Eurogamer Expo 2013: Preview - Dying Light

Although Dying Light was dying to be scarier in what was a lack lustre demo, this next generation survival horror shows real potential.

If any gamers out there aren't yet bored with zombies yet, you're in luck as new zombie survival horror game Dying Light will be coming to PlayStation 4, XBox One, and PC next year.

But what does this title offer beyond everything that has come before it?

A Little On The Light Side

The main concept of the game is that the vast open world becomes more dangerous as daylight fades, with general zombies becoming more aggressive and specific monsters only appearing during the dark hours.

So why the developers decided to have the demo showcase gameplay in broad daylight seems a little strange, especially as your adversaries are tame and considerably less scary in this sun-baked apocalypse.

Apart from introducing free-running as a main element of gameplay, leaping about from rooftop to balcony as if the floor was lava - or in this case, zombie infested - it didn't feel like anything particularly groundbreaking. With its equatorial locale and bloodthirsty undead, it felt more like a mere emulation of Dead Island but with a bit more running and jumping. Although it has managed to pick-up a fair few expo accolades so far this year, with indie survival horror Sir, You Are Being Hunted coming out soon and offering something different and incredibly nerve-shredding, thus winning "Best Indie Game" of the expo from us, you're left wondering why Dying Light exists.

Sounds Good to Me

But the one thing that did stand out, however, was the sound design and combat. With minimal orchestral score (there was none in the demo) you're left in a silent city with nothing but the groans of zombies and hapless cries of fellow survivors as ear candy, which is incredibly creepy, especially the latter. There's also the promise of deciding whether to save survivors of leave them fend for themselves affecting how the game plays out.

"...with a good surround sound gaming headset or cinema system, and a decent HD screen, this could well unsettle even the most hardened of survival horror fanatics."

Close up combat pulls no punches, with rotting flesh and blood-stained teeth gnashing violently in your face if you're unfortunate to get too close to the infected. If you end up playing this with a good surround sound gaming headset or cinema system and a decent HD screen, this could well unsettle even the most hardened of survival horror fanatics.

And this is where we can really see the potential in the game, and why we're baffled that broad daylight is considered a good demo choice with no raging against the dying of the light to be had. When daylight starts to fade, visibility becomes scarce and the environment more deadly. This could be a sheer heart-pounding experience (like in the 12-minute gameplay video the studio have put out), especially if the terrifying sound design keeps up through the entire game.

But until we can actually have hands-on experience of how well the dimmer world plays out, we can only be but speculative and tentative about how good a game this is. Hopefully, this lack lustre demo won't mean a lack lustre game.


This review was done after experiencing the available demo at Eurogamer Expo 2013. Changes to gameplay may be made before the title's eventual release. To learn more about the game, visit http://dyinglightgame.com.

Our Rating
7
Although Dying Light was dying to be scarier in what was a lack lustre demo, this next generation survival horror shows real potential.

Featured Columnist

Bearded British game-bear. Likes his JRPGs accompanied with a G&T. Lives in London, UK. Also writes a lot about theatre and film. *jazz hands*

Published Oct. 8th 2013

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