One of my favorite games from last year was Dying Light. I certainly didn’t expect to like it so much; zombie games are a dime a dozen these days…to the point where even non-zombie game throw in a zombie mode. It’s getting dangerously close to being oversaturated, and when that happens, I suspect we’ll see the disappearance of the genre for a while (not too unlike WWII shooters). In the meantime, however, we have Dying Light and it’s expansion, The Following to occupy our time.
Dying Light :The Following Enhanced Edition includes the full Dying Light game and The Following. Seeing as how the core game is still pretty much the same (with the exception of enhanced visuals and the addition of DLC), I won’t go into a full review here. Instead, you can check out the review here. In short, it’s a fantastic game that you should absolutely buy regardless of whether or not you’re a zombie fan. The Dead Island/Far Cry/Mirror’s Edge combo makes for one of the most unique games in the zombie genre.
With that out of the way, let’s jump into the expansion. For the most part, I have no issues with single player expansion packs to game. I enjoy a continuation of the main game, and expansions to old favorites like Fallout 3, The Witcher 3, even Assassin’s Creed 3 (lots of 3s here) have given longevity to games that otherwise would be collecting dust on my shelf after completing the main campaign. I’m completely okay with “more of the same,” especially if “the same” was something I enjoyed in the first place.
A more ballsy move would be to expand on the game with something completely different, and that’s what Dying Light has done with The Following. In this expansion, we eschew the 1st person parkour heavy city traversal for something a bit more Twisted Metal-esque. Yes, we’re talking vehicular combat and mayhem, and it’s a boatload of fun.
The new area in question is called The Farmland, and rather than continuing the theme of a city slum, you now get a large (bigger than Harran) open area that’s perfectly suited for tearing about in a car. I’m not typically a fan of vehicle combat games; I never really got into the Twisted Metal series or Carmageddon. In fact, the only car combat game I can remember playing with any regularity was Megarace for my old IBM (remember that one? Ah, 90s FMV goodness).
Here however, it makes sense to have a completely upgradable car to mow over zombies with, and I found myself enjoying the expansion quite a bit. Think of it as merely another weapon in your arsenal, completely customizable, and able to break down just like any of your weapons. There’s plenty of zombie life to deal with in The Farmland, and being stuck without your trusty car can make for some truly harrowing situations. I like the fact that even though you have this powerful zombie slaying buggy at your disposal, the game still makes it hard and scary to deal with zombies. You’re never so overpowered that you feel like a superhero.
The story for The Following isn’t really anything to write home about (it involves investigating a cult). It’s fun enough and I’m glad there’s something to expand on Dying Light’s narrative a bit, but honestly I would have been pleased with simply a vehicle playground with some side quests tossed in for good measure. The Following’s story get’s pretty exciting the more you progress through it, and there are some truly interesting and unique side missions thrown in for added variety. It’s certainly a lot better than endless “Point A to Point B” fetch quests.
As far as expansions go, The Following is pretty decent. It’s well worth the additional $20 (for the expansion alone) or the full Enhanced Edition with the full game and expansion. If you were a fan of Dying Light to begin with, getting The Following should be a no brainer.
If you never played Dying Light but have been curious after hearing about it, then the full ENhanced Edition is definitely worth your while. It’s been just over a year since Dying Light originally launched, and I still find myself playing it pretty regularly to this day. That’s more than pretty much any other zombie game I have played…well, pretty much ever.
4 out of 5 stars