Gameplay Impressions and Livestream Replays – Dying Light (PS4)

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Zombie games, I’ve never been a fan of the whole “zombie-thing” in general. Not to say that I haven’t played a few of them, but I normally recuse myself from actually reviewing them though, since my distaste for the genre could easily cloud my judgement.

Dying Light is a new take on these sort of games though, and even in my limited exposure to others in the same category, this change of pace is refreshing. Techland, who created Dead Island & Dead Island: Riptide, are taking the commonly known zombie lore and standing it on-end, as things change drastically when the sun goes down.

I’ll keep this spoiler-free (as we always do) but the general gist of what’s going on is pretty typical. An outbreak has occurred and you’re dropped into the middle of a quarantined zone where all hell is breaking loose. You’ll hook up with a group of survivors, and you’ll need to gain their trust, which is done by taking some of the more hazardous tasks that need to be accomplished. As you leave the tower, the typical “shambling” zombies are littered throughout the open world. All of the action is played from the first-person, but unlike many others, the action is much quicker and allows more freedom of movement. To me, it feels like a mix of Dead Island (especially the melee combat) and Mirrors Edge. Movement is very free and smooth, with the ability to climb to higher platforms and rooftops, but you’ll need to familiarize yourself with the non-standard controls first.

9 times out of 10, you’ll know how to control at least the basics like jumping in just about game of this type, but Dying Light mixes things up a bit. The actions you control the most are now applied to the shoulder buttons and triggers. So now to jump, you’ll use R1, which is also used to grab a ledge and pull yourself up. R2 controls your melee attacks, and L1 is your very important kick. There’s more to the controls which we’ll cover in the review, but I will say, it does take a few minutes to get used to them each time you play the game, since everything else you’re playing is different from this. With the parkour-esque gameplay style though, the controls actually make sense, you have have to get accustomed.

What you’ll use as weapons will feel familiar if you’ve played the Dead Island games before, with items like pipes and table legs, and all will degrade when used enough. Unlike those games though, you don’t need a workbench to repair these items, and instead you can do so by holding Triangle, but you’ll need parts and you’ll only be able to repair an item a couple of times.

Gameplay, as you can see in the videos, is definitely faster-paced than in Dead Island. There’s definitely a similarity in the way that missions are given too, but he world seems a bit more variable in its structure. During the day, the zombies shamble slowly and methodically, and if you stick to the rooftops, you won’t have any problems at all. At night though (as you can see in the 2nd video), some of them transform into something much more frightening, and the game turns into something else, something that requires all of your stealth skills.

The monsters that some of the zombies transform into are faster than you, and as I found out, they can jump up to the rooftops. What’s even worse is that the lighting in the game is well done, which makes nighttime even that much more creepy. You have a flashlight at your disposal, but as I skulked around in an attempt to avoid detection, I was too afraid to use it. On the minimap, you’ll actually see the vision cones of specific foes, so at least you have some kind of help.

In a couple of weeks, you’ll be able to play Dying Light for yourself, and if these kind of games are your bag, it’s a refreshing change of pace.

Written by Glenn Percival

Glenn Percival

Just a guy that loves games, movies, Golf, Football, and Baseball.

Podcast Co-Host, Editor-in-Chief, Video Producer, and whipping-boy

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