Dying Light is currently on sale on steam for cheap. You can get all the DLCs expansions, cosmetics, and the whole game at a reasonable price. Let’s talk about Dying Light and find out if it’s right for you in 2023.
Dying Light Story
For some clarity and transparency’s sake, the Dying Light story is pretty bad. It’s a generic zombie story combined with inconsistent quality of voice acting. It creates a mediocre and exciting story, yet, it gets the job done. Zombie stories in games have one job, to give the players a reason to slice up some zombies.
In Dying Light, the story does that. So, it’s a very average story, but I doubt most of you will even care about that. But here goes the story. [Spoilers Ahead]
Two months after the initial zombie infection, Kyle Crane of the GRE global relief effort air drops into Harran, Turkey. He’s undercover to investigate Harran Virus that turns people into zombies. Also, retreat files from the antagonist Rais, who could use his files to blackmail the GRE.
After the air dropping, Crane gets picked up and taken to a safe house in a tower, but gets bitten on the way. He gets informed to meet a doctor who jabs in with Antizin to delay the virus. Antizin isn’t a cure, but it’s a good delay. The anticipated economy is creating a war between survivors.
Rais were taking all of it and hoarding it, allowing him to extort survivors that want it. Crane found out the Antizin is dropped by his organization, the GRE, and he also have direct comms with them through radio. A drop happens, and the GRE tells Crane to destroy all the Antizin to create an opportunity for the people from the tower to meet Rais.
What Crane did with Antizin?
Although he does keep one Antizin to slow down his infection, Crane meets Rais but gets screwed over. Then he deals with Rais for the Antizin. Rais told for the rest of it; that he’ll have to bring a member of the tower to Rais as he wants to use the member to fight in his blood sport arena. The GRE supports this and tells Crane to follow through. But Crane decides to cease communication with the GRE, leading them to stop all Antizin airdrops.
So he contacts GRE again due to all this stress. The safe tower house slowly starts to break down, and a whole floor is lost to a quick infection burst. During this time, Rais’s gang kidnaps a safe house tower member, leading Crane to go out to find this member of the tower. He falls into Rais’s trap because Rice knew Crane would come for this member.
Crane now gets kidnapped and used in a blood sport in an arena called the pit. He then fights for Rais for his gang’s entertainment. After Crane survives all the hordes of zombies within the pit, Rais reveals that he knows Crane works for the GRE. Then Rais leaked the sensitive files that the GRE was trying to retrieve.
The files detailed that the virus was artificial and had been used by the GRE. The infection was going to be used as a weapon in a huge criminal conspiracy. Due to this mess, the government plans to bomb the city and cover up everything. The president claims the town is only occupied by the infected. The survivors tried to signal that living people were in the city, but the government covered it up.
What happens next?
After this, a huge public signal from various signal boosters’ antenna is sent out, causing a general signal to show that there are survivors. And the government backs down from bombing the city. Due to this, the GRE’s hand is forced, and they contact Crane again. They inform Crane that they will extract him from the city if he retrieves research on the cure made by one of the ex-GRE doctors.
Rais also has access to these comms and takes the opportunity. He informs Crane that he has taken up this opportunity to meet him where the GREs said they would meet Crane. Because of this, Crane quickly kills Rais and refuses to give the research to the GRE. This creates a huge stalemate, not allowing the GRE or government to bomb the city. Because they don’t want to bomb potentially pure life-saving research.
Crane returns all the existing cure research to the doctor within Harran, who continues with the study.
Dying Light is so much fun. The gameplay is so good. But I’m honestly glad that Techland didn’t focus too much on the story and instead focused on good gameplay. If a story is good, but the gameplay sucks, I’d instead read a book. So no complaints here.
Now, let’s talk about parkour because it’s one of the big things that make this game so awesome. Every single rooftop, ledge, railing, sign, and everything else in the world could be climbed upon and jumped between. Traversing zombie-infested streets is a bit tough, so traveling on the rooftop is a lot of fun.
You use the environment as a tool as you travel between objectives, missions, and challenges. However, you must find the best and most effective routes between buildings and objects to reach your destination as safely and efficiently as possible. You’ve seen parkour in games like Assassin’s Creed, which helped the early games in that series to take off and gain millions of players.
And while that game has top-tier parkour, Dying Light takes it 20 steps further and makes it even more fun. Because of the zombies constantly out to get you, there’s always a sense of urgency within your parkouring, and you can’t take your time and jump around. It takes something you do for fun in Assassin’s Creed and makes it a challenging necessity, intensifying the experience and making it even more awesome.
Crane initially has the stamina of a four-year-old child, but you can upgrade specific skills that help the fluid movement become even more fun and satisfying. And that’s why parkour is such an excellent and significant game feature. And don’t even get me started on the grappling hook. It is my favorite thing I’ve ever used in a video game. And honestly, it’s probably the best thing to hit the gaming market. Not to mention, Dying Light implements it perfectly.
I must talk about skills. The skill trees in this game are outstanding and some of the best I’ve ever seen in a video game. While some are very annoying skills, most of them are extremely useful. I hate when games make skill trees too complicated and give you access to abilities you need a Ph.D. to use.
That was my biggest complaint about Assassin’s Creed Valhalla. Still, Dying Light has skill trees that fit in perfectly with the experience and helped to take everything, including the parkour mentioned earlier, to the next level.
The four main skill trees are survivor, Agility, Power, and Legend. Moreover, survivor skills help you with things like crafting and holding your own in a world full of shopkeepers who charge $5,000 for a used toothbrush. Agility allows you to raise your stamina from a four-year-old to a middle school PE student. It also helps with parkour and movement in general.
Then there’s power, which lets you do this, which is by far the best part of the game. And finally, Legend skills act as upgrades once you max out one of your other skill trees. There are also driving ranks that allow you to upgrade your vehicle in some of the game’s DLC, but I’ll get to that later.
As I said, the skills you unlock are fun and cool. I don’t need to blabber on about this because you get the gist. But the game does do skills right, and it’s another thing that helps to make it so awesome.
The zombies in this game are some of my favorites in any game. Going back to the Left for Dead 2 comparison, the zombies are cool, with the different types and abilities. But they only affect gameplay with how you decide to shoot them from a distance, up close, etc.
The ones in Dying Light are a bit more distinguishable with their differences. As soon as you come across the different types, your gameplay experience varies. For example, there are the everyday, foolish zombies that you can drop and kick into oblivion. These aren’t too much of a threat unless they’re in a big group.
Then there are the fellas who kept working out, even after death, which carry big pieces of rebar and concrete. These are called goons; especially before you have better weapons, you must be strategic about killing them. And don’t even get me started on the freaking terrifying nighttime demon zombies called Volatiles. These things will make you want to order a pacifier and a nightlight on Amazon to ensure that your real-life house can be a safe zone.
They’re fast, strong, and tough to run away from. I’m not going to review all the zombie types or even mention them, but they all have different capabilities. They fit perfectly into the world and the story and work not independently as a gimmick. But with all the other mechanics, create the perfect zombie game experience.
I feel like too many games add zombies for there to be zombies. They barely change anything about the experience compared to if they threw any other type of enemy into the game. But that’s not the case with Dying Light, and that’s another reason why it’s an outstanding game.
You’ll find yourself quickly surrounded by zombies early on in the game. But once you get closer to the ending, you turn into a powerhouse, slicing and dicing any undead you see. Human adversaries are terrible to fight, though this is one of the biggest improvements in Dying Light 2. I appreciate that they focus on fixing that. Because mortal enemies are the most annoying, irritating, and infuriating enemies, you’ll face.
You do get guns in Dying Light. They’re pretty cool, but they make the whole experience much easier, which is not necessarily bad, depending on how you want to play. But you do lose that intensity of getting close and personal with every zombie type, no matter how big they are. This is the combat system in Dying Light.
Dying Light is one of the few open-world single-player games that deliver a co-op experience identical to the single-player one. The play by itself is a lot of fun, but in co-op, it’s 50 times more awesome. Techland nailed the co-op experience in Dying Light. And it takes all the fun in the single-player game and translates it perfectly to multiplayer.
You and your friends are in the same world, doing the same missions, with the same everything. Cutscenes act as if there’s only one player, and all players still play as Crane. It sounds a bit messy in
theory, but I promise you, it’s not. You and your friends still feel immersed in the world and the story as one cohesive character. But you get to play and explore the world together.
Imagine if Red Dead Redemption 2 or Fallout made co-op like that. It would be outstanding. I don’t understand why more developers don’t do this. But Techland did it perfectly, and it’s another thing that makes Dying Light so awesome.
The story is average, the gameplay is superb, the combat is decent, and parkour is out of this world. But putting everything in a bowl and making it a co-op game makes it even awesome. Moreover, it would be best if you bought it to play with your friends and have a great time. If you don’t have friends, what are you doing, man? Make some friends. Now, should you buy this game in 2023? Yes, you should buy this game.
Another game you should consider buying: Is Mafia Definitive Edition worth your time and money in 2023?