Breathing new life into the undead

Christopher Franklin

Multimedia Producer

Dl the Following story photo

Dying Light: The Following is the first significant add-on content to the 2015 hit, Dying Light, by Polish developer Techland. For a low-entry cost of $20, one might expect this to be a nice way to kill a few hours on a weekend, but it’s surprisingly more than that. Boasting a map comparable to the size of the base game, a new drivable, customizable dune buggy, and a host of other new features, this expansion is well worth the money.

The Following begins some period of time after the original narrative, with protagonist Kyle Crane taking care of a dying man who rambles on about a group outside the city who is immune to the zombies plaguing the city. Wasting no time, Kyle leaves the packed city of Harran for the open countryside in search of this mysterious group.

The story can be blasted through fairly quickly, and the missions are rarely difficult enough to result in the player’s death. This time around, the main missions hold their own as they engage the player in a story that is interesting, with perfect pacing.

The expansion boasts an impressive map size, and an entirely new mode of travel: the dune buggy.

It becomes available early on, and will serve as the most convenient means of travel throughout the map. That isn’t to say that there is no room for parkour, or that the buggy is always the best travel option, as there are a few densely packed settlements, towers to climb, and tight areas where the buggy simply won’t fit, which helps keep the gameplay fresh. The buggy also has its own skill tree, which allows players to craft new items for it, such as a UV light mount, mine dispenser, and other tweaks to make plowing through hordes of zombies easier.

The buggy has parts which will occasionally need repair, and it will need fuel, too. None of these parts are terribly hard to find, as they are usually right where you’d expect. After the first few hours, players will have enough of these backup parts and fuel canisters that they’ll never worry about getting stuck out in the middle of nowhere. In this aspect, the game seeks to make the buggy an asset rather than a liability.

The only true drawback is the non-player characters, who have a tendency to drag out simple conversations. It’s easy to go through a whole conversation with a character, only to realize that the details of the mission were buried under lengthy dialogue.

It should be noted that this game is recommended for players who have at least completed the base game, or for those who have their skills maxed out. Boss enemies are littered across the map, and some are so big and dangerous that the game will encourage you to fight them alongside friends in multiplayer.

All in all, Dying Light: The Following is a fantastic game, and improves upon the base experience in a multitude of ways. The few drawbacks it has are not enough to ruin the experience, and this is definitely one that fans of the original don’t want to miss. The low cost of entry makes this experience an easy purchase.