Dying Light: The Light At The End Of The Tunnel

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Welcome back to Playstation Base everyone, I hope you are all feeling fine!

Well as you could all probably guess, I have been playing Dying Light the past weekend.  I’ve mentioned in way too many posts how excited I was to play it and the time finally came!  Yay!

Dying Light was released on 28th January and after being delayed and brought forward, it became every developers nightmare.  The physical copy for Dying Light is still yet to arrive outside of North America, with a date pinned for the end of February, but I myself, like a million others, flocked to buy the digital copy on PSN.  The digital copy was not without issues either.  A frustrating glitch meant that gamers were able to purchase the game, but not download it.  If you missed it, I reported on it here.

Delays and issues aside, Dying Light has been highly anticipated for quite some time.  Developers Techland, also known for there Dead Island series, set upon an ambitious task to make a survival Zombie game different from the rest. 

untitledUpon booting the game and sky diving into the opening sequence, it was a case of taking in the scenery whilst the animation played.  It takes a little while to get into the playable game, but at the very moment I was able, I was sucking in the detail by the bowl-full.  Everything looked amazing, even at 5000 feet above the ground.  The lighting effects are the best I have ever seen and with Techland utilising this tool extremely well, they were able to set an extremely macabre scene.  The zombies themselves are also extremely detailed with crease lines in their fingers, chunks of flesh missing from their rotting faces and missing limbs.  They make painfully creepy noises as they stumble gormlessly towards you, clicking and roaring, each one bringing you an intense rush of genuine fear.

Now I’m not that far into the game at all, but I have already spent a good few hours just exploring and parkouring around the city.  The city itself is meticulously detailed with damaged props and derelict buildings.  The setting for the game is convincingly postapocalyptic and it does it properly.  With the power of next-gen behind the games ambition, the consoles are now able to show more on-screen at each moment and the benefits of this are apparent.  I was also surprised at the sheer number of zombies I could see at any given point, a number I would say is close to 50.  There are times where the swarms can be overwhelming – exactly as you would expect in a real life scenario and this, again, adds to the realism of the game.

zombieRealism, it seems, is a key aspect for the development of this game, an aspect that they successfully cultivated.  It goes a lot further than what you can see on-screen, extending into the way you play also.  Night time has been a widely discussed subject on forums and within other reviews that I have read.  It is not only the source of fear for you as the player, but almost a secondary objective in the way that you should avoid it at all costs.  At night, obviously there is a huge lack of sunlight, but never have I seen so much darkness within a game.  The shadow of night really is a complete blanket of darkness – the only sources of light being artificial ones such as fires or the very few lights that are actually in action across the landscape.  This is as close to realism as you will probably get within a game.  As I said earlier, the darkness is a source of fear – the zombies also become more aggressive, with some more of the rarer, more powerful zombies now coming out to play.

The gameplay is great.  I am really enjoying Dying Light at the moment – being able to play the full campaign in coop is mind-blowing and makes it endlessly more enjoyable.  The open world map gives you and up to 3 friends the opportunity to explore, loot and brutally hack away at hordes of zombies at will.  You can lose yourself doing this, with my 6 and a half hours of game play, I would say at least 3 or 4 of them have consisted of those things. 

zombie3Looting is an important part of the game.  As you progress, you will pick up different melee weapons which you will be able to modify – this could be by adding electricity to each swipe or simply by making your blade sharper causing your enemy to bleed.  Your weapons aren’t infinitely durable, each one has to be repaired and replaced as you go along, but there are only a certain number of times that you can repair each weapon before having to break it down and replace it.  This keeps the game fresh and keeps you wanting to find more loot to ensure you can build that powerful axe again!

The story isn’t too bad – it’s based around 2 warring factions of good and evil, you being stuck between them as a government agent on a quest to recover a lost file.  I think that maybe the story could have been a little more innovative – I certainly didn’t expect the government to be involved, I assumed it would be more of a personal story between you and the other characters, I guess kind of like The Last Of Us.  The story doesn’t seem that long either, I feel like I’m already half way through it and I’ve read online that some completed it within the same day – but I guess there will always be some that have the time and patience to sit and play for 12 hours straight.

zombie2Dying Light is undoubtedly an amazing game.  Visually it is impressive and it’s use of light is second to none.  I have never played a game – especially a zombie game – that is so real and creepy.  The zombies themselves are the most detailed I’ve seen and behavourially, they are extremely instinctual.  It is superbly brutal too – blood spattering everywhere with a muffled metal clunk as you hit a zombie in the head with a hammer.  Literally, nothing is more pleasing.  I don’t know if it’s the Next-Gen virus that makes me think everything I see on the PS4 is amazing, but I implore you all to go out and buy this game!  I haven’t had as much fun since FarCry 4!

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