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Dying Light review impressions: Fresh zombies, coming in hot

Hayden Dingman | Jan. 28, 2015
Like every other game reviewer, we just got our hands on Dying Light review code yesterday. Seeing as how it's a massive open-world game I assume lasts somewhere in the neighborhood of 20-30 hours, we're understandably not finished with the game yet. Not even close, really.

4. The protagonist is sort of boring

I'm only a few hours in, but I can't really get into the main character. He's the blandest protagonist I've played since Far Cry 3. He says some vaguely military things, he tries to "prove himself" to people, and his voice actor sounds kind of...bored? Like, these crazy things are happening, people are dying everywhere, and the voice actor sounds like he doesn't really care at all.

I mean, I don't even know the guy's name. I can't remember it. I wanted to say his name was Jason Brody, but then I remembered that actually is the name of the guy in Far Cry 3.

5. More games should steal from Elder Scrolls

You know what system doesn't get used enough in RPGs? The "If you use it, you get better at it" skill progression system. Why don't more games use this? If I stab things, I should get better at stabbing things. If I run a lot, I should get better at running.

You don't have to take it to the same extremes as Elder Scrolls and have two-dozen skills for me to level up in separately, but I'm loving Dying Light's three-pool system. There's the "Survivor" pool, which is just general experience gained from doing missions, and then separate trees for agility and strength. Running a lot raises your agility and gives you more agility-specific abilities. Same with combat/strength.

It's so simple! And it lets me feel like I can concentrate on the things I care about. Which is running. Always running.

6. Pipes are fragile

I've never had the good fortune to bash someone over the head with a pipe, but what Dying Light has taught me is that were I to do so, I'd only get about ten or fifteen hits in before that pipe would be utterly useless as a weapon.

Good to know.

7. Crowds are dangerous

One zombie? Easy. Two zombies? Okay, I've got this. Three zombies? "What? I couldn't hear you over the sound of the skin getting ripped from my skull and eaten."

8. People like when you do them favors

Seriously. A dude says that.

Bottom line

We'll have a full review of Dying Light up as soon as we can, hopefully by the weekend. I'm hitting the aforementioned framerate issues fairly regularly, but I've been persevering through them because I really enjoy the core of the game — it's like a more ambitious, less goofy Dead Island, which is a-okay with me.

As for the performance issues, I'll be keeping an eye on Steam and various forums today to see whether the same problems keep cropping up across the board. It's hard to know, when my current effective sample size is one person (me). Updates as soon as I have them.


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