The first big release of 2015 is here, and so to is our first meta-review. As is custom with games that we have not played here around the office, we can’t offer you our own opinions but are happy to repackage the opinions of others! The Internet, ladies and gentlemen!
Now I had about 30 minutes with Dead Island, developer Techland’s last zombie open-world FPS, before I turned it off and never put it in again. I don’t know why, but that game just felt generally ugly to me and I had no enthusiasm for it whatsoever. That being said, I am curious about Dying Light for multiple reasons. First and foremost, it is a really pretty looking game. The city looks generally sprawling and the lighting and day and night systems seem quite authentic. Second, the addition of parkour just makes the game seem that much more interesting. A Mirror’s Edge meets Dead Island game actually means that it is doing something different than the multitude of open world zombie shooters out there.
So what do the reviewers have to say about it? Overall the opinions seem to be mixed from okay to good. This certainly wasn’t the home run surely wanted to hit, but it does look like a solid escape for those looking to play something new this early in the new year. Check out some thoughts below:
Twinfinite: On the surface Dying Light may be nothing more than your average run-of-the-mill zombie game complete with predictable story and tons of flesh eating monstrosities. But, beneath the very pretty surface lies a game with some excellent ideas that, when combined with some tried and true mechanics, create one of the best zombie games in recent years. Techland’s take on action survival, mixed with a responsive traversal system, and great combat combine to make a game that well worth anyone’s time. (4/5)
Destructoid: Yes, Dying Light is basically a polished Dead Island. Instead of wacky rappers who can axe-kick zombies 50 feet into the air, you’re in a more grounded role as someone who is really, really good at parkour — he doesn’t kick so well. It’s still rooted deeply in videogame physics, but the plot is decidedly more “serious” in tone, for better or worse. […] Dying Light often boils down to “Zombies: The Videogame,” but it’s fun to flip around like a ninja and cause havoc while you shuffle from one mission to the next. For many of you out there, that’s basically all you’ll need. (7/10)
Game Trailers: Fans of zombie survival, open worlds, and first-person shooters will find things to enjoy in Dying Light, but it’s a rough ride. The contextual movement and realistic time progression suggest that Techland wants to immerse you in Harran’s apocalyptic plight, but the game’s realism takes a hit at almost every turn whether it’s the graphics, the enemy AI, or the mannequin-like demeanor of the souls you’ll attempt to save. Jumping around and smacking zombies is fun, but we’re hoping whatever comes next focuses more on realistic living people than realistic dead ones. (6.8/10)
The Jimquisition: Parkour. Open world. Zombies. Online co-op. Crafting. Radio towers. Zombies. Collect-a-thons. Zombies. Zombies. Dying Light desperately tries to be all of the videogames in a bid to impress everybody. If only it had tried as hard to be its own thing, we’d have had an amazing horror game on our hands. Instead, we just have another indistinct jack-of-all-trades to throw on top of the ever growing pile. (5/10)
Follow Tom on Twitter @thomaskagar
I’ve heard a lot of good things from people who have played Dying Light and from what I’ve seen on Twitch, I really want to play it. I don’t want to wait too long because I kind of want to play it while everyone on my friends list is so I can do stuff like invade their worlds as zombies and such. I might try to rent it this weekend or something. It’s probably not something I’d play longterm, but I wouldn’t mind giving it a try.