Game Review - Dying Light
This review also appears on the blog Black Girl Nerds.
An open world game where you’re surrounded by zombies, use parkour to move around the city, craft specialized weaponry, assist survivors and are forced to strategize and scrutinize every movement day and night, as a misstep could lead to your death – Sign me up!
Millions of hearts break every year when AMC’s hit show The Walking Dead goes on hiatus. Viewers are left to find something to fill the gap left by the program that loves to frighten, shock, enrage and anger viewers with weekly twists, surprise deaths and battles with walkers while exposing the ugly side of group survivor mentality. Shortly before this season’s winter hiatus was over, Techland and Warner Bros. Entertainment released a new game entitled “Dying Light.” Anyone looking to fill the gap left by The Walking Dead void once this season is over would definitely be entertained –and ultimately drained - by this first-person action, survivalist undertaking.
“Demolisher” Zombie in Harran (Image courtesy of Techland/Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment)
Story in a nutshell: You’re an undercover agent sent to the fictional city of Harran which has been decimated by a mysterious plague, overrun by “Infected” and cut off from the rest of the world. Once there, you’re presented with a dilemma: follow through with your mission of hunting a rogue political figure, or assist the other survivors in their quest to find a cure.
This game has a unique Day/Night cycle where during the day you move about surveying the layout of the city, scouring for supplies, assisting survivors and securing safe zones. At night, hell is unleashed as the Infected roam in packs ready to feed. Your strength and agility are increased along with theirs and there are NO chances to catch your breath if you chose to wander about. Made a rookie move and tried that once with only a flashlight to illuminate my path. Did not end well at all. Fans of The Walking Dead, Night of the Living Dead, or any depiction of any ZomPocalypse event will know, strategy is the key to survival. That is definitely the case for this game.
Daytime in Harran (Image courtesy of Techland/Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment)
There are a number of story elements that provide more than enough material to keep one occupied. The open world is dense and the number of side quests running concurrently with the main story line can almost be overwhelming. Perhaps that’s partially my fault as I feel obligated to accept each one, but they’re all in the spirit of helping and survivors have to stick together, right? But the end of each quest is rewarding and gives a sense of renewal and preparedness for what horrors are around the corner; only I prefer to take breaks in between quests because this game can just be…whoa. If you’re looking for a different perspective, co-op play is also available as well as the chance to play as a Zombie.
Hi friend, let me give you a hand! (Image courtesy of Techland/Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment)
As someone who was introduced to horror/sci-fi movies early in life, I (normally) don’t frighten easily. From the non-stop action, eerily-mixed layers of ambient sounds and mayhem associated with nighttime game cycle, this game has produced some moments that have resulted in my jumping from the couch and numerous excited utterances of the four- and five-letter variety and a desire to watch cartoons after. I go back to it because the story is intriguing, the graphics are intense and visceral and the overall experience is both rewarding - and exhausting.
Warning: if you’re squeamish, easily frightened and challenge-averse, this is not the game for you.
However, if you:
Are in the market for a compelling story centered around survival vs. duty;
Aren’t bothered by constant, up close and personal melees with Biters, Volatiles, Screamers, Goons or Demolishers;
View the phrase “good night and good luck” as a challenge and not a warning,
This is the game for you.
“Dying Light” is rated M for Blood and Gore, Intense Violence and Strong language and available for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.
Please note: I am not compensated or reimbursed in any way, shape or form for game reviews. Opinions are my own.