Features & News

Hands On: Dying Light

September 29, 2013, Author: Matt Parker

I always find it hard to talk about a game before it’s released. Sometimes you come across something that’s so new and so unique that putting the experience of playing it into words is a real challenge. Dying Light makes my job easy for me as I can sum it up in a single sentence.

A next-gen Dead Island. Easy. You want details? OK, here’s some details for you.

Dying Light, as mentioned, is extremely similar to what Dead Island did before it. No coincidence as the dev team behind Dead Island are in charge of Dying Light.

You play the game from a first-person perspective and your main concern would have to be the fact the the world’s gone to hell and zombies now roam freely. Luckily, from within your firs-person view, you can swing hammers, swords and other melee weapons at the heads of said zombies.

I'm more of a cricket bat kind of person...

I’m more of a cricket bat kind of person…

The major difference between Dying Light and the Dead Island premise that it’s clearly built off of is an added parkour element. By running and pressing ‘RB’ you can jump and vault over object and by pressing ‘B’ you’ll slide under anything that’s slide-underable.

The parkour seemed to work rather well and adds an element of speed not seen in this style of game before. I found myself ignoring zombies and simply running and jumping about the world like I was playing a zombie infested version of Mirrors Edge.

Run and jump or jump and run. Choices to be made.

Run and jump or jump and run. Choices to be made.

Another reason why I ignored the zombies was because the combat felt a little flat to me. With no real control over your swings all encounters with the walking dead became nothing more than waiting for your enemy to shuffle into range and then pressing the right trigger. Rinse and repeat. Fingers crossed that combat in the final game offers something a little more engaging than what I encountered.

Another element of the game that I hope holds up in the final build is the world and the missions you’re tasked with. Whilst it’s great to have the ability to traverse an area in such an enjoyable fashion, if the locations are all going to be dull looking huts next to even duller looking train-yards, the fun will be somewhat short-lived. Equally, missions will hopefully be more than ‘take this to there’ and ‘go kill 20 of these guys’.

With those concerns aside, I’m hopeful of seeing the final game be something worth waiting for. The game’s stunning visuals and fluid movement could lead to something special.