When Dying Light hit in early 2015, I have to admit I kind of ignored it. I wasn’t really taken by Dead Island, and it looked like it was going to be a pretty similar experience. However, when the Steam Sales rolled around and I finally gave it a shot, I was hooked. It offered smooth parkour action, and a really fleshed out urban experience. Techland is really focusing on giving players more content, and they’ve already put out a bunch of DLCs, and to get a refresher on the main game, don’t hesitate to read Nazih’s review right here on the site. Their newest ‘The Following’ is a standalone campaign with a new setting and one really bad-ass addition: You get to drive.
Dying Light: The Following drops you into the action pretty quickly. You stand over a dying man with Lena, the nurse in your little survivor gang (you meet her in the Dying Light campaign), and his last words are about a group of people who can survive the zombie infection. Not one to leave things to chance, you venture right the hell out to investigate. You end up in the countryside on the outskirts of Harran (the city in Dying Light).
At this stage, Dying Light: The Following becomes less Dying Light and more Far Cry. Instead of the dusty Middle Eastern city, you’re out in open fields and some seriously pretty scenery. Much like the city of Harran, however, the countryside bears the marks of the apocalypse; empty cars and buildings are strewn about, and zombies roam about, aimless and hungry. The fact that you’re not in a city anymore presents Dying Light: The Following ’s biggest disadvantage for me; there’s no longer that much parkour. Without the urban density of Harran, you can’t leap from building to building while flipping off the shuffling zombies on the floor below (until you meet the ones that can climb). Dying Light: The Following solves this problem by introducing your very own car!
Instead of the dusty Middle Eastern city, you’re out in open fields and some seriously pretty scenery
The car is a great mechanic in the game, because it’s introduced in true survival fashion. It can be upgraded and customized, but most importantly, it needs to be repaired, maintained and refueled regularly. Fuel and parts must be scavenged (obviously) and in typical risk-reward fashion you can take on tougher jobs to trick out your ride. The driving is really nicely implemented (although your once-smooth framerate will take a dip), and there’s plenty territory to explore. Mowing down the undead is also a fun habit, and you’ll soon be picking corpse parts off your car like your grandma did that one time she insisted on driving without her glasses.
As for the story mode, once you get into the countryside, you make contact with these mysterious cultists that can dodge the infection, and they reveal that – surprise, surprise – you need to make yourself useful before they go around spilling secrets. Essentially the game opens up to a variety of missions and sidequests, and you’re encouraged to do as many as possible. After your ‘trust meter’ fills up (how would that work in the game world? Do the cultists have a little colored bar they keep on their desk?), you get to meet them. I actually liked how the game finally revealed the cultists and what the big secret is (I won’t spoil it for you) and the characters I met along the way were entertaining enough. My personal favorite was the Goth daughter of the leader of the farming community you meet early on. No bullshit, writing a Goth girl who lives out in a North African village is seriously creative, so good on them.
Dying Light: The Following won’t catch your fancy if the parkour was the major selling point for you as far as Dying Light was concerned, but if you like stretching your legs in a more bucolic setting, then have at it.
Dying Light: The Following was reviewed using an Xbox One retail copy and PC downloadable code of expansion provided by Warner Bros and Techland. The PC version was tested on a PC running Windows 7 Pro, with a 4GB NVIDIA Geforce GTX 970 fitted on a 4th Generation Intel i7 4790 3.6Ghz CPU and topped with 8GB of RAM. The game is also available on PlayStation 4 via retail and digital release. We don’t discuss review scores with publishers or developers prior to the review being published
• Car mechanic is really well-developed
• Open world feels much bigger with countryside setting
• Storyline presents a fun little mystery to solve
• Lots of sidequests and upgrades to unlock
• No buildings for parkour
• Car repairs can get somewhat tedious
• Not as much variety in weapons and gear in the expansion