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Dying Light

Dying Light is a buy-to-play 3D first-person survival horror game that features adrenaline-pumping parkour action and a unique weapon crafting system set in an expansive zombie-infested open world environment.

Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Playerbase: Medium
Type: Survival Horror
Release Date: January 27, 2015
PvP: Zombie vs Human Mode, In-game PvP Competitions
Pros: +Top-notch graphics. +Rich, detailed, and expansive game world. +Adrenaline-pumping combat. +Day/night cycles that affect gameplay. +Great story.
Cons: -Buy-to-play. -Clichéd gameplay. -Steep system requirements.

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Overview

Dying Light Overview

Drop into the middle of the quarantined city of Harran as an undercover operative in Dying Light, a buy-to-play 3D survival horror game from Techland, the developers of the Dead Island series of games. Use your free-running skills to scavenge for supplies and fight to survive in a zombie-infested urban environment while also dealing with other hostile, power-hungry survivors. Experience regular day and night cycles that drastically change the gameplay as more sinister forms of infected come out to hunt at night. Craft your own weapons and customize your characters according to your own play style as you experience an engaging and moving storyline.

Dying Light Key Features:

  • Expansive Open World – explore the quarantined city of Harran, a vast urban sandbox where every day is a fight for survival.
  • Parkour-Style Action – climb walls, jump across rooftops, and use your free-running skills to hunt down or evade enemies, be they zombies or humans.
  • Brutal and Intense Combat – use a variety of hand-crafted weapons to take down the infected from simple wooden planks and axes to exploding throwing stars and electrified metal pipes.
  • Day/Night Cycles – the zombie-infected city becomes more dangerous at night when even more sinister monsters come out to hunt.
  • Customize Your Hero – develop your character according to your own play style whether you want to face the undead head-on or prowl the rooftops using your parkour skills.
  • Cooperative Mode – work together with other players to accomplish missions or compete with each other to complete random objectives.
  • Be The Zombie – take on the role of a night hunter and make life hell for other players who happen to be caught outside at night.

Dying Light Screenshots

Dying Light Featured Video

Full Review

Dying Light Review

By, Marc Marasigan

Dying Light is a buy-to-play 3D first-person survival game set in an expansive urban sandbox environment. Players assume the role of Kyle Crane, an undercover operative sent into the heart of the quarantined, zombie-infested city of Harran to locate a fugitive and recover stolen top secret documents. The game was developed by Techland, creators of the Dead Island series of games. Compared to the earlier Dead Island games, Dying Light features better graphics and a more engaging storyline. The game features stunning, highly-detailed, and fully-explorable environments that players can interact with, along with top-notch character models and voice acting. The game’s soundtrack and sound effects work well to build up the tension and give players a highly-immersive experience that had me jumping out of my skin more than a few times.

Jumping In Uninvited

The game starts off with a somewhat lengthy cut-scene that shows the player, Kyle Crane, jumping off what looks to be a C-130 and parachuting into the heart of zombie-infested Harran. As luck would have it he ends up being bitten by a zombie when he is left for dead (pun intended) by a less-than-friendly band of survivors. He is eventually rescued by another group of survivors before he passes out. Players gain control of Crane when he finally wakes up a few days later in the sickbay of “The Tower,” a 20-storey safehouse for survivors sustained by runners—a select group of survivors who use their Parkour-skills to scavenge supplies from regular military supply drops. As soon as players gain control of their character they are required to go through a prologue-style tutorial that teaches them the basics of combat, interacting with the environment, and crafting objects along with a crash course on free-running.

Earning Your Keep

Dying Light is, at its core, an RPG, much like the Dead Island games that came before it. The game also takes inspiration from other popular zombie survival games like DayZ and Left 4 Dead. Like Dead Island games players earn their keep by running errands for fellow survivors which may include scavenging for supplies, medicine, and ammunition or other special requests like arming zombie traps or taking tissue samples from extremely dangerous breeds of zombies. What sets the game apart from its predecessors is the addition of Assasin’s Creed-style Parkour movement that allows players to quickly navigate the game’s open world urban environment by climbing up electrical poles, scaling walls, jumping across rooftops, and zip-lining across streets chock-full of infected, useful skills to have considering that most zombies aren’t smart enough to climb structures. By “most” I mean your typical slow-moving undead which won’t seem much of a threat after you’ve encountered their other friends.

Like Left 4 Dead, the game features several types of zombies with varying characteristics which require different strategies to kill. Virals, for example, look like regular zombies but are able to run after players and even climb up rooftops. These zombies can easily be taken out with a well-placed bat to the face. Demolishers, on the other hand, are massive creatures that can throw cars with ease but are severely-lacking in brain-power and can be outrun without too much effort. It’s when night comes that things take a turn for the worse.

Things That Go Bump In the Night

Dying Light features regular day and night cycles which considerably ups the game’s difficulty as darkness falls on Harran. The darkness makes running headlong into a horde of infected a very real possibility. Players are equipped with flashlights but risk attracting more zombies to their location. Darkness, however, is the least of a players worries. Not only do the infected grow stronger at night, but other, more sinister forms of zombies come out to hunt. These zombies, called Volatiles, are faster and stronger and can easily chase players across rooftops and are a lot uglier. Making a break for the nearest UV-protected safehouse might seem like a good plan at first but stealth actually works better in evading these nightmarish creatures.

As if Volatiles weren’t enough, playing during the night also allows other players to invade your game as Night Hunters via the “Be the Zombie Mode.” This, however, requires your game to be set to public and invasion set to night, which can easily be changed in the game options. Setting the invasion setting to “Anytime”, as the name suggests, allows other players to invade your game at any time of the day and immediately turns your environment into nighttime.

Getting Creative

Like previous Dead Island games, Dying Light allows players to craft their own weapons and items using blueprints and materials scavenged from the game world. Crafted items can range from simple lockpicks and medkits to crazy contraptions like electrified flame-throwing metal pipes and exploding throwing stars. One thing that annoys me is how fast weapons break in the game. Hitting a rotting zombie a few times is usually enough to destroy your favorite weapon. A wooden plank breaking after a few hits would have been acceptable but a metal pipe should be able to slaughter at least a dozen zombies. Weapons can be repaired on the fly but can only be repaired a certain number of times before you eventually have to throw it out. The only solution is to bring along a number of backup weapons just in case you get caught in a bad situation. You wouldn’t want to be facing Volatiles using your fists would you?

Survival Skills

As players progress through the game they earn experience points. Depending on their actions, these skill points go to one of three skill groups: Survival, Agility, and Power. Completing survivor quests rewards players with experience points that increase their Survival level, free-running rewards Agility experience points, and using melee weapons against enemies rewards Power experience points. Leveling up a skill group rewards players with skill points that they can use to learn skills in that particular skill group. Gaining levels in Survival allow the player to craft more items, Agility allows the player to perform more complex parkour moves, and Power increases the player’s effectiveness in combat. Depending on their play-style, players can choose to specialize in any of the skill groups. Aggressive players, for example, may want to specialize in Power. Keep in mind though that of the three skill groups, Power is the hardest to increase because it requires players to actively seek out enemy mobs while the other skill groups level up by themselves while completing quests.

Help Wanted

Dying Light allows up to four players to work cooperatively to complete in-game missions. Yes, even main story missions. This can come in handy when tackling tricky tasks. Players can also compete with each other to complete randomly appearing map objectives such as having the most zombie kills or gathering the most loot within a specified time. The only requirement for cooperative play is that the hosting player sets his/her game to Public. Other players can then join the game.

Alternatively players can also join other public games using the game’s matchmaking system. Having a team also helps a lot when a Night Hunter invades your game. When a Night Hunter enters the game it triggers a fun and adrenaline-pumping PvP mode where a team of up to four players must destroy a certain number of zombie hives while the Night Hunter tries to stop them. The Night Hunter may seem a bit overpowered, much-like a Hunter or Tank in Left 4 Dead, but is no match for a group of three or four players working together, any less and the game becomes extremely one-sided.

Looking for More Content?

As if buying the game wasn’t enough, and for a hefty price tag if I might add, players can also purchase additional maps, missions, and content through DLC bundles offered through Steam. Players can also buy Season Passes that gives them access to current DLC’s as well as a number of future ones. Unless, you’ve beaten the entire game and have nothing left to do, I would suggest holding off on buying the DLC since the main game has more than enough content to keep players busy for months or at least a few weeks. Players might also be tempted to buy costumes, just keep in mind that these have no effect on the game apart from making you look cool to other players. Also, just in case you were wondering, no, you can’t check yourself out in a mirror since all the mirrors in the game are conveniently broken or blurry.

The Final Verdict – Excellent

Just when I thought that the survival horror bandwagon was starting to get old, along comes a game that makes me want to relive the zombie apocalypse yet again. Dying Light took the best features of well-known zombie survival games like Dead Island, Left 4 Dead, and DayZ, and combined them into one badass game. It has everything any zombie survival fan could ask for: awesome graphics, an incredibly detailed open-world environment, a weapon crafting system, a diverse lineup of zombies, not to mention a fast-paced parkour movement system—a first in the survival horror genre. On top of that, the game also features a storyline that actually lets you feel emotionally connected to the characters. I highly recommend you pick Dying Light up if you have the cash to spare. You definitely won’t be disappointed.

Screenshots

Dying Light Screenshots

Videos

Dying Light Videos

System Requirements

Dying Light System Requirements

Minimum Requirements:

Operating System: Windows Vista
CPU: Dual Core 2.4 GHz
RAM: 3 GB RAM
Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce GT 530 / ATI Radeon HD 6570
Direct X: DirectX 9.0
Hard Disk Space:  7.5 GB available space

Recommended Requirements:

Operating System: Windows  7
CPU: Quad Core 2.4 GHz
RAM: 6 GB RAM or more
Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 550 Ti / Radeon HD 6790
Direct X: DirectX 9.0
Hard Disk Space:  10 GB or more available space

Music

Dying Light Music & Soundtrack

Coming Soon!

Additional Info

Dying Light Additional Information

Developer: Techland
Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment

Distributor: Steam

Director: Adrian Ciszewski
Composer: Pawel Blaszczak
Storywriter: Dan Jolley

Game Engine: Chrome Engine 6

Official Release Date (NA): January 27, 2015
Official Release Date (Global): February 27, 2015

Development History / Background:

Dying Light is a buy-to-play open-world 3D survival horror game developed by Techland and published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. The game was officially released on January 27, 2015 in North America and globally on February 27, 2015 without going through any  beta or early access phase. Techland is a Polish video game developer known for the creating the Dead Island franchise, a series of zombie survival games. The project was initially revealed on May 23, 2013 and the game’s trailer launched a few weeks later at the 2013 Electronic Entertainment Expo. The game was supposed to be released in 2014 but was delayed to February 2015 in order to improve on a few of the game elements. The developers also sought the help of Dan Jolley, a writer for DC Comics, to write the game’s story, and Pawel Blaszczak, music composer for Dead Island, The Witcher, and Call of Juarez, to compose the music for Dying Light. An expansion for the game, titled Dying Light: The Following is planned for release.