Released on January 27th, 2015, Dying Light was a surprising success for Polish developer, Techland. The game was the best-selling title for the month of January 2015 and broke the record for the first month sales for a new survival horror intellectual property, beating The Evil Within in the process. The game has since gone on to sell over 5 million copies. Dayum.
That's an impressive feat for Techland, one that the developer is undoubtedly proud of. Although it may have been easy to forget about Dying Light in a year that saw the release of Bloodborne, The Witcher 3, [Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain](tag:2683985) and Fallout 4, there are some who believe it was the most underrated title of 2015. And now the game's first DLC expansion is out to prove this IP's worth once more.
Dying Light Review - A Surprising Hit
I almost didn't want to like Dying Light. Popular culture is overrun with zombies right now. It seems that every game is incorporating them in some fashion, as TV continues with The Walking Dead and film, with the likes of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, refuses to halt. The trend is as lifeless and meandering as the creatures themselves, and I'm really tired of it.
But then Dying Light comes along and promises to inject some form of life into these corpses. They promise a new traversal system (parkour is cool, right?) and a day/night cycle with an intriguing twist. And you know what? It works. Aside from its lacking story and mind-numbing protagonist, Dying Light actually works as a zombie game.
Traversal is fantastic, weapons are so satisfying, co-op is a blessed feature, multiplayer is surprisingly enjoyable, nighttime can be absolutely terrifying and drop-kicking a zombie to the face is never anything less than hilarious. Techland defied expectations and succeeded. They even (thankfully) forced Dead Island 2 out of the race!
The Following DLC Follows Suit
And then, a little over a year later, during which time Techland postponed work on a different game in order to improve on the experience of playing Dying Light, they released a DLC pack entitled The Following. This DLC is now on sale for $19.99/€19.99/£15.99 and (though very hard to admit) an example of how expansions should be made. Here are just a couple of factors that make The Following such a success.
- The Following's new map is twice the size of the base game, it looks beautiful and is teaming with tons of locations, missions, bases and, of course, zombies.
- Drivable vehicles. Your first mission upon arriving in this new land is to get yourself a set of wheels. You'll quickly discover that running over zombies in an all-terrain dirt buggy is everything that Dying Light needed.
- The new narrative is surprisingly engaging as it delves into the history of the game's protagonist. There are also some pretty interesting characters scattered throughout these fielded lands. Nice work, Techland.
- 4-player co-op. Probably the greatest feature that this DLC is introducing is the ability to achieve all of the above with 3 other friends by your side. It's time to unleash absolute chaos.
The fact is that Dying Light is a game worth playing. It saddens me to say it. The last thing I want to endorse is further zombie-related content. But Techland deserve the praise they're getting. They've introduced gameplay mechanics that make the genre feel fresh again; something that's even more impressive in our current climate.
Dying Light: The Following is a great expansion on top of an already impressive game. This is one that'll keep you happy during this cold month. The Dying Light Enhanced Edition is available now on XBOX One, PS4 and PC.