Backlog Clearing: Dying Light: The Following

Backlog Clearing: Dying Light: The Following

Posted by on Nov 21, 2016 in Commentary, featured |

I had trouble finding new, interesting games after finishing Deus Ex: Mankind Divided so I thought it would be a good idea to look backwards. I ended up getting Dying Light: The Following. I played the original but never got around to finishing it because I found it tiring. And I mean that literally. The game is constantly spawning zombies so even after clearing an area of them, you still have to stay vigilant. Now, I know that’s how things are supposed to work in the zombie genre and Dying Light pulls that off magnificently. However, while it’s fun to fight an endless horde of zombies, it’s still exhausting in the long run.

Learning from that, I tried changing my approach to the game: I ran more than I fought. I thought that at least running had a destination, which meant I would eventually stop. Adopting that method allowed me to actually finish the main game.

With that said, I hated the main villain. He’s uninteresting, pretentious, annoying and is always protected by cutscenes and scripted sequences that prevented me from attacking him. Judging from the overall tone of the game, I think the writers were going for a villain who was a skilled, charismatic sociopath. They only got the last part right, with most of the villain’s appearances highlighting how batshit insane he is. But the game fails to show how and why he rose to the top, why his people follow him and why he’s so formidable. How does he match up against the player character in a fight, especially when the game’s progression system allows the player to become more powerful?

I ended up writing more about the game’s negatives in this post. Don’t get me wrong. Dying Light is an excellent game. It got first-person parkour right, the combat is fun and solid and it’s one the best zombie-centric action games. If you can get past the villain then you’re in for a grand time.