Dying Light is a one of those games that genuinely confuses me, on one hand it’s at the top of its game, and on the other it’s a tin can you have been told to thrown into the bin. It astounds me that a game can succeed on so many levels, but fail on the final hit. The following three things are going to tell you exactly where Dying Light rears up and knocks you off your saddle.
#1 – Performance
First off, ok this is primarily for PC, but consoles do suffer from drops in FPS at some points. To sum this section up for the ones who don’t care about PC tech-talk. I don’t care if my game runs at 30FPS or 60FPS, but I want it to run at a stable framerate, not suddenly jump up or down 20FPS.
If you look at the chart below and know a bit about GPUs, you will see that the Nvidia GTX 980 runs the game better than the Nvidia GTX Titan. And that the AMD R9 290x runs the game better than the AMD R9 295×2. To put that final one in perspective, the AMD R9 295×2 is basically two AMD R9 290x’s in one card.
I can go from 60FPS to turning a corner and the game drops to 45FPS within about 10 meters, 10 meters later 30FPS. I’m running this game off the recommended specs, and it can’t hold a constant frame rate? I’m not even looking for a solid 60FPS, but the ability to run a solid frame rate end of — the minimum specs for this game must run it at 25FPS max. If anyone is playing Dying Light and have the minimum specs how does it run for you?
Testing using high-end CPU, RAM, and motherboard, with various GPUs.
#2 – Fetch the world
Everyone knows fetch quests. If you don’t, they are the quests where you need to go somewhere, get something and come back. They often feel like filler quests, to artificially extend the life of the game.
Dying Light almost exclusively uses fetch quests or variants on it. One quest you have to get some blueprints, the next you have to deliver some money, then you have to go talk to some people, and finally you have to clear out an area to find someone or something. If it’s a person you then have escort them back, this time without being able to parkour, because they can’t.
With the movement system in Dying Light this isn’t boring, but it is tedious. When you have to constantly pick things up, it’s the back and forth nature which makes it become uninteresting. Always leaving from the same place becomes repetitive, always going back 5 or 10 minutes later gets even more repetitive. If it wasn’t for the parkour system and the ambient missions (like saving people or picking up supply drops), I would have stopped playing Dying Light at about hour 3. Even just simply looting breaks up the monotony of the quests.
One of the many fetch quests.
#3 – A story you care to skip
Dying Light has a story. It follows generic hero white guy, Crane, who is working for generic evil company, Global Relief Effort (GRE). This genericness is then broken up by the main antagonist Rais, a poor man’s Far Cry villain.
This is Dying Light’s story, bland, impersonal, generic, and not engaging. It’s only purpose is to give you more of a reason to fight, or parkour around the amazing cities, other than because you can.
Rais, the main antagonist of Dying Light.
Dying Light is a great game, but that doesn’t mean we should ignore the issues it has. Mostly the constant fetch quests, but the voice acting is at least decent for the most part, and the game does run without crashing.
Ports from PC to console have been a constant issue for debate for years now, and there always has to be games to push hardware past its limit, but 99% of games should be able to run on low-end systems with a consistent frame rate –not that my system is low-end. With a more thought out story, maybe one simply about a man stuck in the quarantine zone trying to survive, and the story being more about what you want to do the game’s world. Give us a dynamic story which isn’t following a linear path, and give us the choice to join Rais or Brecken without forcing us to do both. I want a living, breathing world where you pick the path that you feel is best for your own survival.
It’s out now on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC digitally, the physical boxed release is coming on the 27th February.
What do you think are the low points of Dying Light?
And be sure to read about the 3 best things in Dying Light.