Dying Light: Bad Blood
In 2015, Techland delivered an ambitious open-world zombie title that featured a heavy emphasis on scavenging, exploring, parkouring, and crafting. Dying Light garnered positive reviews, and Techland has continued evolving the experience ever since through updates and expansions. Now, the studio is hopping on board the battle royale bandwagon, but this is far from a PUBG clone.
Dying Light: Bad Blood is a new standalone online title set in the universe of the 2015 game. The concept is simple: six players are dropped across a large, open map with the goal of harvesting and looting enough blood packets to trade in for a helicopter ride out of the infected zone. The catch? There's only room for one.
The primary way to obtain blood packets is by killing zombies. Nests are located all over the city, and since you're racing against other players to get to the chopper with enough blood, you want to make a beeline toward the high concentration areas. Unfortunately, when you're dropped in, it's with nothing but the clothes on your back. Thankfully, the looting and crafting aspects of the original game are fully intact; you're not going to get far without a competent weapon, and weapon mods definitely help.
As with most zombie games, the undead are usually the least of your worries. Sure, nests feature some of the upgraded zombies with brutal attacks, but the other five players are definitely more unpredictable and dangerous. Of course, other players don't just target you to be jerks; if you take another player down, you get all of their weapons, medkits, and, most importantly, their blood packets. In both matches I played, I died at the hands of another player who sneaked up on me while I was fighting a boss zombie. They were happy to take all the blood I had gathered.
Once you get enough blood, you level up, increasing your damage and health. To have enough to trade in for a helicopter evac, you need to max out to level five. It doesn't take long; each of my matches lasted ten minutes or less. After acquiring enough blood, you must make your way to the evac point and hold it for 30 seconds as the other players are notified of your near-victory state. This leads to tense battles that put most zombie swarms to shame as the remaining survivors descend upon the point for a winner-take-all slugfest that could see any of the players emerge victoriously.
Dying Light: Bad Blood has the benefit of building on top of its already strong gameplay systems and compelling world. It's been a couple years since I played Dying Light, and Bad Blood was a quick reminder of just how much fun parkouring, exploring, and looting can be in the post-apocalyptic city. Dying Light: Bad Blood is set to launch on PS4, Xbox One, and PC sometime this year, with a playtest hitting PC soon.