I don't often sit down and write game reviews, but I had to make an exception for Dying Light. It has been a very long time since I dropped $60 on a game and felt this good about it. I am a zombie game junkie, I play as many as I can. This one is hands down the most satisfying experience I've ever had. These are a few of the ways this game stands out to me as head and shoulders above the rest:
Combat- The combat feels amazing in this game. From jabbing at things with pipes and wooden boards in the early game, to a slow motion decap later on, it just feels amazing to kill the zombies. They're an actual threat to you, and you can quickly find yourself overwhelmed if you linger in the streets. There are so many ways to dispose of them. About 23 hours into the game, I have several different guns, swords, axes, throwing weapons, molotovs, and a variety of combat moves that let me stomp on their heads when I knock them down. That's another thing I love so much. This game isn't just another start game, grab a gun, shoot everything game. You don't even SEE a gun till you've done quite a bit of getting your hands dirty. Guns also present their own danger. If you shoot a gun, or set off an alarm, you bring the attention of the masses of zombies in the streets. Not just one or two, they swarm you and it happens fast. The decision to pick off an enemy with a firearm is one you make very very carefully. There are genuine consequences to how you choose to confront your enemies.
Progression - I can't say enough good about it. They have done an absolutely brilliant job with the balance and overall gameplay in Dying Light. In the beginning, the first time you poke your head out of the building you start in, you are terrified by the strength of the zombies, and they are everywhere. The entire game grows with your character. Searching boxes early on you get low end gear, but the stronger you get, the stronger the enemies get across the entire city. New zombie types start to appear, even in the daytime. Night time is just a NOPE! Unless of course you rock the stealth thing. I myself am too prone to running in wth my machete swinging. Eventually you are driven by the story and quests to HAVE to complete missions at night, and it's a rush from beginning to end. Loot gets progressively better based on your own progress, there are no "junk" areas of the game where the mobs become laughable and the loot even worse.
The overall experience- If you're an adrenaline junkie, you WANT this game. You learn very quickly that your life depends on mastering not only the weapons and combat, but also the parkour. You don't ever stop running and jumping, leaping to and from rooftops, over fences, cars and other obstacles. If you miss a jump, the horde will be right on you, grabbing and clawing and biting, and bringing plenty of their friends along for the snack. I would highly recommend this game to people looking for a truly action packed experience, this one is not for the faint of heart!!