Dying Light Review
Loads of detail in everything.
Intensely scary and horrific.
Very few bugs and glitches.
Occasional glitchy items.
Item Pick-up can be annoying.
A lot of ideas picked from other zombie games.
One thing you won’t hear me say is that Dying Light was not scary enough for me! This game is SCARY! I was a little skeptical at first, not really knowing what to think. Before getting my hands on this game, It was brought up to be some sort of “free-roaming zombie thrasher” similar to dead rising where you can just create insane weapons and go around destroying hordes of zombies in the most inhumane way possible (which can be fun). The cool part is you can do that if you choose to, but there is way more to it than getting your hands dirty with zombie blood.
I had the honor of getting to play the game directly from the developers on my Xbox One. Graphically, this game is absolutely beautiful! The very first thing I noticed was the insane amount of detail put into everything. Every piece of paper drifting lazily through the air, every pebble on the ground and drop of blood dripping from the viral’s (zombies) face. The realism is what drew me in almost immediately.
Keen detail such as water splashing in your face when stepping in a big puddle or simply seeing the fawns of palm trees blow in the wind. It all adds up to create the wonderful city and slums of Harran.
Some might say it is graphically perfect…but it isn’t. Although I have found myself astounded by the open worlds beauty, I have come to realize that there’s a certain haziness to the image that makes it quite annoying to look at, especially during the day. Although, I’m sure they were just trying to make it as realistic as possible, which I can see some people really enjoying.
I really enjoy the controls in Dying Light. They are simple, very effective and most importantly, easy to remember. The Jump and Mantle Button is RB, which was sort of confusing at first, mainly because I play games such as Call Of Duty and GTA, but after a while it became very comfortable and although different, it’s enjoyable.
Ranking up your character allows you to gain new abilities and controls for fighting, traversing, and dodging. With these new abilities, you’re able to press a series of buttons to do a counter move or attack in humorous ways, such as a drop kick or throwing your enemy into a wall of spikes.
Everything else is pretty basic except for aiming your gun. You press down on the right joystick to aim in, which is annoying at time because it can affect the accuracy of your shot, and if there are multiple enemies, it makes for a difficult combat situation. Other than that, I see no reason why anybody can’t pick up the controller and play with ease.
Like I said before, I wasn’t too sure what to think about the game at first, especially the story. The main characters name is Kyle Crane (Crane for short). Crane is an operative sent into the city of Harran to recover a file filled with special Information about the spread of the virus.
The file some how gets into the hands of Kadir “Rais” Sulaiman, a leader for a mercenary group with the intension to destroy anything in their way. When Crane arrives, he must choose between completing his mission or helping the other survivors led by a man named Harris Brecken.
The story is really in depth and interesting. At first it seemed just like any other zombie game, but the more I played and the better my character got, the story started to come alive and become something I’ve never really experienced in a zombie game.
The main story line is definitely the route I stuck with, but on the way I noticed side missions and other optional goals to reach throughout the map. Whether it be from people in the Tower (survivor sanctuary) or even people you come across on the streets. It seems endless with the amount to things to do and places to go.
But even with all these missions and goals, there is still a feeling to game I can’t quite describe with words. Complete freedom would be one way of saying it, but it’s something that you must experience for yourself to really get the gist of it.
Now, pardon my French, but the gameplay in Dying Light is fucking rad. From the total freedom of roaming around the city scavenging for supplies, to attempting the scariest leaps from building to building at hight’s that would make a grown man poop himself.
I’ve come to realize why they call it Dying Light…because when those lights go out and the sun goes down, you want to stay the fuck away from everything and anything at night. The game features a very realistic night and daytime cycle that plays a key roll in the way the game unravels. Without daylight, the senses of the infected become more acute and accurate. Even your points and abilities are doubled at night..which is basically the game telling you you’ll need all the help you can get. Sometimes it’s still no match for the monsters in the dark. Night in Harran is littered with hordes of special zombies and the eeriness of complete blackness. The only time I ever went out into the darkness of night is when I absolutely had to, or I felt the need to reclaim my manhood and forced myself to stop being a bitch.
Luckily, you carry a special UV light that wards off special virals. This is insanely useful, especially if you run into seekers (A special type of zombie that only appears at night). Not only do you have the UV light, but you have a regular flashlight to help you scavenge and see items and chests. You know…in case you need to find some chocolate in the dark or something…(which may or may not be a mission…).
During the day, Harran is a wonderland filled with crazy locations, tunnels, houses, slum complexes, towers and of course plenty of supplies to scavenge. Chests, lockers and plenty of other containers and boxes can be opened to find a large array of items and weapons. Things such as pipes and hammers, metal parts and plastic for fixing and crafting, and of course plenty of alcohol for med-kits and Molotov’s. You can gather supplies and either use them for your own benefit, or bring them back to a safe zone to sell them. Though it may seem like a cake walk, getting to some of the chests and item boxes can be quite a trip. Virals are a constant obstacle and they can be very pesky, especially in larger groups. Picking up items seems to be a bit glitchy and aggravating at times.
Dying Light is mostly a melee game, but you do acquire guns later on in the story. Guns in Dying Light are fun, easy to use and require no fixing or upgrading. Melee weapons on the other hand are very customizable and creative. Throughout the game you can attain what is known as blueprints. With these blueprints, you are given a certain amount of key parts needed in order to craft them. Once all the items are attained, you can attach them to your melee weapon and create and all new upgraded zombie destroyer thingy! Electricity (also known as Ben Franklins Key) is one of my favorites to add onto my weapons, but there are plenty more to be crafted.
Scaling buildings and climbing has to be one of the best parts of the gameplay. Traversing through Harran is not only freeing, but it’s ridiculously fun. Jumping from balcony to balcony, ledge to ledge. It adds something to the game that no other game besides maybe Assassins Creed can do, but with a fear that if you don’t make your next jump, there is a massive group of zombies below just waiting for you to slip!
Since I don’t play a high number of games from this genre, again I wasn’t too sure what it was going to be like, or if there was even going to be some sort of ranking system. I must admit that it’s a relief to have such freedom when it comes to ranking and upgrading your character.
There are leveling trees that allow you to upgrade certain characteristic to your player depending on how you play the game. Not only does it give you complete freedom when it comes to your abilities, but it also gives you the option to play the game in your way.
Leveling up is devised into three sub-category ranks, Survivor, Agility and Power. Survivor allows you to gain attributes based on surviving, making things more efficient and overall helping you to survive. Agility helps traversing, fighting, and learning new moves and attacks. Very important when it comes to getting out of sticky situations. Finally, we have Power. This is what makes you become a complete badass. Learning new ways to upgrade your weapons and completely demolish those bastard biters.
The soundtrack to this game is beyond creepy. There are points while playing, especially at night, that literally make me want to cringe and stop playing the game. The constant sound of virals scratching at doors and distant screams coming from somewhere in the darkness makes it even scarier and adds to the immersive gameplay and atmosphere of the game.
The music and soundtrack is very creative. Depending on the time of day, the weather outside and plenty of other variables– music and tone of the game change. If it’s sunny and bright out, it may be a calm, soothing melody. But the moment something happens, the music intensifies and that feeling in your gut starts to rumble with worry and fear. That’s what some games lack and that alone can change whether a game is fun to play or not. They did a great job with sound.
Voice acting and character sounds are fantastic. Clear voices, fitting every character with there exact personality with precise attitudes and tones.
I haven’t really had a chance to play much multiplayer, but when I was able to fit it in-between the story and me fucking around– I had an interesting time. When you play Multiplayer, you either open your world for people to come in a play, or you join another persons world and pick up the story with them.
What’s awesome about the multiplayer in Dying Light is that you don’t lose any progress if you join into a game that is behind you in story. The only way you progress in the multiplayer story is if the person you are playing with is on the same mission you are. It basically gives you complete freedom to mess around if you wish to and collect or level your character.
Every game has flaws and things about it that could be worked on or changed. One of the things I noticed as I progressed through the game was the large amount of features stolen or used in many other zombie games.
For example, Dying Light features many special zombies that you mainly run into in the hell of night. What is interesting is almost every single one of them is based off of another game. Spitters, boomers and the one boss zombie you fight in the arena are all ideas taken from L4D and L4D2. The boss is literally a tank and a charger put into one.
I would have liked to see something a bit more creative than that. Now by all means, I am not saying they didn’t fit well into the game. They fit incredibly well and really affected your gameplay, but I would have liked to see a a bit more creativity with them.
It almost seems like Dying Light is just a mash of different zombie games put into one. Which is actually an amazing idea and I respect the courage and creativity of the developers for that. But the lack of new and exciting things can make the game a bit dull at times.
Overall, I think this game is fantastic. Although some features bring down the games hype, for the most part everything flows extremely well. The creative open world and massive amount of objectives and missions make for hours and hours of fun gameplay. I’ve honestly never been more afraid of the dark than in this game. It is truly one of the scariest, if not the scariest games I have ever played. Definitely a game I recommend playing at least once in your life. Good night and good luck to all of you who play!
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