Polish developer Techland dipped its toes into the well-trodden zombie genre with 2011’s Dead Island, a game that, sadly, is still most notable for that impressive and emotional backwards trailer. The 2013 sequel Dead Island: Riptide was, for the most part, just more of the same, serving up more first-person mayhem without really adding anything new to the mix. This year’s Dying Light was their third trip back to the same well filled with walking dead, but it at least tried to shake things up a bit, adding parkour free-running and a day/night cycle that directly affected gameplay. The resulting game earned mostly positive reviews, including Game Rant’s own 3.5 out of 5 evaluation.
It’s been six months since Dying Light first saw the light of day, and Season Pass holders have gotten several DLC packs since then, including May’s Bozak Horde, which added, well, a horde mode. There have been a lot of other games released in those intervening six months, but now Techland is hoping to lure players back to the zombie-infested city of Harran with a new story-based expansion called The Following. And they’re even offering gamers a badass ride to sweeten the pot.
Techland teased vehicles for Dying Light in a video last week, and, sure enough, the upcoming expansion The Following will give players some wheels. Specifically, The Following will introduce drivable all-terrain dirt buggies. Given that the core game mainly takes place in the urban sprawl of Harran, the addition of dune buggies suggests players will be getting some wide-open new areas to roam, and several of the images released along with the Following announcement seem to bear that out. The screenshots show off large, open, rural areas full of hills and fields…and zombies, of course.
Techland describes The Following as “a feature-heavy, story-based expansion pack,” suggesting this will be quite a bit meatier than the previous DLC releases. The expansion will be showcased at Gamescom next month, but in the meantime producer Tymon Smektala is teasing that The Following will add “a number of bold game-changers … that will give the game a brand-new flavor.” While details are sparse at this point, Techland’s announcement does reveal that the expansion’s new map is as big as all of the previous Dying Light maps combined.
The Following will be available for standalone purchase, but it will also be available free to all Dying Light Season Pass holders, which is certainly good news. Season Passes are often controversial for asking gamers to put their cash on the barrelhead with no clear idea of what they’re paying for — witness Batman: Arkham Knight‘s thus-far disappointing DLC outings — so it’s always good to see a developer offering something substantial as part of the package.
Given that much of Dying Light‘s story arc involved trying to secure a cure for the zombie plague, it seems likely that this narrative may continue in The Following. If nothing else, it seems clear players will be venturing beyond Harran, and probably not just for sight-seeing purposes. In addition to the rural setting and automotive action, the stills from the expansion feature a large factory or industrial complex that could serve as an enemy stronghold or even player base of operations. After all, players will need someplace to park those dune buggies.
With over 4.5 million players as of June 2015, Dying Light currently stands as Techland’s best-selling game. The Following can only help drive those numbers even higher.
The Dying Light is now available on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. There’s no official price or release date for The Following yet, but both will likely be revealed at Gamescom. The previous DLC, The Bozak Horde, cost $9.99, so expect The Following to cost more than that.