E3 2014: Running Around in the Dark with Dying Light

While the big zombie related news at E3 this year was Dead Island 2, it’s the developers who worked on the first that really had the best showing. We were able to get our hands on two distinctly different demos for Dying Light: one near the beginning of the game when the protagonist barely has any weapons, and one much later on where he has a more diverse arsenal. There’s nothing like smashing a bat to the side of a zombie’s head while setting another ablaze with some sort of fiery knife.

This is a game all about maneuvering over obstacles in the quickest manner possible, so what better way to do so than with a grappling hook? This is by far the coolest addition to Dying Light as it will allow players to traverse the open world in a much quicker and stylish fashion. No longer will a horde of undead be worrisome as shooting the grappling hook towards the top of a building will ensure a greater vertical vantage point, and possibly a clear path to the objective. Of course there are other means of traveling such as running up sides of buildings and jumping to various edges, but when the grappling hook is obtained, you’ll feel on top of the world.

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Like Techland’s last open world zombie game, crafting plays a key role in survival. Instead of having to trek back to find a bench, players will now be able to craft items on the go, Dead Rising-style. Find a bucket full of nails and a baseball bat? Well you now have a mace. An axe and battery pack are just lying around? Well you now have an electric axe that can be spun in a 360 degree radius. There are numerous combinations to be found, some with special abilities and others with elemental traits to better dispose of enemies. While it’s about going from point A to point B, it’s also about having fun with the thousands of mindless undead and how to dispose of them, and Techland gives you plenty of ways to do so.

A big factor in Dying Light is the night time. While running through the world when there’s light out can be challenging, weaving in and out between zombies, it’s when it gets dark that things get troublesome. Volatiles are the most deadly creatures you can run into because they are basically as capable as the player is. They are fast and can vault over most objects and once they get a hold of you they’re looking to kill. It certainly doesn’t help that it’s hard to see at night, so running from the heavy pants of an undead will make the hairs on your neck stand up. To avoid these creatures, the player must slowly maneuver through the world while making as little noise as possible. It’s easy to identify these monsters as there’s an ability that will locate them in the world, so it’s all about finding the right path around them.

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is one part strategy and two parts fun, equating in a world just dying to be explored. How players want to run through the open environments and horribly eradicate the undead is up to them as Techland gives them all the right tools to do so. It’s not just the infected you’ll have to worry about either as armed psychopaths are looking out to take your gear and your life if you’re not careful. Be prepared to live the frightening nightmare when Dying Light hits the rather packed month of February, on PS4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360 and PC.