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Skeezix the Cat

Dying Light

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No spoilers are present in this review.

 

Dying Light is a zombie apocalypse action/horror/fps game set in the quarantined city of Harran.  You are Kyle Crane, an agent of an organization called the Global Relief Effort (GRE) dropped into the city to identify a rogue GRE agent and recover extremely important documents related to the zombie virus, which is described as a variation of rabies.  People who are infected by the zombie virus are not immediately doomed to zombification, there is a drug that is routinely airdropped into the city called Antizin that suppresses the symptoms of turning but only temporarily and continued dosages are required to keep the disease at bay.

 

Gameplay-

Movement-

General movement is very heavily parkour-based, much like the Assassin's Creed series.  I would say that DL actually has a much better system than AC, partially due to design and partially due to DL being first person rather than third person.  To actually grab a ledge or initiate climbing, you have to look at or near a ledge you can grab and press space.  It's incredibly simple.  I have only suffered one free running based death, and that was because I was jumping for something I couldn't grab anyway.  Overall it's much less frustrating and even fun, it's also faster paced but at its core seems very inspired by AC.

 

Combat and skills-

You have three skill trees; Survivor, Agility, and Power.  By practicing a certain category such as agility, you are awarded agility points which can be used to buy agility skills but not other skills.  Survivor skills allow you to build weapons, items, traps, etc.  Agility is of course things related to free running such as being able to climb faster and run longer, along with random "skills" such as sliding while running.  Power is all about combat, and skills to aid you in killing the dead as well as the living.

 

As far as weapons go, generally as you would expect in a zombie apocalypse you would want to avoid using firearms unless you really need to although I've found that in many situations the noise they produce is not nearly as much of a problem as wasting medkits trying to kill 5 zombies up close when you don't have many good melee weapons.  Which do wear down and break, unlike firearms.  You can repair melee weapons, almost as fast as reloading a gun but you only get a limited number of repairs per weapon (usually 1-3).  The noise from guns does attract undead, but most of them are very slow and if you're in a place where they can get to you, there's almost never going to be a time where you're going to stay in that spot.  With that being said, going Rambo on a horde is a great way to lose all your ammo and then you're going to be stuck using a hammer next time you're facing armed humans.

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Graphics-

For a current gen title, not absolutely breathtaking.  I will admit that as one would expect, the lighting effects are phenomenal.  Guts and gore tend to take an overly shiny tone, much like in Dead Space although I haven't seen many guts in real life so I can't say that this is inaccurate.

 

Night and Day-

One of the selling points of Dying Light is the night time gameplay.  During the day you primarily have to deal with slow, stupid, weak eaters and the occasional sprinter/spitter/bomber.  At night, creatures referred to as volatiles appear and are extremely powerful, fast, and will alert others in the area if they spot you.  The day/night cycle is for the most part independent of the game, although I don't know if it actually can become dark while you're out until you've reached a certain point in the game.  Volatiles are for all intents and purposes impossible to fight, even just one, the first time you encounter them and probably would still rip you to shreds for a while after that.  But during the night, your stamina is doubled and all agility and power points you earn are doubled.  After witnessing the volatiles once or twice, they become far less scary than the initial encounters although to be quite honest I still avoid going out at night.

 

As far as I've gotten, and from what I've read, there are almost no main story quests that require you to go out at night.  The game will, however, drop you in the middle of night after a quest (usually from being indoors, so you don't realize it's dark until you're thrown outside) but there are many safehouses around the city and unless you don't bother clearing them out during the day (you only have to do it once per safehouse) that you can sprint to and rest until day, completely skipping night.

 

Dying-

Dying does not revert you to a previous checkpoint, no progress in the game will be lost.  Even if you die during a boss fight, you will simply lose Survivor points and given a full health bar (think Fable 2, although instead of scars you just lose survivor exp).  You don't resurrect on the very spot you die, though.  During boss fights you just get back up at your starting position when the boss entered.  if in the overworld and you die, you will respawn at the nearest safehouse.  This can be an effective way to avoid having to sneak around at night which is very difficult a lot of the time.  Simply run head first into a group of undead, die, and respawn at a safehouse to sleep the night away.  You won't lose any of your equipment, money, or actual perks you've bought but if you find yourself to be fond of the survivor skill tree it's usually better to just suck it up and run.

 

My Impressions-

I'm not a zombie enthusiast, nor am I usually interested in trying new games from developers I'm not already familiar with.  I usually don't like new games I try, but Dying Light has proven itself to be a new favorite of mine.  I love the story, the gameplay, and the mechanics.  Everything works as it should, it all seems very polished, and I have come across extremely few bugs if any and they were far from affecting the gameplay, much less impeding it.  While you are performing what are basically errands on some occasions (not nearly as often as some other games), they turn out to be more fun because they're much more important than just delivering a box of chocolates and a movie and the map is not that large along with the fact that you become a parkour god pretty early in the game.

 

Pros-

1. Skill progression is very smooth and gradual.

2. The story is slightly more elaborate than your typical "zombie apocalypse?  Race for the cure!" scenario.

3. Characters have unique personalities, background stories, skills, and all play a role to the player who also has a unique personality which grows through the storyline.

4. Combat is fun but not tedious, challenging and rewarding but not frustrating.  A terrific balance, although it CAN be tedious if you try to kill everything you see.

 

Cons-

1. Storyline is rather predictable, although only to a certain degree ahead of where you are in it.

2. The game encourages you to go out of your way to collect and scavenge, but rewards you poorly for doing so as you typically would find the same rewards along the standard path to your destination.

3. Weapons you craft yourself are much less effective than ones you find in abundance lying around.  They have cool names and effects, though.

 

My Rating-

I would give it a solid 9.5/10.  I base this off of the fact that the game gave me all that I wanted without any bad experiences, and in general I can't complain.  I would give it a 10, but after doing the main story and a few side missions I probably won't play it much.  The replayability isn't bad, it's just not really enough to make me want to start over and do this all over again despite how dynamic the world is and how no two encounters are likely to be the same.  I would happily recommend this game to others, and I have been, and I'm sure many of you guys here on OC would enjoy it too.  Final verdict-

 

9.5/10

Edited by Skeezix the Cat
Tucker933, Sceny, TCK and 1 other like this

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Awesome review!   I believe this is one of those games that I am going to own I just haven't decided if I should get it for Xbox One or PC.  Which platform did you play this on?  I suppose it doesn't really matter right? I guess when it comes down to it...price might be the determining factor.  My friend's boyfriend has this game and while I was over their place I played for about 10 minutes.  It was cut short because 1)we had to leave to go somewhere 2)more importantly, I didn't want to mess up his profile because apparently the game auto-saves. lol 

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PC. And I probably should have waited a bit before writing the review. To revise two points; One is that it does indeed have its fair share of random bugs such as falling through the world and Two; I still play the single player regularly. The story really picked up in pace and urgency not long after i made this review. I'm currently on my fifth play through the campaign. This time with the Oculus Rift! Oh man, Jade's titties never looked more grabbable than they do in 3D. Oh, uh, yeah killing zombies in VR is cool too.

Edited by Skeezix the Cat

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