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Can Techland take Dying Light to heights that Dead Island failed to reach?

Release Date: 09/01/2015

Dying Light - Preorder now at GAME.co.uk!

We're still about three weeks away from the official release of Dying Light, a survival horror game from the studio that created the Dead Island series, Techland. Yet the hype behind this zombie apocalypse title reached impressive levels. The pre-release excitement hasn't topped that of Destiny or Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, but it's clear that gamers are all-in for anything that features the undead. The big question that remains, however, is whether Dying Light can excel in ways that gamers wished Dead Island had, or will it also fall short of its full potential? To answer that question and help you decide if it's worth your time and money, we dug up as much information as we could get our hands on.

All of the Lights


It's rare that a game's graphics are make or break, but for a title like Dying Light, it needs to look good. Luckily, the environment is breathtaking, especially when you have a high vantage point and take in all of the city's visuals. It also doesn't hurt that the game runs at a native 1080p on consoles, locked at 30 frames per second. As per usual, PC owners can expect something even better, but the bottom line is that everyone should be pleased with what they see.

Although it seems strange to say, Techland should be commended for hitting 1080p on consoles, especially given that even a year into their cycles many game developers are unable to do this. At this point in time it should really be an expectation, but since it's not, we'll count that as one of the game's strengths.

When you get right down to the finer details of the graphics, things still look pretty good, although it's difficult to pass judgment based on a batch of YouTube videos. The best we can say is that the visual setting certainly holds up, and that everything else appears to be on point, with detailed enemies and a post apocalyptic city under siege. In a nutshell, the graphics will certainly not be a reason to skip this title, but could very well end up being one of its bigger selling points.

Bump in the Night


There is no shortage of gameplay footage for people to watch when evaluating Dying Light, and once again we found ourselves fairly impressed. The survival horror genre tends to either scare you into submission or focus almost entirely on gameplay, with the backdrop being the presence of things that go bump in the night. Rarely will a game do both.

In Dying Light, it appears that Techland has a mixture of solid play mechanics and just enough terrifying moments to increase your heart rate. During the day, players will be able to run around, with zombies being little more than a mild nuisance that should be avoided. During the night, however, the creatures of the dark become much more formidable foes, able to keep up with you in ways they could not during the day. Night time is rumoured to be so intense that it will only last for seven minutes, while the day cycle crushes that number at 64 minutes. Let that sink in.

Fight or Flight


So the game looks good and seems to strike a nice balance between frightening and functional, but what about the finer details?

For starters, we can tell you that Techland implemented a crafting system, allowing players to build items such as med kits or even melee weapons, the game's primary tools for crushing some undead skulls; a wrench wrapped in barbed wire, for example. In fact, it's said there are more than 100 melee weapons in the game, although how that ties into crafting is not yet known. That said, you will be able to not only create imaginative melee weapons, but also new types of ammo for the game’s firearms.

There are also skill points to be concerned with, something that will allow gamers to develop their characters in unique ways that directly complement their play styles. It should be noted, however, that stamina is a factor, so simply bashing in the skulls of dozens of undead scum likely won't be an option. Players will instead rely on parkour moves, traversing rooftops and fences to avoid the dangerous hoards roaming the streets.

Getting it Right


The final word on whether Dying Light will be worth its price tag isn't something that anyone will know for sure until they've put some time into it, either playing the game or watching it on YouTube. The latter is something that you can do now, in case you're interested. As we mentioned earlier, we did just that, and promptly secured our ticket to board the hype train.

Pre-release hype is a dangerous beast, but it appears Techland has a winner on its hands, which is normally the case when developers are so comfortable with people posting large quantities of in-game footage prior to launch. It also helps that the game strikes a balance between terrifying and functional, meaning that it will appeal to the action junkies as much as it will gamers who like a good scare.

Dying Light will be available for the PC, Xbox One and PS4 on January 30, 2015.

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Pegi Rating:

Suitable for people aged and over.

Genre

Horror

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Previews-321824
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