Thursday, March 12, 2015
Dying Light Review
This world is filled with countless zombie mediums. I can’t even count all the different video games that feature zombies. And yet here comes another one in the form of Techland’s Dying Light. The concept is the same thing we have seen several times before, but the execution is truly something special.
You play as GRE (Global Relief Effort) agent, Kyle Crane, who intercepts the zombie infested city of Harran to acquire a mysterious document. Crane gets attached to the survivors of Harran and decides to help them instead of support the corrupt GRE. These survivors include the likes of Brecken, Jade, Sahir, Troy, and Rais. The first three are part of the tower who use parkour to get around the slums and save people. Troy helps you out when you reach old town, the second section of the map. These people are all friendly while Rais, on the other hand, is the chaotic antagonist. This is your normal antagonist that could resemble a less developed version of a Far Cry villain. Every character has a different personality and you get attached to some of them, my favorite being Jade. You will also learn to hate characters like Rais. The plot is good but features many zombie clichés. It’s also disappointing that your character turns into an errand boy which is actually a plot point. It feels like Crane is not in control of anything and just does what people say. There are places in the story that could have easily developed into a character choice that enfolds into different endings. Therefore this could encourage several playthroughs, but the developers decided not to go this route. Everything about the story is average; this also includes acting and dialogue. It’s enjoyable but does not become creative and instead resembles several clichés.
The beginning of the game is very slow in both exposition and gameplay. You don’t know any skills or have any good weapons. That makes the first few hours a little bit of a drag. The first missions resemble catch quests and are also a little slow. This got me worried that the whole game would be like this, but I was proven wrong. Both the gameplay and missions improve drastically. The missions have a miraculous transformation. Instead of catch quests, they evolve into a character driven experience that allows you to encounter many cool moments. Once you unlock skills and acquire new weapons the gameplay also gets a lot more fun. The gameplay relies heavily on platforming. You can climb on anything and many different paths are presented to you. The controls for this take some getting used to because the button is R1 which is not the traditional jump button for games. Once you do get used to it, platforming becomes a fluent and fun experience that sets Dying Light apart. The idea of a first person zombie game that focuses on parkour is something that hasn’t been done before. The weapons are also tons of fun to use and always bring a satisfying experience when you chop a zombie’s head off. You can gather blueprints and craft some awesome weapons. Your skills tree also offers some cool abilities that are easy to use. All this combined makes you fill like a professional zombie killer.
The game is free roam and offers two different areas to explore. One being the Slums while the other is a more fancy area with higher buildings to climb. The best part of this game may be the free roam because it offers the perfect amount of it. There is a lot to do but it doesn’t overwhelm you or get in the way of the story. There are survivor camps to secure and once you do they will offer a safe house, fun challenges that allow you to compete against friends, and side quests. The side quests are different every time, and offer some missions that are better than the campaign. They remind me of side quests from a game like Skyrim or Fallout. This is all put together in an awesome day and night cycle. During the day zombies are slow but not much of a threat. But during the night, Volatiles come out. These zombies are fast, scary, and hard to kill. So at night time you have three options: be stealthy, find a safe house, or run for your life. This day and night cycle is what makes Dying Light special. Everything in this game can be played in co-op which is a fun addition. The other multiplayer section is- be the zombie mode. This is tons of fun and will keep you on the edge of the seat. One player is an advanced zombie that invades another player’s game and tries to kill them before he can destroy all the zombie’s nests.
Dying Light has a slow start but will quickly turn into a fun and addictive game. Techland’s new zombie game gets a 9.0