How bold is it to remove one of the main draws of a product and replace it with something completely new? Dying Light The Following does just that, the parkour aspect of the game that was hailed when it first released as a game changer has now been pushed aside and instead you get a vehicle, a dune buggy to be precise. Techland goes out of their way to introduce this new mechanics in the expansion to Dying Light named The Following. And you know what.. it works!
I was starting to get tired of zombie games a few years ago. It seemed like every game releasing had some sort of zombie infestation going on, and I started avoiding games with zombies or zombie modes. Then out of nowhere, the developers over at Techland blew me away with their newest IP Dead Island. A game that in my mind took the zombie craze and made it into an extremely intriguing experience and it proved that zombie games wasn't played out after all. A few years later Dying Light came out and completely blew me away with the parkour aspect of the already amazing zombie experience Dead Island had, and now The Following is here, and it comes equipped with a vehicle for you to control.
I must admit that I was sceptic at first when I saw the trailers and screenshots for The Following and notice the open landscape and the lack of buildings compared to what made Dying Light so great, which was the parkour abilities. The tight and highly populated areas in Dying Light made the parkour elements work extremely well. But luckily my scepticism was quickly demolished almost the second I took control of the buggy in the game and started mowing down zombies.
Not only do you get to control your own vehicle, a dune buggy, in The Following but it also comes with its own unique skill-tree, which gives you the ability to unlock upgrade for the buggy such as nitro, electric cage, flame-throwers to name a few, but also unlockables in form of outside paint for your car and inside decorations such as my favourite, a small bobble-head figurine. It is small things like this that makes The Following seem like a completely new game in the series instead of what it actually is, a DLC for Dying Light.
But if you think Techland introducing a vehicle to the game will make the experience easier since you can just mow down zombies and level up that way without taking damage you are mistaken, because as with every item in the game they all eventually break down and needs to be repaired, same goes for your buggy. Your buggy is going to need repairs after awhile and it will also need fuel. To fix the car and get more fuel you need to scavenge other car-wrecks around the map, and you need to be outside the buggy to fuel or fix your buggy, which again leaves you open for attacks. There truly is no rest for the wicked.
The most common question regarding The Following is, do you need to own Dying Light to play The Following? Yes you do, but you can buy the Enhanced version of the game which comes with the original Dying Light and the Following as well as all the previous released DLCs. Your character in Dying Light carries over so if you previously finished the main campaign in Dying Light you should be all set to take on The Following. However if you haven't played or just played a small part of the original release you will have a hard time doing anything in The Following and should level up in the original game first. But luckily you can carry your character back and forth between the two games at any time.
I played through Dying Light when it first released but sadly my character save was gone when I tried to import my character when I upgrade my HD and forgot to copy the save data, which made this review a lot more stressful seeing as I had to level up my character enough to take on the DLC, but as soon as I started playing the game again I quickly realized how much I missed and how much I loved the original game. The only sad part of this experience is the fact that this review came later than expected.
The open world of Dying Light lets you explore and do whatever you want whenever you want, the game is also packed to the brim with Easter eggs and side quest, both in the original game and the Following expansion and will give you enough entertainment to outlast most other releases on the new consoles, so the value is definitely there if you are into open world games. Even after you finish the main game there is stuff to explore and discover, and the different difficulty levels comes with different graded loot and an entirely separated skill tree, I mean what more can you ask for in a game?
As a bonus for this review we got two review codes so that we could tackle the campaign both solo and coop, and playing Dying Light coop is an amazing experience and is highly recommended for anyone. Also included in the Enhanced Edition is the Be the Zombie mode and the ability to get invaded or invade someone else’s game. You are of course free to set the game to solo session which means you can play the game without having to worry about anyone messing up your flow.
Size does matter, and Techland knows this because The Following is twice the size of the two previous maps in Dying Light. And for those of you that don't know what that means it is incredibly large. And this is also one of the main reasons why a dune buggy is such a great addition. Burning through the map while zombies fly through your wind shield is an amazing feeling, and once you get the electric cage installed on your buggy you can fry those pesky zombies that cling onto your buggy. The handling of the buggy is also well implemented as it feels weighed down and the impacts of the zombies are noticeable and different depending on what kind of zombie you are mowing down.
Dying Light the Following is a great addition to an already amazing experience. I personally felt when Dying Light first released that not enough people talked about it, and I still feel this is one of the best zombie survival games out there, and The Following is just icing on an already amazingly delicious cake. Either you choose to play solo or with friends, the Enhanced Edition is a must have for anyone slightly interested in either zombie or survival games, and if you enjoy both it is no question, you need this game.
And last but not least I'll leave you with one of the best descriptions of a stereotypical zombie: "Just look at the face: it's vacant, with a hint of sadness. Like a drunk who's lost a bet..."