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Dying Light Reviewed On Linux, What I Really Think

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Now that I've pumped many, many hours into Dying Light, it’s time to give my real thoughts on it.

Warning: This might spoil a little/a lot. You have been duly warned!

About the game (Official)
Dying Light is an action survival game presented in first-person perspective. The game is set in a vast and dangerous open world. During the day, you roam an urban environment devastated by a mysterious epidemic, scavenging for supplies and crafting weapons to help you defeat the hordes of mindless, flesh-hungry enemies the plague has created. At night, the hunter becomes the prey as the infected grow in strength and aggression - but even more lethal are the nocturnal, inhuman predators that leave their hives to feed. You will need to make use of all your skills and any available means to survive till dawn.

My thoughts
While the launch wasn’t exactly amazing, and the performance on Linux right now is still sub-par, the main campaign is really worth playing -- at least until you reach the end game that is. They have increased the FPS for me to make it actually playable, but in doing so they removed the AA option, so it’s not the perfect experience just yet.

A most recent patch (1.5.1) also seemed to sadly reduce the performance a little, but Techland have assured me a big performance patch is in the works. The drop isn't by too much, but it is there by 5-10FPS for me.

I’m looking forward to the developers really coming through for the Linux crowd and giving us a better experience. There’s far more performance they could unlock, and we do rather badly need the AA setting to return.

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The story
Dying Light is actually one of the few games that steadily gets more interesting as time goes on, and it really had me hooked. It’s also one of the few games I hope gets a good full story DLC, as I would like to play more.

In Dying Light you play as a GRE agent named Kyle Crane, and it’s your job to retrieve information on a cure for the virus that has turned your regular humans into hungry flesh eating simpletons. There isn’t really much in the way of explanation on what the GRE is, but it seems to be some sort of private aid organisation.

The story was actually quite satisfying for the most part, and that’s probably what surprised me the most about Dying Light. It has enough little twists and turns to keep you wanting to know what’s going to happen next.

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The gameplay
The game does throw a few little interesting random events your way, with things like Zombies bursting out of a random door, or later in the game smashing through a covered drain in the floor. It’s little things that help keep it interesting.

The parkour is surprisingly great. There’s nothing like bouncing around on rooftops, and climbing up the side of a massive building to make you feel awesome. Without the parkour the game wouldn’t have been nearly as good as it was for me. Although that’s a bit of a moot point, since parkour is one of the main features.

As you progress you steadily unlock access to more abilities, new weapons, new traps and tons of fun things you can use to save Harran from the Zombie threat. One particular ability did amuse me to no end, and that’s the ability to punch Zombies as you run at them. It’s incredibly satisfying to punch a Zombie off a tall building.

Another extremely useful ability is being able to vault over Zombies, and this can be improved further with a stun effect which is very useful for getting away from bigger hordes.

The repair function is something that genuinely frustrated me with Dying Light. You only get a limited amount of repairs per weapon, and once they are used up you need to scrap it and use a different weapon. It gets even more frustrating when you upgrade weapons to be something awesome, only to have it break eventually to never be used again.
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Eventually you will gain access to the Grappling Hook, and this makes the parkour even more fun. As you are more easily able to access certain areas, and who doesn’t want to be like Spiderman a little inside.

Night time is when the game gets even more interesting, as it turns into some sort of stealth game trying to avoid the real Zombie threat. I genuinely get a little pumped when my character is out at night, and it's a fun feeling.
The first time it turns to night and you hear the special Zombies howling, it can really get you going. It gets a little intense any time they spot you, but if you manage to evade them, or lose them after they spot you, then you get extra points.

The Zombies, mmmm brains!
The normal Zombies are a little lacking in this game, as they are incredibly weak even in big groups, so I look forward to going through the game again on the new Hard Mode. Honestly, I would go for the harder modes to begin with to make sure you get the most out of the game.

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I feel they could have done far more with the variations of the Zombies though, as even with the special infected it does become quite easy as you unlock more abilities and higher powered weapons. At the start the special infected that are a bit faster than normal Zombies can be a real nightmare, but after only a few hours you can dispatch entire groups of them with a few simple slashes. This again strengthens my thoughts on playing it on Hard Mode to get the best of the game.

Be the Zombie
The main online mode for Dying Light (apart from Co-op) is the Be the Zombie mode, and I actually rather enjoyed someone invading my game at night.

I've only successfully played the Be The Zombie online mode once, and luckily the other player stuck around for the entire duration of it (they even spoke to me!). This mode is actually incredibly fun, and only amplifies my enjoyment of the game, but connection issues with multiple failed attempts does frustrate me a lot with it.

The other player joins your game as a special zombie that can be beaten back with a UV Torch and/or your flares. It’s intense, scary, and gave me some further enjoyment out of the game. It made me jump every time the other player grabbed me and I wasn’t expecting it.

The ending, because what’s one of my longer posts without a rant!
My thoughts through the entire finale were basically “when will it bloody end”. That sums up the finale rather well I think.

The convenience of the unlocked grappling hook is also conveniently taken away during the entire ending sequence, as your character slowly succumbs more and more to the virus. Honestly I felt like this was a bit of a cop-out to force you into their poorly executed ending.

There’s a specific part involving a crane that really stumped me for a while. You need to reach the end of a crane to jump onto the side of a building before Rais blows the damn thing up with an RPG. It sounds simple enough, but if you just try to run along it normally it falls too quickly, or so I thought.

After 20 minutes of failures I found a bug that allowed you to climb to the very top of the crane, and do a sort of tight rope act walking down a support wire. For some reason that makes zero sense, Rais decides not to fire if you do that. This results in a bug as it seems Rais is then not rendered if he doesn’t fire at the crane, and you cannot climb up the ladder on top of the building that leads to the final encounter with him.

Honestly, the ending feels like the developers utterly ran out of ideas, and made it the most annoying thing they could possibly create.
Once you finally reach the end, it’s a series of frustratingly timed QTE’s (events that make you quickly press A,S,D,W), and that’s it. No big boss fight you do yourself, just a timed key press event. I don’t know what goes through a developers mind when they think “we have all this cool stuff, he has all these awesome weapons and abilities, I KNOW, let’s make them use NONE of it and press a few buttons quickly!”.

The end utterly ruined the experience for me. It’s a shame, as the main campaign of the game was brilliant. I was not immersed in the end, i was not having fun, I was frustrated and bewildered at what a mess the ending was. I am more than a little bitter about the ending, but the rest of the game does somewhat make up for it.

The ending did at least feel slightly open for more story DLC, and as long as the finale isn’t as poor in any story DLC, it has me cautiously excited.
They did tease some upcoming content in a video, and it seems to imply we will be able to drive vehicles in future, so I look forward to whatever they come up with.

Final Verdict: If you don’t mind lower performance, crashes to the desktop, and a terribly poor ending, go for it. The main campaign is actually extremely fun, and decapitating zombies and setting off traps is truly satisfying. Personally I don’t feel it’s worth the current asking price, as the performance is too up and down.

Also in true Dying Light style while attempting to gather screenshots for this article, the game decided to crash to the desktop! How delightful!

Check out Dying Light on Steam now. Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
Tags: FPS, Review, RPG, Steam, Zombies
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I am the owner of GamingOnLinux. After discovering Linux back in the days of Mandrake in 2003, I constantly came back to check on the progress of Linux until Ubuntu appeared on the scene and it helped me to really love it. You can reach me easily by emailing GamingOnLinux directly.
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10 comments

Beamboom 13 Apr, 2015
In regards to the AA setting: Just override in the Nvidia driver settings? I did so, to not much performance loss (that I could see).
EKRboi 13 Apr, 2015
Yep. That is pretty much how I felt about it. A good game damn near completely ruined by its own ending.

On top of that I HATE that I paid for the season pass. There has not been nor will there be (unless unannounced) dlc for this game that I have or will play.

I doubt I've used any of the dlc weapons, I've not played either of the dlc "mini games" and I have no interest in a "battle dome" type scenario that has been teased. I was expecting story expansion type dlc for this game especially for the price they asked for the season pass. What they have given and shown thus far for dlc are the exact definition of milking your customer. Complete waste of $$ for me.
TheReaperUK 13 Apr, 2015
I played the game from start to finish twice and doing all mission and side quests including DLC levels but with network set to single player, and i have never had a single crash or exit to desktop (Over 100 hours).
So last night i played in co-op mode and then the crashing/Quit to desktop started, so i think the crashing may be linked to network mode/online play, i've not tested Be the zombie yet.

And yes the ending did suck big time, which was a real shame, like most i'm now waiting for some good DLC's to keep playing such a great game.
Maelrane 13 Apr, 2015
Actually I had preferred it if the game was even more open and the whole campaign could've been removed in my book. For me it was the worst part of the game as it was a run-of-the-mill story which was nothing but predictable.
Don't get me wrong, there were some (a few) interesting characters but most of it was absolute cliché and there was not a single twist that made me cry out in surprise. The main characters were absolute cliché (one [cute] girl and a though one at that, her brother who is too eager to prove himself, a savior and dozens and dozens of bad guys running errands for one crazy bad overlord.

The city and most of the gameplay is actually gorgeous, but as was said in the article the zombies are no real threat - which is kind of lame - and the crafting was better in Dead Island.

Personally I think there could've been a few small improvements and some larger ones, like for example it would've been great if the normal zombies would be far more dangerous (at least in the night) but not that many Volatiles, instead those of them being out there not being marked on the map and stuff like that.
Unshra 13 Apr, 2015
I still find myself returning to Dying Light, admittedly it is to see how it's running more than because of the game-play. I am sure everyone is sick of my updates regarding FPS on Dying Light from a notebook perspective, but I'm going to go ahead and post it. :P Though this time, I am going to post my experience with the 980M and provide a bit of a rant.

My previous system was running on a 750M, and the best I got out of that system is 35fps, and that was after a lot of tweaks and lowering the resolution to 720p. So while I could get it to run at 30fps, the game was painful to look at it still felt slow.

Then came my new notebook, I went against my better judgement and got an Alienware 17 R2. I mean what's the worse that could happen by purchasing a notebook that just released from a brand that is not known for Linux compatibility (yeah a bit of passive aggressive there.) I will admit that I now wish I had gotten a Sager or MSI notebook, but that's in the past.

So my first experience was a bit of a shocker with no tweaks I was getting the same performance as the 750M and with sun shadows disabled I was averaging 45fps. However being a new notebook, I decided to try Dying Light on Window and with everything maxed but view distance I was getting 60fps. This was short-lived though as the notebook started to have stability issues and was soon RMA'd.

Enter the replacement of the replacement. This time around the notebook was stable, and I was ready for round two. Sadly I was getting 5fps, and I had no idea what happened, I tried different drivers, and triple checked the dependencies even tweaking the game data files only bumped it up to 12fps. It was performing worse than my old 750m. Eventually, it got so bad that Dying Light was crashing at startup, so I decided to give it a rest.

Then last week Linux 3.19.3 was released on Arch, and so I did my normal update routine with bbswitch and ran Dying Light, and I have never been more excited to see a splash screen. But what came next made me even happier:

Arch Linux (Antergos) 980M
    Max Setting no tweaks: 35 FPS Avg, 62 FPS Max, 28 FPS Low
    View Distance set to zero: 45 FPS Avg, 62 FPS Max, 35 FPS Low


Simply put it's now playable for me on Linux, and it's on a notebook to boot. Currently, I am experiencing one rather annoying issue, if I quit the game I cannot start it again as it will lockup. So far, nothing I have done has been able to resolve this issue, and I'm forced to reboot Linux if I want to play Dying Light again. Also like Liam I have crashed to the desktop while taking screenshots.
dsngjoe 14 Apr, 2015
I was getting random crashing to the desktop while playing. It also wont run if you install the game on a XFS Partition.
stan 14 Apr, 2015
  • Supporter
Quoting: liamdaweThe end utterly ruined the experience for me.
This, exactly.

Well I still enjoyed the game very much… But the end… meh.

I wouldn’t recommend playing in hard the first time as the beginning of the game was pretty hard, and also yes normal zombies are dangerous when in groups.

I had no issue with the low number of repairs for the weapons; actually I was always playing with lower quality weapons than I could have because they wouldn’t break fast enough :P.

And no crash for me.
Feist 14 Apr, 2015
QuoteThe end utterly ruined the experience for me.

I actually didn't have much issue with the ending, sure it was a bit anticlimactic and the qte-sequence with button pushing felt pretty cheap, but on the whole I was happy that it left plenty of room for sequels/expansions/story-dlc.

In most cases, my idea of *Bad Ending*, is either something that makes absolutely no sense as far as the game-story is concerned or something involving a Hulk/Terminator-hybrid that you need to reload 8-15 times before you finally get to see the end-movie/game-credits. In other words, when I've played through a game I want the game to be *over*, I don't want a metaphorical brick-wall in the form of a super-boss, that I need to bash my head against over and over before I can exit he game.
MaxPower 14 Apr, 2015
Quoting: TheReaperUKSo last night i played in co-op mode and then the crashing/Quit to desktop started, so i think the crashing may be linked to network mode/online play, i've not tested Be the zombie yet.

Was planning to play it in co-op with my wife, will have to pass :(
bubexel 14 Apr, 2015
For me is an excelent game, i never had any crash to desktop O_o. Well to be honest, it never crashed on my computer. And i have played 48 hours. Maybe i have good eyes because im a dead island fan ^^
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