Dying Light: The Following is the first DLC story to be released, with improvements made to the base game on top of adding in another couple hours to your campaign playthrough. It had a price increase due to the size of the new map as well as the content being added, though this was announced quite a while back it did add some fuel to the Hype flames by telling us that whatever was coming our way was going to be big.
Pretty much set after the main story, The Following starts us off with a survivor telling us of a new area, along with a map to guide us there, with a possible cure for the Zombie Virus. Telling us our stocks of Antizin are low, Lena sends us regular updates from back home in Harran as we do a lovely jaunt through the sewers to get to this new area. With time against him, Kyle Crane must work with the inhabitants of the new area to get a hold of the cure.
Meeting up with the locals, they aren’t too fond of Kyle just yet, we must do some more fetch quests, kill zombies and the like. We are also introduced to The Mother as a character, though not in person, as well as her Faceless followers who wear masks and seem immune to the Virus as well as warded from Zombie Attacks.
The story will last around 6 or less hours depending, with the whole map getting to 100% in around 12 hours. There are a few side quests but once you get into them they are done rather quickly, most of your time being taken up by the distance you need to travel. The main story is slowed down by the need to grind up a reputation bar to level 5, but that is done rather quickly too with the side quests and helping out random survivors.
Improving upon the gameplay of the initial release, mainly adding in new loot spots on Car engines and fuel caps, The Following also adds in the Buggy to drive around faster. The main game plays pretty much the same, with added Shotguns and Uzis along with a new levelling tree called Legend. You still have to clear out safe houses, return power, pick up letters to deliver as well as kill zombies for the inhabitants, all simple stuff we’ve done before.
Legend Levels are more akin to Talent trees from MMOs, you put a point towards increase the % damage of One-Handed, Two-Handed weapons etc. It is a nice addition, especially for those who are maxed out from the main game who head into the DLC.
The buggy comes with its own Level system, unlocking better parts, improving the Armor and Ram, fuel and turbo efficiency etc. You can also craft or buy parts to make all parts of the car better from top speed to handling. The buggy feels a bit tacked on however, with the environment not really lending to its use, with trees plaguing the road sides as well as cars and debris laid around the roads. When you get a clear piece of terrain it is a breeze, driving at high speeds to cover the vast map.
Overall Thoughts and Feelings
Without spoiling the story I will just say that there are 3 Endings, with each being more disappointing and cliché then the last. They fill you with a sense that everything was pointless instead of filling you with accomplishment, becoming more of a cop-out answer to tie up the DLC Expansion. White or Black screens are all it ends with, no closure just the ending then cut. This doesn’t help that a lot of the story is not explained, at least in voice as there are notes that don’t fully do the story justice. If you play games for story, or even liked the story of the main game, this will thoroughly disappoint you… or you might like it, as much as you like M. Night Shyamalan movies.
Story aside, the gameplay is smooth without much need for complaint, the side bosses dotted around gave a nice challenge, though the armour on some was a bit irritating to get through. Once you obtained your first shotgun they become a lot easier however, helping the feeling of “Levelling Up” go along as you progress through the story. Each one gives you a new blueprint, but some of these feel underplayed as I didn’t use many of them at all, obtaining them more for completion then for actual gains.
The map may be big, bigger then the main game, but it feels too empty to warrant its size. There are fields of zombies to plough through with your Buggy, but that feeling of euphoria when you hear their head crunch under the tires gets dull rather quickly. Added to the fact that quests send you from one side of the map to the other driving just becomes a chore. The challenges and races are a fun feature, with complexity due to the map terrain and debris, and completing them fills you with accomplishment.
Overall Dying Light: The Following gets a 6/10, for the Expansion only might I add, the whole package is closer to an 8. The Expansion doesn’t really add much value to the whole game, the story is lack-lustre and leaves you dead inside at the end, the gameplay only really adds in a Buggy that is poorly suited to the theme of the game, being a parkour game in the beginning only to be half replaced with a vehicle. The map feels empty as much as the story and finale, though thank god it isn’t a quick time event like the main game. All the pieces for an amazing Expansion are there, but they are not tied together well-enough or polished to the point where I deem them “release ready”. The Expansion feels rushed, though I can see what they were trying to do with it.
Also my Co-op Partner for the game, we’ll call him Fish, was also not one for the Story or its ending. Though I think he is still salty from all his time spent in the various rivers and oceans due to crashing his Buggy.