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.
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.