Dying Light’s story starts you off as an undercover agent named Kyle Crane who is sent into the infected wasteland of the city Harran to retrieve some sensitive documents that the government wants back. However, you soon realise that there is a deeper plot at work here with two main factions at war over a serum that keeps bitten humans from turning into the walking dead.
You soon learn the ropes of free-running and zombie slaying when one of the factions (the less violent of the two) takes you under their wing and trains you to navigate the city by sending you on missions to locate stockpiles and retrieve Antizan (the serum that prevents you from turning). A couple hours in to Dying Light’s story, you finally gain the skills that are required to learn new free-running moves as well as new combat moves that you can use against the undead. Before long you will have built up enough skills turning your rotting foes into object’s of fun allowing you to kick, hack, smash them over the head with a plank, or simply blast them into a gooey mess. And boy, does it feel good to do so!
The art of killing zombies has never been so fun! Hacking and slashing away at my undead nemesis left me feeling like a pro. The various ways to take down and slaughter your undead zombie foes in Dying Light keeps the game fun and refreshing. By planting explosives on cars or nearby explosive barrels you can herd a bunch of zombies like sheep towards your bombs and create one mass explosion with a lot of carnage to follow. Normal zombies are a joy to kill, however even with upgraded skills, the more powerful undead are still a challenge to take down and are sometimes a bit overpowered compared to your character. Besides zombies, you also encounter groups of bandits in Dying Light which, most of the time, are more scary than the zombies themselves as they are often carrying heavy guns and Molotov cocktails. The bandits do offer an opportunity for you to upgrade your skills without too much of a challenge…
There is so much that you can do within the world of Dying Light and it is interesting to see how other survivors live on a day to day basis. There are two main areas in Harran, both are entirely different from one another. Each area is run by its own factions and have different missions available as each NPC character in this world requires a different thing, whether it’s your typical fetch and grab task or a liberation mission.
The immersive graphics of Techland’s Dying Light are very crisp and really give you the feeling that you are part of the game. As you play Dying Light in first person you really get a realistic perspective of life within the world of Dying Light. There is also a cycle between day and night which allows for some more challenging and urgent gameplay. At night, the powerful and agile undead monsters emerge to wreak havoc on you and the city. Once a day (in game time) an airdrop of Antizan and other supplies are dropped by the government. This really helps to immerse you in to Dying Light’s world as it’s a battle to get the required supplies before anyone else in order to survive the horrors to come.
The main story can keep you busy for more than 30 hours even without fully completing all the side missions and quests. This gives you enough time to think of all new methods to slay your enemies in a unique and fun fashion. The goal in Dying Light is very concise and clear and you know exactly why you are fighting what your end goal is. Unfortunately the lack of twists in the plot leave little guess work as to what can happen next and how the story will unfold. You can play through the game entirely solo – though Dying Light does allow you to play co-op with up to 3 friends who can assist you on missions, and help demolish hordes of undead. At night the stage can turn in to a sudden multiplayer arena called “Be The Zombie” mode where you are the zombie and you are become the hunted. It’s exciting and fun but can be switched off if you’d rather not be distracted during your adventures.
I found that the story really shines through when undertaking side quests. A simple fetch and grab mission could turn into a frantic chase that revolves around foot races and scaling obstacles to catch the target. A rescue mission could turn into a full out fire fight and the side quests were always a breath of fresh air and offered a pleasant distraction from the main story…. just long enough to refresh my mind from main objective.
Overall, Dying Light‘s gameplay can be somewhat hard to get used to with a bunch of clumsy controls meaning that you will need some time to adjust. However, unlike Techland’s previous zombie release Dead Island the story of Dying Light actually manages to capture your attention as you are dropped in a wasteland filled with gruesome mobs of infected victims. Despite this, Dying Light is a great game that mixes parkour style exploration as seen before in Mirror’s Edge with zombie slaying similar to that of Dead Island in a more simple way that always keeps you on your toes and interested in what else Dying Light has to offer. With great graphics and a decent story that sometimes did have its downfalls, Dying Light is a great game for any zombie/survival loving maniac who wants to mix things up.
- Unique ways to slay undead
- Exciting day/night cycles
- Co-op and online options
- Parkour gameplay
- Clumsy controls
- Average story