DYING LIGHT (XBOX ONE) REVIEW
Video Game Review

You want epic zombie action? You got it! In Dying Light you take on the role of Kyle Crane. Crane is an undercover GRE (Global Relief Effort) operative that was sent into the infected, quarantined city of Harran. His main mission? To find the evil "Rais" who has a file that could wreak some serious havoc on the GRE. As you could expect, when Crane arrives to the city of Harran he quickly forges bonds and friendships. It's these relationships that he struggles with in balancing between doing his job, and helping the survivors of the Harran outbreak.

Dying Light is a first-person survival horror/parkour game. The main factor that sets Dying Light apart from other zombie-themed and outbreak games is the parkour ability. Almost anything and everything that you see can be run upon, jumped on, and so forth. The world, in this case, is truly your oyster. Another unique feature for Dying Light is its day/night system. Once nightfall hits, the volatiles come out and make your life a living hell. If you're out at night, make sure to be stealthy or find a safe zone to rest for the night. Of course you can also just say, "Screw it" and get double character experience points while pulling off jumps and combat in front of those stupid volatiles!

The plot of Dying Light isn't anything spectacular. However, in saying this, I feel that it is better than some people have been saying elsewhere on the interwebs. There are interesting plot twists; you do become attached to a few characters, etc. In general the voice acting in Dying Light isn't superb; however the voice actor for Kyle Crane (Roger Craig Smith) does an excellent job. Crane is literally one of the most relatable main characters in video game history to me. The way he delivers his lines, and the lines themselves are spot on. There will be many times that you truly feel Crane's emotion, as well as letting out a belly laugh at his sheer bluntness & excellent swearing vocabulary.

One of the first things that you will notice about Dying Light is it's truly a beautiful experience. The graphics are excellent, especially given how big the open world structure is. The downside of this is after a while the FPS can drop a bit (at least it did on my Xbox One) and a hard reset of the system will be in order for the next playthrough. Much like the graphics, the soundtrack is also excellent. If you can imagine a 70s/80s zombie movie soundtrack, this is exactly what you get with this game. It is one of the more unique and awesome soundtracks that I have ever heard. It complements the gameplay and story so well, it's uncanny! And I'm sure you're wondering how the controls are, given that it's so centered on parkour. The good news is: they get the job done. Most times traversing over rooftops and climbing up ledges is seamless and without cause for concern. The only problem that I had with the parkour element of Dying Light is when you need to gently climb yourself back down from tricky ledges. More often than not, I would fall to my death.

In Dying Light there is a main story mode to complete. However, there is so much more! The countless amounts of side quests helps give Dying Light one of the deepest open world experiences that I have played. There's a unique skill tree which rewards you with character upgrades for consistently pulling off sweet parkour moves, combat, etc. But be careful- if you die during the day, you will lose some of your skill points. On top of that, there are so many items and weapons to be found throughout the city of Harran. Sometimes you can have a blast just going around scavenging for parts. Many times the items that you will find will help customize weapons, secondary weapons, give you upgrades, and so on. To give you an example, we'll talk about a machete. When you first get it, it's pretty much the same as everyone else's. However, with the amount of upgrades and blueprints available, you can turn your machete into a highly powerful, skillful, and unique killing machine unseen by anyone else! Also since Dying Light can be played co-op, this helps make this experience an endless amount of unique fun. Unfortunately for me, I played through completely solo- but one of these days I will hop back into Harran to play co-op (Note to my friends: Get on this).

Dying Light was truly my definitive zombie experience, only matched by the OG Resident Evil series in my eyes. I had such a hard time putting this one down. It's nearly perfect! The only part that I can truly nit-pick about Dying Light is, at times, it can be a bit repetitive. Some quests can feel like total fetch quests and become a bit of a nuisance. The good part about Dying Light is most of these quests are entirely optional. Even if they aren't- there's usually a good break in the story which places you in a very new-feeling situation. If you love zombies, survival horror, open world games, or anything similar to these... you would be crazy not to play Dying Light.