I started this game way back in 2016 and it wasn’t until last year, at the urging of my buddy @tjarvinen86, that I picked it back up and started playing again. Even though I now had some consistent help, it still seemed to be one of those games that would end up on my I Never Finished…Because blog. I busted my ass though and did a major grind on this game and even went as far as setting up a gaming session to get the platinum trophy. With the platinum trophy proudly mine for this game I can finally say, it’s time for a review.
In Dying Light, you play as Kyle Crane who is an undercover agent for the GRE. Quite literally dropped off in Harran, Kyle’s initial mission is to find rogue politician and newly established war lord Rais. That is until Kyle gets bitten by a zombie. Rescued by Jade, Kyle will be taken to the Tower to be treated and see first hand what’s been going on in Harran. Working with both the Tower and the GRE, Kyle will have to decide if he’s going to continue working with the GRE or go rogue himself and help the people of Harran.
I initially bought this game because even though I don’t enjoy horror games, I do like zombie games. I had already played both Dead Islands on the PS3 and this promised to be something different. Perhaps a better, more worked out version of Dead Island. Not all that different though in the end because if you’ve bashed in the head of one zombie using a wrench, which you totally have to do for a trophy this time around, it’s basically the same no matter what game you play. What this game did add though was a first person parkour to it making this this basically Mirror’s Edge with zombies. I did think the game was a decent one even though the story was a little stale and the main character was unlikeable. I found Kyle to be just as unlikeable if not more unlikable than L.A. Noire protagonist Cole Phelps. Kyle was just a guy that I couldn’t root for and by the end I really didn’t care about him.
The playability of this game was just awkward. There just something about first person parkour that just never seems to work out right. The initial button mapping was awkward and I found myself constantly falling off something, a radio tower, a bridge, a roof, you name it and I fell off of it. The only thing that worked really well in this game was the melee. Bashing in a zombie’s head or slicing off a limb with a sharp object was just glorious and a highlight of this game. The gun play on the other hand needed some work as it was basically just shooting from the hip the entire time. While this worked sometimes, it didn’t work all the time. Other than that the game suffered from some bugs and glitches, but nothing too extreme.
Graphic wise I would say that while this game was impressive in 2016, in 2019 it’s pretty lackluster. Zombies and people besides the main characters become repetitive and so did the environment in the two different area’s of this game. While they aren’t the worst graphics, the slow motion when getting a good kill was a nice touch, they aren’t the best graphics either and have not held up well at all.
There are a total of 51 trophies for the base game and another tacked on 18 trophies for the DLC. While the trophies aren’t all that difficult, they will require a major grind especially for random events and at least three other people to play with. I had the biggest problem with the Homo Homini Lupus Est trophy, which had me saving 15 survivors from Rais’s men, because this is the least likely event to spawn. This was the last trophy that I needed for the platinum and I had to play the same mission over and over again to get it. This took me around an additional 10 hours to finish the game which was not fun.
The first time I played this game, I played with some random dude who then became my random stalker. The next time I played this game was with my buddy @tjarvinen86 and I had a blast with the co-op. This game was meant to be played with other people and it’s sad that the servers for this game are kind of dead and if you want to play with people you will have to setup a gaming session. Quick shout out to my gaming session buddies Coco, Eagle, and Hitman. There’s also a “Be The Zombie” mode, but I didn’t pay attention to it.
Overall I give this game a 3 out of 5.
+ The story, although a little cliched is a decent one and better than Dead Island.
+ The slow motion melee is just glorious at times, especially when you get an awesome kill on a random zombie.
+ When you can find people to play with, the co-op is pretty fun even though you’re all basically playing as Kyle Crane.
What’s Not So Great:
– While in 2016 this game probably looked great, the graphics don’t really hold up to today’s standards and already look outdated. Not to mention the environments are stale and repetitive.
– First person parkour games rarely work out and this is a first person parkour at it’s worst. There’s also the face that while the melee is a highlight, the gun play is not.
– Kyle Crane is extremely unlikeable and it makes the game as a whole suffer because no one wants to play as a douchebag.
While this is a huge step up from Dead Island, it still wasn’t the zombie game that I was looking for. I wanted something with more story, with more depth to it, and this just didn’t have it. I feel like this game could have had so much potential, especially if it had some more RPG elements added to it. That being said, I will say that I’m pretty excited for Dying Light 2. I hope that the mistakes made in Dying Light have been rectified and Techland has learned from their mistakes. I would say that if you’re desperate for a zombie game that I would choose this over Dead Island any day. I’m not sure if you’re going to have to play Dying Light in order to understand Dying Light 2, but so far it doesn’t look like it so I would say if you want to play Dying Light 2 that you can just skip this game since you aren’t missing much.