The concept of Dying Light is pretty simple: you move around the town in a brisk manner thanks to your ability to run around and scale walls, you deal with zombies with various melee based attacks (ranged weapons are present, but getting up close is almost incentivized in the game), and the general feel of the gameplay changes when day gives into the night. Hence the title, Dying Light, with the setting of the sun, zombies become more dangerous, faster, more aggressive. If you are not careful, your hunter can become the hunted. And this is where the fun is, breaking away from highly repetitive gameplay by giving you a constant thing to watch out for.
What is Dying Light?
In Dying Light, players take on the role of Kyle Crane, an operative sent on a mission to the quarantined city of Harran. As you may have guessed, Harran is overrun by zombies and that the quarantine is designed to keep the dangerously infectious undead from attacking the outside world. The mission does not go as smoothly (thanks to the usual combination of human political silliness and the fact that zombies do not care what your plans are), and players are forced to improvise in order to accomplish their mission as well as to survive against the zombies.
Night and Day
The title of the game is a direct reference to the fact that sunlight is a critical part of survival. You see, the zombies in the game are mostly nocturnal creatures. So while they are pretty dangerous to deal with during the day (they will always try to surround you), they are far more dangerous at night. This is what makes the first few hours of gameplay so hard.
This is very evident when you first play the game. Without any skills, good weapons, or even the barest familiarity with the gameplay, you will spend a lot of time trying to hide from, escape, and ultimately trying to avoid zombies altogether. Then when night falls, expect to e doing your very best to hide lest you get spotted and have to go on a mad dash in order to find a safe place to hide.
This gameplay then slowly evolves as you improve with melee skills, understand the key factors that makes the parkour in the game be very important, and most of all, the gameplay changes when you gain the confidence to finally face down the zombies even at night.
There is only one true way to play this game, and that is to pretty much ignore the main story missions whenever possible. While Dying Light has pretty decent cinematography, the plot itself feels a little contrived, the characters feel generic, and the overall plot is nothing to be symphatetic about. Time is best spent looking for and accomplishing side quest objectives, which will, it turn, get you accustomed to the gameplay as well as providing you with useful and practical rewards. There are dozens of hours of content to be found just by running around Harran. Still, do not expect the world to be as big as the ones on other major titles such as Inquisition or GTAV, which have expansive horizontally oriented maps. In Dying Light, the overall square footage of the land is much smaller, though since climbing up buildings is a key factor, you are not confined by the game's lateral border.
Despite the fact that zombies are the in thing when it comes to modern media, Dying Light banks a little too heavily on it. Sure, the visuals are outstanding, and the animations are excellent (which will make you appreciate the whole parkour thing even more). Combat is exciting once you learn to fight better. And the city of Harran is a whole lot more brighter and livelier than most locations you will find in order zombie games. Despite all that the gameplay ends up as repetitive by the time you get past the midway point of the story fortunately, the game's multiplayer mode is quite fun and adds a good amount of replay value to it all.