A race against the undead countryside.
Dying Light was one of my favorite games of 2015. It merged fast past action, parkour elements, a wicked soundtrack, and a TON of zombies. It was a perfect melding of co-op action mayhem, and had a decent if semi standard plot. The gameplay was so great that the plot became secondary, and the parkour and elements of melee fighting and traversal became the highlight. It’s safe to say The Following follows in the footsteps of this moments, but with a few caveats and I’m not entirely sure if that’s for the better.
By land, sea, and car?
Kyle Crane has heard of a potential zombie virus cure… or at least a way to stop it. A new area that a dying survivor claims to have visited, Crane can’t help but investigate as they have all but run out of the drug Antizine that helps prevent turning into a zombie. Known as the countryside, this will prove to be Kyle’s new playground for the entire duration of the expansion pack. It’s huge, featuring underground caverns, sprawling cliffs, and vast fields to explore. With it comes expansive space that enables players to take one of the newest and more prominent features of the game, the vehicle, around for a joy ride. The game tends to want players to focus on this element the most, as there is a dedicated system tree for upgrades to the car and walking/running to any location can take a long time as there is sometimes very little between one location to the next aside from grass, farms, and other local flora and fauna.
Platforms: PC, XB1, PS4
Price I’d Pay:$19.99
How long to beat: Ten hours
It’s actually the biggest difference and one that has me a bit conflicted overall. While there was never a fast travel in the original game, players could get around fairly quickly with the zip line grapple as they parkour between buildings and sky scrapers. The verticality in the expansion is here but it’s much more limited and more down time between those buildings, quite literally, as players will be down on the ground. I constantly wished I was higher up and taking advantage of the parkour elements, as this is one thing that I really enjoyed from the original game. If players didn’t care for that element, this is where the expansion might be more to their favor.
There are some great elements that are added, like an additional new skill tree that enables you to go beyond the skills trees players had access to. So in essence there is two new skills trees, but the car elements have to stick to the expansion area, where as the other can stay with the player when going back to the original game for getting even stronger, better loot. Along with new weapons and additions of the vehicles, one element I ran into was huge bosses that get their very own life bar. Now having only played this alone in single player, these things are massive, hit huge, and I ended up running from all the ones I ever found, which I believe my count as of now is three. They are intimidating, and I definitely would like to meet up with some friends online and try to take them down.
All well that dies well.
The expansions to Dying Light is interesting to me. It’s extremely fun, adds more to an already fantastic experience, and yet it feels somewhat different. How much the parkour meant to players in the original game is going to play a huge part, as well as how much they enjoy the driving. I thought the controls were fairly good, but if I ever left my car behind and decided to walk it, it took a long time to reach my destination. They definitely want you using the car more and even then, as much as I’ve used it, my car skill tree is barely unlocked, which seems a bit counter intuitive as I’ve finished the game with hardly any of the skills unlocked. I can’t even claim to have done hardly any side missions as they are a requirement to earn favor with the group that’s The Following, and players will need to do side quests to unlock more story quests. Story wise, it’s interesting enough, but it’s not going to keep the player wanting to move forward as much as some other game’s narrative. Here it feels as just a means to get to the game play and keep it going.
Dying Light The Following is a decent length expansion that will last players around ten hours and adds a nice little chunk to the core gameplay that can extend the overall package of Dying Light, even with newer features in the be the zombie mode also. It’s not going to swoon players into enjoying the game more than when it first released, but this is something fans can dig back into and start enjoying a whole new area to explore, new abilities, weapons, and perks. It feels like a great epilogue to the first game and if players really enjoy the driving aspect, there is plenty to love. Otherwise it’s a fun romp back into the undead world Techland has created and the countryside never looked so grim.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.