Dying Light


Key events

Dying Light standalone battle royale game in Early Access next month

Fingers crossed Bad Blood is not A Negative.

Standalone battle royale spin-off Dying Light: Bad Blood will arrive on Steam Early Access in September. The Early Access release will be for PC players only but Bad Blood will be a multiplatform PC and console (presumably PlayStation 4 and Xbox One) game upon full release.

Dying Light gets a Battle Royale-inspired expansion called Bad Blood in 2018

Zombie kill 'em up Dying Light gets a Battle Royale-inspired standalone PvP expansion called Bad Blood next year.

Developer Techland said Bad Blood comes "as a response to numerous fan requests for a PvP approach to Dying Light, and the recent popularity of the Battle Royale genre among the survival horror fans", which presumably is a nod to PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds and Fortnite.

The big difference between the likes of PUBG and Bad Blood, however, is Bad Blood is only for six players, and it blends PvP with PvE. Here's how it works: you and five other players are dropped into a hostile, zombie-infested area. Each player has to evacuate before the night falls. You have to scavenge for weapons while harvesting blood samples from the infected.

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Through delightfully wild events - "collectively blow up, burn and electrify 2 million zombies using beefed up buggies with enhanced Electric Cage, Mines and Flamethrower" - and new content, Polish developer Techland has kept the Dying Light community very healthy. Even now, two-and-a-half years after release, there are around 500,000 people apparently playing the zombie-thumping game each week.

Rocket League and Dying Light crossover content revealed

Rocket League teases basketball mode this month.

What do Rocket League and Dying Light have in common? They're both multiplatform and they both have cars. That's not much, but it's enough for the developers of both games to team up and introduce crossover content with one another.

Dying Light Spotlight Edition costs $10m

Includes speaking role in movie, acting lessons and more.

Dying Light Spotlight Edition is a one-of-a-kind package that's easily the most expensive video game bundle ever conceived at a whopping $10,000,000.

Dying Light's free Destiny-spoofing #DrinkForDLC content revealed

New water-based challenges due in February.

Back in June Dying Light developer Techland decided to take the piss out of Activision by mocking its bizarre promotion to grant exclusive Destiny DLC only to North American players who drink Red Bull. To spoof this, Techland said it would grant DLC to those worldwide who drink water. All they had to do was post a picture or video of themselves guzzling H2O on Twitter with the hashtag #DrinkForDLC.

Dying Light Enhanced Edition and The Following release date announced

Dying Light Enhanced Edition and The Following release date announced

Better graphics! Better performance! Better AI...

Dying Light's The Following expansion will launch 9th February 2016, Polish developer Techland has announced, alongside - as well as included within - a newly unveiled Enhanced Edition of the game. This is for all three formats: PC, PS4, Xbox One.

The Enhanced Edition does what a Game of the Year Edition would typically do - bundle the game and all downloadable content - but with added relish. The enhancements and added extras apparently took half-a-year to create.

The enhancements include:

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Watch 15 minutes of Dying Light's The Following expansion

Watch 15 minutes of Dying Light's The Following expansion

Dune buggies! Crossbows! Giant open-world!

Dying Light developer Techland has released a 15-minute video detailing The Following, an enormous expansion to its popular first-person zombie survival game.

The Following is set in the country rather than the city, and its map will be larger than all other Dying Light maps combined. Its plot concerns a cult that appears to have immunity to the zombie outbreak, but it's unclear how. You've gone to investigate.

Notable additions include upgradeable dune buggies, crossbows, submachine guns and more.

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Dying Light expansion The Following announced

Dying Light expansion The Following announced

UPDATE: First gameplay trailer revealed.

UPDATE 13TH AUGUST: The first gameplay trailer for The Following expansion has been revealed. The US price of $14.99 has also been revealed, but European pricing is still to be confirmed - as is the release date.

ORIGINAL STORY 29TH JULY: Techland has announced a "massive" Dying Light expansion called The Following, which will bring among things, drivable all-terrain dirt buggies to the game (you can see someone driving in a screenshot below).

The expansion will feature a large new map that is the size of all previous Dying Light maps combined, apparently, and pack both new features and story.

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Techland insists Hellraid isn't cancelled

Techland insists Hellraid isn't cancelled

Dying Light passes 4.5m players, and Call of Juarez could return.

Dying Light developer Techland has assured me dark fantasy action game Hellraid has not been cancelled. Development has been "frozen" but may be thawed as soon as third quarter this calendar year.

CEO Pawel Marchewka also told me Dying Light has 4.5 million unique users, the last count being 3.2 million mid-March. That doesn't strictly equal sales, but more on that and Dying Light - and the future Call of Juarez - later.

Hellraid first. "No no no," Marchewka responded at Polish games conference Digital Dragons when I asked if the game had been cancelled - it had been ominously announced as "on hold" only hours before.

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Physical Dying Light sales overtake The Order and Evolve in UK

Physical Dying Light sales overtake The Order and Evolve in UK

Despite the download version launching a month ago.

In the world of physical game sales, Dying Light is a roaring success despite the download version launching a month ago.

There had been some concern that the delay of the release of the boxed retail version of Techland's zombie kill-'em-up would affect its sales. But it's already outdone two other high-profile games after just two weeks on sale.

UK sales company Chart-Track revealed today that Dying Light has already outsold PlayStation 4 exclusive The Order: 1886 (launched 20th February) and 2K Games 4v1 shooter Evolve (launched 10th February) after just two weeks on sale in shops - and with the download version going live weeks beforehand.

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Dying Light tops UK chart as physical version finally launches

Dying Light tops UK chart as physical version finally launches

Dragon Ball Xenoverse in third, Dynasty Warriors in 21st.

Undead survival shooter Dying Light has scored the top spot in the new UK all-formats chart.

That's despite the game having been available as a digital download since 28th January. UK numbers company Chart-Track only counts physical copies sold, so this is Dying Light's first chart placing.

It arrives ahead of Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare in second place and new entry Dragon Ball Xenoverse in third.

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Dying Light tops US retail sales for January

Dying Light was the most sold game at US retail in January, analyst group NPD has announced.

"In January 2015, Dying Light had the highest first month of sales for new IP in the survival horror genre, exceeding the previous record, The Evil Within," stated the NPD Group's Liam Callahan.

This is surprising as The Evil Within was Resident Evil creator Shinji Mikami's spiritual successor to his classic horror series. Since Resident Evil HD Remaster set sales records for both PSN and Capcom, one would think that The Evil Within would bring more cache than Techland's follow-up to the middling Dead Island series. (We also recommended The Evil Within while Dying Light didn't quite make the grade, though it wasn't without its charms.)

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Well would you look at that; the new video team's only been together a week and already there are fights breaking out. Techland's Dying Light has caused a bit of a divide in the office, with Johnny having a fair amount of fun and Ian being quite happy to throw it straight into the ocean. It was a toss-up between getting HR involved or making a video, so here's a feature arguing out the pros and cons of Dying Light while Chris and I attempt an intervention on these two.

New Dying Light patch accidentally blocks mods

New Dying Light patch accidentally blocks mods

UPDATE: Modding restored, but you'll need the new patch.

UPDATE 6/2/15 2.50pm: Dying Light developer Techland has restored the ability for fans to mod its new zombie shooter.

Patch 1.4.0 unlocks the game for modding, although you will need the new update to play modded games online.

Anyone with the original version of the game (which allowed for modding, before it was accidentally patched out) will need to upgrade to play modded versions of the game with others.

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Face-Off: Dying Light

Digital FoundryFace-Off: Dying Light

Xbox One, PS4 and PC head-to-head.

For some developers, the start of a new generation offers an opportunity to wipe the slate clean and deliver experiences previously impossible on last-gen hardware, while for others, the power is finally there to make enhanced versions of their existing tech shine. Just like DICE's Frostbite and Crytek's CryEngine, Techland's Chrome Engine struggled on last-gen systems, but there's the sense that the technology has finally found its feet on PS4 and Xbox One. Earlier this week, we established that the Polish developer has sorted out most of its performance issues, but with more game hours under our belt we can better discern how version six of the Chrome Engine operates on the new consoles, and factor in the PC version too.

In migrating to the next-generation consoles and PC hardware, Chrome Engine is now in its sixth iteration, with a range of new features added to the mix since the release of its prior outings on the Dead Island titles. Most importantly, the team has switched to a physically based materials pipeline, allowing for a realistic depiction of how light interacts with materials, more closely simulating the real world. Dynamic weather is also included, with adjustments to the wetness (or gloss) properties of objects allowing for an expected level of shine as rain falls. In addition, light probes are pre-calculated and stored as spherical harmonics for each time of day and weather condition with the engine able to dynamically interpolate between them. The overall look is impressive, if not quite as striking as one might expect, but it's clear that Techland has made huge strides in its transition to this next-gen version of its tech.

So let's get down to basics. As we mentioned in our performance analysis, Dying Light operates at a rendering resolution of 1920x1080 on PS4 while Xbox One is in the region of 1536x1080, with both seemingly using a variant of SMAA T2X anti-aliasing. That's usually one of the best forms of post-process anti-aliasing available but in Dying Light, there are some noticeable 'ghosting' artefacts.

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Dying Light review

Dying Light review

Hello darkness, my old friend.

Good news for everyone who fell for the scruffy charms of Techland's Dead Island back in 2011. The developer is back with a new open-world zombie game that is almost exactly the same, but more polished and with added parkour.

Price and availability

PC: £39.99

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Performance Analysis: Dying Light

Digital FoundryPerformance Analysis: Dying Light

Initial PS4 and Xbox One results from Digital Foundry.

With no chance to look at final code for Dying Light on any platform prior to its US release yesterday, it's safe to say that we're still in the early stages of our full multi-platform analysis - but we have played enough of the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions to offer up an initial look at game performance.

Running on Chrome Engine 6, Dying Light represents Techland's first efforts on current-gen hardware, with a focus on a truly open city built from assets designed to appear physically correct within the game's lighting system. Early last year, the developers boasted that they were targeting 1080p60 for both consoles but, this past December they rolled back expectations by admitting that 1080p30 was the final target. Previous Techland titles have exhibited somewhat unstable performance, occasionally running fully unlocked with a lot of screen-tear, so anything resembling a smooth, consistent update with a solid 30fps would represent clear progression from the studio.

As things stand, we're seeing a capped 30fps with a soft v-sync solution where torn frames are introduced when the game doesn't quite reach its target update. As an open world title, the performance is quite stable, feeling smooth and solid as you explore the massive environment. There is a tangible difference between the two versions when it comes to performance, though. By and large, the experience on PlayStation 4 is a locked 30fps with very minor dips in certain circumstances - at least based on our first few hours of gameplay, which includes a good amount of time running around the city looking for mayhem.

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Dying Light gets new UK physical launch date, a month late

Dying Light gets new UK physical launch date, a month late

But will include free DLC as an apology.

Dying Light developer Techland has nailed down a new release date for the game's physical version in Europe - 27th February. That's a month after the game was due to arrive in boxed form - and still will as a digital download - on 28th January.

The month delay affects the game's launch in Europe, Asia, Australia and the Middle East. North American physical copies will still arrive on time, on 28th January.

Techland will gift gamers a selection of free Dying Light DLC as an apology for the delay. All physical editions will include the Cuisine & Cargo plus Ultimate Survival Bundle add-ons, free of charge.

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Parkour always looks pretty cool when you watch clips of real-life people with a camera strapped to their forehead make an attempt at it on YouTube. Unfortunately - discounting perhaps one exception - it never seems all that empowering or intuitive when developers try to recreate those moves in-game. Third-person games like Assassin's Creed seem to get it right, so what are first-person parkour titles doing wrong? Our new senior video producer Johnny Chiodini investigates, hopefully while managing to not look down.

VideoVideo: Can Dying Light make up for Dead Island?

Light at the end of the tunnel, or just another nail in the coffin?

Does a cash injection from new publisher Warner Bros and new generation of consoles mean that Dying Light, the upcoming zombie bashing sim from Dead Island developer Techland, has the ability to surpass its tropical island-based spiritual successors? Our Ian Higton says yes, yes it does - based on his early hands-on impressions with a preview version of the game - and gives us five examples, no less, of why we should all keep an open mind before heading out to Harran.

Dying Light illuminates details on its Season Pass

Dying Light illuminates details on its Season Pass

Adds "Horde" mode, new missions, skins and weapons.

Upcoming first-person open-world zombie game Dying Light has detailed its Season Pass.

Priced at $19.99 (so about £13), developer Techland tweeted that its Season Pass will contain three add-ons with a total of one new map, two hardcore missions, three special skins and four new weapons. Partridge and a pear tree not included.

Here's how it breaks down:

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Dying Light gets a January release date

Dying Light gets a January release date

Pre-orders include multiplayer DLC where you plays as a zombie.

Techland's open-world parkour and stealth zombie adventure Dying Light is due out in Europe on 30th January on PS4, Xbox One, PS3, Xbox 360 and PC.

North Americans will receive it on 27th January.

Pre-orders come with a free DLC mode called Be the Zombie, in which you invade other players' games as a powerful class of undead called the Night Hunter.

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Why isn't Dead Island 1 developer Techland making the sequel?

Why isn't Dead Island 1 developer Techland making the sequel?

"Well, you know, we had our ups and downs."

Why isn't Polish developer Techland making Dead Island 2? It made the first game, after all.

Dead Island wasn't fantastic but it was successful - very successful. In February 2013 the game passed the five million sales mark. Five million sales! And for a new IP! Techland clearly did something right.

But what it didn't do was retain ownership of the IP.

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FeatureHow Dying Light is keeping the zombie genre fresh

Techland's third stab at the zombie apocalypse borrows from the best.

Dying Light isn't a cool game to like. On the surface, it reeks of a design-by-committee approach to blockbuster development. It's got zombies. It's got an open world. It's got parkour. And stealth. And an upgrade tree. It even casts you as a generic badass dude with a woman who barks orders at you through a walkie-talkie. Heck, it's developed by Techland, who just did the open-world zombie thing twice, to questionable effect, in its divisive Dead Island series. Dying Light should be a banal wreck: the video game equivalent of the KFC Famous Bowl. That's what makes it all the more surprising that it was one of the hardest games to put down at this year's E3.

Techland shows Dying Light PS4 gameplay footage

Techland has shown gameplay from the PlayStation 4 version of parkour open world zombie action survival game Dying Light.

The demo, below, was introduced at the VGX awards as being in 1080p resolution on Sony's console.

The footage shows first-person melee with an axe and plenty of blood.

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When Riptide released 18 months after the original Dead Island, there was some cause for concern; Techland, a developer not necessarily renowned for the quality of its output, seemed to be pushing itself too far. Those fears were borne out by a sequel that papered over some of the cracks but couldn't overcome the shabbiness at the heart of the original design. When Techland announced another first-person zombie game a mere month after Riptide's release, mere weeks since it announced an all-new game and mere days after the release of a new Call of Juarez, it's understandable those same concerns rise again.

Dead Island dev unveils open world first-person survival horror game Dying Light for current-gen, next-gen and PC

Techland, maker of Dead Island, has announced a new game: Dying Light.

It's described as first-person survival horror with a Mirror's Edge-style free running mechanic featuring a day-night cycle set in a "vast" open world. It's due out on PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One in 2014. Warner Bros. is publishing.

In the day players scavenge the urban environment for supplies and craft weapons to defend themselves against an infected population. At night the infected become aggressive and more dangerous, so you have to survive until the first light.

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