1 Sep 2014

Dying Light - Video Game

For those of you who know me personally I love me some free movement games with fully destructible, open world environments with dynamic AI and interactive objects. That game has yet come out... instead when I play games I look at my list above and it tends to tell me if I will like that particular game. Now if folks made the game above co-op I'd be the happiest gamer in the world.

Far Cry is a open world environment with dynamic AI and interactive objects. Assassin's Creed tends to be free movement open world environment. Battlefield has some great fully destructible environments. X-COM has some great destructible environments with dynamic AI. Mark of the Ninja has great free movement, dynamic AI, and interactive objects.

When I say free movement - I'm not always thinking parkour. I'm thinking options: vehicles (GTA, State of Decay), alternate routes (Hitman, Deus Ex), and verticality (Batman: Arkham, Tenchu). I want other ways to move around outside of the Call of Duty style of running down fancy corridor that's designed to look otherwise.

When thinking of destructible environment I'm once more thinking about options; Red Faction: Guerrilla I was able to finish mission by simply dropping a building on folks. In Syndicate Wars I cleared a street to remove cover for the enemy forces leaving them open to my agents fire. My favorite run in Battlefield: Bad Company 2 was running up to a building while firing my grenade launcher at the wall, reloading on the run before opening another wall to run through the whole building to arrive just in time to support my team.

I love dynamic AI, when the enemies react to environmental changes and adjust to player styles. Metal Gear Solid luring an enemy with a sound to take him out. In Mark of the Ninja, I've left behind a body in the open so the guards would approach it and walk over a trap. I want my enemies to come into the room and try to find me and flush me out as in Dishonoured. I want my enemies reacting and interacting with me on the fly - I want them to be dynamic.

Lastly I love me to interactive objects. Dropping chandeliers on my prey in Hitman, shooting a fuel barrel or even better putting a C4 charge on it and kicking it down the street to set it off next to the guards vehicle in Far Cry 3. Working the cage open to release a wild gigantic super mutant in a mercenary camp in Fallout 3. Give me and the enemies some toys in the world and see what we do with it.

... so let's talk about this game.

Nice no? Let look at some more on the other side

Wow. Seems there is also customizable characters with a development system - where your character grows and gains new abilities and gameplay options. Adding in swimming, day-night cycles of time that change the zombies lethality, grappling hooks... more wow.

hell I'm liking me some co-op but I'm waiting for more on that. So far only Far Cry 4 and Assassin's Creed: Unity are showing me the co-op gameplay I thirst for.

So they just put out a video on the movement which I've attached below.

Now when they started talking about dynamic and free movement I was more than wee bit surprised and happy to watch how this game is looking. Mirror's Edge is a favorite of mine, I worked the game without picking up any guns and spent a lot of time trying to master the movement system. When it worked, I was on top of the world. When I failed to get a series of moves, the game pace stalled.

This is looking like a more forgiving movement system. Far Cry always has that environment queue where it tells you where you can grab and climb up. I'm glad that the developers decided against that in Dying Light. 

Want to see more. Here's another video on the game during the E3 2014 conference. 

The game play looks really nice. Seeing the dynamic AI at the end where the player caused a mess that attracted a horde of zombies to engage with the armed group of survivors was brilliant. Learning that you develop abilities naturally based on how you play: ie. doing lots of parkour gives you parkour abilities and fighting unlocks more combat moves, was also refreshing.

Rewarding players with how they play is a favorite system of mine. Splinter Cell: Conviction gave players rewards as they played in whatever style they decided to play. These rewards could be used to unlock weapons, equipment, and modifiers. While Splinter Cell: The Blacklist forced players to only play in one of three styles rewarding those who stuck to the game formula.

I much prefer playing a game my way, and unlocking new abilities and options as I play the game in that fashion. When I look or compare my experience with other players it gives us a whole slew of conversations and stories on how we had different experiences because we play games differently.

Dying Light is another game that is getting me excited for the 8th generation of game systems. Adding this to the list of Far Cry 4, Assassin's Creed: Unity, Destiny, Dragon Age: Inquisition, Lord of the Rings: Shadow of Mordor... well it feels like we got a reason to move on up.