Dying Light -- Will's Nintendo Switch Review

It's been quite a while since I last immersed myself in the world of Dying Light. I originally played this gem on the PS4. There's a special place in my heart for the horror genre. As there is for video games. Both are a great escape from the insanity that is life. And horror brings you to the realization that sometimes life can be just that. Horrific. 

Here enters Dying Light on the Switch. 

As the sequel to this franchise has recently debuted on next-gen systems, its predecessor was released on the Switch not too long ago. Say what you will about Nintendo's system, to play these blockbuster games natively on a portable, and not through Playstation's remote play, is an amazing feat. I remember playing Dying Light on my Vita through Remote Play, and of course there was a hit in the graphics and frame rate department, so this looks leaps and bounds better than that experience--which was still great even for what it was.

Everything I remember is here, and I could be wrong, but the loading is much faster. But that's probably due to the chip vs CD Rom thing. 

Dying Light is long, and there are many things to do, so I found the game more enjoyable on a portable. Of course, there are situations in the game that are more challenging and need a full controller. But for the most part, the handheld mode gets things done. If you compare the different versions of the game side by side (YouTube has many of these videos), you can notice the graphics downgrade. But it's very minor and all of the feel I remember has still been captured. The differences are barely noticeable in the heat of play. 

Is it perfect? No. But I have become so swept up in the game again that it makes no difference. I'd say the Switch capability falls somewhere in between a PS3 and PS4. And when you have a company that can do the port properly, it makes a big difference. 

The gameplay is just about exactly as I remember, except... 

The jump button. But this was how it was, I am finding, as on the PS4. It just feels so odd that I thought it had been changed. But it wasn't. You get used to it, but sometimes I find myself pressing the B button to jump. And I can't find a way to change this at the moment. Add on top of that the fact I am used to the Playstation controller layout, so simply put: I press the B button to enter when it's now the A. On the PS controller, the X does what the A does, but it's in the B position. This is a system difference, so I don’t blame the game. But it's weird, especially when I change from system to system to play different games. 

Running in handheld mode is a pain because of the joy-cons. I sometimes feel I'm going to break the stick pressing it each time to start a run on my character. The controller makes a slight creaking sound. On the Vita I just pressed the screen on the back, so it was still a challenge, but I didn't feel I'd break my Vita. So I would break into a run as many times as I liked and learn the function with ease. Of course, this could just be me being OCD. 

Clobber and Cleaving Zombies

This game has memorable moments:

There are those awesome parts during this game where you are half in a safe zone and standing on the edge of the border as a Night Hunter is breathing and grunting and pacing back and forth below--waiting. 

Eerie Zombie Staring
Then there are the random weird zombies that just stare at you from a distance, or if you're on a platform above them--like on a car or van--that weird glare can send a chill down your back. 

Lots Of Blood

Of course, I can't leave out the many ways you can clobber and cleave these undead beings. 

Especially enjoyable is from atop the many abandoned vehicles I just mentioned. You get carnage on par with Dead Space--another great horror game with physics-based gore-- so there is always something new to see. 

Final thoughts: Get it!

If you want the Dying Light experience in a true on-the-go platform, and especially if you've never tried the DLC, Dying Light for the Switch is definitely the way to go. Of course, you could buy it cheaper on the other systems, but the portability and ease of use with the full game on a small chip does it for me. Plus, Techland (the company that created the game) puts out regular updates they are known for. And on top of that, you get all the DLC released to date. 

Rant:

I'm kind of sick, well, no: I AM sick of all this loading of games onto a system before you get to play them. I find myself going back to my PS3 because of this. And let me tell you, the PS3 is really not that bad (the supposed downgrade in graphics, load times, etc.). The Switch is also perfect for this. But that's another post. 

WCM


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