Dying Light

aka: Dying Light: Enhanced Edition
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Description official descriptions

Dying Light is an open world, action horror game. It takes place in a zombie apocalypse environment, similar to the Dead Island games by the same developer. The game is set in the large city of Harran, with influences of ancient Turkey, overrun by a mysterious epidemic. The protagonist is Kyle Crane, an undercover GRE operative sent inside a quarantine zone. His initial mission is to neutralize the rogue GRE operative Kadir Sulaiman, but he can also choose to focus on helping the survivors instead. He can freely explore the city using parkour and freerun mechanics. The game has a dynamic day and night system ÔÇô during the day zombies are less aggressive, so players can gather supplies, weapons, craft items etc. and prepare for the night, when infested are stronger and more dangerous.

The focus is on melee weapons and just like in Dead Island various materials can be crafted into weapons by gathering supplies. Also borrowed from that game is the stamina bar that prevents the character from continuously hitting. Guns can also be used, but sound attracts others. By progressing through the game the character's abilities can be leveled up in the skill trees agility, power, and survival. There are often large groups of zombies that can be taken out from heights, by pushing them off, using projectiles or triggering traps. Instead of stealth there is more focus on escaping using the parkour mechanics. Unlike games such as Assassin's Creed it requires precise timing and aim to grab ledges and combine slides and jumps into fluid movement.

Progress through the city is furthered by unlocking safe zones where zombies cannot enter. During the day Crane mainly needs to scavenge, locate and save survivors, explore, set up traps and locate air drops. At night the slow zombies become much more agile. They do more damage, can sprint and will chase Crane. Especially the Volatile creatures are extremely fast and deadly, changing the game's pace with more focus on stealth as enemies will easily catch up. The game becomes harder, but experience points are doubled at night. Aside from traps, sound and distractions, UV light can be used to slow them down. There is also a dynamic weather system.

Dying Light offers an online co-op mode for up to four players. In the Be the Zombie mode there is asymmetrical multiplayer where one player-controlled powerful Night Hunter can invade another player's game at night and up to four players can work together to defeat it.

On 9th February the game was updated for free to an Enhanced Edition version for all platforms through a patch. This Enhanched Edition then replaced the default version of the game.

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Critics

Average score: 78% (based on 22 ratings)

Players

Average score: 4.1 out of 5 (based on 20 ratings with 1 reviews)

Mixed Bag of Feelings

The Good
Dying Light is a zombie game played from a first-person perspective, with parkour and crafting elements blended in.

I felt that this game was very entertaining and fun to play not only by myself, but also online with friends. The combat system works pretty well, with the exception of a few miscues and annoyances. The weapons featured in the game range from water pipes to swords to hammers to machine guns. Weapons can also be crafted with various elements such as fire and electricity, and can be upgraded to cause some serious damage. Though it isn't exactly a fresh or new idea, it was fun anyway.

The graphics in the game are beautiful and zombie damage is pretty accurate for the most part, as well as environments being vast and well-designed. Lots of areas are rigged with traps that can be used to the player's advantage, nearly all obstacles can be climbed or scaled, and one could easily spend all day exploring the entirety of the map - including inside houses, sewers, cars, vans, rooftops, and so on. The only real fresh idea introduced in this game is the parkour/free-running element which really helped to navigate around the environment faster, easier, and safer.

As I said earlier, Dying Light is a fun game but it doesn't have a lot of substance to it...



The Bad
... Dying Light is what I call a cocktail of popular gaming titles; games of the past all consolidated into one game.

A lot of the gaming mechanics are things that we've already seen in previous games. Some examples include: weapon crafting which is similar to Dead Rising's style (i.e. finding cards/blueprints to craft weapons), the environment, while expansive and fittingly atmospheric, looks a bit too much like Dead Island, and every now and then it feels like I'm playing Left 4 Dead 2 rather than Dying Light. These similarities don't really take away from the gaming experience, but also offers virtually nothing new that horror gamers haven't seen.

Dying Light also features a bit of a lackluster story that actually isn't all that bad, but again its a story that seems pretty familiar with a typical love interest and an antagonist that terrorizes the survivors. The protagonist's voice acting is also a bit inconsistent, as some dialog sounds great while other bits sound unintentionally humorous.

Lastly, the game can seem quite unfair with thugs being overpowered - both defensively and offensively - and enemies such as spitters having precise aim which seems like it guarantees unpreventable damage to players.

The Bottom Line
Here's the thing: despite my negatives with this game, I really do enjoy Dying Light. It's a very entertaining game with the different combinations and upgrades for your weapons and the parkour is quite fun, however it's just one big concoction of previously successful horror games. The critic in me doesn't want to like this game, however the gamer in me has a blast with it which is what I think ultimately matters the most in the long run.

PlayStation 4 · by blancmange (53) · 2015

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Pottero.

Xbox One, Linux, Macintosh, PlayStation 4 added by Sciere.

Additional contributors: Sciere, Kennyannydenny.

Game added January 30th, 2015. Last modified August 14th, 2023.