The gameplay is fluid and the graphics exemplary – so much so that just moving through the landscape gives you that eerie feeling that only a truly atmospheric game has.
The lighting and detail in every aspect of the game make it extremely realistic. The environment is open world (think Grand Theft Auto), which at time really adds to the tingly spine sensation – especially when you view the extent of the zombified landscape from a rooftop.
The zombies in this story have come about as a result of an aggressive mutation of rabies that takes hold in Harran city, 2014. The city is quarantined and regular doses of viral suppresants are airdropped to the survivors who may come into contact with the virus .
The storyline is not as believable as the scenery, with an ill-defined mission being undertaken by an agent from the Global Relief Effort (the people doing the airdrops) who must find and retrieve files from a defected agent. It’s all fine as long as you accept that the beauty of this game is not in its main storyline.
Being an open world game, it transitions between day and night – and with the oncoming night comes a sense of dread. Bigger and badder zombies come out at dark, making the atmosphere outweigh some of the gameplay limitations.
Parkour (or free running to many) makes movement fun, as players can jump and run through the environment. But this can have its frustrating moments when failing to grab what’s right in front of you and waiting while agent Kyle Crane plummets to his death.
There are a couple of limitations that can irritate. Melee attacks are based on single button presses, and precision of attack is hit-and-miss without a way to properly aim the weapons.
What Dying Light has going for it in terms of zombie weapons, is its array of possibilities. The usual baseball bats, knives, axes and sledgehammers are joined by guns, grenades and even ninja throwing stars.
When the zombies go down, you get rewarded with some nice slow-mo action as the blood begins to splatter. Overall, it’s worth remembering that with an open world game, there will be parts that shine and then parts that you’ll just want to get through as fast as possible to get to the next bit.
That being said, Dying Light offers some fresh meat to the zombie killing genre. Fans of multiplayer games need to know that local multiplayer isn’t available for this game, and multiple consoles are required for co-op (it’s not split screen).
Dying Light is available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from Amazon