I logged about 8 hours on Dying Light, started over, and logged another 3 hours. I’m not an expert on the game by any means, but I’ve figured out a few things that made me want to go back and do it “right” the 2nd time around. If you’ve started the game and are finding it a bit difficult, hopefully there’s something in this article that’ll help you out. If you have any info of your own that I didn’t cover, drop it in the comments section, I’ll add it, and give you props.
Before I get into my tips/tricks/hints for this game, I must say that Dying Light shits on a lot of things I’ve ever known about zombies, and I consider myself an expert in both video game zombies and pop culture zombies. White Zombie filmed back in 1932 is widely considered the first “zombie” film, although when we think of zombies as the rising from the dead, flesh-eating monsters that we know in pop culture today, there are generally 3 types that people consider:
1. The George A. Romero The Night of the Living Dead (1968) walking/crawling/mostly mindless flesh-eating zombies. This genre of zombie is much like the basic zombies in Dying Light. They move slow, they’re dumb, and are generally easily defeated. They’re the type we see in more movies than any other genre of zombie, and in games like Dead Rising.
2. The Alex Garland 28 Days Later (2002) fast as fuck/strong as hell/will stop at nothing to eat you zombie. These type of zombies will generally kill you if you don’t strike a lethal blow first, and will 100% kill you if you can’t get away from a swarm of them. They’re popular in a lot of video games, but are generally less frequent. They call them Virals in Dying Light.
3. The Shinji Mikami Resident Evil (1996) mutated/incredibly strong/super powered zombie. In the original Resident Evil games, they had slow zombies, and then these mutated monstrosities that were incredibly hard to kill. I’m specifically talking about those mutants because before this game you generally only saw Romero or Garland style zombies in pop culture.
When I said Dying Light shits on what I know about zombies, I was inferring that most games or films focus on one or two of these types of undead. Dying Light seems to have them all, and more:
The majority of Infected are the slow moving Zombies looking for easy prey. They are easy to see and avoid compared to the other infected. This is because of their significantly decayed, ripped and damaged bodies. They typically travel in large groups or packs and, while they lack speed, they make up for it in number. These infected are quiet at a distance and blend into the darkness. They are easy to overlook and often surprise unwary travelers. Taking on a horde of Biters is essentially suicide if their number is large.
Virals are the opposite of Biters they are extremely fast, and they travel either at the front of hordes or alone. While taking on a horde of Virals is suicidal, they can be effectively fought in smaller numbers.
Toads are a special kind of infected, so infected that it shoots projectile vomit that burns the player if he’s hit. Toads are also slightly more agile than other infected, being able to jump on the rooftops to be able to aim at it’s prey. Its ugly appearance and way of fighting influenced the way the survivors named that particular infected.
Demolishers are the most dangerous type of Infected during the day, who dwell in towns of Dying Light. Demolishers are a type of Infected which charge towards the player, breaking through walls and lifting cars without restraint. They are even more dangerous than the Virals, as Demolishers can easily break through barricades and deliver one-hit kills.
Screamers are kids that were infected. When getting near, they’ll start crying loudly, attracting Infected’s and making the survivors both unable to attack and run away. The survivor must get close to him and silence him, or get away far enough to use ranged damage.
The most dangerous of all Infected, are Volatiles. They have dark mottled skin, bloated pustules, and mandible mouths. Volatiles appear only during the night, stalking the player while moving through the dark quietly in packs. Once they spot their prey, Volatiles typically converge as a pack on the victim. They can jump over obstacles, and nearly run at the same speed as the player.
There are even more that weren’t on the gamepedia list (like Goons and Exploders). Where I’m at in the game I’ve only come across Biters, Virals (some people call them Runners), Goons, and Volatiles.
Dealing with Biters
(I learned a few of these tricks and borrowed some of these GIFs from kotaku.com, which helped me a ton and basically led to me starting the game over. Check out their Dying Light article)
Biters are basic zombies. These zombies are by far the most frequent in the game, and knowing how to deal with them is very important to your survival.
If you see one or two of these basic zombies, feel free to take them out. Generally when you’re parkouring all over the place there might be one or two waiting for you before you can open that box or pick the lock on that chest to loot the goodies. The best way to kill these biters is to kick or hit their legs out, then smash their head in. Some weapons you find along the way can 1-hit kill them, but when you start off with a table leg or a wooden plank you’re not going to have much luck without taking their legs out. It’s quick and effective, and saves your weapon’s durability if you go with the kick first, then head smash.
If you come across a gang of these zombies, you’re better off just running away from them. While games like Dead Rising were based on slaying as many zombies as you possibly can in the most absurd ways you can think of (I loved that game), Dying Light is a lot more realistic. You get tired fighting zombies, and you get tired running away from them, just like you would if you had to fight or run in real life. Throw a firecracker where you don’t want to go, and they should walk away. Better yet, throw a fire cracker at something that is already burning (cars seem to be on fire everywhere in Harran. Harran University must have just won the NCAA Championship or something) and watch the zombies light themselves on fire and burn to a crisp. It’s a cheap and effective way to kill these morons.
Oh, and stock up on firecrackers. Buy infinity of those things if you can. You’re limited on how many you can carry, but never leave home without them. But be sure to practice kicking vs throwing your firecrackers, because chances are you’re going to hit L2 instead of L1 when you mean to kick a zombie and waste a firecracker/attract more of them. Generally I switch to my flashlight when I don’t need them to prevent myself from making this mistake.
Parkour the shit out of Harran
Very early in the game, you learn how to get around Harran via different parkour moves. Take that shit seriously, because you’ll need it in every aspect of the game. When I first ran through the “gym” course I was like whatever let me go kill zombies. Nope. The game is more parkour than zombie killing. They should say that on the box.
You gain experience the more you parkour, too, so go nuts jumping from building to building and ledge to ledge. The more you do it, the better your character Crane gets at it. You can pretty much climb on anything, and you’ll need to be aware of your surroundings in order to complete certain missions (the Gazi mission especially).
Use your zombie sense often, open all boxes
Your zombie sense (it’s holding X on PS4) basically tells you where everything is. It’s important to use all the time, and I’m pretty sure you never run out of it. Open every box you find, and take anything that’s in there (you might have to drop a weapon, but generally you can keep everything else you find). In tool boxes, crates, boxes chests, you’ll find the things you need to create various items that’ll come in handy throughout the game. You can open car trunks too (the police cars and delivery trucks generally have kick-ass items in them), but usually you’ll have to pick the lock.
How to pick a lock in Dying Light
They don’t really teach you how to pick a lock in this game. You’re pretty much on your own and have to resort to trial and error (I broke like 10 lockpicks before I figured it out) or going on-line and figuring out how it’s done. Generally each lock has a sweet-spot where a combination of moving L3 to the left or right and R3 to the left will pick the lock. If you’re not in the sweet spot, your controller will vibrate when you move R3. If it doesn’t vibrate, you’re in the clear. The trick to it is to move L3 ever so slightly to the left or right, tap R3 to the left and see if your controller vibrates. If the vibration is strong, you need to move L3 in the opposite direction. If the vibration is weak, you’re moving it in the correct direction but may need to adjust it slightly. Once you’ve felt no vibration after rotating L3 into the appropriate position and moving R3 to the left, the lock will turn into an unlocked position and you can let go and open the trunk/door. Be careful jamming R3 to the left, though, as even if you don’t feel any resistance at first you can still be a bit off and may need to adjust L3 ever so slightly. The video above also suggests backing out if your controller has vibrated a ton so you don’t break the lockpick.
Easiest way to get a gun in Dying Light
The gun tip is completely from Kotaku.com. I’m not even gonna front. Shit I haven’t found it myself yet (update: got it). Seems easy enough to get to though if you watch the video, but then again it only has 2 bullets (update: video showed 2, I got 7 today when I went to get it), and firing it off alerts zombies to your location. Guns are cool though. But as Mr Larson showed us in Happy Gilmore:
You’re really, really better off using melee weapons in Dying Light than a gun. If you want to kill one of Rais’ men with one, fine. By all means it’s the best method. But you don’t need it to kill a zombie. It’s actually more detrimental to your survival because it’ll attract more.
You can supposedly find guns in the trunks of police cars, although I haven’t found one in one of them yet (I’ve searched like 10. Found hammers but no guns. What type of police officer has a hammer?). I thought maybe I could get one by killing an undead police officer, but I only got a baton (which is still a cool weapon). But yea, watch that video and peep that map to find the most accessible gun in the game.
Use your surroundings to kill Goons and other tough zombies
So in searching for a photo of this big zombie that wields a particularly strong weapon (rebar), I learned that it’s called a Goon. This mutant is slow but can pretty much kill you if he gets you twice. Killing him is a really good idea, though, because you can pick up his weapon and one-hit-kill other zombies with it. Beating him with a normal weapon is futile, though (you can do it, but it’ll take you a long time), and you’re better off using your surroundings.
The first Goon you encounter is on an early mission for Spike. After setting light traps you’re given the task of fixing the power grid, which brings you to a building where one of these guys are hanging out. Luckily after getting knocked down by him, you can run to the left and a little towards the gate where you likely came in and pick up a propane tank. Hit the Goon directly in the chest with the propane tank head on, and this moron will smash it with his rebar and blow himself up. It’s awesome to watch (don’t be too close when he drops the hammer down) and gives you a sick weapon to slay zombies with (although the rebar has no repair and will be gone after 20 or so kills).
You’ll also see random spikes and a lot of shit on fire in Dying Light. Kicking zombies into these spikes kills them (awesomely I might add) and lighting most of them on fire will do the trick as well. As I mentioned before, throw firecrackers at a burning car and watch a horde of basic zombies burn themselves to a crisp (for some reason Virals won’t die as easy, neither will the ones wearing hazmat suits). If you don’t want to waste firecrackers, you can start some shit with the zombies by getting near them and lead them to the flames. It works equally as well but is more time consuming and you put yourself at risk.
Update: I played for a few hours today, trying to lock down all the safe houses. I found one in particular extremely difficult (it is located on the north west corner of the map). This particular safe house has a Goon, two dudes in hazmat suits, and a couple of Virals. I tried burning them with molatovs, only to make them crispy and not dead. The hazmat suit zombies were very easy to kill, but I died trying to kill the Goon without a propane tank. I’ll revisit that particular safe house later on in the game when I have better weapons/skills. I think there might be a way to kill the goon using the tanks on the back of the hazmat zombies, but I’m not certain. Update: If you hit the hazmat suit zombies in the tank, they’ll explode in a few seconds. I assume this safehouse will be easy to secure if you can hit the hazmat zombie right next to the Goon.
There was another safe house I found particularly interesting, located on the east side of the map. There is a huge tower that you have to climb in order to turn the power on. Outside of the tower there is a Goon and some basic zombies. I thought I had to kill the Goon at first to secure the area, but not so. You just have to turn on the power in the hut and at the top of the tower. The view from the tower was amazing. I should have taken a screen shot. It was so tough to get up there, though. I had to use all of the parkour skills learned at the gym and a little trial and error. There’s one particular point when you get really high up and you actually have to step out and grab the outside of the tower to pull yourself up. It was an intense climb, and one of the more interesting safe house secures. Oh, and I straight up just killed myself jumping down. There didn’t seem like any easy way to get down, and I only lost 80 SP.
One other thing I noticed while playing for a few hours today was this recurring calendar in many of the buildings. Anyone know who the model is?