I love it when a developer offers DLC that’s more than just a few new skins and weapons.
That’s exactly what Polish developer Techland has done with Dying Light – it’s released an real expansion to the zombie-fest. The Following brings a bunch of new features to the game, including a new rural area to explore that’s big enough to let you drive around it in a dune buggy.
Yes, The Following has a dune buggy, a vehicle that adds a whole new skill tree and customisation options that include upgrades that significantly enhance its performance.
Experience is earned through running down zombies, dropping the hammer and flying off conveniently-placed ramps strewn about the place, and it’s all just oh-so-satisfying. Once the buggy is properly upgraded with better ramming abilities, more speed and strength and various anti–zombie measures, the real fun begins.
There’s also a whole new story that underpins the DLC and it’s surprisingly good. It involves a mysterious cult whose members are immune to the zombie infection. Still playing as Kyle Crane, players must make their way through various quests to get to the bottom of it and help Crane’s friends back in Harran, who are running out of anti-zombie medicine. It culminates in a very satisfying conclusion and without spoiling anything, let’s just say you’ll be saying “Oh, damn!” a lot.
The path to this denouement, however, is a teensy bit frustrating, as you’re forced into taking various side quests that need to be completed in order to progress the story. They’re not terrible, but they do eat into the to the pacing of the story, and make the whole affair feel more sluggish than is necessary. Overall you should get about another 20 hours out of Dying Light with this expansion – more if you dawdle or go exploring.
When you’re not pursuing the main story, there are more side quests that can occupy your time, usually resulting in some kind of handy reward, like unique weapons and upgrades. These are quite varied and you never get the sense that you’re on just another fetch quest, as is the case in so many other open world games.
One of the most notable new features is the addition of “mini bosses”, huge new enemies that take quite a lot of skill and tactical consideration on your part to take down.
While the battles aren’t as elegant as those of the Dark Souls series, I couldn’t help but think of those games as I chipped away at the armour and health of special zombies with wildly varying tactics. The fights are not always fair, though, and I found the mini-bosses to be more of a nuisance than a welcome addition to the game, but your mileage will likely vary (especially if Souls is your cup of tea).
The Following also comes with enhanced graphics and sound that affects not just the new content, but that of the base game as well. On all platforms, Dying Light looks significantly better with The Following installed, especially on PC (my review platform) thanks to some amazing new hi-res textures and an extended draw distance. The voice acting and writing also got a bit of love – it’s much better this time around – making The Following the definitive version of Dying Light to play.
The Following is not only a well-crafted expansion that improves on the core ideas that made the original game so good, it boasts a host of new elements and features too. Add in four-player co-op, and it’s an absolute blast that fans of zombie games simply must play.
If you haven’t yet picked Dying Light up, grab it with the Season Pass which includes The Following as well as all of the other DLC that’s been released so far.
- Dying Light: The Following DLC was reviewed on an Xbox One. Review code was provided by the publisher.