Dying Light is fairly easy to sum up: A Better Dead Island.
It makes sense, a the same company worked on both franchises. But Dying Light takes some of the best parts of Dead Island (the melee combat and the weapons crafting) sprinkles in a little Far Cry and grafts it all onto a post apocalyptic Mirror’s Edge.
The storyline thus far is nothing to write home about, but it takes a back seat to the action anyway. During the day, the zombies are a slow threat, easily ignored or handled one at a time, but dangerous if you allow yourself to get overwhelmed. It’s best to stay off the streets, and the first-person free-running system makes that a rather entertaining endeavor.
At night, things get pretty fucking tense. The really nasty zombies come out, the ones that can leap and jump and ruin your day. When the sun goes down, Dying Light turns from an open-world zombie RPG into frantic survival horror movie.
What’s more, if you allow it, your game can be invaded by another player taking over a supto see if you (and your co-op buddy, if you have one) can clear out all of the nests before the zombie player kills you a certain number of times. I’m still a little bit on the fence regarding how balanced this multiplayer mode is… I’ve never seen the humans lose… but the game only just came out and perhaps the zombie players just need some time to acclimate.
This game mode was, however, a fun distraction and I was able to move between multiplayer and my campaign seamlessly.
The five hours or so I’ve played have all been recorded, so you can watch those videos here if you want to get an idea of how the game plays out:
I’m having a lot of fun with it. I enjoyed Dead Island, as flawed as they were, for what they tried to offer. It’s too early to tell if Dying Light experiences the same late game power creep issues, but thus far it does seem like a tighter, more polished experience. And the densely constructed urban sprawl of Harran certainly makes for a far more engaging atmosphere than Dead Island’s tropical getaway.