Dying Light was arguably one of the most criminally underrated games released last year. Techland’s spiritual successor to the also well-received-but-not-really Dead Island focused on the secret mission of Kyle Crane as he infiltrated different groups of survivors stuck in a zombi-fied wasteland. However, while the story itself wasn’t necessarily award-winning material, the gameplay and world interactions were what shined through. As Crane, you traversed the fictional urban environment searching for materials and weapons to develop your skills abilities. In addition, where and when Crane went vastly changed your experience in the world. Exploring a closed off hospital? There are probably bandits around the next corner. Running around rooftops during the night? There’s probably a night hunter right on your tail. There was never a dull moment, and I highly recommended the game to anyone who asked me about.
That is, until Techland released Dying Light: The Following Enhanced Edition. The Enhanced Edition of Dying Light includes a ton of fantastic updates to the already fantastic game. Featuring all previously available DLC and the new The Following expansion, the game has improved visuals, new skills, blueprints, and more.
For returning players, the real meat of Enhanced Edition comes in The Following. The Following takes place after the ending of Dying Light (Though, you can play it as soon as you complete the tutorial), where Crane has discovered a way out of the city and into the surrounding fields of Harran. Crane quickly discovers a cult living outside of the city that’s completely immune to the zombie virus, prompting Crane to discover the secret behind the seemingly miraculous inoculations.
The Following takes a faction-like approach to mission structure, where you need to build an acceptance rating within the ranks of the Faceless cult in order to learn the secrets behind their immunity. Essentially what this means, is you’re doing a lot of errands for people to build up a reputation in the countryside. While initially this seemed kind of unfortunate, many of the side quests, much like the original game, felt fresh and unique. Each quest has its own back story and objective. While there are of course the typical “clear this area” or “Collect this item X amount of times quest” those take a back seat to some of the more interesting objectives, like figuring out the origins of a ghost story in one of the seaside villages, or following a bored survivor’s list of terrible clues in order to find his prized sword. While, yes, you are just grinding points to fill up a meter that unlocks more quests for you to partake in, it’s never feels like actual grinding or busy work.
Unfortunately, while all of the objectives leading up to the grand reveal are fun and exciting, the ultimate finale of Dying Light is less than stellar. No spoilers, of course. But, both of the possible endings felt entirely unsatisfying. While you can always just jump back into the game to complete everything you missed and forget the ending even existed, it’s unfortunate that Crane’s ultimate ending is kind of an undignified mess.
The Following takes place in a map that is easily the size of both the slums and city of Harran put together, if not bigger. Being mostly roads and country, Crane won’t be able to rely on parkour like he did in the original game. That’s where the buggy comes in. The buggy acts as the players most useful tool, able to traverse long distances in practically no time at all. Like most items in the game, you can upgrade and customize it with things like new engines, or a sweet paint job. It even gets its own skill tree that rewards players with new blueprints and upgrades to add-on, though it is a length process to level up.
Withholding The Following, The Enhanced Edition would be well worth picking up Dying Light again as well. As mentioned, all previous DLC has returned on disc (or in the full download), there are various graphical upgrades and tweaks to improve the overall look of the game (Including an option to turn off the film grain effect that plagued the original). Among the more interesting additions is a legendary level. After maxing any of the regular skill trees, legendary levels unlock. There are 250 Legendary levels to unlock, each allowing you to place points in various attributes like physical attack and more. In addition, every 25 levels unlocks a new weapon or outfit, allowing further customization to Crane. While a really awesome addition, much like the original game, it’s still somewhat difficult to grind out levels.
Ultimately, Dying Light: The Following Enhanced Edition is a fantastic update to an already great game. While the following may have some story issues, it doesn’t really detract from the overall enjoyment of playing the game. For old fans and new ones, check out the Enhanced Edition of Dying Light!
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Sony Playstation 4 code was provided to Brash Games for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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