Dying Light Platinum Edition Review: Dying For More Content?
It’s 2021, almost six years after Dying Light first shambled its way onto our PCs and consoles, and now, developer Techland has decided to release yet another edition of its fantastic freerunning-meets-zombie-apocalypse simulator. But the question: is Dying Light Platinum Edition worth parting with your hard-earned cash if you’ve already played it? And if you haven’t played it, should you get it?
Content With Lots of Content
Dying Light Platinum Edition comes with a glut of stuff to do. Besides the base game, it comes with the simply brilliant Dying Light: The Following – a humongous dollop of content in itself, with a story that’s significantly better than the original. I mean, what’s there not to like about driving around the countryside in a buggy, mowing down scores of the undead?
But pithy comments aside, Techland has bundled all the remainder of the content they’ve released over the last six years into one sizable package. This includes playable game modes such as the Bozak Horde; a twisted, horror movie-style romp through Harran stadium where you have to complete tasks to get a bomb removed from your leg. The Be a Zombie Mode; which, as the name suggests – yes – you get to play as a zombie. The twist is that you get to invade other players’ games and make their life a living hell.
And finally, there’s all the cosmetic skins and blueprints for ludicrous zombie-killing weapons. Most of the weapons are –ahem- imaginative takes on existing weapons, such as the Buzzkill, a sledgehammer that’s got two circular saws duct-taped to it. Yes, reader, you read that right.
But, Does Dying Light Hold Up?
Yes, it does! I’ve played and completed Dying Light a couple of times over the last five years or so, and Harran, the fictitious middle-eastern metropolis, is still a pleasure to experience. The city is enormous, vibrant, and wonderfully realised. It’s packed with side quests, items to hunt, and of course, a wide selection of glorious weapons to thump, wallop, and thoroughly dismember scores of the undead.
Nighttime in Harran is still a harrowing experience. For the uninitiated, the undead are quicker, more deadly, and hunt you down like the pitiful insect you are. I’m of course, talking about volatiles; the rapid, big bastards that only succumb to a well-placed shotgun blast or three, and of course, UV radiation.
These are the lightning in the bottle moments of Dying Light – the tales you tell your mates about – the stories of being hounded by a pack of undead nasties, barely escaping with your life. Or that time you stirred up a horde and lobbed a few well-placed Molotov to cover your escape to a safe house. Overall, heading back to Harran was good fun. Its story, sadly, hasn’t aged well. With a combination of sub-par voice acting and cliched plot developments, it’s still the weakest part of Dying Light. It’s not terrible – it just isn’t great.
The Premiere Free Running Experience
Dying Light excels when you’re fighting scores of the undead or lots of heavily-armoured human survivors. The focus is on hand-to-hand combat, which is a refreshing change from mindlessly murdering with a small arsenal of guns.
No, instead, you’ll be bludgeoning folks to death with baseball bats, pieces of wood, crowbars, and then crafting outlandish weapons to electrocute or set them alight – whilst simultaneously dismembering them – it’s truly gruesome stuff.
Blended in is a tremendous freerunning system, similar to Dead Island, but more eloquent in its execution. You push a few buttons, and your character will fling himself around from rooftop to rooftop with grace. And if you mistime a jump and land on the ground? You use abilities such as a two-footed-drop-kick to send the undead flying and buy yourself time to begin your ascent to the roofs again.
I could wax lyrical about the free-running system Techland has implemented in this game, it’s one of the best I’ve experienced.
Does Dying Light Platinum Edition Represent Value For Money?
I’ve debated with my editor at length about this. We both agree that there’s a considerable amount of content on offer here, but where our views diverge is the cost associated with an almost six-year-old game.
On the Playstation Store and Xbox Store, you’re looking at paying $49.99/£47.99 to secure a copy. It’s a similar story for the PC, with Steam offering the title for a marginally discounted £35.99/$49.99.
In the UK, you can get a brand new game for between £54.99 and £60 depending on what generation of console you’re playing on. In the US, it’s about $70 for a new game – and so – I find it difficult to say that Dying Light Platinum Edition is good value for money, especially with the sequel just a few months away. I just think for $50/£49.99, you’re already most of the way to a brand new AAA title. Dying Light Platinum Edition is a re-release of, yes, six years of content – which I admit is expansive. But there are other newer experiences you could have for a little more cash.
I must stress, I don’t think Dying Light Platinum Edition is a bad game. I just think with titles like Back 4 Blood, Battlefield 2042, and Dying Light 2 coming up, you might be better off saving your pennies.
Despite Qualms About Price, Dying Light Is Still Great
If you’ve got cash to burn, and if you’ve got a hankering for a zombie apocalypse meets free running simulator, you can’t go wrong with Dying Light: Platinum Edition. It’s got a load of stuff to keep you busy, including a decent campaign, stellar expansion content, and the myriad of bits and bobs they’ve released since 2015.
And if you’ve got a friend or two, that’s keen to book a ticket to Harran – even better. When I first played in 2015, I had double the fun with a mate, corralling and cajoling the undead to create stupid kill boxes to dismember and decapitate in an array of ludicrous ways.
But if cash is tight, consider waiting for Dying Light 2 that’s due to lurch its way onto a PC or console near you in early December.
Final Verdict: 4/5
Available on: PC (reviewed), PS4; Xbox One; PS5; Xbox Series S/X; Publisher: WB Interactive; Developer: Techland; Players: 1-4; Released: May 27, 2021; MSRP: $49.99/£35.99
Editor’s note: The publisher provided a review copy to Hey Poor Player.