Thursday, 12 May 2016

Dying Light: The Following

Zombie zombies everywhere but not an axe to spare. A problem so many of us have faced this as the rotting flesh sticks move ever closer to devour your succulent meat. In Dying Light, you always had the option though to run away and use your parkour abilities or as I like to call it in Dying Light: parcorpse abilities. Well, either way, Dying Light: The Following gives you a new tool to either get away from the undying horde or to dismantle them in the form of a buggy.

Developed by Techland and out now on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC, Dying Light: The Following is exactly the way a massive expansion should be. The land mass in the following alone is larger than the two areas of the original game combined and it easily shows. Where the base game of the Slums and Old Town were dense and verticality was a major aspect, freedom and exploration takes centre stage in The Following.

Storywise, the game is set outside the city of Harran in the countryside where you once again play as Kyle Crane who has heard rumblings that there may be more people immune to the zombie virus and rumours going around regarding magic. It’s a cool little take on bringing magic into a zombie story that pays off simply because they don’t force-feed story down your throat. Pretty much from the offset you are left to your devices in the massive world. The real appeal to Dying Light: The Following though is the gameplay. Everything feels smooth with choices aplenty in terms of what to do next. The expansive world warrants exploration and the story never begrudges you of that. You can freely do what you like. There is a ton of side content to complete whether that’s clearing out volatile nests, completing challenges, clearing out safe zones or just discovering all undiscovered locations. The hopeless, dying world is your oyster.

You will find weapons throughout the world that will break over time but can be repaired even if for only a limited number of times. By finding blueprints, you can craft new weapons as well as add modifiers to them. The Following adds some of the most unusual and inventive weapons that have been some of the most fun I’ve ever had in a zombie game. You didn’t hear it here but there may be a gravity gun. The center to all of this though is your new buggy. As you drive around, parts of the buggy will get damaged and run out of fuel. You must scavenge from the vehicles in the world in order to repair, refuel, or even just build new, better parts. While the base game had a survival, agility, and strength skill trees, The Following also features a driving skill tree with its own progression that will not only enhance your buggy but with also allow you to tinker with new toys but I’ll leave that discovery to you who play it to enjoy.

Whether you’re new to the series or you consider yourself the old guard, there is plenty to do in Dying Light: The Following. If you’ve maxed out your previous skill trees there are now 250 legend ranks that boost your base stats among other things. This is where the true longevity comes from the game as well as multiple difficulty levels. The game also now has a bounty board complete with daily bounties to entice you to return every day. Dying Light was a really good game when it launched last year but now with The Following attached as well as the myriad improvements and added features, the package is nothing short of excellent. There is enough entertainment to enjoy the game for dozens, if not hundreds of hours and with four-player co-op, you could slay your way through the undead horde through the night, hand in hand, buggy by buggy.

Dying Light: The Following is killing the undead at its best. 5/5.


Jason Redmond

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