Dying Light | Go Clubbing With Zombies

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Dying Light just released this week, and I sat down to play it for about an hour last night.

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I was looking forward to this one more than any other January release, which is unusual, because I normally don’t care for the whole zombie craze. On the other hand, I absolutely loved the idea of another first-person game based around visceral melee combat. It reminded me immediately of Condemned: Criminal Origins, which remains one of my favorite horror games to date.

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Anyway, Dying Light is quite satisfying, especially once you get comfortable with the wonky controls. To be fair, I was playing the PC version using an Xbox controller, so there might have been some issues related to button mapping. The thrills really pick up once you start hacking your way through crowds of zombies and pulling off fancy parkour maneuvers to make your escape. I ran into a few “super zombies” that were much quicker and more evasive than the standard lot; these guys forced me to learn the tricks to side-stepping and kicking away groups of zombies to maintain stamina from all the hacking and chopping.

I didn’t get enough time to play through very many missions or experience the weapon-crafting mechanics, so I chose not to write up a microreview…but I’d definitely recommend it. I did see that you could add some crude materials to basic weapons, resulting in some twisted tools of destruction. Some of my personal favorites were a stun rod that sent waves of electricity jumping from zombie to zombie, while also setting them on fire; there was also a military shovel that was highly effective at scooping heads off of the zombies on the ground. There are guns featured in this game, but I didn’t shoot any during my play time – this was actually quite refreshing.

I was impressed by almost everything I saw and played. The graphics are stunning, and the sound design is excellent. The melee combat feels intuitive and absolutely brutal. The parkour abilities are pulled off better than I expected.

I hope to get more time with Dying Light very soon. I didn’t want to put it down, I just wanted to run around and club the hell out of the undead.