The first and likely only major expansion for Dying Light, The Following, is a chance for Techland to show the potential for the future of the series. The Following is a massive new location with an interesting plot, but is mostly ambitious ideas that don’t hit the mark.
Dying Light’s signature gameplay is intact, if less prevalent. The open fields outside Harran are filled with countless infected, and with a map twice the size of of both of sections of Harran, you’ll need some help making your way. Enter the Dune Buggy, The Following’s biggest, most exciting addition. The buggy handles well enough, but does have a nasty habit of getting stuck on objects and is easily impacted by poor road conditions, sometimes comically so such as driving over an oil spill. To aid your new driving endeavors are a skill tree dedicated entirely to driving and the ability to craft better vehicle components.
The buggy adds a new element to gameplay, but it doesn’t quite hit its mark. While parkour was special and extremely well executed, the buggy can actually complicate traversal and forces some awkward interactions with the world. Your friendly neighborhood objective marker isn’t as reliable as it used to be and doesn’t properly notify you of, you know, the mountain in your path. The map is a necessity now, but that means stopping your car to check it. There are also just to many locations designed to hamper your driving, rather than make it easier to speed across the sizable map.
The biggest issue is how enemies spawn, and how frequently. Running over infected is simple enough, and there is always plenty…because they just keep spawning. We’re talking to the point that you can see them spawn right in front of you. Worst of all are the the excessive number explosive enemies. They deal damage to all of your vehicle components and bring forth a bevy of volatiles. Oh, and the volatiles can keep up with your vehicle, jump onto it, and knock it around. God forbid you run into one of the big baddies, well, then you’re pretty much dead. The vehicle is indestructible so damage is placed on you instead. It gets frustrating, to say the least, being chased down and beat up by a bunch of volatiles while trying to drive to your objective. Still, The buggy doesn’t detract from what Dying Light already does superbly, it just doesn’t add anything special.
Story and Modes:
A dying man’s last words give hope for a cure, and Crane is, of course, the only one capable of investigating. He quickly gets himself involved with a cult called the Children of the Sun, a group supposedly immune to the virus. Crane is desperate to know how and begins taking on every odd job in hope of meeting “The Mother”, the leader of the Children of the Sun. Things take a much darker turn in this expansion with far more gruesome scenes. If you thought the city was bad, just wait until you see what happens outside of it. Too many of the quests are dull and unrewarding and they try too hard to pull you every which way across the map. One quest will have you going toward one half of the map when another will pop up, tasking you to go back the way you came. Still, there is an interesting if thin plot line with a far more satisfying ending than the vanilla game that actually gives you a worthwhile choice. The Following isn’t quite the follow-up it was expected to be, but is nonetheless a valuable addition for any fan of Dying Light.