More than just a spiritual successor to Dead Island?
Dying Light is the latest game from the original Dead Island team, Techland and is set in the city of Harran. The story itself isn’t that memorable, but it does enough to push the game forward…but can it undo the regrets of what Dead Island could have been?
Harran is free to roam nearly straight away, although I’d highly advise against roaming too far without securing safe zones first as this is where you’ll respawn upon death, which trust me…will happen a lot, especially at night where the strongest and fastest zombies roam the streets. The gameplay does remind me of the original Dead Island, however with the parkour free running across the rooftops and so on; it reminded me a lot of Mirror’s Edge.
As with Dead Island, Dying Light has tons of side quests to complete as well as weapons that deteriorate over usage. Looting every nook and cranny is essential to your success as you’ll need all the supplies you can get to survive out on Harran’s streets. There are random events as well, like instances where you can rescue survivors from a horde of biters or from a militant group. At first, you’ll feel like you’re not anywhere near strong enough against the enemies you fight, but eventually the tables will turn and you will give them a good run for their money.
Combat itself feels a little clunky at times and not as accurate as I’d like, but overall there’s nothing more satisfying than swinging a baseball bat and for a zombie head to go flying. It really helps that the game looks a thousand times better than Dead Island could hope to be, Harran looks stunning with the day/night cycle, zombie models are incredibly detailed and the small details really make it stand out from the crowd.
Like I said, the story isn’t that great…but it’s not awful either. The voice-acting has improved dramatically over Techland’s past attempts and actually felt believable, it also helps that the characters are mixed from sympathetic to just damn crazy. The soundtrack is also impressive, filling the player with dread at night as the strongest infected attempt to hunt you down.
Dying Light is everything Dead Island should have been. Techland have completely outdone themselves with this incredible open world survival horror, it may have its issues with the story and the combat isn’t as perfect as I’d have hoped, but overall it’s one of the best zombie games I’ve played and I highly recommend you pick it up.