A Trip to the Countryside
Dying Light: The Following is the first major story expansion for Techland’s new IP. Dying Light originally came out in 27th of January in North America and 27th of February elsewhere. It was a new concept at the time, a combination of Mirror’s Edge and Dead Island to create a mixture of parkour and hack n slash fun. Surprisingly, it was fairly successful and built up a fairly large community in a short amount of time. Dying Light: The Following seeks to continue the story of our protagonist Kyle Crane in a new area of Harran, the countryside while introducing new mechanics and fine tuning the mechanics we’ve come to know and love.
The Following’s story is set after the events of the base game and starts off with a cut scene of an injured survivor that Kyle finds. The survivor starts talking about a cultist group living outside the overrun, quarantined city of Harran that have found out how to control the virus, meaning that this cultist group is immune. The Tower is running short on Antizin and Dr. Camdens research for a cure is proving unsuccessful, so Crane decides to visit the countryside and investigate the cult. Most of the survivors living in the countryside have converted to this religious cult called the Children of the Sun. They worship a figure called the mother who is supposedly their source of immunity to the virus. I found this story incredibly interesting, as the cult is shrouded in mystery. Scouring the world for clues to the cult’s origin and ideologies was extremely interesting. As the mystery gradually unfolds it ends with a huge plot twist that I honestly did not see coming at all. The story in The Following is significantly better than the main game’s and I really do hope that Techland can pull of the same mystery and suspense in the sequel as they did here. It is extremely interesting and will keep you playing right up to the end.
Hack, Slash, Run, Jump and Drive
If you’ve played Dying Light, than you’ll feel right at home with The Following. The gameplay is identical to the base game with some new big additions. The biggest and most streamlined is that you now get a buggy, which has tons of upgrades and customization. This is extremely fitting because the countryside is wide, vast and open, much unlike the city of Harran. This does mean there isn’t as much parkour this time around, but the buggies more than make up for it. The world is begging to be explored with little easter eggs, secrets and side quests to find and complete. I actually found some of these side quests really interesting and some of them were actually pretty dark, but I liked the change. With the introduction of the buggies there comes a new Driving skill tree, allowing you to upgrade your buggy in various ways such as installing an alarm system, having access to nitrous and being able to drop mines out of your buggy. None of the upgrades are useless and I felt my car getting faster with every speed upgrade. You can also find freaks of nature around the map which are giant zombies with names. In my time playing the game with my co-op partner, we found two, one of which was a giant toad and the other was a massive demolisher. Techland also added in new gun types like SMGs, crossbows and bows. The biggest problem I had with the actual gameplay was that there honestly weren’t enough safe houses. More often than not my co-op partner and I had to drive a fair way to get to our objective. This wouldn’t be a problem if there weren’t giant, impassable mountains in the middle of the map, but it’s not the end of the world. The game still works on the day and night cycle, the main difference being that there are stronger, faster night hunters to keep up with your buggy. They definitely prove to be a threat and the chases are just as suspenseful as the main game.
Where the Grass is Greener and Zombies are Meaner
If you haven’t realized yet, The Following is set the vast, open Countryside of Harran. Old farms and water towers litter the landscape of the green grass. It’s a really nice change from the claustrophobic city of Harran and The Following is better for it. The countryside looks beautiful, especially when sunset is taking place (as dangerous as it is) and it never gets old to look at. The first thing I noticed as I came out into the countryside was the water, the water looks really really pretty. The game also runs like a treat too, much like the main game did. I suffered a few frame drops now and again, but nothing to hinder my experience. The sound design is also fantastic and hearing the buggies roar at top speed through tall grass really immerses you into the game. All these things aside, my experience with The Following was unfortunately, far from flawless. A day or two after the release, connections for co-op was horrible, to the point where we couldn’t join on each other until the next day. This really upset both of us and is honestly unacceptable. However, after the first occurrence of that particular incident, we didn’t have any problems since and played the game just fine. It was upsetting and annoying that it happened, but at least it’s fixed now.
Verdict: Very Good
Although there were some technical hiccups along the way, The Following serves as a worthy expansion to Dying Light. I can’t recommend this expansion enough if you enjoyed the main game if you don’t have it already. If you’ve ever been interested in Dying Light and want to buy it, please do yourself a favor and buy the Enhanced Edition, it comes with every piece of released DLC and the base game, trust me, you won’t regret it. I must say however that if you didn’t enjoy the original game you won’t enjoy The Following unless you’re incredibly into buggies. A fantastic expansion for a fantastic game. Good luck to Techland for what they’re working on next (Don’t tell anyone, but it’s a sequel) and hopefully it’s just as good as Dying Light.
-Beautiful open world
-Great story and fantastic ending
-Unique and interesting side quests
-Driving can be tedious due to lack of safe houses
-Multiplayer issues shortly after launch
Once again thanks for reading guys, Bravely Second: End Layer is up next!
By the way, do you guys want me to change my verdicts to a score out of 10? Let me know in the comments!