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The Most Dangerous Game in Dying Light

/ Feb 2nd, 2015 No Comments

Created by the same developers behind Dead Island, Dying Light will remind players somewhat of the zombie RPG. However, there is much more to this survival-horror title. The campaign and co-op modes offer an intriguing narrative akin to Dead Island, but the best part of Dying Light is its player-versus-player mode titled Be The Zombie.

This mode serves as the competitive mode to the campaign’s co-op experience. While playing as a parkour-loving zombie is a lot of fun, balance serves as the biggest detriment to Dying Light. Teams consist of four players, but zombies no doubt have the edge.

Dead Slugs, Rotting Snails and Puppy Dog Tails

The player-controlled zombie in Be The Zombie is one rough customer not to be underestimated. If Left 4 Dead’s Hunter zombie was given Boomer bile, Tank smashing and other assorted tricks, you’d have the zombie from Dying Light. This unstoppable terror is a lot of fun to play with and even more fun to fight. As with the campaign, players gain experience for their zombie and can then level it up with new abilities and bonuses. This level-up system plays a vital role as the new abilities greatly help, but the base zombie is still an overpowered wrecking ball.

Simba, you will rule everything the light touches, except during the night as the moon is technically reflected light. Also there's horrible  parkour zombies, that too.

Simba, you will rule everything the light touches, except during the night as the moon is technically reflected light. Also there’s horrible parkour zombies, that too.

Dying Light’s zombie has parkour abilities similar to human characters but it has improved strength and jumping capabilities allowing it to traverse terrain more quickly. On top of this, zombies do not receive fall damage and have a sticky tendril that allows them to grapple up to or across structures for quickly crossing the cityscape. Gamers can unlock additional abilities, including a goo shot that will attract nearby “normal” zombies and a slam ability to knockback human players and deal damage.

Protect the Hive

Be The Zombie boils down to a team-based defensive for the zombies and offensive for the humans. Players on the human team attempt to destroy a series of zombie hives while warding off their zombie counterparts. Zombie players need to kill humans a set number of times to eradicate their team lives and thus drive them away. Human players can make use of melee weapons as well as their powerful UV light, which weakens zombies and allows them to be easily subdued.

It's like Operation, except if you touch the sides the board-game feasts on your flesh.

It’s like Operation, except if you touch the sides the board-game feasts on your flesh.

Zombies must make use of their superior speed to overwhelm humans while trying to strategically attack. Focusing on humans when they are split up or otherwise distracted is key to victory, which shares a lot in common with strategy from Left 4 Dead. But the similarities are few. Be The Zombie is a totally different beast than any game before it due to its use of fluid parkour movement.

Scales Tipped with Blood

Ultimately, Be the Zombie feels heavily unbalanced. Zombies are far superior — quick speed and devastating attacks let them easily overwhelm any player unfortunate enough to be alone. Strategy quickly gets thrown out the window in favor of sheer ferocity for those playing as the zombie. Dying Light lives in a perfect world where team cooperation and strategy must be practiced by all players, which simply isn’t the case all the time, especially when playing with random players.

Mash X to s&!# your pants!

Mash X to s&!# your pants!

With only one type of game existing within Be The Zombie mode, the repetition can become boring quickly. Luckily, gameplay itself remains engaging despite the lack of variety. The lack of players hurts multiplayer through simple team balance issues. Peak gameplay hours vary and for now, the main game is the best way to experience Dying Light unless you already have a group of friends to play with.

Dying Light, Dying Right

Be The Zombie compliments the game like a well-made layer cake. The main game is interesting, but the multiplayer mode is when Dying Light really gets fun. However, there are balance issues as the zombie is overpowered compared to human players. Hopefully this is something developer Techland will address in future updates.


Greg Johnson

Greg Johnson

Associate Editor at Gaming Illustrated
Greg is a Nintendo fanboy who would cry if they ever went third party. He writes news, previews and reviews at Gaming Illustrated.
Greg Johnson

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