With the first reveal trailer of Dead Island released by Techland the world waited for a zombie game that would force players to play a stronger and more somber style of game. Techland provided a strong game in Dead Island but it never reached the intense emotional elements of the reveal trailer. With Dying Light Techland was able to create the game players wanted from the first Dead Island.
The story of Dying Light plays out like a full action horror film but only the serious moments. You enter the nightmare quickly and with little experience. Crane is an undercover operative that has been sent by the GRE to recover missing data. Like any action horror film the world first seen by Crane is not what it seems to be. The story advances on many emotional levels and develops a strong relationship with the side characters in the game. The emotional level players develop with the side characters leads all major events to have a stronger impact on the game.
The combat system of Dying Light looks its best during the hand-to-hand combat animations. There is a strong satisfaction when you run into a crowd of zombies and dropkick the leader of the pack into the others. The weapon system derives almost entirely of looting and crafting of weapons which for the most part works extremely well. The major problem you may run into is running into a stronger zombie with either a broken weapon or a weapon not able to stop it. The system works through acquiring blueprints and then finding the necessary items to create the blueprint weapon.
I would love to say that the parkour aspect of the game was as fun as the combat system. I found myself falling and dying more times then I like to remember because of the layout of the buttons on the controller. As you progress in the game the parkour aspect gets easier and allows you to start enjoying free running around zombies. Do not expect parkour perfection when you begin the game but over time it levels itself out.
The main storyline consist mostly of avoiding the zombies or having to move as quickly through them before you are overwhelmed. As Crane you advance through the map exploring for the different items to advance your arsenal. With the speed the game encourages you to advance from point to point you end up missing the detail Techland used to create the stunning landscape. The far off background is amazing to look at as the world converts from day to night and back once again. The buildings inside the different areas of the map also have amazing detail in the different ledges and rooftops that allow each section of the city to feel different each other.
The only aspects of the game that appears to have missed any extra credit detail from Techland would have been the zombies themselves. Many of the zombies end up looking identical to each other and for some strange reason all of the female zombies appear half naked while the men are fully clothed. Playing this on the Xbox One the vistas are rendered for the next generation of consoles but the zombies themselves appear to be rendered for the last generational consoles. You get over the look of the zombie after a short time playing but every so often, you will randomly remember how stupid they look.
During the day, the game itself is easy to travel through but when the light dies the intensity of the game is raised greatly. Unless you have extreme weapons at your disposal, it never feels smart traveling at night alone. If you are brave enough you can earn higher player stats and boosted experience points. This is not recommended in the beginning of the game but if you are up for it happy hunting.
I am not a strong online player but Dying Light is a game that if you play online it creates a better experience. In the beginning, I would randomly be thrown into a game with someone online and it drove me crazy. It hated it and ranted about how much I hated it. After starting to work with other random players, I realized how much better it made the game. Including other players into your Dying Light world allows you to move through harder areas faster and creates a better and more enjoyable experience.
Dying Light is a good zombie game that turns into a great zombie adventure because of it incredible story and believable characters. The parkour gameplay falls flat in the beginning but the combat mechanics and excellent multiplayer creates a game worth playing.