Zombies don’t wear running shoes.
Update: Our Greg Tito caught up with Dying Light’s lead game designer Maciej Binkowski for an interview.
Original Story: I’m one of those gamers whose brain can’t easily be rewired. The shoot button on my gamepad will always be tied to the right trigger, and the Y-axis will always be inverted. Obviously, anytime I switch to a new console, I throw a lot of accidental grenades.
So, when a Techland representative handed me a control pad with the jump button remapped to the right bumper, it felt like the entire world was spinning out of control. But Dying Light’s fast-paced gameplay requires that your right thumb never leave the stick, because if it does, you might be zombie food.
The zombies in Dying Light aren’t the same breed as those found in games like Dead Rising and Day Z. This horde is more aggressive, and often resourceful. I spent most of my time jumping from rooftop to rooftop, but I still had to lay a beatdown on a few brain eaters who managed to scale the walls of my building.
Whenever my feet touched the pavement, it meant that I was hauling ass to the nearest objective. Stopping to bludgeon a lonely zombie meant ten more would show up before I could get the kill. So, I was almost always on the move.
Parkour-style movement is an important part of Dying Light’s gameplay, which is why the jump button has been shuffled over to the right bumper. Head orientation dictates how you climb and jump, so when the zombies are behind you, turning around is not an option.
During my time with the game, I was able check out two different levels. The first was a zone that shows up early in the campaign, so my character only had a bog-standard baseball bat. But when we transitioned to the second zone, I got my hands on a few of the Dead Island-inspired combo weapons.
Techland originally pitched Dying Light as a sequel to 2011’s Dead Island, so the flaming knifes and electric hammers shouldn’t be surprising.
It’s definitely an entertaining little title, and that’s the best endorsement I can give at this point. It’s too early to talk about the game’s successes and failures, but it does have a unique look and feel in a genre that’s over populated by copycats.
Also, it turns out that Techland representatives like to laugh at journalists who die in their game. I just thought you should know.