Dying Light Platinum Edition Review
With the anticipation leading up to the release of Dying Light 2 Stay Human this December, I had the opportunity to check out developer Techland‘s Dying Light Platinum Edition, which encompasses all of the DLC from the first game in one tidy package. I must admit that I somehow missed Dying Light when it was originally released in 2015. I don’t know how this is possible, since I played and loved Dead Island and a plethora of other zombie survival action-thrillers in the past decade. Boy, was I missing out on one gem of a title.
Available for PC, Mac, Linux, XB1 and PS4, you would be hard-pressed to find someone who didn’t own at least one platform to play Dying Light on. Techland, who developed Dead Island and its sequel, Riptide, used all of that experience to create a similar and yet totally evolved game in Dying Light. The storytelling is quite impressive for a survival horror ARPG, to the point that I was actively thinking about each mission I went on and how it related to the overall story arc – quite the rare occurrence for a gamer like myself.
The plot essentially revolves around yourself, a government agent dropped into an outbreak quarantine zone, tasked with getting information on a dangerous warlord suspected to be running his operations from inside this area. You must stop at nothing to collect the required intel and report back to the GRE (Global Relief Effort) – but of course, nothing is ever as it seems.
The combat itself will feel extremely familiar to anyone to played Dead Island or similar. You start by using various everyday items around you, such as pipes and planks of wood, to bludgeon your undead foes into submission until they inevitably break down. You can then repair them using spare parts, break them down into more spare parts or sell them at one of the scattered shops. Repairs on each weapon are only allowed a finite number of times – which was actually a nice touch as it forces you to try a variety of weapons instead of finding one you like and repairing it endlessly.
There is, of course, a crafting system that allows you to create consumables, upgraded weapons and projectiles of various capabilities. While there is nothing new or special here, the system fits snugly into the game and does not serve as much of a distraction. One major improvement in Dying Light over its competitors is the free-running aspect. There is Assassin’s Creed level vaulting and climbing in this game – and it is not just for fun. Staying above street level is a major aide in keeping you alive, as the swarms of zombies typically cannot scale buildings in the same fashion. In addition, many of the crafting materials you will need to forge the best weapons will be found in niche places like locked safes in top-floor apartments, so exploring these is usuall beneficial.
Minor spoiler alert – beware! The absolute best moment for me in the game was my first experience at night. I distinctly recall that after I did my first few missions, I laughed to myself and said “this game is a walk in the park”. I thought I had figure it out. I thought I was a zombie-slayer god. Boy, was I wrong. Entirely new breeds of zombies will come out at night – ones that run faster and jump higher than you could possibly hope to. These zombies have keen senses and will join in groups to hunt you down once spotted. The use of stealth is essential to surviving night runs, or a skillful combination of traps and weaponry must be deployed in order to fight through them. One thing is for certain – do not underestimate the ferocity of your nighttime enemies.
Overall, the look and feel of this game is incredible. The combat system is fluid, the thrills are out in full supply and the story is heavily engaging. The crafting system is basic but functional, and the co-op aspect is just another feather in the cap of this well-rounded experience. I can’t believe it took me so long to find it, and I highly recommend anyone who missed this title the first time around take a serious look at this and its successor, coming out this December.
For more information on Dying Light Platinum Edition, visit: https://buy.dyinglightgame.com/platinium-edition
For more information on Dying Light 2 Stay Human, visit: https://dl2.dyinglightgame.com/