While Dying Light’s popularity was undoubtedly buoyed by it being the only big budget titles released in January, that didn’t stop it being a fantastical entertaining mash up of parkour and zombie smashing action. But while the story and its quests are certainly entertaining, I found messing about in the world making my own fun the best part of the game. So, in case you haven’t discovered them already, here are my hints to getting the most out of Dying Light.
The first tip, and the one that proves the foundation to nearly everything that follows, is playing the game co-op with a friend. Yes, I know, you have lots of acquaintances online, but Dying Light only really come into its own when you are getting down and dirty with a buddy. Get your headset on and within moments you will find yourself laughing out loud at the game’s idiosyncrasies -including the ability of smashing a zombie’s face straight through your partner’s field of view and hearing them cry out in fright.
Leap for it!
At this point the chances are you have no doubt already discovered the joys of diving from a great height onto dumpsters, bin bags, and car roofs. What is wonderful about this that it doesn’t matter how tall the building or tower you dive from you will survive – just so long as you hit the mark.
With friends there are two ways you can really capitalize on this high-flying mix of accuracy and terror. The first is a straight up race; set a single point on top of a car or dumpster next to a tower – the first person to get to the very top and jump down safely wins. The pressure of racing regularly had my friends and me messing up even simple jumps, resulting in us smashing unceremoniously into the sidewalk. Which brings me to the second method of enjoying this daredevil action… standing at the target of a friend’s leap and watching them miss.
Keep doing what you are doing… usually
One of the best things about Dying Light is that doing what you enjoy makes you better at it. There are three upgrade paths, and actions related to any of them grants experience in that area. So, the more you engage in the free-running the better you become, allowing you to move more fluidly around the world.
The one exception to this are the Survivor Skill points that you get from doing specific missions and quests. Thus – while you should just enjoy the open-world, zombie-slaying sandbox that is Dying Light – you really need to focus on getting this up to level twelve as fast as possible to unlock the grappling hook. With this new ability in your possession the whole game opens up, allowing you to rapidly ascend all of the games buildings with ease. It is just a shame that it is only for climbing buildings, so you can’t hook zombies towards you like Mortal Kombat’s Scorpion.
Once you have another player in the game, Dying Light automatically gives you opportunities to take part in randomly generated challenges. You should always jump at these opportunities. Primarily this is because they offer good experience boosts, allowing you to level up faster and unlock those all-important high level abilities. What makes this even better is that the challenges are often comically broken, with some just having you run a few meters to the goal or kill a solitary zombie. Easy XP for one player, infuriating for the other.
Use it and lose it
In my opinion, Dying Light’s combat is one of its weaker elements. When you get bogged down by enemies, the game’s pace dramatically slows, robbing it of the fluid action that makes it so much fun. To help with this you have a huge range of weapons available to purchase or scavenge as you move through the game. All of these can be leveled up with different abilities and upgrades, but with each weapon having its own durability and a set number of repairs eventually you will lose them.
The thing is, whether you are going out of your way to find hidden EXPCalibur sword, or simply finding a legendary French wrench, there is no point being precious about using them. Use everything. Attach upgrades. Burn through your arsenal like its stats don’t matter because, ultimately, they don’t – you will always find a worthy replacement. Enjoy weapons as you get them because they make the game more fun at that moment. Simple.
And few extras
It doesn’t end there of course, there is plenty more undead entertainment to keep Dying Light shambling on. I loved smearing myself in zombie juice (the “Camouflage” perk) and joining a pack of zombies as they attacked my friend while chanting “one of us”, not technically part of the game but fun none the less. Plus there are dozens of secrets and videogame references littered throughout the world to you exploring and enjoying.
If you have any other tips for players to get the most out of Dying Light put them in the comments below.
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