"Dead Assassin's Island Creed Rising"
Dying Light wasn't something that I thought too highly of when I first heard of it. I previously played it at E3 2014 and was really confused by the gameplay, and what exactly was the point of the game in the first place. But after having now played the full version myself for almost 20 hours, I would say that it satisfies my zombie killing itch in a new way.
While feeling a lot like Dead Island, down to the tropical setting with plenty of slums, Dying Light adds a lot to the winning formula that will make it pretty hard to go back to that series. Basically a first person brawler with satisfying combat on the surface, the parkour and ease of movement added really gives the game its own identity. Moving around and climbing structures in the world can be done with ease by just looking at something and pressing the jump button (conveniently located right above the attack trigger). Over the course of the game players earn points from maneuvering around, which levels up their agility skill tree and earns new abilities. Just as fighting enemies with weapons will earn new attacks from the combat tree, the agility tree's skills make a huge difference when running around, jumping and (eventually) vaulting over zombies.
Another major feature is the game's day and night system. When it’s daytime, zombies are a threat but still move lethargic. It's here that you will probably complete most of your missions, explore the world and upgrade your gear. Nighttime however feels like a completely different game. Zombies here are more mobile, and Volatiles begin to roam the streets. Volatiles are a type of zombie that is pretty much the enemy equivalent of the player and even has its own kind of alert system not unlike the police in GTA. Night is much shorter than daytime and the game gets really tense when not in a safe house, although experience and other bonuses are gained for dealing with the danger.
Just like Dead Island, Dying Light's zombie parkour playground features a story. This time instead of having four playable characters, there's just one which is weird considering the game allows for four player co-op, but it allows to story to be specific (or maybe just the dialogue). Kyle Crane is a GRE operative tasked with getting a document back from a local terrorist that is taking advantage of a zombie outbreak in a place that is very much reminiscent of Brazil. The NPC characters here feel a lot stronger than the ones in Dead Island, but the story is pretty much dressing for the gameplay, and the numerous fetch quests you will inevitably have to embark on.
Also similar to Dead Island, Dying Light has a learning curve when grasping the controls. I was stuck on the prologue mission for longer than I would like to admit, although it was at this wall that I was able to get a grasp on the combat. At times the movement is confusing and my constant failing of big jumps led to a mob of zombies swarming my character. Dying here doesn't take away money, but instead takes away experience from the Survivor skill tree, which is kind of backwards considering that experience from that tree is only gained at the end of a mission.
Dying Light is one of the better next-gen experiences that are available now. While not revolutionary, it is a solid game and proves that Techland has the First-Person Zombie Melee brawler genre on lock. Now about that single player character problem...
GameDynamo's Score for Dying Light (XB1)
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