Dying Light Hands On Preview From PAX Prime 2013

While doing covering PAX Prime 2013 I had the good fortune to play the upcoming Zombie open world game Dying Light not once but twice and sampled two different gaming scenarios.

The first was in a closed door meeting room where I played the game on a PC using an Xbox One controller. This was my first time using the control which caused me some issues but the speed and detail level of the game more than made up for any issues.

The game is a survival zombie game that can be played with up to four players and requires players to navigate a shanty filled landscape to complete various tasks and find items needed for survival such as supplies and weapon upgrades.

There are many side quests offered but the biggest enemy aside from the undead is time for as the sun falls the danger level presented by the zombies increases in the form of tougher and more aggressive enemies as well as diminished light and visibility.

After a brief tutorial on how to jump, climb, kick, run, slide, and attack, I was ready for action. I was tasked to locate and repair various traps on the map and this went from restoring an electric box which allowed me to fry a zombie or working under a car hood to set another trap.

This is not as easy as it sounds as the roads are teaming with undead and if you cannot avoid them you have to fight them melee style using items such as a wrench, axe, or two handed axe. There was a light attack and a stronger charged attack which required more time to deploy and a larger swing radius. I was able to kick away zombies who got to close and always had the option to twists a few heads of those who engaged me.

I loved using the two handed axe as I was able to cleave a few who got in my way. Most of the movement was done on rooftops so I had to always think about moving up and over. I had a supply of fireworks which I could use to distract mobs and I also was able to use some to ignite a pool of fuel in order to create a fire barrier.

I had a developer plugged in with me who gave me instructions on which way to go, things to do and try as well as features of the game.
I was told that guns are in the game but since they wanted to make it as realistic as they could they made melee weapons more common.

My second session went much better for me as I had a more run and gun mission which required me to move fast and go to various checkpoints before leaping to a vehicle overpass where I completed the demo.

I engaged enemies as I could but I was amazed at the speed and detail level of the game as not only was it smooth and steady but on more than one instance I overshot my mark and feel or had to jump again to climb up. It will take some getting used to with the climbing aspect but for my taste this is the most fun zombie game since the Left 4 Dead series and the best looking and playing one to date.