The Walking (err, Running) Dead.
Zombies are everywhere at the moment – well not literally. There have been a plethora of zombie-related media available on movies, TV and games. The fascination for the undead never seems to cease. Techland, the makers of Dead Island is back with Dying Light – another zombie-themed horror survival game that offers a brand new way in exploring an open world city.
You play the character of Kyle Crane, an operative going undercover to retrieve a file from a person named Rais in the fictional city of Harran (which was based on Turkey). Rais is a rouge agent that holds the file that could help save the reputation of the agency and it has to be acquired no matter the cost.
When Kyle arrives at Harran, he finds other survivors that somehow makes him decide if he wants to continue on his mission or not. Whatever choice he makes, the impending doom of the zombie apocalypse will put him in a world without rules.
Like Dead Island, Dying Light is presented on a first person perspective. But what sets the game apart is the awesome parkour system that you can use to navigate the city streets and corners. You can jump on ledges, easily climb on walls as you evade zombies on the streets. The zombies are usually dull and slow. That happens during that but that changes when it’s nighttime. At night, zombies are more agile and can run fast and even climb up buildings like you. Surviving is more difficult.
Daytime usually lasts for about an hour while nighttime lasts for about 7 minutes. Most of the quests can be done in daylight but in some cases, you are required to venture out into the night.
As you progress through the game, you are awarded skills points which you can use to upgrade your skillset. A variety of weapons are also available that you can use and upgrade to fight zombies better. As you gain better skillsets, the easier it is to fight the undead. There is also a crafting system where you can create weapons as you scavenge supplies from different places in the city.
Aside from the main story, you also have the option to use the multiplayer feature to aid you in your quest. You can ask your friends to join you and help you finish the campaign. Matchmaking was still hit and miss, but once you get connected everything works pretty well.
Also available is a ‘Be the Zombie’ mode that lets you play the infected and target human players and dispose of them any way that you like. A skillset is also available that gives you more ways to ‘punish’ your prey.
Good Night, Good Luck
The initial tasks on Dying Light were mostly running around and doing errands for characters – but it sets you up nicely to the more challenging parts of the game. I had fun running around rooftops and climbing up walls – though at times I got motion sickness from all the running.
The boss fights were equally hard, and if you’re not prepped with the right weapons, you should get used to dying. In my case, I think I died five times before I managed to finish off a special infected zombie. But that’s normally the challenge for these games, do what you can to survive.
As you slowly complete the skillsets, you gain more ways in killing enemies, which in turn will make it even more satisfying in playing Dying Light. There are also numerous side-quests that will reward you will more skill points and in some way, let you more into the story of each of the survivors.
Graphics on Dying Light are mostly top notch, shadows during day time are near perfect, and even at night you can still clearly distinguish surroundings with your flashlight turned off. There are still some random bugs that appear on the game, but nothing that would affect gameplay. Techland mentioned that overall, there is about 50 hours of gameplay available –missions and side quests included.
They story for Dying Light isn’t really moving, but it’s the gameplay that carries it to a different level. The parkour system and the night and day cycle especially makes it unique and like a true horror game, Dying Light manages to spark fear to the player. Highly recommended.