Hands-on with Dying Light on PS4

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Hands-on with Dying Light on PS4

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The art of parkour already has ample thrills for any athlete. You certainly don’t need hordes of snarling ghouls nipping at your heels to make it any more exhilarating, but Dying Light blends the two together in a huge world devastated by the undead apocalypse. Designed by the same team that brought Dead Island to the gaming masses, Dying Light is a first-person survival game. It boasts a new combat system and tremendous player freedom in complex environments. It also, as you might expect, includes lots and lots of infected (and ways to kill them, too).

The developers at Techland brought Dying Light to the PS4 launch event here in New York City this week, demonstrating the broad array of tactical options players have to approach any situation in game. Both combat and movement are essential components to the experience — running away from danger is just about as much fun as running straight into it.

Dying Light is set inside the wrecked and ruined city of Harran, a fictional locale with an ancient history. Game Designer Maciej Binkowski likens it to Istanbul, Turkey, as he boots up Dying Light on PS4, passing me the DualShock 4 with an eager smile. There’s a dark beauty to Harran, with buildings that rise and fall like waves, and roads caked with bodies and abandoned cars.

Players can explore huge sections of Harran from a first-person perspective — running, ducking, weaving, and jumping through the debris to find supplies and complete missions. The demo opens in a small street clearing, and Binkowski coaches me through the basics before I sprint towards a supply package that’s just been dropped into Harran’s quarantined limits. I’m warned that these supplies are rare, so other survivors will hungrily hunt them with just as much tenacity.

A scream pulls my attention away from the supply drop and over to an apartment a few stories up. Dying Light presents players with a number of optional events they can chase or ignore, dependant entirely on their preference. I run towards a nearby wall, leap up and over, and climb up to a ledge that gives access to the apartment. Peering inside, I see an infected pounding a closet, its moans mingled with the terrified pleas of the survivor inside.

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For the sake of the demonstration, my character has been gifted with a few weapons to dispatch such obstacles, including a hatchet and several hammers of various size. I pull out the hatchet and creep up behind the infected, burying the blade atop its head with a satisfying crunch.

Opening the closet door, the survivor thanks me, then hands over a few items to repay the kindness. Binkowski urges me on, and invites me to try other weapons against the infected wandering the streets below.

Every weapon in Dying Light has a charge attack, and these differing attacks open up plenty of ways to navigate through combat. The larger hammer, for example, can be pulled back and swung in a massive arc which sends the unfortunate infected hit flying backwards. Critical impacts are noted by “x-ray” highlights, which reveal broken bones and splintered skulls caused by successful blows.

Turning a corner around a small house, I stumble upon an infected wearing what appears to be a hazmat suit. Binkowski chuckles, noting that I should try attacking the tank strapped to its back. I leap over a fence and circle around, coming up behind it and denting it with the hammer. Backing up, the infected’s suit ruptures in a rather delightful, hissing explosion. I can’t locate the remains.

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Binkowski restarts the demo and takes control, rushing through the city with practiced expertise before making it up to an overpass choked with the undead. A group of human survivors guard the passage, so Binkowski lures them towards the edge and tosses them over. We watch as the body tumbles down to the ground below.

The demo promptly closes with the arrival of a Demolisher — a hulking mass of flesh and muscle. It hurls a wrecked car at Binkowski’s character before the screen cuts to black.

Dying Light is coming to PS4 in 2014. It features four-player cooperative play, voice control (for shouting at infected to distract them), and witty uses of DualShock 4’s light bar and motion sensor — like tilting the controller to the side to check your in-game watch.

Binkowski concludes our meeting with a reminder that the Share button is a huge boon for a sandbox game like Dying Light. Because when you detonate a gas canister and send huge groups of infected flying, well, that’s the kind of moment you just need to share with the internet.

Comments are closed.


4 Author Replies

  • That looks pretty freakin’ cool. Is that an early 2014 game or something for later in the year?

  • Dude! Gameplay video! C’mon!

  • Ryan, how are the animations in the game?
    Also, BEYOND!!!

  • Another hands on. :) Beyond!

  • Are there that many guns or projectile weapons in this game? It looks mostly melee based

  • Im looking forward for more infos.

    One question tho, will the weapons system work like the one in Dead Island? because I didnt like it that much, it felt like almost all weapons were useless without any satisfaction of getting a new one. Rarity is the key I think

  • Yeah this is one of the games I was looking forward to. Cant wait …!

  • Dead Island was a fun game with a few too many issues that kept it from being great. Hopefully they get all that sorted for Dying Light, because what I’ve seen so far looks awesome!

  • looks like Dead Island meets Mirror’s Edge. Very cool! I be keepin’ an eye out for this one.

  • Looks nice but what ever happened to the game called Until Dawn ???




  • Yup this game is freakin awesome, day 1

  • “They” get Jeff Rubenstein and we get Ryan Clements? Jeff’s great and I wish him well, but thats a trade I’ll take any day! Welcome Ryan!

  • So techland’s back aye I hope this game doesn’t have the many problems that dead island had. PS4 day 1 shipping I’m out!!!!!!!!!!

  • I heard a while back that this game would support stereoscopic 3D, please tell me that is still the case?

  • Hey Ryan I love the hands on previews you guys have been doing recently, however I would love it if we had a video(maybe some exclusive footage) and then have you write about your experience with that played portion. Dying Light looks cool, but much like Dead Island it’s probably going to make me jump a lot.

  • Nice! Really looking forward to this one. I loved mirror’s edge and I actually enjoyed Dead Island quite a bit. Hopefully it’ll be like two great tastes that taste even better together.

  • To be 3D or not to be? That is the question.


  • all these new sytem but no ps home on them

  • Really looking forward to this one. FYI there are a few gameplay demos including most of what was mentioned here online. Just Google/Youtube Dying Light and you should have no problem finding them………trust me its worth it to see the game in action ;-)

  • please, please please.. tone down the chromatic abberation.

  • As long as they don’t turn this game’s graphics into looking like Borderlands then I’ll be fine. I hate when companies have a really good looking game, and then they decide to do what they did with that game. The game’s good and all, but the original art form was better.

  • Too bad we can’t give each other games anymore like we used to do on the ps3. I can’t give my friend in NH my digital copy of ghosts on the ps4! You know how my friend can download my downloads on my name and play on his name with me at the same time. That’s gone can’t do that anymore….that sucks

  • When they say four player Multiplayer, is local multiplayer available or just online?

  • How is the framerate in the game?

    Also, how do the visuals compare with Dead Island?

    Is the voice acting and storyline compelling?

    Me and my buddies have made a Fan base for this game. Please don’t mess this up Techland :)

    P.S put Crossbows bro!!!

  • PLS RESPOND TO THIS! I love Dead Island and i have not seen any guns in the demos, plz tell me that there will a lot of guns in it. I dont wanna just play all mele

  • Thiis game better have everything dead island has but more and better! NOTHING TAKEN OUT

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