Dying Light is a 2015 survival horror video game developed by Techland and published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. The game’s story follows an undercover agent named Kyle Crane who is sent to infiltrate a quarantine zone in a Middle-eastern city called Harran. It features an enemy-infested, open-world city with a dynamic day–night cycle, in which zombies are slow and clumsy during daytime but become extremely aggressive at night. The gameplay is focused on weapons-based combat and parkour, allowing players to either fight or flight when presented with dangers. The game also features an asymmetrical multiplayer mode (originally set to be a pre-order bonus), and a four-player co-operative multiplayer mode.
The development of the game began in early 2012, after the team completed the development of Dead Island. The game’s parkour system puts emphasis on natural movement. To implement that, Techland had to abandon most of the story elements and construct them again from scratch. To create a story that would suit the taste of the American audience, the writing team collaborated with Dan Jolley. The story was inspired by both Heart of Darkness and The Plague. Announced in May 2013, it was released in January 2015 for Microsoft Windows, Linux, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. The game was once planned to be released on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, but these versions were cancelled due to hardware limitations.
At release, Dying Light received positive reviews from critics, with praise mainly directed at the combat, graphics, co-operative multiplayer, navigation and the day–night cycle, while receiving criticism regarding the story, difficulty, and technical issues. The game was the best-selling title of January 2015 and broke the record for first-month sales of a new survival-horror intellectual property. The game was a commercial success, amassing more than 17 million players by the end of 2019. Techland committed to supporting the game, and released downloadable content packs, content drops and free updates for the game several years after the initial launch. An expansion, titled Dying Light: The Following, was released in February 2016. A sequel, Dying Light 2, was announced at E3 2018.
Dying Light is a survival-horror video game played from a first-person perspective. The game is set in an open-world environment called Harran; initially, an area named the Slums can be freely explored, later adding a second area called Old Town.Players traverse this urban environment, which is overrun by vicious zombies. There is an emphasis on parkour mechanics, which allow players to perform actions such as climbing ledges, leaping from edges, sliding, jumping between roofs and zip-lining A grappling hook allows players to climb up buildings and quickly travel between places.As players explore the game’s world, they can scavenge supplies and loot, which can be used to craft new weapons or sold to vendors. The player character can utilise his “survivor sense” to identify all nearby loot and use lock picks to open locked chests. Players can also complete various side missions by accepting tasks issued by the non-playable characters in the game’s safe zones.As players explore Harran, they can also pick up various collectibles such as notes and journals, and listen to voice mail recordings.
Dying Light contains a dynamic day–night cycle. During the day, players can set traps, save random survivors, and make their way to airdrops. The infected are slow, apathetic, and easily visible and they can be easily avoided. Players can use environmental traps, such as spikes, electrified fences, and gas tanks, to kill the infected. At night, the infected transform to become much more dangerous. Without daylight, the senses of the infected become more acute and accurate. They can also sprint after the player character, inflict more damage, and gain the ability to jump and climb buildings. In order for players to avoid contact, they need to use their “survivor sense” to locate and avoid the infected. If the player character is spotted, they can use distractions and traps to reduce the number of infected. Players’ main defence against the infected is ultraviolet light, which slows their movement. At safehouses, players can adjust the time of day, skipping night altogether if the player does not feel ready.
The game features a variety of enemies, including the slow, low-level Biters, Bombers which explode when the player character gets too close, Virals which can run quickly, and dangerous Volatiles which only appear at night.The majority of the game’s combat utilises melee weapons, with more than 100 weapons and over 1000 weapon possibilities through crafting and customisation. The melee weapons have a limited lifespan and will become degraded and broken if players use them in combat for a long time. Players can repair a weapon a limited number of times or dismantle it for parts. Crafting weapons requires crafting ingredients, such as gauze and metal parts, and a blueprint, which can be scavenged or purchased from a shop. In the second half of the game, players can also use ranged firearms: two types of assault rifles and a variety of small firearms and shotguns. Firearms do not break or degrade, but ammunition is generally scarce. Weapons are categorised into different rarities, which are indicated by a weapon’s color. Players can also utilise other items such as firecrackers, which distract enemies, and explosives like molotov cocktails, to aid combat.In addition, parkour mechanics are integrated with combat.
The player character’s combat efficiency is governed by his health, fitness and stamina. When players take damage, he will lose health, which can be replenished when Crane utilises a medkit or consumes food.Fitness governs his free running endurance, while stamina focuses on how fast Crane becomes tired in combat. A variety of actions in Dying Light can help players to earn experience points. Engaging in combat with enemies will help players to earn power points, while performing parkour movement can earn agility points. Completing missions, challenges, and quests will help players to earn survival points. As players earn experience, they can spend skill points to select new skills from a skill tree. Experience points are boosted when players explore at night, and while survival points are deducted if killed during the day, there is no such penalty at night.
The game features a four-player cooperative multiplayer mode which allows players to explore Harran and complete the campaign together. Players can also complete cooperative challenges for experience, such as fighting to kill as many infected as possible and racing against each other to an airdrop.A multiplayer feature included is a game mode known as “Be the Zombie” that allows the player to play as a particularly strong and fast infected mutant called the “Night Hunter” and invade other players’ servers. The players who are playing as humans are tasked with destroying the infected nests and surviving attacks performed by the Night Hunter, while the Night Hunter’s goal is to deplete the players’ collective life pool and therefore prevent them from attacking the nests.
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