Something new we’ll start doing here on OnlySP if we get a review copy that’s too late for us to have a review ready on launch day is reviews in progress. However, these reviews won’t be what you’d normally see on IGN for that matter. Essentially, we’ll provide our first impressions on the game, and from there write a full review like the sort you’d expect from OnlySP. So, to start off our review in progress, we’ll be taking a look at Dying Light.

Also, keep in mind that these reviews in progress will essentially give you our impressions on the game in as easy a format to read as possible. This means we’ll be focusing on just keeping it short, sweet and to the point to help you decide if you want to purchase the game early on enough, or at least have a good indication of what our final judgment will be.

 

To start off, Dying Light is not just a Dead Island clone. If you think it is, stop, it’s much better than Dead Island ever was and does things a bit differently…and for the better.

The game actually has a story this time around and it’s actually kind of interesting. The story follows the main character, Crane, who’s sent on a secret undercover mission for reasons you’re not totally aware of at the start of the game. You’re dropped out a plane at high altitudes; glide down with a parachute and within seconds the action begins. It’s a bit jarring at first, as you’re literally dropped into the thick of an ongoing zombie apocalypse with factions forming within the quarantine zone and other mysterious things.

I haven’t gotten far enough into the game yet to give a final judgment on the story, but there’s a huge focus on morality in the game and it’s interesting to see how scenarios play out as you’re not quite sure what Crane is going to do in certain situations. However, this is one of the fallbacks of the game as well as there’s certainly room for player choice, but none to be had in regards to the story. It’s pretty straightforward and I’ve completed about 15% of the game so far. Maybe that’ll change farther in, but for the time being, there’s none to be found.

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Some of the first things you’ll notice when starting Dying Light are the high production values. Dying Light is quite honestly a gorgeous game. When compared to Techland’s previous efforts, Dying Light is leagues ahead. The lighting, the trees waving in the wind, the gore, the city, it’s all quite the beautiful sight to take in and you’ll quite constantly be admiring the environments. The voice acting is still a little off in terms of quality, but again, it’s a step up from Techland’s previous efforts.

The one aspect of Dying Light I was the most worried about though was the gameplay. While Dead Island’s combat was a mostly solid experience, I did have some gripes with the hit detection and control of it all. Dying Light remedies most of the complaints I had with combat in Dead Island. The hit detection has been mightily improved, and provides a different feel feedback wise for each weapon you find.

Free running is smooth for the most part aside from a few camera glitches and wonky moments here and there. The one thing you’ll have to get used to quick, at least if you’re playing the PS4 version of the game, is jumping with the front right trigger (R1), but once you get the hang of it, it comes as second nature. Free running is also a major factor gameplay wise as you’ll be constantly using it to get out of sticky situations…which happen often. If you’ve been looking for a challenging zombie survival game, Dying Light should be on your list.

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Coming off of Dead Island, where it was easy to get out of most situations unscathed, Dying Light changes the game up considerably. Zombies are tough, and will usually only go down by taking out their head. However, stay in one place for too long and you’ll get swarmed quickly. If you’ve watched The Walking Dead and were confused as to how easily some of the people on the show died by getting overrun, Dying Light will give you your answer. And that’s not even counting the many different variants of zombies in the game that force you to constantly change how you approach a situation.

The only major gripe I have with the game at this point in time is the fights you partake in with the living. Trust me, there’s a section with a school and when you get to that point, you’ll understand my frustrations. Another minor complaint that may change over the course of my time with the game is the mission structures. Open world games are notorious for giving you too many fetch quests, help this person out, or flip this switch type of missions and so far, Dying Light has been a pretty big offender of that.

I don’t want this to turn into a full review, as I still have to write that, so I’m going to cut this off here as I feel I’ve given you a pretty clear idea that Dying Light is good. It’s not a rehash of what Techland created with Dead Island at all; it’s a completely new experience with similar mechanics. Dying Light feels like a game that was created to show a developer’s potential, and Techland…so far, has exceeded my expectations with Dying Light.

Nick Calandra
OnlySP founder and former site owner.

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