While I had been anticipating this game for quite some time I ended up missing out on Dying light the first go around at launch due to time and current interest constraints (Warframe still owns me something terrible, and I think everyone had been waiting for GTA Heists for what had seemed to be the lesser part of a quarter decade.) not to mention LIFE always taking priority over my love for gaming.
With the recent patch fixing some graphics and some other issues with the game I decided to opt out of it while Techland polished it up for the community. With that being said, it has been a bit of a priority of mine to grind out on it as hard as I can so that I can be ready to at least share SOME of my time in-between what seems like a game over-exposure this spring with Battlefield: Hardline now out and the GTA Heists craze (both positive and negative craze, that is) dying down. Bloodborne taking the gamer world by storm and officially seating itself as the best console exclusive thus far in 2015. PLUS, Witcher 3 being around the corner. Not to mention the other titles I missed earlier in the year I’ve yet to get my hands on like the now dubbed “movie-game” The Order: 1886.
Woe is me, right? (Actually its a pretty exciting time to be a gamer honestly.)
Anyways, that plan changed within the first hour or so of playing this game. Dying light is so much fun I have found myself neglecting the rest of my current game library (I’m also in the 2nd stage of the closed beta for Planetside 2) now only 4 days in playing this. This game has traces of some truly memorable game mechanics from other games that I fell pretty hard for. One special one being the slow-mo decapitation sequences, and lockpicking seen in games like fallout and skyrim. Grappling about the map like in Just cause 2. Scaling buildings and leaping across rooftops like in a first person-esque assassins creed and the more popularly compared to parkour game, Mirrors edge.
It’s got an almost “homage” feel to a lot of the open world games in the past, even building on, and exceeding its previous, less-expanded and origin game Dead Island had. Speaking of homages, be sure to take second glances around the environment, you’ll sure see some pop culture influence within some of it. The chaos spread about the map is completely immersive and its a beautiful array of tragedy. The soundtrack score is as infective as the virus itself as well. Techland has truly developed something special in this game.
I have a serious invested enjoyment in games that allow me to free roam or explore the map without disrupting too much of the storyline. I would do these things in games like skyrim and unknowingly kill an important person in a side quest that would render it unfinishable because an NPC wanted to get froggy with a fully armed traveler rummaging through their sock drawers (no worries on that in this game. NPCs are unkillable unless instructed to do so). Regardless of the outcome of those scenarios, adventure time in games is very important to me, and what seems like A lot of the gaming community as well with the recent direction a lot of games have been leaning. With the option of Open world free roam with 5 person co-op is amazing. Why 5? Not sure really but I’m happy with at least 4, so that added extra person is fine by me…as long as it is not less than 4 player free roam co-op. That kills a title for the IMHO industry standard 4 player teams (I’m looking at you bungie).
You start off the game as a trained Agent under the guise of a humanitarian aid group by being dropped into the “hotzone” of the city of Harran to look for a political criminal seeking asylum. You meet with what’s left of the city inhabitants who have created a sort of make-shift society after the outbreak became uncontainable. From there the story unfolds as you complete tasks and favors for characters you meet along the way. Scrounge for items left around in order to create better weapons and items to help you survive, and scour the map in various hard to reach places for trophy-worthy collectibles. I cant help but find myself often distracted from the objective, a mile off course making zombie guacamole with an electrified, flamethrowing machete (oh those fantastic sound effects, how I love you). It’s honestly THAT much fun…And I haven’t even gotten to troll a friend as a zombie yet.
There are various different types of enemies to encounter on your journeys that have similar resemblances to the enemies of Left 4 dead, another co-op zombie killing title that helped legitimize and expand the already loved genre of zombie killing adventure games. Each specialized zombie has a power or skill that you have to adapt to in order to kill them off effectively. There is also a rival faction being ran by a sadistic lunatic that is causing major plight on the survivors of the epidemic, much like that of far cry series, that must be dealt with accordingly.
The storyline is fairly decent in size and expands over two different maps in politically polarizing parts of the quarantined zone, and there are tons of side missions to help prolong the gaming experience that helps color the ongoing issues found in Harran’s society. They have also recently released their first DLC content that I cant wait to try out, and have definitely earned my extra money for. As you fight to create a bit of order in the chaos, you gain and lose allies along the way, giving the story a pyrrhic sense in the blood-soaked silver lined cloud of hell.
Overall I can’t say that I haven’t played this game before with all of the things that they have implemented into it that made it feel more familiar to me from other titles, but with all those familiar pieces they HAVE put into it it has made me love the game that much more because of the fluidity of which I can pick up the controller and with a little adjustment to the controls (my only real complaint about this game honestly is the inability to map controls how I would like them to be instead of adapting to a rather awkward button pattern) jump right into what I can say is the most beautifully confusing chaotic map i’ve seen since DC was nuked in Fallout 3.
If you haven’t played this game yet, I would DEFINITELY pick this one up. With the ideas that could sprout from the DLC and the new hard mode and arena they just released, along with a multitude of new outfits, and gold tier rare weapons there is definitely some fun to be had with this now and in the coming future. Be sure to tune into the Dying Light Youtube channel for upcoming events like this one they seem to have planned for April 1st:
Well done, Techland. A great game, and quick response to patchwork has earned you a spot in my game rotation for some time to come.