With The Following right around the corner, I can’t help but talk about Dying Light – A lot. The funny thing is, despite the fact that it was considered a breakout hit by many trusted sources like IGN and Game Informer, not too many people actually know about it. Even fewer have played it, which is the real shame. I can’t say that I’m too shocked though honestly. At a glance there’s nothing about Dying Light that screams at you to get your attention. The parkour element seems like a cool idea and zombies are always great, everyone loves zombies.
It seemed like that was it though. That was Dying Light – Dead Island with parkour. That’s the furthest from the truth of Dying Light though.
If you want to compare it to its predecessor, fine. It’s improved in every way from Dead Island though. No longer do you have to seek out workbenches to craft items, you are a traveling workbench. Through the game you’ll unlock more blueprints to create crazier weapons, and all of that can be done just by going into your menu.
The combat has improved significantly and on top of the brutal damage you can do with your weapons, you’ll learn to do cool stunt moves to take zombies down as your agility increases. Also, Techland threw in something really cool on top of that – environmental effects. Douse a zombie with gasoline and then you can light him on fire. Wet zombies can be hit with electrical weapons to keep them shocking; and they’ll even pass the current onto other zombies that are wet.
Admittedly the story isn’t something that captures your attention at first. The voice acting is hit and miss and some of the characters feel really flat, making you wonder why you should care for them at all. The wacky quests will keep you going through the story though and somewhere down the line, without even realizing it, you do end up caring about these characters and the city of Harran as well. Whether that was Techland’s intention or not, I’ll never be sure.
The great thing is Dying Light does all that very well, and it’s not even the best part of the game. I guess it’s a matter of opinion really, but the best thing about Dying Light – like most Techland games – is the co-op. There’s an exclusive co-op mode where you can be the zombie and hunt your friends down that’s a ton of fun, but even just the story mode in co-op is a blast. Zombie hunting is much more satisfying when you hunt as a pack.
There’s just a few more weeks before The Following, a gigantic expansion pack as big as the original game, is going to be released. That’s how long you have to realize how amazing Dying Light is, before it gets even bigger and better. For those of you, who are already familiar with the game, get ready to head back to Harran and fall in love all over again.