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Gaming Evolution
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Gaming Evolution
Gaming Evolution
Published By: Warner Bros.
Developed By: Techland
Genre: Survival Horror
Players: 1-4
Rated: M for Mature (Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Strong Language)
Release Date: January 27, 2015
Screenshots: Link
Amazon: Buy Now! (Disc), Buy Now! (Digital)
Written By: Matthew Prunty

April 3, 2015 - With over twenty years of experience, German developer Techland has been leaving their mark on the video game industry with cleverly crafted titles like Call of Juarez: Bound By Blood, the Dead Island series and now Dying Light for the next generation consoles. As the first official zombie survival game for PS4 and Xbox One, Dying Light is a unique experience with the emphasis is placed on survival and traversing the world. And itís because of this unique approach to the series, that makes Dying Light a fresh of breathe air in a sea of predictable releases.

Continuing the trend where decisions matter, Dying Light leaves you in control of your own destiny as you traverse the fictional city of Harran. You assume the role of Kyle Crane, an undercover operative sent to find political figure Kadir ďRaisĒ Suleiman, whoís in possession of a file that has the potential to destroy the reputation of the Global Relief Effort (GRE). He seems to have fled to Harran, which was quarantined by the Harran Defense Ministry due to a mysterious viral outbreak turning people into aggressive zombie-like creatures. Upon your arrival, you come to see the city is in shambles and those still normal are looking for any and every way possible to survive. You are involved in an incident, which results in you being infected. Not all is lost as you are rescued by Jade Aldemir and taken to what is known as the Tower. It is here that you officially learn everything about the city and you start you mission to find Rais.

Before setting out on your first mission, you are shown the world of parkour, which is a vital tool in your survival. For anyone whoís familiar with games like Mirrorís Edge, Assassinís Creed, inFamous and Prince of Persia; you will feel right at home. After getting a feel for the traversing mechanic and the controls, you are sent on your first mission to secure an air drop of Antizin; a vital vaccine that helps suppress the symptoms of infection and keeps you from turning into the infected. It is on this mission that you get a real sense for whatís out there in Harran and why the game isnít like its predecessors. The streets of Harran are filled within zombie-like people minding their own businessÖ that is until they hear or see you and then their attention turns on you.

How you deal with the immediate threat of the zombie-like people is of your choosing; though the wrong choice can cost you dearly in the long run. Whether to clear out a tunnel of infected, lure them out with fireworks and sounds or simply utilizing your parkour skills to get around them are all something than can easily be done; each has its own pluses and minuses to the overall story ark. With the fluid day and night cycles, you will bear witness to some intense moments that will keep you on your toes; however itís when you have to traverse at night that the real stars of the show make their debut. Your sense of danger and urgency go through the roof as you focus shifts from simply avoiding the infected and completed the mission to simply staying alive. All manner of the infected make their presence felt at night; some of which will chase you down, forcing you to run for your life in hopes of reaching a safe point you have secured. What makes matters worse; there are no signs of street lighting, forcing you to use your flashlight to light your path. While this will help you see your way around the city, it also can and will attract un-needed attention from the infected; including the Night Hunters.

If youíve ever been chased by a dog, then you have some semblance of what it feels like running for your life in the pitch black of night. You are not concerning yourself with whether you can jump over these bushes or climb that wall; the only thing you are concerned with is getting away from that dog. Thatís what it is like in Dying Light at night. When you catch the attention of a Night Hunter, you main concern is your survival and getting away. Your perspective on distance when jumping gaps or trying to climb the side of buildings is misconstrued; forcing you to react based on instinct and hoping you made the right decision. Itís this excitement, thrill, adrenaline rush you get that that makes Dying Light so enjoyable.

While you can easily get through majority of the game avoiding infected, if you are one to stand and fight, you will be happy to know that Techland incorporated a solid combat system in order for you to deliver your own brand of justice. Along the way, you will come across various items which can be used as a weapon. From pipes to wrenches to knives and alcohol bottles; pretty much anything you pick up can be used as a weapon, crafted into a weapon or to help improve the stability and attack power of an existing weapon. In an effort to stay grounded within the real world, each and every weapon has a use limit; which once reach, will render the weapon worthless unless repaired. The parkour, combat and crafting systems are all tied into the gameís progression system. Through constant use and testing your limits while traversing Harran, you earn experience which can be used to unlock new moves and abilities. By far the craziest thing Iíve seen in Dying Light so far is being able to mask your presence by covering yourself up with infected guts in order to simply get out of a tight spot undetected.

While developers are still learning about the full potential of the current generation of consoles, Techland took this opportunity to show what is capable with the hardware. Every inch of Harran is well detailed and brought to life. Buildings and lush trees are well designed and border on the side of life-like. Character models are detailed and possess fluid animations with only a few slight hiccups along the way. Even the infected insanely detailed, which is usually not the case with other titles within the genre. Frame-rate is solid; only experience a few slight dips here and there. Definitely nothing that would take away from the overall experience.

While Dying Light is easily enjoyable solo; you are also given the option to go at the game via its co-op multiplayer option. When crafting this option, Techland wanted to ensure the experience is fun and not frustration. If you join up with a friend or a complete stranger, you character is imported into their version of Harran. All character stats and abilities carry over. For whatever reason fi you two are not on equal footing in the game, or you are ahead of them in the campaign, you will get the opportunity to replay completed missions. However, once you guys or gals are on equal footing, then the game will automatically start progressing your save fill alongside your comrade. Items, location(s) unlocked, weapons acquired all carry back over to your own saved game so when you load into the game by yourself, you donít have to worry about replying said missions or acquiring said unlocks again.

If you want a unique challenge outside of the campaign, you can also tackle the Quarantine Zones, which puts your group against each other in order to recover various items. Seems simple enoughÖ but you are doing all of this while fending off numerous Night Terrors and infected. This will certainly keep the blood pumping as you will be constantly evading and attacking your foes.

Dying Light is one of the best thrilling experiences of 2015. In the era of multiplayer, itís nice to see a developer not forget about those who long for a solo session. With the intuitive multiplayer options and gameplay mechanics, this is by far one of the best survival horror games to be released in recent memory and something that will cater to a wider audience. With solid gameplay mechanics and visuals to die for, Dying Light is the example of what a game for the current crop of consoles should be.


Review Copy Provided By Publisher

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