Out (Free)run The Zombie Hordes In 'Dying Light'

February 3, 2015

The undead are everywhere. From books, to TV shows, to movies; zombies are some of pop culture's biggest stars, and video games have helped them every inch of the way. There are classic games like Zombies Ate My Neighbors to modern day frightfests like Left 4 Dead and the Resident Evil series that have helped these monsters find their way into the hearts of gamers. Techland, a company that's already fairly well-known in the walking corpse space for their Dead Island games took a bit more serious look at the undead in their latest release, Dying Light.

Developer: Techland
Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment

Perhaps best known in the console world for their Dead Island and Call of Juarez games, Techland have been working on a variety of genres since the early 2000s. From chess to simulated racing titles, Techland has done it all, but in recent years they seem to have taken aim at the AAA gaming market with mixed results. Dying Light is very different from their previous releases,as a more intense, and darker title than some of their other, more recent releases. In other words, this isn't just another Dead Island release.

Sometimes things just don’t go how you want them to, and you end up in the middle of a forsaken city, struggling to stay alive as you run for your life from hordes of mysteriously infected humans. Welcome to Dying Light, now good luck trying to make it out. Zombies have overrun Harran, Turkey, and one man, Kyle Crane, has been sent in undercover, to help stop the spread of the disease that caused this mess. Crane must battle his way through infected and insurgents, while trying to complete his mission, and save the survivors that helped him upon his botched arrival where he became one of the infected. Using his unique skillset as an operative for the G.R.E., Crane must free-run his way through masses of zombies in the open-world of Harran, while scavenging for supplies, crafting items, and finding safe cover before nightfall. And, he has to do all of this while working his way towards his main objective of locating a stolen file.

Parkouring your way through the streets of Harran may sound like a fun solo activity, but it's really more fun with friends. Dying Light offers Crane some help in the way of co-op mode: as many as four players can team up to work their way through the game's missions together. There's also an additional mode that allows players to "Be the Zombie" in other player's games, which should make for a nice gameplay twist for most players.

If you're in the mood to be stranded in a forsaken city in Turkey, then you better get your gaming rigs fired up. You can battle your way through the zombie mess in Dying Light on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Windows and Linux systems. Just beware - there's really no hope for Crane no matter which system you play on.

Dying Light could have been pigeonholed into the "just another first-person, zombie game" category very easily, but, instead, it takes the opportunity to introduce some interesting tweaks to the formula.The single player campaign does feel a little canned, but fortunately Dying Light has more to offer, from the scavenging and crafting to the horrifying day/night cycle. The free running experience offers glimpses of Mirror's Edge, and actually helps Harran feel more open to exploration than some other "open world" games. Add to that the multiplayer modes that offer an extension of the single player scares, and even brings something new to the table in the "Be the Zombie" mode. Although it may feel a bit familiar at times, Dying Light has some interesting ideas that zombie fans will no doubt enjoy as they do their best to stay alive.