Dying Light gameplay: first impressions

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We have a preview build of Dying Light, Techland's next zombie game, and while we've been asked not to spoil certain story bits, we can do just about anything else we want with it. So here I am playing it at 1440p on the LPC Jr., naturally.

Techland is the studio responsible for Dead Island—not a great game, but not a terrible one by any means. So far, Dying Light is better. It's also about zombies and melee weapons, but it diverges in ways I like: a less-arcadey tone, a better-looking world with greater fidelity, and a focus on agile movement over rooftops. Without having upgraded my combat skill tree, whacking undead heads feels far less important than moving fluidly around them—but I suppose I could go the bashing route if I preferred it. There's also crafting and all the gadgets that come with that to consider, but for now I've just wandered through an early mission to get a sense of how it feels.

As for the state of the PC version, it seems pretty good at the moment. I couldn't maintain a stable 60 fps at 1440p and max settings, though it is a good-looking game (even if its open world is a bit drab). I didn't experience any stuttering or other problems. I am disappointed that the current graphics options menu doesn't include an FOV slider or the option to turn off individual post-processing effects, such as motion blur. Maybe if I close my eyes and wish hard enough, a few more staples will be introduced before Dying Light releases on January 27th in North America and January 30th in Europe. Or maybe we'll just dig into a config file and hope for the best.

Desktop 12.12.2014 -[2014.12.15_17.32.04]

Tyler Wilde
Executive Editor

Tyler grew up in Silicon Valley during the '80s and '90s, playing games like Zork and Arkanoid on early PCs. He was later captivated by Myst, SimCity, Civilization, Command & Conquer, all the shooters they call "boomer shooters" now, and PS1 classic Bushido Blade (that's right: he had Bleem!). Tyler joined PC Gamer in 2011, and today he's focused on the site's news coverage. His hobbies include amateur boxing and adding to his 1,200-plus hours in Rocket League.