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So Sorry I missed this Gem
Gory Zombie Kills
This is a gory game about murdering zombies. But wow, it's taken to a new level of awesome. The most terrifying part is when your weapon breaks.
In Dying Light, you are the hunted
When “The Last of Us” was released waay back in 2013, that was it for me and zombies. I felt that had run their course and were by now too far overdone. At the time Anyone could rattle off at least 200 zombie films, TV series, featured in games released in the past 3 years. Naturally, I overlooked Dying Light.
The survival horrror genre has really exploded lately with more releases than one could possibly dream of. All the same formula of; collect supplies, craft stuff, find new ways to craft, run from unstoppable hoards. So in this regard Dying Light is lacking originality. State of Decay did this (though more comically), DayZ the list goes on.
What’s your point?
Glad you asked! For some strange reason I really enjoy Dying light. The graphics feel very real, heaven forbid it goes Oculus Rift. Zombies fall apart and bleed from areas you hit them. Even after you “kill” them, some will stumble about for a few seconds before the body finally realizes it is dead. This happens a lot when you get a police rifle or some other high powered firearm. You’ll hit them dead on and they still stand, walk towards you then suddenly drop dead. It’s too real. Too horrifying.
While early combat is repetetive with the beat down a zombie till it’s dead, fight off the biter who grabbed you from behind, realize your weapon is broken, run the heck away. Later on combat has more variety and moves. There’s traps scattered through the city that you can “kick” a zombie into, activate with ‘v’ and otherwise lure them to. So even if you’re without weapons, there’s a shot at survival. That’s the winning formula! But there’s more.
Can Ya Craft This For Me?
Scattered throughout the city are blueprints for weapons and upgrades. They’re mostly melee weapons for that close and personal rotted flesh sort of feeling. The graphics are so good in fact, you can almost smell the corpses rotting away in the hot sun. so gathering of resources is a huge part of the game. Where you want to loot every Dying Light zombie you meet, even if there’s a fast approaching hoard. These items are critical to your eventual success if simply living. Forget being an errand boy for the Tower and Reis. Simply existing in this world is tough enough.
Weapon upgrades add effects like fire, bleeding, electricity and a number of other sadistic traits to kill both zombies and human raiders. I personally like the electrocution effect since it stuns and drops beasts long enough for you to get stabby. This is usually the desired result as some zombies are tough.
From what I’ve seen, crafted weapons all have a base item, (pipe, machete, knife, gas pipe) that you must have in your limited inventory space. Then you apply the blueprint and resources to make something new, sadistic and more lethal.
The Human Factor
In Dying Light, there’s different stages of zombie from what I can tell (I’m not the type who reads every detail about a game before playing. I like to learn on the job). There’s the well rotted and almost dead ones. They just amble on towards sounds, smack you and get all bitey with your neck.
Then there’s more or less a feral human. These zombies are the most mentally frightening. You’re fighting what appears to be a human gone mad. They hiss, and growl at you, move lightning fast, dodge and use weapons at times. They also pause to beg for mercy and show short signs of humanity. Each time you put one down, the feeling is “could they somehow have been saved?”
Then there’s the obligatory array of mutated beyond humanity zombies. These come in the super strong, 600 pound club wielding titans, to puking zombies and the unkillable night lurkers (virals) that your only option is to run. Yet I tried and unloaded 100 rounds into one once.
Lastly there is the player on the other side of he screen…
Wait what? Other Players?
Yep. No sooner did I complete the prologue and get dumped lost and confused into the open world of Dying Light than someone found and jumped into my game. He was a “good” co-op player. Showed me around, killed some zombies and on occasion would blow me up in a car trap or push me off a building. But mostly helpful. He showed me some blueprints hidden in plain sight. Some in game bugs and other interesting tidbits that a total n00b like me would never have found. The game is tough, but with upwards of 2-6 people all working together, it can be quite entertaining and fun.
At night, other Dying Light players can invade your world as the bigger meaner human controlled Viral and wipe you out. I will admit, the allowance of sadistic behavior, even in Co-Operative games is quite entertaining and exciting. It’s the first time I’ve interacted with another human in a multiplayer game forever.
If you’re sitting on the fence post, as I was, until Steam forced Dying Light upon my wallet, buy it. It’s actually well worth the money. But the game is not easy. It’s essentially a First Person Assassin’s Creed. So getting used to Parkour that litters the game takes a while to get used to, but is essential to surviving.
The graphics are beautiful and too realistically detailed. You may need to puke a bit if you’re not used to the gore factor. Otherwise this is a fantastic addition to your library.
What was not covered is Dying Light’s skill based and leveling system. I’m not far enough into the game to really give any commentary. But the skill system is, from what I can see, very well done and thought out. Most skills are very useful, especially those related to surviving.