First off, like every other zombie video game head out there, I thought that Dying Light was the best damned zombie apocalypse game, ever. Granted, not much had come out to match it in years past.
And to support that claim, I submit the following (see what I did there – slick right?):
- Dead Island 1 and 2 were pretty good, but the FPS sucked in those games (I know they kind of improved the mechanics in the second iteration, but it still sucked).
- Deadspace 1-3 were also amazing, but they featured space zombies, so the games were not quite built along strict genre tropes.
- Fallout 3 and 4 totally rocked, but they don’t fall squarely in the zompoc genre.
- And Dead Rising? I was never a fan. So sue me, but I thought it was repetitive as hell and just not that much fun to play.
- And Left 4 Dead was awesome, if you’re into co-op play (even as last-gen games, they still hold up).
But, if you’re a shut-in, middle-aged, antisocial fiction writer like me who generally hates talking to people and who has zero friends who game, then you probably prefer games with long single-player campaigns that massively deliver on the story-line front.
And let me list the reasons why I liked Dying Light so much; awesome single-player campaign, outstanding game play, excellent game mechanics, and an overall appreciation for all the things fans love about zombies. Granted, the game features fast zombies. I know it’s not cool to have fast zombies in a zompoc movie or book these days, even though everyone is doing it (which is why I made my zompoc book series THEM about a paranormal apocalypse and not straight-up zompoc), but it makes a video game much, much more interesting.
The only thing about the game was that it was so intense, by the end of the single-player campaign, I was wiped out. I just couldn’t play another minute of that game. So, I had no desire to play The Bozak Horde, and skipped that DLC entirely. Yet, when The Following came out, I kept hearing good things about it. And let’s face it, running over zombies at 90 mph in a tricked out dune buggy sounds hella’ cool. So, I downloaded it and started on the campaign about a week ago.
I’ll just say that one thing I hate about DLC releases is when they are light on game play and story. Some of the DLC for Fallout 3 suffered from this failing – it was basically just a few new areas to go kill things. Big whoop. But with The Following, you’re getting tons of new missions and an entirely new storyline.
In The Following, Kyle Crane finds out that there’s a place outside Harran where people are immune to the dreaded virus. So, Kyle heads out to see what’s up with these folks, because the people at the Tower in Harran are running out of the antidote that’s keeping them from turning. (Ah, sci-fi zombie plots – totally implausible, but don’t you still love ’em?)
And that’s where the dune buggy comes in, and in a big way. See, this new area is open countryside, and it’s freaking huge. So, Kyle needs some wheels to get around, and wouldn’t you just know it, there’s a band of bandits nearby who have the only operating vehicle around. And once you liberate your ride, that’s when the real fun starts.
I’m not going to ruin it for you with a bunch of spoilers, because it’s best if you see what the dealio is yourself. However, I will say that the driving mechanics are surprisingly fun and realistic, and that once you get used to zipping around in that dune buggy, you’re not going to want to go back to Harran. It’s sort of like when you get the Batmobile in Arkham Knight, it totally spoils you on the other travel mechanics in the game. Except that the Batmobile was so dominant in Arkham Knight, it ruined the gameplay – but in The Following, the driving element simply makes everything that much better.
I can’t say enough good things about this DLC, and if you’re like I was and sitting on the fence about buying it, just go get it and play it. Techland and Warner could have easily turned this into the next Dying Light, but instead they managed to get a nice fat DLC out to fans of the game, and not too long after the original title had hit store shelves.
So, for once a video game design company and publisher got the DLC thing right. And fans of Dying Light should rejoice, because this is everything you probably wanted in a DLC for the game, and more. Now, go mow down some zombies; trust me, you’ll thank me later.