The Following expansion for Dying Light breathes new life into the year-old parkour FPS zombie game by adding a dune buggy and a huge new map to explore.
Dying Light is the best selling Techland title in history, so it makes sense that the developer has decided to capitalize on the game’s popularity. Techland is doing this by releasing Dying Light: The Following as both an expansion to the main game, and as a complete Enhanced Edition package that features the original Dying Light and all its DLC. The result is one of the most massive and fully-featured open world experiences available on current-gen systems.
The Following takes players outside of the crowded city of Harran, to its rural countryside. Harran’s countryside is deceptively massive, and according to Techland, is actually twice the size of the map in the base game. Some open world titles have difficulty making such large worlds fun to explore, but there is no wasted space in Harran’s countryside. There’s a plethora of interesting spots to visit, characters to meet, quests to complete, and loot to discover, making Harran’s countryside much more than the empty wastelands that one would find in lesser open world titles.
Since The Following is set in the countryside located outside of Harran, there is understandably a lot more open space to deal with. These wide open spaces make it more difficult to avoid zombies on foot, but Techland has an answer to that problem. Dying Light: The Following adds a vehicle to the mix in the form of the dune buggy, which allows players to plow through the undead and zip from one side of the map to the other with relative ease.
The dune buggy also adds a new skill tree that can be leveled up in the game, with players earning points based on speed, killing enemies, hitting ramps, and completing challenges with the buggy. Like weapons in Dying Light, the dune buggy can be damaged, and must be repaired using parts scavenged from the environment. It can also be upgraded and customized, with each add-on significantly improving the functionality of the vehicle. The dune buggy is a blast to use for the most part, and smashing wooden fences while tearing through fields of the infected almost makes the game look like Forza Horizon 2 with zombies.
Besides the dune buggy, Dying Light: The Following has a new bounty system that has been added in an effort to increase replayability, along with a brand new Nightmare difficulty mode. Even with these new bells and whistles, however, most of the replayability in Dying Light: The Following will come from exploring the Harran countryside in co-op with friends, and conquering the game’s side quests.
Speaking of side quests, The Following‘s side quests are populated with well-written characters and unique gameplay situations, making them a a highlight of the experience. In fact, some of the most compelling moments in the entire expansion are found in those side quests. Unfortunately, the game will occasionally force the player to complete side quests in order to unlock more story missions, which can make them feel more like a chore than an option.
The main story missions are also engaging – don’t misunderstand – but it seems like Techland decided to force players to play through the side quests in an effort to pad the main story’s length. Despite only taking a couple of hours to complete, the main story still tells a fairly intriguing tale that manages to be more interesting and original than what’s on display in the base game. Its story focuses on a mysterious cult that appears to be immune to the virus that turns people into zombies. Investigating the mysteries of this cult is an entertaining endeavor from start to finish, and is capped off with a shocking finale that is satisfying regardless of which ending players end up with. It’s just a shame that Techland forces players to grind through the side content to see it all play out.
The engrossing story, the dune buggy, and the well-designed Harran countryside make The Following worth the pricier Dying Light season pass. Those that enjoyed the Dying Light base game will love The Following, and those that have yet to play Dying Light at all should definitely consider picking up Dying Light: The Following – Enhanced Edition, which includes the base game, The Following expansion, and other DLC, including The Bozack Horde add-on.
Dying Light: The Following is now available for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. Game Rant was provided a PS4 code for this review.