Zombies…I love zombies. From the rotting skin hanging from their teeth all the way down to the dismembered ankle while crawling for their next meal. I really do heart zombies and Techland’s Dying Light feeds my thirst for zombie blood.
Dying Light is, almost, the zombie game we have all been dreaming of. Over the last few years, different games have come very close to achieving this, though none have come this close. Why does Dying Light get an almost? Well, the story.
There really isn’t much to say about the story. You play as Kyle Crane who works for a government agency called GRE. Kyle is dropped in to the city of Harren and all hell breaks loose as soon as he lands. From there you are just helping survivors for the remainder of the game. The story tries to have you start feuds between different groups, but overall nothing made me really care. I did really enjoy a few of the characters, though. Like the doctor and one of my favorites, Rupert. The characters do give some life to this zombie infested city. Even though I never really care about what’s going on with them, haha.
The city of Harran is really fun to explore. You start out in the slum area with its sandy beaches, bright ocean and sunny sky, along with garbage, shanty houses and holes in walls. Everything is fun to climb and explore. Some of the scenery encourages you to climb higher just for a better view of the beauty in a zombie paradise. Now, there is a second area which is only a half the size from the first, but it adds the most to the parkour aspect the game provides. That’s all I’m telling you about it. It’s just too cool and fun for it not to be a surprise.
The game play is Dying Light’s key feature to keep you in. No fast travel. No cars. No planes. No bikes. Just your own two feet. This is what you will be doing for most of the game: Running. But along with all this running comes Mr. Crane’s parkour skills. You will be climbing, jumping, and running most of the time and it is all in good, awesome fun. The free running feels like an FPS Assassins Creed. Climbing a rock face, or building has never felt so intense. Hoping that on your next jump Crane will have a ledge to grab onto or. even just jumping from rooftop to rooftop, I never felt so awesome in a game. The parkour system is fluid and a lot of fun. Which is good. You will be again, running a lot. The combat system is pretty general. Press the trigger to swing weapon. Aim for the head. Hope for the best. Now that doesn’t sound fun, but the animations of the swings and the chances to see a zombie head explode is all worth it. The difference in weapons really help. When using a bladed weapon, you see the limbs get cut off. An armless zombie is always fun to watch. A blunted weapon lets you just bash a zombie around. Which is, again, very fun. But the animations in the fighting are the saving grace. Even though you press one trigger, and sometimes another to kick, it does feel different with every swing. Now another awesome thing is the leveling system. The way you gain agility experience is to actually run,climb and jump. That’s the main way to get faster and stronger at your parkour skills. I really enjoyed being able to jump off zombies and dropkick into a crowd of my decaying friends. Every swing and damage you do to hostile survivors or zombies gives you power points. You need these to be able to swing harder and get some nice little moves. The last is survivalist. This lets you craft faster and make more durable weapons or even a shield.You get these by doing the basics: Complete missions and survive. However, with every death you lose some of these points so my best advice is to stay on the rooftops and don’t fall.
Dying Light’s zombies are great. They moan, walk slowly, and chunks of flesh flies off when you hit them. I hit one in the chest with a baseball bat and it created a hole so I could see inside the ribcage and the heart beating. They are everywhere and a lot of different variations. To switch things up, there are several variations. You have the runners which are zombies that just run fast. Then the Goons, which are really big slow powerful zombies. Voltatiles, demolishers, and a few others are great variations to the game play. Night hunters will make you panic when the sun goes down. Hearing them scream while they are hunting you down. The Night mechanic makes the game turn into total survival mode while running for your life. Instead of dealing with slow zombies, you now have Voltatiles running at full speed chasing you down. Everything is dark and it seems every zombie in the city is hunting you. There is some reward to all this risk: Huge survival points if you survive the whole night. Double agility and power points for your oh crap moments. Good times.
So is Dying Light worth playing? Yes. Yes it is. Lots of zombies, lots of free running fun, and lots of cool weapons to create to help you survive. The story was not really there with only maybe a couple of moments I could call interesting, but the gameplay is great. Fun fast and smooth. Oh and did I mention the 4 player online co-op? So bring some living friends to introduce to your new zombie friends. My overall opinion of Dying Light is that is well worth your time and money. This is a zombie game that nails it on almost all aspects.
Over all score: 4 out of 5