Review: Dying Light (PS4)

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Dying Light is an action survival game presented in first-person perspective. The game is set in a vast and dangerous open world.

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Pros:

  • Brilliant graphics,  From the detailed zombies to the ever impressive game world.  the visa, detail just look fantastic.
  • Lighting is every bit as good as the graphics.  Sun flares to roaming the streets at night,  using the torch is a must see experience.
  • Open world zombie survival game play.
  • Full platinum trophy.
  • music is tense yet atmospheric bringing tribal sounds to the game.  Zombie sounds are realistic (Not that I know how they sound!) noise or sound effects play a huge important part in the game.  hear bottles kicked over,  twigs breaking in the woods and hear the tinned roof bend as you or zombies land on it.  For the sound is every bit as important as the graphics and lighting combined.
  • Drop in/out Co op.  Set your room to public,  friends only and private.
  • Opening tutorial area in which you learn the basics of the game.  (must be completed in order to unlock Co op play)
  • DS4 touch pad is used for accessing the menu.  Also has the cool feature in which swiping the pad left, right, up or down acts as a shortcut to menu options.
  • DS4 speaker is used and can be set to emit radio conversations or immersion sounds.  course you could just have both or none picked.
  • Whole campaign and side quests can be played in co-op.
  • In co-op all loot is separate and different for each plAyer.
  • In Co op each player earns a share of experience earned.
  • Excellent parkour system.  Going for a more realistic approach to say,  Titanfall. With no wall running per second,  The game is very much a case of running then jumping and grabbing ledges. You can jump from ledge to ledge.  Overall it works really well.
  • Craft and repair items on the go.  no need for a workbench.
  • Find blueprints to unlock new weapon mods.  Blueprints detail any items you need.
  • Handy pop up to inform you of available upgrades or crafting.
  • can skip cut scenes.
  • Chests are littered around with the rarer ones having you to perform lock picking in order to open them.
  • Controls are well laid out.  They sound odd at first but soon work out.  R1 is your jump and grabbing moves.
  • Three areas in which you upgrade and level your character.  The main survivor rank is your main overall rank.  To earn experience in this field,  You do side quests, Collect air drops and finish story missions. Next is your agility section.  You earn experience here from just simply jumping and climbing your way all over the game world.  More complex climbs reward more exp. And the last one is where you earn exp from killing zombies.
  • Loot bodies, bins, cupboards, bags and even open car boots and loot them!
  • Random loot and it refreshes every game so loot is never in the same place twice.
  • You can heal your Co op partner.
  • Interesting story.
  • Fast loading times.
  • Quartermaster: A guy who gives you a weapon and handful of items every day.
  • Side quests and even story missions can be played as and when you please,.
  • Companion app: Play on your Android or Apple device. You control a group of scouts and clear out missions and earn loot.  The best part is you can send your loot over to your console character.  Basically earn loot when not on the PS4.
  • Be a zombie mode: Play as a super infected and invade other players games.
  • Zombies react to UV lights,  firecrackers.
  • Unlock a tool that allows you to activate pre installed traps laid out over the world.
  • Spike are all over the place and you can kick zombies and impala them for extra bad ass respect.
  • Nearly every building/hut/factory is accessible one way or another.
  • Upgrade trees for the three areas let you pick how to upgrade your character. You can unlock new moves, more health,  faster climber and so much more.
  • Challenges can be found and these usually having you doing quick burst arcade style missions.  Kill X amount of zombies with this weapon in the time limit as just an example.
  • You can umm lock pick locks and mostly done on Van doors. You can lock pick ambulances for medical packs and police vans are the hardest but garner the best loot.
  • Lock pick difficulty goes from easy to very hard.  No skill points or level is needed to attempt and pick these locks.
  • Collectibles include notes which provide background story entries,  The other kind of collectible is zombie statues.
  • Night time.  When night falls,  the nasty zombies come out to hunt.  They will actively search for you and once found,  will hunt you like a dog on Fox.
  • Night time rewards players with double exp.
  • You can look behind you when running from zombies.
  • The atmosphere in the game is next level. Night time is proper nerve racking stuff.
  • To survive/skip the night time terrors you can sleep in a safe house. You can also use This bed to skip from day to night if you so wish.
  • Safe zones are all over the game world and require you to clear them out and add power in order to use them.  When in a safe zone you cannot use weapons.
  • Airdrops: These randomly drop over the game world.  You can see where on your map.  (you can also see the plane dropping them) These drops carry loot and a drop item in which you return it to the quartermaster for a huge exp bonus.
  • All side missions have a info screen telling you how difficult it is and what the rewards are.
  • Autosaves.
  • Huge zombie roster.  Aside from your typical slow movers,  You can also encounter runners who can climb,  Huge big guys who take ages to kill,  Snitter and even screamers.  The roster is vast,  But the goal is the same.  Kill them before they kill you.
  • Hours upon hours of content.
  • You can be invaded by other players playing the role as super infected zombies.
  • You can turn off zombie invasions.
  • Side missions bring huge variety to the mission structure.
  • A lot of nods to other game franchises and easter eggs to be found.
  • So many weapons with the number only growing as you factor in all the mods and variations.

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Cons:

  • No field of view slider.
  • You lose exp points when you die and the number you lose is usually random.
  • Occasional clipping issues when climbing.
  • Difficulty spikes throughout.
  • Judging the distance between you and zombies is tricky,  Usually resulting in a lot of QTE grab sequences.
  • A lot of retrieve and return missions. Mostly story based but still annoying and feels like they are designed just to drag the story out.
  • Restart points after death are random and can sometimes put you on the other side of the world!
  • No hard save option.
  • No fast travel within the game world from what I have found. Apart from travelling from the different game areas.

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In Summary,  The game is how I imagined Dead Island to be back in the day. Yes it has a lot of Dead island within it like the crafting,  premise and loot system.  Even the zombies are the same but what this does over Dead Island is improve it all!  It has sleek easy to use menu and map systems. Crafting and repairing is now a lot more accessible and quick.  Zombie AI is vastly improved while the best part of the whole game is the atmosphere! For a long time we deserved a zombie game like this.  for it is now all about avoiding zombie fights,  Always looking around your surroundings just in case it all goes south.  

 

The parkour system is excellent while this is only heightened by the excellent level design.  Yes you can climb and hurdle all over the world but the beauty is the world still looks natural.  no over the top convenient ledges and lips here. Noise is so important,  Kick over a can and see the zombies turn to look at you. I just love how you can smash a window and jump through and run over the rooftops as hordes of zombies follow you.

 

You get a lot of Walking Dead feelings which is to be expected. Go to the highway and see all the cars lined up,  Zombies all over the place. the game is a huge step up and has now put all the pressure on the Dead Island franchise.  If a game can be done like this under another name,  Why not under the name that started it all!

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I had very few gripes with the game and even the mind numbing retrieve and return missions didn’t get me down.  The world is just such a huge tense fun place to be….. Dying Light… It’s sooooooooo awesome!

Jim Smale

Gaming since the Atari 2600, I enjoy the weirdness in games counting Densha De Go and RC De Go as my favourite titles of all time. I prefer gaming of old where buying games from a shop was a thing, Being social in person was a thing. Join me as I attempt to adapt to this new digital age!

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