I was given the pleasure of getting my hands on a closed demo of Dying Light today and it was wonderful. I am not even sure where to begin. I could tell you about the way I was greeted in a nice fashion at a closed room off of the main show floor by both the pr representative and the developers. Or I could tell you how I was placed in front of a sweet looking NVIDIA labeled PC and given a Xbox One controller and headset so the dev could chat with me while I played the game. See what I did there? I’m trying to be creative, and I failed. Anyway, I was given a very quick overview of the game and where I am at and what will be happening. For starters with any of you who are asking, yes the Xbox One controller feels like hand sex. Pure pleasure. Graphically speaking, the game looks fantastic. Ocular orgasm. This is what happens when you develop a game entirely from scratch from the ground up. You get what you want.
So after cleaning up the chair and keyboard, the first thing that was discussed was that the jump button was moved from the typical A button position up to the Right Bumper. This is important because in this game there is a lot of parkour taking place and the correctly thought idea was that you don’t want to be running and looking and need to move your finger off of a thumb stick to push the jump button. So with it moved up to the RB, you can get fluid run for your life mode instead of half assed tripping over stuff mode that would happen if you have about 30 to 40 zombies running after you. Which btw, a neat feature is the ability to look behind you as you are running by pushing the Y button. The action slows down to give you some time to see what is back there instead of at real time and you end up running into a wall because you weren’t looking. Well done feature actually.
Once familiar with the controls I am started off on a quick mission to make sure that some traps need to be turned on because at night, things get fast and ugly, instead of during the daytime where everyone is calm and not as fast. Why this happens is currently a secret and will be revealed at a later time. I tried to pull out the “Hey, I am a fellow dev you can trust me” trick and he just said..NO. So we all wait for now. I begin my mission by heading over to a spot in which I need to flip on some circuit breakers that will electrify a gate on the ground which can be used when you’re running from a bunch of zombies and as you pass through the trap can activate it with a remote causing all of the poor saps behind you to get a sparkling blue death. I am given some various other tasks to move around the open world where the environment is entirely destructible, especially roof tops on this shanty town area I was in. If you fall on a rooftop too hard, you’ll end up breaking through it and as the dev said to me, don’t go into buildings that you are unaware of, there can be very bad things in there. I was given some chances to do some killing with zombies and you get the typical items you could think of, hatchet, wrench, axe, hands, etc.
I asked if using the weapons would wear down the weapon to the point that you can no longer use it, he said yes, but it wouldn’t be to the point that you just end up with this stick. So it is a much slower process. While I didn’t get to see it in this demo, there will be some weapon crafting options available so that can be expected. Once I finished all of my objectives for the mission I was given, this was roughly around night time and as I mentioned before, the zombies get fast. VERY fast and it’s a race to the hideout, which of course is perfect because you can now run back through the traps you turned on and kill off the hoarde running after you. It was actually a fun and tense moment, which was helped even more by the dev telling me to go left or right or to jump, which turned into confusion because I kept hitting the A button to jump not the RB causing all sorts of mayhem. I died, but it wasn’t a bad thing in which I had to rerun the whole process as there was a checkpoint put in place next to one of the traps. Which was nice because I didn’t want to have the need to navigate the massive open world again.
With that last fragmented sentence I leave you with the impression that this isn’t going to be just another zombie game, this one feels and seems different. I enjoyed it and didn’t feel like I was just mission running to get achievements. The game will be available in 2014 as they are now polishing the game up and will be available on PC, Xbox 360, PS3, PS4, and Xbox One. Look for it next year and expect this bad boy to be in your game library.