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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Dying Light - PC Review 8.7/10

I'd just like to say first off my PC isn't amazing. Its basic at best. It has the requirements to play something and not much else. I'll try not to focus on the aspects of the graphics too much but if there's a problem with the performance then I will DEFINITELY talk about that. At the very least you should be able to play the game at a decent frame rate. I know I'm going to get a lot of hate for this but what it comes down to is if I can run the game by what I've been told by the page on Steam, then I have an expectation to play it. Crashes, frame dips and texture tearing have somewhat to do with graphics cards but they should be limited to the very least possible to ensure that whoever is playing the game is actually being able to play it. From the guy who hasn't upgraded his PC in years to the person who has bought a PC specifically for this game or has the best specs available, in the same way a normal edition console player vs a special edition console player.

The Good:
Despite the fact I had to lower my settings to a ridiculous degree, this game looks great. Mostly the scenery which is sort of a third world country setting with just a dash of zombie apocalypse. You don't really see that setting as much. Dead Island was close but more pleasant part of third world country type deal. Bugs flying around, run down shacks. Its all very nice. Unfortunately the game doesn't run as well as I'd hope and the frame rate dips but its playable and that's really the most I need.
The zombies are actually (kind of) smart. They're easy to take down but they come at you from multiple angles. Making you always wary of a possible attack. There's also not too much difference between the special zombies other than the truly malformed ones, so you can't just immediately know which one to kill and which one to avoid if you just scan a crowd.
You can craft a lot of things just out in the field, such as a medkits, fire crackers and even some thrown weapons. It was a bit annoying in Dead Island where if you needed something you'd either have to find it or go to that one special vendor for molotovs.
While the ability to repair weapons has been greatly diminished, what little repairing you can do can be done in the field as well as crafting weapon mods. Even though you can't really upgrade a weapon the same was as you could before, you now have the ability to what little you can on the fly in the field.
Leveling up is done in a unique way. You now have three skill trees that level up opposite of each other. Fighting, Running and Scavenging. You gain more points for Fighting the more you fight and it levels up separately to Running which can be leveled up from anything as simple as kicking to making successful jumps. It's sort of like with Borderlands 2 where the more often you fired a weapon of a certain type, the better you were at handling a weapon of that type from then on. Or more like Sleeping Dogs where you had three different level up bars which each corresponded to their own level up perks, rewards/benefits and each had their own way of leveling up independent of the other two. It really forces you to be a master of all trades. If I want to kill zombies better, I'll need the combat tree also the sprint tree because of some of the bonuses it offers like dodging or getting me closer to bashing their brains in more efficiently.
I really love how the game doesn't limit me. There's a lot of ways to kill zombies cheaply or tactically, and the game encourages it. A bit further on you'll find some barriers that you'd usually see blocking some sort of entrance like we have in the real world. Spikes that are littered about to limit mobility. After some luck, I found that if you kick or herd zombies into these, they immediately get killed. The game didn't punish me for doing this, and in fact it rewarded me. I spent a few minutes kicking zombies into the barriers and still getting the xp I would if I bashed their brains in the old fashioned way. Sometimes cars will be on fire and if a zombie walks by it will catch on fire. Herd a zombie on fire into others and they'll start a chain reaction. There are also some oil slicks around so if they get set on fire, its a trap for slow witted zombies. There's also some chemical spills lying around and I experimented with kicking a zombie in one. This game really rewards you for just being clever or perspective. You don't see that a lot which is much appreciated.

The Bad:
Parkour isn't all that great... Don't get me wrong, it functions. A good portion of the prologue teaches you how to effectively use the surroundings to your advantage. Zombies aren't great climbers so you can make use of that, though this doesn't mean that you can always get away from them by standing on top of a sedan. Why is this bad? One particular mission I'm stuck on is a jumping puzzle. This guy asked me to get some stuff for his mom. Instead of letting me in his home, I have to get through the roof. I have to do a few jumps to get to this really unfair jump which is clearly meant for me to cross it, but I've died twice to it, loosing some scavenging xp as a result. The game also expects you to make some of these insane landings. In the prologue, you need to activate these traps. Later on, you'll need to have pinpoint accuracy in order to get to some of these places, which is sort of unfair.

The Meh:
Seriously? What's up with the government always being evil? The story is you're basically working for this pseudo government organization. At first it seems as if they're being really decent, actually trying to stop an even bigger catastrophe and finding a permanent cure for the outbreak. However, this is quickly kicked aside later as your contact asks you to steal information that will help cure the plague. So much for that hope.

This is actually a really good game, and I like it. I just wish I could turn down the settings a bit more so I could actually play this at a smooth 60 fps. If you haven't already, I suggest you buy it. Suffice it to say this is the best zombie game so far in 2015, at least that I've played so far.

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