Dying Light is a new take on the first-person, zombie survival game that attempts to re-animate this now stagnant and mediocre genre.
Dying Light is from the creators of Dead Island and feels like a natural step forward for developer Techland.
The game includes everything you hated about the combat in Dead Island but mixes it with a seamless and fluid free running mechanic similar to Mirrors Edge.
The game takes place in Harran which is a gorgeous open world that is immensely fun to explore and has tons of secrets to discover.
The way the player moves makes getting around the world a fun and unique experience every time you go out.
There is a day/night cycle in Dying Light, during the day you are relatively safe only having to deal with mostly slow and unaggressive zombies but when dusk comes, the world gets truly terrifying and this is what Dying Light does best.
Night times is actually dark, and during the night more powerful zombies come out that are near impossible to survive until later in the game, this results in slowly skulking through the city without your flashlight trying to avoid enemies while making it to a safe house.
While outside at night you earn double experience creating a choice of risk vs. reward.
You play as Crain, a member of the Global Relief Effort, or GRE, who is air dropped into the quarantined ficitonal city of Harran. Shortly after arriving, Cain is bitten by a zombie and becomes infected, creating a disease-managment system similar to Far Cry 2's malaria infection. Players make their way through a fun yet forgettable story that has its fair share of twists and turns.
As you play the game you level up three different skill trees; Survivor, Agility, and Power.
Survivor has skills that help you survive in the dangerous world including making shops items cost less and an awesome grappling hook.
Agility lets Crain run and climb faster as well some special abilities to avoid the walking dead more efficiently.
Lastly, Power teaches Crain how to kill more effectively. Each tree levels up separately by doing specific things that but it only felt like there were a handful of skills that I actually felt were useful.
During my play through of the game I found myself running away from zombies rather than slaying hordes of them.
This is because the combat feels sluggish and boring, especially at early levels in the game.
You get a weapon that has a health bar and after hitting a few zombies or crazy people with it a few times it breaks making you run around from building to building scavenging for another weapon.
For a game that is about killing zombies, the combat didn’t leave a very good taste.
Dying Lights is a really good looking game.
While running around in Harran, you’ll notice beautiful buildings interesting landmarks and serine views.
Where Dying Light lacks, however is in its variety of character models.
It seems like they only put a handful of character models in the game so many of the side characters look exactly alike.
Also, if you look at any character that isn’t the main two or three, they show absolutely no emotion, which can take you out of the otherwise engrossing world.
Dying Light has up to four player co-op.
Co-op is fun with friends but when playing with strangers I found the game frustrating because it forces you to wait for them to reach you in order to start or progress a mission.
Overall Dying Light’s good outweighs the bad.
The World Traversal system and free running are a blast to play around with and the world is beautiful to look at, especially night time, which is truly terrifying.
The combat is dumb and the recycling of emotionless/expressionless character models can be somewhat distracting.
It is the perfect time to play this game.
Unless you’re catching up on the less than stellar holiday backlog from last year then you have every reason to buy Dying Light and enjoy it.
Dying Light was reviewed on the PlayStation 4.
It is also available on Xbox One and PC.