A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Other than trying to rid the world of zombies, not much of a positive message here.
Positive Role Models
You play an undercover operative infiltrating a quarantined city during a zombie apocalypse. He seems like a good guy: wants to take down city's brutal dictator, is torn between mission and his conscience.
Ease of Play
Simple controls, easy to play.
Violence & Scariness
Very violent. You'll use guns, axes, machetes, and makeshift weapons to kill enemies -- mostly zombies -- with realistic blood splatter. Enemies can be impaled, dismembered, and decapitated during combat.
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"F--k," "s--t," and "a--hole" frequently used.
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Products & Purchases
Optional downloadable content (DLC) via in-game purchase.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Dying Light is a first-person horror adventure set in a zombie apocalypse in Harran, Turkey. While the combat is mostly against these creatures and clearly is fictional, players can use both melee and range weapons (including shotguns) to kill enemies. Enemies can splatter blood, lose limbs, or even be decapitated during combat, and some cut scenes are graphic in nature, too. The game also is a bit scary, with some "survivor horror" elements. Strong profanity is frequently used, and players may be interested in purchasing additional content via download. Parents also need to know online players can talk freely with other gamers, potentially exposing them to inappropriate commentary.
Is It Any Good?
Dying Light delivers an immersive action experience. You'll fight against zombies and take advantage of parkour abilities such as jumping across rooftops or from ladders to ledges, which separates Dying Light from other first-person action games (parkour is usually found in third-person adventures, such as in Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed titles). The many missions, huge locations, upgrade system, and weapon crafting provide a lot of bang for the buck -- and that doesn't even include the various multiplayer modes offered. These include four-player cooperative play and a "Be the Zombie" download for those who want to turn the tables on the good guys.
Although the similarities to the Dead Island games can't be ignored, Dying Light nicely balances the day/night objectives. While the sun is out, you'll find yourself performing tasks for other survivors (such as helping a pregnant woman deliver a baby) -- but at night, when zombies are stronger, faster, and more plentiful, you'll need to do your best to survive until the sun comes up again. Visually, the game looks great, with weather effects, high-definition characters (though lip-synching is so-so), and expansive, varied environments. But repetitive missions take away from some of the fun -- there are more than 100 missions and side quests, so a "less is more" approach would've helped gameplay become more polished and enjoyable. Still, Dying Light is an exceptional game worth picking up for those on a next-gen console or PC. It's a gratifying adventure for mature players who like action, exploration, and "survival horror" elements.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.