The lights are on
Zombie games are not in short supply at E3. Deep Silver has
partnered with developer Yager for Dead Island 2, but the studio behind the
original Dead Island is working on a different first-person zombie apocalypse
game. Techland and publisher Warner Bros. are joining forces to make Dying
Light, a next-gen game that combines the visceral combat and open-world
structure of Dead Island while injecting slick new traversal options and a
day/night cycle. I played through a section that highlights player progression
like crafted weapons, learning new abilities, and getting faster.
I played Dying Light at Gamescom last year, but this build
felt even more polished and playable. The Mirror's Edge-esque mantling and sliding
feels slick and fun. It's as simple as looking in the direction of the ledge
you want to mantle and holding down a shoulder button. Timing jumps across gaps
rooftop gaps, hopping up onto balconies, and aiming soft landings on to piles
of garbage bags feels great. I felt liberated by the mobility options and
actually looked forward to long treks across the area. Better yet, players only
become more agile and speedy as they gain more experience.
Combat is in line with Dead Island's roots, but it's more
brutal than ever. One swing of the electrified axe chops a zombie in half.
Blood splatters everywhere and gore smears across the ground. I also tested out
a flaming machete and spiked baseball bat, which offer other satisfyingly
devastating means for destruction. Firearms like handguns and machine guns are
also available for long-ranged destruction. Aside from straight-on gunplay,
firearms offer more creative methods for dispatching human enemies. For
example, I shot an explosive barrel near some unsavory human survivors, which
attracted nearby zombies and took them out.
I also took another look at the important day/night cycle of
Dying Light. One objective tasked me with securing a safe house. But when I
arrived at the location it was overrun with enemy thug survivors. The human
menace was too much for me to handle alone (four-player co-op is also supported), so I headed back to another safe house for a nap. The sun
set and I wandered about again under the cover of night. Zombies become more
powerful and observant in the nighttime, but I successfully sneaked past them
to the aforementioned safe house. With the enemies gone at night I was free to
clear out a couple zombies and turn on the lights to repel further invasions.
Dead Island showed a lot of promise when it released years
ago, and Dying Light appears to be Techland's next innovative step in the right
direction. We can't fully sound off until the character classes are revealed,
but things are looking promising leading up the early 2015 release date for
PS4, Xbox One, , PS3, 360, and PC.
Email the author Tim Turi, or follow on Twitter, and Game Informer.
That looks pretty rough with poor framerates and lots of screen tearing. I hope they work a lot on optimization.
I'm hoping that this game isn't as much like Dead Island as it appears to be thus far. Dead Island had a lot of potential and even had moments where I really enjoyed it, but I felt as though there was more that should've been done with it. With the right fixes, this could be a pretty good game, but I'm just going to keep a casual eye on it at this point.
It looks like they might be taking out damage numbers like Dead Island had for weapons and implementing a system more like Dead Rising, where you pick a weapon because you like the feel instead of for the stats. I really hope this is the case because that was one of the only things I hated about Dead Island.
You had me at Flaming Machete.
I'm super excited, parkor with open world zombie killing creativeness, and nighttime zombies sound amazing!!!
2015 is going to be a cluster-f. This, The Witcher 3 and Bloodbourne coming out around the same period...
That game looks intense!
I am beyond excited. Mirrors Edge was fantastic. And having a hybrid Mirrors Edge with Dead Island, I am sold, completely
Looks like Dead Island 1, only with a bigger world and zombies get stronger at night. It also seems to be very linear, like "hey, you need to go over here and be back here at this time. I don't care what route you go, but you need to be in this spot at some point in the day."
It also seems to take the beginning of Dead Island in the video I saw.
This is the first zombie game I've been excited for in a long time. I mildly enjoyed the Dead Island series, but it looks like they've drastically improved on their zombie game formula with this. Strange that Dying Light and Dead Island 2 are both coming out, since Dying Light is basically Dead Island on steroids.
I hope they refine firearms in a big way, they were awful and almost useless in Dead Island. You could put massive amounts of bullets into a zombie and it would barely hurt them.
I really liked Dead Island and Riptide, so this improved movement (especially jumping off zombies' heads) makes this a must-have for me. Hopefully the finished product won't have that horrendous stutter that Dead Island had on about 90 percent of the jump kicks I would do.
Dead Island left me unimpressed so I will be watching this cautiously.