Dying Light Reviews

  • Spring ShieldsSpring Shields416,729
    22 Mar 2020 09 May 2020
    4 0 0
    I remember initially picking up Dying Light almost a year after it’s release, logging about a dozen hours worth of gameplay and then… just kind of stopping. I’m not sure why I stopped playing and I’m not sure what the impetus was for me picking it back up again roughly 4 years later, but ultimately, I’m glad I did play and finish this game.

    You play as Kyle Crane, a GRE operative who is air dropped into the city of Harran in order to recover a highly classified file from a local politician who has gone rogue after a quarantine was issued for the city. The air drop goes off the rails, slightly, and Crane finds himself being attacked by a group of thugs and then by a recently turned, ravenous zombie known as a “Viral” who turns Crane’s forearm into hamburger meat. Crane is saved by a few members of a survivor camp know as “The Tower”. They serve as the “good guy” faction whereas the other faction is run by a savage and ruthless warlord know as Rais.

    Indebted to his rescuers in “The Tower”, Crane offers to help them by carrying out various missions to help improve their overall safety such as repairing light traps, electric traps and car traps, as well as various quality of life improvements. However the situation at “The Tower” turns desperate and Crane finds himself needing to strike a deal with Rais for some crates of “antizin”, a drug that suppresses the zombie infection. Rais seemingly agrees to allow Crane to help him, leading Crane to being forced into carrying out some morally questionable tasks around the city. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Rais screws over Crane, which leads to him and “The Tower” survivors to find other means of survival while trying to formulate some kind of rescue plan. Without wishing to spoil anything further, the game’s world opens up very similarly to Dead Island and the game’s overall plot isn’t much to write home about; it’s perfectly satisfactory, but you’ll probably guess where the story is going by the time you hit the half way mark.

    Gameplay-wise, Dying Light is what would happen if you combined Dead Island’s combat, crafting, environment design and overall art direction with the parkour/free-running mechanics and level verticality of Mirror’s Edge. This makes traversing Dying Light’s open world incredibly fast, smooth and fun. You can bound from one rooftop to another, scale the sides of buildings and jump over crowds of zombies, effectively playing a giant game of “The Floor is Lava”, except instead of Lava, it’s flesh-eating zombies that’ll bite your face off. This also provides a pretty effective alternative to combat encounters. If you draw more than 3-4 standard enemies at once, you’re better off just pulling back and parkour-ing your way onto a rooftop for some relief. The parkour elements are what really stood out to me while playing through Dying Light. Zombie slaying is a tried and true gameplay loop that we’ve seen countless times almost ad nauseam, so adding in a fun and sometimes butt-clenching way of traversal makes Dying Light that much more fun to play.

    Dying Light’s combat mechanics are incredibly comparable to Dead Island’s considering it’s the same developer, Techland. That’s not really a surprise nor an indictment on the game. It’s melee-centric combat that features a variety of blade and blunt weapons. There are some options for guns, like a pistol, military rifle, police rifle, shotgun and bow. There’s also stamina management and stun locking enemies with kicks and weapon strikes. Weapons and item crafting is also very similar to Dead Island; you scavenge and loot buildings and vehicles for crafting materials, which can then be used for weapon upgrades such as “durability’ or “handling”. You can also acquire blueprints that require specific materials in order give your weapons elemental damage upgrades, such as fire, bleeding and electrocution. You can also craft Medkits, grenades, boosters and lock picks, among others. I personally got more use out of blade weapons than blunt ones, slicing off limbs and heads was never not satisfying and watching the geyser of blood shoot out of the stumps was equally parts gory and delightful. I tried to limit my use of firearms, since it attracts zombies, to when I was fighting thugs in isolated environments such as the insides of buildings as part of a mission objective. They can block and dodge your attacks with melee weapons, making them a bastard to try and kill. If more of them gang up on you, it’s game over. They can also shoot you with assault rifles and they can tank more shots than Crane can. Unless you have throwable weapons, this can prove to be a bit of challenge without a gun. The gunplay itself feels great; firearms sound powerful and punchy and while it’s not Call of Duty or Battlefield good, it holds up well enough.

    Dying Light features a dynamic day and night cycle. During the day, the zombies are mostly non-threatening, unless you come across a fairly sized horde or a few “Virals” that’ll chase you. During the night time, however, is where Dying Light really shines and borders on being a horror game. Along with environments going incredibly dark, the game also introduces a new kind of zombie to go along with standard zombie, the bigger “tank” zombie, bombers, bolters, screamers and spitters. Referred to as “Volatiles”, you get a glimpse of one during an early game cutscene, they are bigger, faster and more aggressive than another zombie in the game. Get spotted by one and it immediately becomes the most dangerous enemy in Dying Light. Avoiding it means using all your precision parkour techniques as getting caught or trying to stand and fight results in almost instant death. The night time atmosphere can provide some genuinely terrifying and tense moments. The game also provides you with more XP if you’re playing at night, as well as provide you with a bulk of bonus XP when you decide to take refuge in a safe house and sleep. If that’s not your thing, however, you can skip the night time altogether by sleeping in a safe house and go back out in the relative safety of day time.

    Dying Light features a skill tree that you can sink XP into and grab upgrades, such as crafting twice as many Medkits using the same amount of material, unlocking the ability to drop kick and grapple with zombies, among many others. It’s broken down into 4 categories: Survivor, Agility, Power and Legendary. Your play style will dictate which skill tree you’ll be levelling up the quickest; mine was the Power skill tree which is essentially combat, followed closely by the “Agility” skill tree, which is essentially parkour-ing. The Legendary skill tree only unlocks once you’ve maxed out your other three: Survivor skill-tree 25, Agility 24 and Power 24. Gameplay tip: Try and get the grappling hook upgrade as quickly as you can. This makes traversing the environments even faster and will be a huge quality of life improvement during the second half of the game.

    Graphically, Dying Light is great. The open world is beautifully rendered and the gore effects are awesome. The game is also well-optimized, even on vanilla Xbox One. Load screens are incredibly short for an open world game and I didn’t run into many issues with texture pop-ins, screen tearing or draw distance.

    Overall, after logging around 57 hours in game at the time of this review, I can certainly recommend Dying Light for it’s beautiful open world environments, dynamic day and night cycles, it’s fast, fluid parkour mechanics and it’s tried and true zombie slaying combat.
    4.0
  • NiceWig69NiceWig6983,310
    18 Mar 2021
    0 1 0
    This game has always gave me such good vibes. I remember watching my friend play it in 2016. I thought that when I get home, imma buy it. And well, I didn't. Not till November 2020.

    As soon as the game loaded (which was very quickly), I instantly felt joy. The music! The soundtrack for this game is awesome. As soon as you hear it, you'll never forget it.

    The start of the game is pretty easy. In fact, on regular difficulty it's easy. The only hard part is the sewer run.

    The parkour is tons of fun. At the start, you will need to grind to at least level 12 agility. That when you get your graphing hook. And you will have so much freedom.

    The combat is pretty realistic, especially for a game made in 2015. Saldy, for whatever reason, when you get certain combat upgrades, they stop working after you max out. Like when I try to dropkick zombies off a roof, they don't go flying. That is one thing that always got a laugh out of me.

    I really wish this game had more things to do after you completed all the boring side quest. The quest are usually you just picking things up for random citizens. If you have already done a ton of grinding, you will usually have the stuff for them without going out to look. I finished at least 10 quest where by simply skipping though the long cut scenes and handing in the supplies.

    The achievements are easy and hard. I got 770 gamerscore pretty easily. The rest are hard achievements or ones that will take long to grind.

    So yeah, I freaking love this game even if it had a couple flaws.
    4.0
  • Phoenix C64Phoenix C64290,500
    02 Feb 2015
    42 65 35
    I'll start off by saying that I never actually use to write reviews.

    This won't be a review "per se", but a few opinions on the game.

    As soon as there's a "real" review posted, I will probably delete this and add it as comment to that review.

    So let's go.

    If you enjoyed the Dead Island games, you will certainly enjoy this one too.

    I was extremely hyped for this game. Not only did I buy it on day #1 (something I rarely ever do), but I also went for the Ultimate edition, as the "Be the Zombie" was suposed to get that... just to find our that due the physical delay of the game, the mode had been made available for free to everyone.

    The few days between the game being released in US and me being able to play it in EU, I got even more hyped watching all those streams on twitch.

    Then I finally could play myself.

    GAMEPLAY:
    Dead Island copy pasta, mixed with Mirrors Edge or Assassins Creed.
    PROS:
    - traps that can be used, like electric fences and exploding cars.
    - parkour
    - once you have enough level: grappling hook
    - weapon socket slots
    CONS:
    - grappling hook: makes the parkour basically irrelevant
    - while the different weapons of choice are OK, there is only a small variety of mods. it's either small or medium electric, fire or toxic effect on your weapon. or a mix of those.
    - medkits and repairing a weapon is instant. this makes stuff waaaaaay too easy. but ofc you can chose NOT to use it like that:

    I already noticed on the twitch streams, that the game wouldn't be too hard. So I put a few self-limitations in place, to make it a little bit more challenging and fun:
    - only used med kits when not directly engaged in combat
    - only repaired in safezones or when completely safe and undetected
    - only assign skill points in safezones

    3/5 base points
    +1 parkour
    -1 copy pasta
    3/5 final points


    ZOMBIE GAMEPLAY:
    - As of today, I have NOT been able to invade a friend. Even with same settings (friends only, any daytime) I never got matched against any of my friends. Granted, only tried half a dozen of times before we gave up.
    - In public games, after waiting 2-3 minutes on the matchmaking queue while "finding a game", I am greeted with a "session no longer availabe" message. WHY? because people is STUPID and leave their settings to "public" and when someone actually joins their session they shit their pants and go "single player mode" or whatever, so...:
    - As of today I have NOT actually managed to play as a zombie vs. other players yet. Granted: I need to try different times of the day and maybe get luckier after 22:00 or whatever

    0/5 base points
    0/5 final points


    STORY:
    The story is not a Shakespeare or Stephen King... but it's entertaining enough. However when you are 40y. old like me, you'll probably go "heh, saw that one coming" pretty often.

    The game is quite entertaining at first, plenty of stuff to do while you are still weak and insecure about the surroundings... The game also throws quite a lot of missions and sidemissions and side activitities at you...
    But... it gets real dull real quick!
    - In first place, one of the coolest things: air-drops... your controller starts to vibrate and you can hear a plane. You can actually see it in the air dropping the supplies and then it's a rush to see if you can get there and loot it before the bandits do. It's also a very good way to make XP... guess what... after a certain chapter, they don't drop anymore. At all. One of the coolest, most entertaining things that actually give XP... removed from the game.
    In the second map you find some air drops here and there... but you find them already on the ground just surrounded by a few goons. Good for XP, but not nearly as amazing as at the start of the game.
    - At some point, early in the game, you might feel overwhealmed by all the side-activities (challenges, sidequests, etc) going on... which I like. But as soon as you arrive at the second map it's all dull and boring. Only a handful of activities besides the main story.
    Also, the second map basically encourages you to travel on rooftops all the time as safezones, objectives, vendors, etc. it's all high above ground... which leaves you to close to zero interaction with zombies actually. Unless you wanted to save a survivor, pick up one of the few airdrops or something like that, you'd rarely put a foot onto ground... and that became boring pretty soon too.

    One of the biggest problems with this game is replayability...
    There is new game+ in case you want to hunt your last pieces of collectibles while replaying the game... but in the Dead Island games you could chose different characters with different play styles... in Dying Light once you're done... there is not much else to do right now without any DLC apart the "Be the Zombie"

    3/5 base points
    +1 sandbox activity on first map
    -1 no real replayability
    3/5 final points

    GLITCHES:
    Before I even had the game I already knew two important things:
    - There's a real nasty bug that can corrupt your gamesave and make you lose all progress except story-progress. luckily there's a patch on the way (which won't recover anything if it happened to you tho) and you can prevent this from happening by being very careful when you quit the game (never do it while sleeping)
    - The items can be duped using the same method than in the Dead Island games. But hey, that's up to you if you're that kinda guy/gal.

    And then, the WORST of them all for the TA community: achievement glitches.
    Dying LightThe Whole StoryThe The Whole Story achievement in Dying Light worth 232 pointsFinish all side quests.
    has not been unlocked by anyone yet, people are stuck at 97% of the achievement.
    There is a chance it's not a bug and there is a reeeeeal well hidden sidemission somewhere... but we'll see about that.
    Other achievements also have been reported at not unlocking at the proper time, but that might be to blame on the (currently) crappy XBO achievement app.

    GRAPHICS:
    Yeah, looks awesome. whatever. moving on

    4/5 base points
    4/5 final points


    SOUND:
    Sound acting is OK, but sound FX is brilliant IMO, I play with dolby surround and most of the times I can hear zombies approaching from the proper direction, where the plane is coming from (more or less), etc.
    That being said, background music is lacking to nonexistant

    3/5 base points
    +1 sound FX and voice acting
    -1 music
    3/5 final points


    Aaaaand I ended up writing muuuuch more than I expected. So maybe I'll keep this posted as review and keep adding/correcting stuff when I am bored.


    FINAL VOTE:

    4/5 base points
    +0,5 hype
    -1 glitches
    3,5/5 final points
    3.5