You are Kyle Crane, and Harran hangs on by a thread, you have heard rumours of immunity to the zombie virus, you must venture to the wide open spaces to track a cult and uncover the secrets they keep.
Can you save Harran? Or is it too little too late.
History In Motion
So parkour driven action set Dying Light apart, the crafting and lock picking expanded on the immersion, and with friends this game can be a hoot. The enemies are varied and the world beautiful – and let’s face it, it’s been a long time since Harran last called for our help.
So after all this time could Dying Light: the Following recapture us, or would it become a DLC in a sea of DLC that was overpriced and under developed?
Well first we have to talk about the other DLC for Dying Light- cuisine and cargo, ultimate survivor packs, all a little throw away – and if you had the disc version (thanks to a delay) you got that free anyway.
Then there was the Bozak Horde – effectively Dying Light meets Saw. It was a noticeable DLC that changed a few things up by actually testing the player.
Then for a long time nothing…
Hello, Old Friend, How Much You’ve Grown
So when the following was announced it was like reuniting with an old friend, but somewhat amusingly the preparation I did of reacquainting myself with the controls and world were sort of wasted.
The spaces in the following are mostly open, with one or two areas built to support true parkour and one area designed to push this skill to its limits, enemies feel tougher, and are in larger groups, with the grassy farmlands often teeming with the undead.
The zombies are often also accompanied by the special zombies from the main game, and as such these pose new challenges, as running and seeking higher ground isn’t always possible.
That said it isn’t just the enemies that have to evolve.
You have new skill trees, new levels of mastery to accomplish, and there’s the buggy. The buggy is the big selling point of the DLC, and in truth it is one of the better things about it.
The newest part of your looting routine will be vehicles, parts and fuel keep your buggy going, as driving on some of the rougher terrain with some of the more basic parts wears out your buggy down at an expedited rate.
So you’ll now be siphoning fuel, stockpiling screws, and all the while crafting new suspension parts and weapons.
The Plot (non spoiler)
Beyond the zombie outbreak plot, The Following takes you into a cult-like group, where you will need to help the locals to gain the trust of the titular following (following who I hear you ask, not saying, no spoilers here, douchebags)
The plot, whilst good overall, has a couple of negatives to address here, one – and again without spoilers- it gets a bit trippy, a bit weird and has led me to some interesting theories among the gaming conspiracy nuts, two it has multiple endings – now, telling you that isn’t a spoiler, it’s a tip. The endings may leave you with a vastly different taste in your mouth.
The ending I picked was good, if a little anticlimactic, and three, the pacing is a serious issue. The plot requires you to feel like you’re up against a ticking clock, and frankly if this were the case I would not have wanted to go and grab that kids present.
That said, you don’t have to do ALL of the side missions present to reach the end game, and this then is where the tension and drive of the story finally comes to a head.
What The Future Brings
The Following is a capable, fun, tough DLC, it does what a DLC should do, it builds on the original experience whilst offering something new, it is a challenge to experienced players, and offers new players a unique take on the zombie apocalypse.
But will there be more Dying Light games in future?
I have to assume so, this game is solid, brilliant as a whole, I have seen Dying light as early as an alpha at EGX a few years back, I played the demo, I spoke about it on the legendary MGLMix podcast last year, I picked it up and played it with my running buddy Chris, and more recently Lawrence, and honestly it is one of my favourite games on the current gen.
Whatever happens now, Dying light is a great game, and The Following a great chapter.