The zombie genre has always been a popular one in video games, but with saturation increasing of late, developers are relying on gameplay innovations – or a sense of humor – to keep things fresh. For the developers of Dying Light, much of the game’s hook has been focused on prioritizing creativity, open-ended missions, and a truly free-wheeling traversal system.
Players can make their own fun turning undead hordes into pulp… until the sun goes down. What terrors await once darkness falls? See for yourselves in the newest gameplay video.
Most fans have already seen video of Dying Light in action, as numerous video walkthroughs have been released since the game was first shown at E3 2013. The premise – players will attempt to survive and gather resources in a tropical city overrun by zombies – seems to be more of an excuse to make with the zombie-stomping than a gripping narrative (at this point, at least).
The developers at Techland clearly have more in mind than designing a parkour-infused first-person slasher, yet the only actual mission design confirmed to this point is the need to reach supply drops before other survivors do. That, and to stay in at night. Luckily, the new video footage provides a clearer sense of what missions players can expect to deal with.
The visuals alone prove that Techland is engineering a truly next-gen experience, but this footage shows that the brand of open world exploration seen in the studio’s previous zombie title, Dead Island, is still alive and well. It’s comforting to know that the game’s main character won’t be completely on his own, but we’re willing to wager that a large majority of responsibilities – if not all of them – will fall squarely on the player’s shoulders.
The concept of ‘fetch quests’ may be enough to turn off some gamers, but the video shows that in the world of Dying Light, there are few restrictions placed on how tasks can be completed, or destinations reached. That’s thanks to the parkour talents of the protagonist, able to leap up fences and walls, and even launch over or off of shambling zombies. The mechanic grants players more freedom than ever before, but also alleviates much of the frustration that comes from stumbling awkwardly through a group of enemies.
Since those frustrations are usually due to lagging response times or clunky animations, the ability to simply hop or sprint out of danger can’t be undervalued (in our hands-on time with Dying Light, it proved one of the game’s most promising features). And once the sun sets, the freedom to leap recklessly across rooftops or over walls helps keep fleeing from enemies fun, not irritating. A wise move, but with the overall story and progression still being kept under wraps, Techland has plenty more left to show.
What do you think of the new gameplay footage? Does the open world mission design seem to be a perfect match for the core systems, or do you remain skeptical about how the bulk of gameplay will be spent? Share your thoughts in the comments.
Dying Light will be released in 2014 for the Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, PS4 and PC.
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