And that is a far more satisfying experience that many other games can provide.
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Dying Light is developed by Techland.