Dying Light, from developer Techland and published by WB Games, was one of the best games of 2015. Seriously, it made my top 10 list. The mixture of amazing graphics, great storytelling, fluid, heart-pounding parkour, and terrifying zombies really hit all the right spots, and left an indelible impression on me.
So when the first major expansion, The Following, hit, I couldn’t wait to go back to Harran and to continue the story of Kyle Crane, this time in and around the farms and countryside outside of the city. And let me tell you, Techland really delivered, as The Following once again hits the right spots and it felt so good to go back to this world.
Dying Light: The Following focuses on Crane leaving the city in search of a possible cure. Antizin in running out, and the survivors need Crane to investigate rumors of a group of people who may be immune. Crane does find these people in the form of a cult called the Children of the Sun, lead by the mysterious Mother. Crane has to run good will missions to gain favor with the masked Children — and ultimately the Mother — and that makes up the gist of the story of The Following.
The biggest addition to this story is a dune buggy that Crane secures early. This helps traverse the wide open countryside between locations, but also opens up a couple of fun distractions, including races — because racing is still a thing in the midst of a zombie/infected outbreak. Driving the buggy is just absolute fun, and running over the infected and watching them splatter and disintegrate over and over is a great way to battle stress — in-game and in real life. The buggy can be modified making it faster, more responsive, and more deadly.
As with most things in Dying Light’s massive open world, the buggy also needs to be repaired — a ton (okay, maybe just my buggy, because seriously, I spend way too much time driving around running over and through infected). Fuel is also a priority, and luckily all those cars scattered all over have fuel left to scavenge. The worst part is running out of fuel at the wrong time, and having to quickly jump out and refuel as a horde descends onto your location. And if it happens at night, the buggy cannot outrun night hunters. At least not at first.
The day/night cycle is still a major part of The Following, and there are new mission types, like bounties, that can be completed to raise Crane’s standing with the Children of the Sun and other survivor groups. The open farms and countryside still offers plenty of parkour elements, and there is plenty of chances to scavenge.
Dying Light: The Following runs for around 12 to 15 hours, depending on how thorough you are. It expands on the base game by doubling the map size and the new story is compelling enough to hold attention, even as players race from one side of the map to the other in their personalized infected-smashing dune buggy.
Multi-player/Co-op elements return and can be turned on or off depending on the player’s preference. There are also various difficulty modes for those wanting more of a challenge, and be the zombie returns for those wanting to cause havoc from the other side. All in all, The Following makes for a fun, and thrilling, expansion on the original Dying Light game, and hopefully will bridge until a full-on sequel is developed.
Dying Light: The Following – Enhanced Edition is available as a stand alone, and includes the original game, all DLC packs and The Following expansion. It is available now for the Playstation 4 and Xbox One consoles. This review is based off the PS4 version, from a code provided by the publisher.
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