By Source, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=39749522

As a big fan of zombies and an even bigger fan of zombie video games, I may have gotten my hopes too high for Dying Light.  All the press was pretty positive.  Quite frankly, I couldn’t find one negative review of it.  But if the guy at the store had said something like, “This combines zombies and parkour.”  I probably would’ve rethought my purchase.

It’s sort of ironic, really.  Watching the Walking Dead, one of my major complaints is that the character don’t take advantage of the high ground against the zombies.  I mean, there definitely are some positive attributes of Dying Light:

The graphics are top notch, the action against the regular zombies is grueling and the weapon upgrades (as they were are Dead Island) are pretty good.  If I could just play the game against regular zombies and slowly take back territory, it would be awesome.

The problem is the story.  Kyle Crane parachutes into a fictional Middle Eastern country to steal back a file.  I guess the creators wanted to add elements of Call of Duty.  The characters that are trapped in the city of zombies are almost secondary.  This game had such a potential to turn the whole zombie apocalypse into a metaphor for real life events and from what I see, it just turns into a regular game.  The controls were clunky.  Maybe I’m just bad at it, but I had a really hard time learning the timing of the leaps and climbs.  Seems to me they could’ve been easier.

Anyhow, Kyle gets in good with a group which has already become like a zombie military squadron.  No one seems to have a plan to get out, only to stay.  The U.N. keeps making drops of supplies, including a drug that can keep people from turning into a zombie.  (It was incredibly annoying that the game kept constantly telling me I was missing U.N. drops.)  But everyone’s already infected.  This begs the question, why would Kyle go on this suicide mission?  In one of the early tasks, I had to locate a drop of medicine, but in order to force Kyle’s new handlers into a position where they need to negotiate with a tougher group, he’s order to burn the medicine.  I thought it was a dumb move.  Why not hide it?  The game gives you no choice and you quickly burn it all but one vial.

The deal is made with the other group and after several hours of grueling, confusing play, I started working for a new guy.  All the time, I’m supposedly looking for a file, while undercover in the zombie apocalypse.  The file mission, for me, is just an annoying distraction.  It was much better on Dead Island (same makers btw) when you are on vacation and end up having to fight you way out.  That made sense.  I also liked that Dead Island didn’t have a lot of special zombies.  I hate the special zombies.

Dying Light introduces the special zombies a few missions into the game.  They are nearly impossible to kill, plus they made no sense to me.  That’s the one thing I like about the Walking Dead, all the zombies are of equal power.  The parkour zombies really annoyed me.  It completely canceled out using the high ground.  What was the point if every once in a while a parkour zombie would show.  Plus, the defenses of the safe zone were all about height, so why undermine your own concept with parkour zombies that can climb.

Another feature is that the zombies are more active and stronger at night.  I found a quick solution for that (for as long as I played), go to sleep in a safe zone until it was dark.  I’m sure some of the missions were going to force me back out at night, but whatevs.  Another feature is multiplayer.  The game was constantly asking me to switch over and I accidentally did once.  I hadn’t mastered even getting on a roof and I was quickly outmatched by the rest of the group.  Then the game constantly asked me if I wanted to go back to multiplayer.  I just wanted to finish the story first!

Maybe it’s my low attention span, but the learning curve was high, satisfaction low and the plot was just confusing as Hell.  But one of my major gripes with the game is that once of the resources you need is string.  Bad choice Dying Light.  String is literally everywhere, especially in a city.  Yet, somehow, after I saved a fishing village: no string to be found.  It’s a pretty important resource too, allowing you to make throwing stars and other things.  Really bad choice on the resource.  Plus, the game is so nicely detailed, there’s trash everywhere.  String is in a ridiculous amount of products, especially clothing.  The whole thing just annoyed me.

Add to that, the climbing challenges and I had enough.  I wanted to fight zombies, not playing Crazy Climber.  The final straw was when I tried to do a mission at a gas station with no gun against a survivor that had a guy and some grenades (I think).  Now for the entire game, every time I made too much noise, the zombies headed my way and/or a special zombie attacked.  I figured, let this guy shoot at me and then get out of the way while the zombies tear him to pieces.  No such luck.  The game created a temporary “safe zone” for the boss fight.  Talk about cheesy.

I threw up my hands and put in Just Cause 3.  In no time, JC3 had me blowing up stuff.  This is exactly the fun I was looking for.  While everything felt forced in Dying Light, JC3 was on point in entertaining the Hell out of me during the opening credits.

I give Dying Light 4.5 out of 10 keggers.  They really needed a rewrite in this gamer’s opinion.