Dying Light Features

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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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.

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.