A &E

A Very Bright Apocalypse

With there being an abundance of first-person zombie survival games in the gaming market, the latest addition shows a better way of using this formula. “Dying Light,” developed by company Techland, is a big improvement from their other zombie apocalypse game franchise, “Dead Island.”

The player plays as an undercover operative named Kyle Crane (Roger Craig Smith), who is trying to get into the quarantine zone in a city called Harran. Crane’s mission is to find rogue agent, Kadir Sulaiman “Rais” (Jim Pirri), who is in possession of a file that could wipe out the reputation of his agency. However, once he arrives, it seems the city’s state is a lot worse than it seemed, and now he has to choose between either staying on course with his mission, or helping the survivors.

The city’s over world is large and has a lot of room for the player to run around and find supplies. The game’s parkour mechanic gives the player the ability to scale the buildings of the city, rather than running in fear on the zombie riddled roads. Much like the recent game installments in the “Far Cry” franchise, there are safe house towers where players can parkour and climb their way to the top to help illuminate their map and gain supplies.

The day and night mechanic in the game isn’t new as it is seen in numerous other video games. In game, during the day it is suggested to venture out and look for supplies and airdrops, set traps, and save survivors up until nightfall. Once night has come it is best to stay indoors and find things to do inside. The reason for this is because at night the zombies grow in numbers, transform, and become faster and more challenging to kill.

Suspense is a key feeling that this game brings to the player. Some moments in the main campaign are intense and riddled with jump scares and pure chaos. One game move that comes in handy but can also strike terror in the player is an optional move that allows them to look behind Crane. In slow motion the player can see if anything is chasing him or sneaking up from behind for a nibble. The most intense moments are when a horde of the undead are chasing after the character, and the player looks behind to see all of them.

Just like the “Dead Island” franchise, the weapons can be crafted in this game from items found across the over world. There is also a three prong ability upgrader where, after players level up, they can upgrade their skills in ability, survival, and power. The game also uses high tech technology that allows game to be played at 60 frames per second.

An issue with this game is that throughout most of it the player is pretty much an errand boy, running all around the city for specific things that survivors are needing. However, when a mission dealing with the main campaign is given, some can be easy while others can almost make the players pull their hair out. The difficulty on some of the missions is just insane, and sometimes might cause the player to just “rage quit” all together for a while.

Another issue is the story in general. Even though it has its good moments, it’s almost all together just bland and boring. Some characters are relatable, but everything else is slow and doesn’t give much to the player in character development and originality. The zombie apocalypse story has been done to death and is wearing out its welcome in the gaming society.

Many speculate that originally this game was going to be a sequel to the “Dead Island” franchise. However, the developers at Techland have insisted that the game was an original idea and that they hadn’t made a “Dead Island” sequel. Their reason for this is because of the loss of money from their failed attempts with “Dead Island: Riptide”, and “Escape Dead Island.” An announcement trailer for “Dead Island 2” was revealed in summer 2014 at E3, a major gaming convention, with Techland not being the developers, but instead a German company called Yager Development.

“Dying Light” has a lot of good things going for it. Even though it almost has the same story as Techland’s previous games, it breaks itself out of the mold by having new and improved game mechanics. At 60 FPS (frames per second), this game shows us where zombie games are headed in diversity and content. “Dying Light” gets the rating of 4.0/5.

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