Has Mirror’s Edge Returned in Dying Light?
One of my favourite games of all time (despite its mixed reception) was 2008’s Mirror’s Edge. Not only was it a game that virtually took my breath away with its originality, but the focus on speed and running within the familiar shell of an FPS was a interesting blend that led to a high amount of replayability. Was it perfect? Probably not – but it took risks, and felt like nothing I’d ever played before.
Which is why the lack of a sequel has been a constant disappointment to me, despite the constant promises from DICE and EA that one is in the works.
Luckily at least one other studio has taken note (albeit a few years late) with Techland announcing the development of “Dying Light” an action/horror title which combines the familiar freerunning gameplay of Mirror’s Edge with a zombie twist.
Zombies aren’t exactly a new idea from Techland, who are famous for the development of the semi-popular Dead Island and the universally panned Dead Island: Riptide. However Dying Light, which basically involves freerunning around a zombie infested world with a few melee weapon kills thrown in for good measure, shows (if I can be so blunt) a bit more creativity than their previous entries.
Dying Light promises a number of innovations on both Mirror’s Edge and other zombie titles, goals which (if achieved) could set this up to be a landmark title in a world where the term zombie is thrown around way too often. Firstly, the freerunning element fits perfectly with a zombie infected world – as you would likely spend a large portion of your time running to escape the zombie hordes.
In order to further support this, the game involves an active day-night cycle central to the gameplay – with more zombies and combat situations occurring at night, while during the day the visibility allows for greater exploration and movement.
The game also takes place within a sandbox environment (unlike Mirror’s Edge which was level based) so the focus on exploration is there, contributing to both the freerunning element as well as the necessary search for resources which is a hallmark of the zombie genre.
Whether Techland will be able to (finally) strike gold with Dying Light is up for debate, and likely being debated at this very minute, but their ambitions are noteworthy – even if I have some doubt whether or not they can achieve them. I certainly hope they do however, the more Mirror’s Edge-like titles we can get on the market the better.