Content of the article: "Dying Light became the most immersive zombie game I’ve ever played."
I'm one of the people who enjoyed Days Gone after release and I wanted to find another zombie game I enjoyed. I tried the Dead Rising series and while I did have fun with the first 3 games, it didn't quite scratch that itch I wanted. Zombies were more of an obstacle (which is cool in it's own gimmick) rather than an active thing to avoid or kill.
Then I remembered I owned Dying Light, a game my friend had gifted me years ago. We had tried co-oping it, but I remember us not having too much fun. It felt too easy and too comical constantly dropkicking zombies between each other. I said "what the heck" and launched it again, with the intention of sticking with it if I could get into it. And man it sucked me in.
This game really is THE zombie game. The story isn't the best (it's certainly not bad and above serviceable), but the parkour is freaking awesome. While it is fun in co op for sure, it's VERY scary in singleplayer. In co-op, you're kind of carefree in everything you do because you're with friends and you know you can just get revived. But in singleplayer, you need to close doors behind you, clear areas before looting, etc. Your caution is raised tenfold, ESPECIALLY at nighttime.
While the zombies in this game aren't exactly something too new, they do have their unique quirks. Newly infected humans who have just become zombies run super fast and are alerted to any loud noise made from either the player, other zombies, or other humans. When you hit them, sometimes they grovel to you and actually speak, pleading you not to hurt them. Then the infection quickly takes them over again as they attack you. This is definitely scary. Other typical special infected, such as chargers, spitters, boomers, etc. All here. And this game is NOT afraid to add in child zombies, which I love. They aren't common though, as they are a special type of infected.
The vanilla game has two maps. Both are super fun. The first map has a TON of buildings. Plenty of fun parkour all around. The second map is actually my favorite, and it looks like they are using the same design scheme for Dying Light two. It has less buildings around, but the buildings are huge and remind me of Assassins Creed as far as their giant scaling goes. Lots of side quests to keep you busy. Random challenges, survivors scattered around, safehouses to unlock, people to save. And the maps are huge! And very realistic.
One thing to note: this game is NOT a zombie survival game. It is a zombie ACTION game. There are no survival elements such as needing to eat or drink or sleep. You have different skill trees. Survival, Agility, and Power. You gain survival points for completing missions and turning in care packages. You gain agility points by doing parkour and combining different tricks. You gain power points by fighting and killing. This game does VERY good at progressing you through the skills, just like Far Cry 3 does. You get more powerful overtime. You can eventually dropkick enemies, snap their necks from behind, disguise yourself in their blood, and even do a drop-stab on them similar to Far Cry 3 and Assassins Creed. The skill progression in this game is AWESOME! I know I said the game isn't really survival- and it isn't- but it has a ton of crafting. Blueprints, weapon upgrades, etc. You craft lockpicks, firecrackers, medkits, stat boost potions, weapons etc. You name it, you craft it. You can also just buy weapons/blueprints etc. The game has a lot of looting. Realistically placed items.
Here's when the game becomes scary: Nighttime. At night, you will shit your pants. I don't want to spoil anything in case anybody is reading this and hasn't played the game yet. All I'm saying is, it is very scary at first. Later on? Not too much. I mostly played the game during daytime though. My preference. Although you do get DOUBLE EXP during nighttime for everything you do. So it's definitely worth it with the added risk factor.
There are some things I want to talk about:There are TWO things that make the game very easy. Both are optional. 1st is the grappling hook. To say it clearly- it's overpowered. The grappling hook let's you zip to whatever you want that's within range. It has two uses then a quick 5 second cooldown until it can be used again and again. This gets rid of a lot of parkour elements because you can basically just fly from point to point. It's especially useful in the second zone (large buildings), but still overpowered in both zones. Kind of gets rid of the danger and fear when being chased, yknow? Reminds me of Assassins Creed Syndicate. The grappling hook in that was definitely necessary, but got rid of a lot of time you could spend parkouring. The second thing is the skill that lets you cover yourself in zombie blood to camo yourself. This skill is VERY OP when coupled with the ability after it that lets you kill enemies while remaining in camoflauge. This skill alone makes every single story-instance a complete joke. I'm serious. I cheesed half the missions with this without entering combat once unless it was a forced encounter. Again, both the grappling hook and camo are optional. It's up to you if and when you want to use them. I personally didn't mind.
I do have several gripes with the game. Something that was SUPER annoying was how the devs basically begged you to play in co-op/PVP the majority of the time. Seriously. EVERY time you load the game up and enter a safehouse, the game has a forced pop-up that asks if you want to enable zombie invasions (pvp invasions from other players). NO I DO NOT! And this pops up EVERY single time seriously. It got super annoying.
Another issue for me (that goes into slight spoiler territory) was the final boss. Not only was it entirely a quick time event, but you didn't need ANY of the parkour skills or variety of weapons you had. None of it. You just go, quick time event, and finish.
My final issue was the game's DLC, The Following. It's a giant map with barely any buildings. They give you a car but the fun of the game for me came from the parkour and manuevering around the zombies and buildings. This DLC doesn't offer much of that at all. The story is alright, and some of the side missions and new features such as volatile hives (hives of zombie nests that you need to go into and destroy) are awesome! But seriously… why make the map a big open field with barely anything to parkour on. Not a good idea imo. A game like this should have the opposite. Lots of buildings, lots of parkour. Not driving a car through giant fields of nothing.
TL;DR – it's a zombie ACTION game, not a SURVIVAL game. So don't expect a survival game. Overall, a good game. Decent story, phenomenal gameplay. Fun to mess around with in co op but the real gem is the immersive and tense singleplayer. This game is definitely a must buy if you enjoy zombie games and parkour games. Ton of content, hours and hours of missions, zombie killing goodness.
Wow this went on for way too long, sorry for the giant wall of text. Thanks for reading!
- Dying Light went from frustrating mess to probably the best open world game i’ve ever played
- Finished The Walking Season 2
- A return to Assassin’s Creed 3, the game that made me a PatientGamer. A gorgeous world constantly interrupted by dumb stuff.
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