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E3 2013: Dying Light

Posted on June 14, 2013 AT 02:45pm

Publisher Deep Silver
Developer Techland
Platform XB1, PS4, 360, PS3, PC
Release Date TBA.2014
Not sure what any of this stuff means? Head on over to our E3 hub for all the deets.

The Rundown

The undead-loving men and women at Techland return to first-person zombie survival in Dying Light, a new title aiming to give current- and next-gen systems a true taste of survival horror. While some elements—such as scavenging parts to craft customized weapons—will feel familiar to those who have played Dead Island, other features—such as a drastic change in danger once the sun goes down—will help spice up the genre.

The Verdict

So, I find Dying Light to be a very interesting project. After learning that the team behind the original Dead Island went on build this instead of Dead Island: Riptide—as I had previously thought—I now look to Dying Light to see what their actual next step in trying to expand their vision of first-person open-world zombie games will be. In a way, the evolution reminds me of the BioShock-to-BioShock 2-to-BioShock Infinite situation.

Unsurprisingly, some of the upgrades we’ve gotten hints of include a world that’s bigger and more open-ended, visuals that better bring to life that world, and a wider range of dynamic events that feel more organic to what’s happening in the world. One example of this was a voice that suddenly cried out as the main character passed by. Players could choose to completely ignore the please for help, or they could investigate them. The latter leads you to find a young girl hiding in a closet, her zombified father just dispatched by the player. This didn’t seem to be a major event or big, dramatic moment—it was simply one small example of the realities of living through such terrible times. I really enjoy the idea of things happening in open-world games that are both unscripted and totally missable if you’re not in the right place at the right time, because it gives you the sense of having a play experience that is different than other players.

Otherwise, I’m legitimately excited to see how Dying Light turns out. I enjoyed what I’ve played of the Dead Island games, but I want to see the ideas in those games given the proper level of polish and evolution that we should have seen in Riptide. So if Dying Light can do that—while also incorporating newer ideas like parkour-esque traversal—then I’ll definitely be eager to give the game a shot.

Eric L. Patterson, Executive Editor
Eric L. Patterson got started via self-publishing game-related fanzines in junior high, and now has one goal in life: making sure EGM has as much coverage of niche Japanese games as can realistically be crammed in. Eric’s also active in the gaming community on a personal level, being an outspoken voice on topics such as equality in gaming and consumer rights. Stalk Eric on Twitter: @Eric_EGM. Meet the rest of the crew.

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