Mirror’s Sledge: 12 Minutes Of Dying Light Footage

By Nathan Grayson on August 17th, 2013 at 4:00 pm.

Oh no, zombies! I will get past them by utilizing my patented ACTION SIT.

Oh my, Techland’s totally-not-a-Dead-Island-sequel-despite-being-set-on-an-island-of-the-dead game Dying Light actually looks good. Really good. After Dead Island: Riptide capsized into a swirling maelstrom of disappointment, I was expecting the worst, but I think I’m actually excited. For another zombie game. Will wonders never cease? Techland’s put out 12 minutes of gameplay footage, and its blend of Mirror’s-Edge-inspired sprintleaping, undead slide-kicking, and sheer, adrenaline-soaked night flight terror looks wonderfully promising. Watch below.

Yes, I know it’s 12 entire minutes long and your attention span has atrophied to the point of resembling a patch of decayed zombie flesh, but stick around until the end. The nighttime segment might just be the best. I love that the game shifts from fairly standard action-runner to a ridiculously frantic stealth/escape setup. I mean, there’s always the chance that stealth could be frustrating or broken (Techland hasn’t exactly proven to be the best with AI in the past), but fleeing while beefed-up, hyper-mobile zombies give chase looks absolutely thrilling.

Can Techland pull it all together, though? That’s my main worry. A few systems still look sort of janky, and the sense of speed/impact is missing that special something that separates the likes of Mirror’s Edge from, well, pretty much every other first-person game.

On the upside, Dying Light won’t be out until sometime next year, so Techland’s got plenty of time to polish up the grimier sections of its bilious guts. Now then, everyone repeat after me: please be good please be good please be good ok this is the last zombie game i will ever play i promise please be good.

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89 Comments »

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  1. bleeters says:

    Hmm. Techland game, set on an island, featuring zombies, with a trailer that looks pretty excellent.

    Not-a-cinematic-trailer-this-time aside, I can’t help but feel as though I’ve been here before.

    • mouton says:

      The “non-cinematic” part is quite important, though. My eyes almost fell out of my skull from rolling, when I witnessed all the hype about “Dead Island” trailer – while quite good, it had nothing to do with actual gameplay and I couldn’t understand how people could base their judgment of the game on it alone.

      • adam.jutzi says:

        At the very least, after watching that first cinematic trailer one would hope that creativity would have transferred to the game proper.

      • MobileAssaultDuck says:

        I believe the excitement was based on what we perceived the story might be like.

        We knew it was not indicative of gameplay but most trailers at least give you a glimpse into the style in which the game will be written.

        Unfortunately the decent emotional parts of Dead Island were few and far between. The only one I remember vividly is the guy in the pool crying over his dead family member who he had just beat to death.

  2. Sparkasaurusmex says:

    I feel that people have some pride in what they’re making when they release trailers like this. No tricks or gimmicks, just gameplay.

    It looks great, but I’m not sure I really want another zombie game.

    • Bhazor says:

      This was entirely scripted and is as representative of the actual gameplay as the original Dead Island cinematic trailer.

      And when the AI looks this bad in a scripted trailer that does not bode well. The most obvious part being how the alerted super zombies were standing stock still as he ran in circles around them.

      • Yosharian says:

        Yeah the scripted nature of the sequence was very off-putting. This kind of atmosphere attached to a non-linear exploration game would be great.

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          golem09 says:

          I hope you realize that the game is exactly that. It was scripted yes, but only the basic structure. All of this is still one open world , and the player could have gone in any direction at any point.

          • S Jay says:

            In Dead Island you can go anywhere too. So…

          • Yosharian says:

            I didn’t get to see that in the trailer, all I know about the game is what I saw from the trailer

      • Hyomoto says:

        I agree with you, but at the same time they are showing off a purported alpha state. And for an engine to be able to do this, even though scripted, at that stage is at least worth following the development on. I don’t want another zombie game but I do want a good zombie game. I believe that’s why they still sell is for all the games featuring them, there are nearly zero good zombie titles, and very few that focus on the important aspects.

        All that being said, Techland certainly has an uphill battle to prove they are making something I want to play. A linear, scripted zombie-themed Mirror’s Edge is entertaining, but not at the top of the list of games I’m looking forwards to.

      • mouton says:

        “This was entirely scripted and is as representative of the actual gameplay as the original Dead Island cinematic trailer.”

        You are exaggerating, such scripted videos are much more representative. Of course, they are still not representative enough.

      • Baines says:

        It was scripted, but scripted presumably within the game engine and showcasing game ideas. That is much more representative than Dead Island’s trailer.

        You yourself stated worries about AI based on Dying Light’s trailer, so apparently you found it more representative than Dead Island’s famed trailer. (AI can of course be improved with time, as well.)

  3. Bull0 says:

    Zombies: scary because one bite and you’re fucked. Games don’t really seem to get this.

    • GameCat says:

      The Walking Dead and ZombiU got this.

      • Bull0 says:

        True. I’d forgotten about The Walking Dead. ZombiU doesn’t really exist for me given that it’s exclusively on WiiU. Even so, they’re islands in a sea of action games in which multiple zombie bites are shrugged off by the protagonists

    • Yosharian says:

      Yeah, the way he literally ran into zombies and suffered nothing, didn’t exactly inspire terror.

    • Skyblade says:

      Pretty sure they’re using the ‘somehow immune survivor’ excuse for this one.

      • Turkey says:

        Unfortunately, only people with terminal brain cancer are immune to the zombie plague.

      • Bull0 says:

        I’m sure they are; sucks all the fun out of it for me. Probably in part because I’m in the middle of reading World War Z

    • daemonofdecay says:

      Yes, because no element of a made up creature can ever be changed between different iterations. That’s why all zombies also never run, too.

      Wait…

  4. Utsunomiya says:

    So he’s running and jumping and sliding around while carrying a knife, an axe, quite a few hammers, an even larger hammer, and a baseball bat. Okay.
    Although I must say, that day/night cycle looks mighty impressive for some reason.

    • Hyomoto says:

      I’m pretty sure that was just for the sake of showing off different weapons.

      • Milos says:

        I wouldn’t bet on it just yet. That looked like Dead Island’s weapon system with UI turned off (and UI has been turned off for the whole trailer, to make it look more “cinematic” I suppose, but I’m sure it will be there, and mandatory, in game) .

        Even though I liked first DI, that was actually one of the things that annoyed me the most – using 7 different crowbars to kill 3 zombies and then having to run back to the repair table for the hundredth bloody time. In the trailer he is switching weapons too much to tell for sure, but around 5 minute mark you can see the hatchet he’s been using for merely a minute or so already looking all battered and worn. I really hope it isn’t as bad this time around.

        • thebigJ_A says:

          There was the very easy to perform clone-weapon exploit, at least on 360. Made the game much more enjoyable. You still crafted, but only to make better, or different weapons. None of that silly baseball-bat-made-of-balsa-wood crap.

  5. Tei says:

    What I loved from the first Dead Island was the great settings. The beach, the city, the jungle, the lab. The jail much less.

    This looks like Dead Island 2.0 and looks good the way dead island looked good. Maybe a bit too much like the first game.

  6. povu says:

    I don’t know if Dead Island with climbing, faster running, and (hopefully) better level design will be enough to make it good.

  7. Jason Moyer says:

    I hope this level isn’t indicative of the entire game. The urban map in Dead Island was one of the worst parts of the game. It would be nice to have some more imaginative settings, like the resort (which was awesome).

  8. Mctittles says:

    Does this take place on Battleship Island; That abandoned island by Japan that Google maps crazily did a street view of?

    https://maps.google.com/?t=m&layer=c&panoid=A3tTI4JZsf22r2rcUZch3w&cbp=13,353.58,,0,-11.61&cbll=32.627125,129.738635&ie=UTF8&ll=32.601277,129.738579&spn=0.090818,0.192947&z=12&source=embed

    • buzzmong says:

      What I find even crazier is the Google staffer going completely rogue. Follows the nicely maintained path for a bit, the hops over a railing and starts walking around and INSIDE buildings which would be condemed as being unsafe.

  9. Yosharian says:

    This looks far too linear and QTE-driven. If they make it more non-linear and open-ended, and get rid of the stupid voice-overs telling me what to do, it might be a good game.

    At the moment it just looks like Call of Duty With Zombies.

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      golem09 says:

      How was this in any way linear and qte scripted? It was 80% normal Dead Island gameplay, enhanced by free running and way bigger and opener open world.

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        mcnostril says:

        Look at the way the camera moves when he looks around. That’s not a game being played, that’s a neat looking demo where everything is scripted, including player movement. The concept and the technology look good, but this is not a gameplay trailer, this is a ‘how we hope the game plays when we’re done’ trailer.
        Hopefully they can get it to that point, but for me this is only marginally better than a cinematic trailer (though it does have the advantage of letting us know that the technology can support the ideas).

        EDIT: I think it might be wise to remember the whole Colonial Marines debacle when it comes to trailers like this (not saying this is the case here, but you know…).

        • SirKicksalot says:

          What’s wrong with the camera? A controller is being used and there’s a look-over-your-shoulder button. Showing the cool stuff does not mean a demo is faked.

          I remember people were skeptical of Dead Island back in 2007. While that game was announced too early, the thing that made everyone pay attention to it – the gore – was definitely not faked. I don’t think Techland are in the business of faking demos and I don’t remember Warner misleading anyone.

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          golem09 says:

          That’s why I already said that I recognize about 80% of Dead Island. That look back over your should was very obviously a new bullet time feature they use for high speed chases. It was all scripted, obviously, but only using ingame commands, like an assited speedrun. I’m 100% certain that this trailer does not contain any kind of animation or camera movement that isn’t in the full game, and controllable by the player.

        • Deadly Sinner says:

          So you’ve never seen a gameplay trailer before? Because most gameplay trailers use a controller with smooth slower pans because using a mouse with jerky whip pans would not allow players to take in the sights.

      • Yosharian says:

        1:30

        *girl screams*

        “Jade, I need to check something out”

        Do I? Where was my decision as a gamer? What if I don’t want to check this out? What if I couldn’t give two shits about some little girl trapped in a house? When do *I* get to play the game? Same problem Dead Space 2/3 has, some idiot voicing my character telling me how to feel and what to do.

        2:34

        QTE sequence

        3:50

        “holy shit”

        Again my character is telling me what to do, how to feel. Holy shit implies danger, must not fight, must run. When do I, the player, get to have that feeling and make that decision for myself? I want to have the freedom to think HAHA BITCHES THINK IM SCARED OF YOU? NOPE! HERE I GO! Or: hmm I wonder if these guys will see me AH FUCK FUCK FUCK. Instead I get twatface saying ‘holy shit’ and overriding any free thought I might have, and I then know that the game wants me to run like hell.

        3:59

        QTE sequence

        4:27

        “I’m not looking for any trouble”

        I’m not? Oh, ok. I thought I was. I think I made my point about this type of thing already. But in case you didn’t get it: STOP TELLING ME HOW MY CHARACTER FEELS.

        5:11

        QTE sequence

        5:19

        QTE sequence

        6:04

        “What the fuck”

        6:10-20

        Intrusive ‘THIS IS A COMBAT MOMENT’ music

        6:33

        “It’s getting darker so move your arse”

        I understand noobs need a tip every now and then. But will someone please shut this woman up?

        6:59

        “Look for the smoke of the flare”

        Thanks for telling me what to do again. When did exploration games become ‘follow instruction’ games? Stop telling me what to do. Let me work it out for myself. Let me get lost once or twice and get eaten. IT’S OK. And for the love of god stop telling me it’s nearly sunset.

        7:13

        QTE sequence

        7:24

        QTE sequence

        8:11

        “Dammit, I’m late”

        Again stop telling me how to feel, let the watch go off, let me see the timer, let me realise for myself that I’m late. The rule ‘show, don’t tell’ is applicable here (and everywhere else in this damn trailer but that’s just a great example)

        9:02

        Is the guy getting cold? Please don’t tell me this stupid breathing is supposed to tell me YOUR CHARACTER IS SCARED cos as I’ve already explained that would be really retarded.
        To make a more elaborate point here: the woman says ‘oh shit its nightfall ur fucked!’. Now that’s ‘TELL’. Telling me what’s happening. Better way to do it: have some really creepy music play for 30 seconds. Subtle, not intrusive like the last one. Or: play a really creepy howl or groan or some shit like that. That’s ‘SHOW’. Let me make the transition from ‘calm’ to ‘oh shit’ myself, instead of telling me how to feel.
        That’s how you introduce true emotion into games.

        10:35

        “THey see me!”

        Oh do they? When do I, as a gamer, get to oh I think you get the idea I’m bored with this

        ————————–

        Some points. Yes this is a vertical slice. No that doesn’t mean this stuff is excused. They’re showing me the game, I’m critiquing it. Hopefully it will be better in the final version, that doesn’t mean I’m just going to clap my hands like a congratulary gibbon because they showed off some cool graphics and freerunning.

        This stuff is subjective, these are my subjective opinions. You may disagree, you may love voiced characters, I don’t, that’s all fine.

        I define QTE events as any time the character does something really cool when the player presses a button, you may have a different definition, that’s fine, that’s my interpretation. These type of QTE events are designed to blur the tricky moment between combat and not-combat, by allowing the player to press a button to do ‘cool stuff’. I don’t like that. I like messy combat. Developers don’t, because it’s hard to code. It’s easier just to have the player press a button to kill the enemy. I don’t like that. That’s my opinion.

        Oh and just to reiterate that the zombies aren’t scary because you can ignore them or one button them with QTEs, fix that please.

        PS: there’s a ton of shit I love about this trailer, otherwise I wouldn’t bother posting all this

        • Syra says:

          Gosh, maybe videogames aren’t for you. Or maybe, stick to the ones that do cater to your very specific requirements.

          • Doth Messar says:

            To be honest I think he brings up some valid points. I don’t need some handler telling me what I’m supposed to do all the time. Also he brings up valid points in the immersion department: I didn’t like the game interjecting someone’s thoughts into my gameplay. The game was telling him he has to be scared, instead of making the game scary for the player (I.e. the threat of reasonably quick death). This game has the storm trooper syndrome, the main adversaries are bumbling morons who aren’t much of a threat. And before you come back saying “That’s what zombies are, stewpid!” I’d like to ask you to reflect on what made zombie movies scary in the first place. Yeah zombies are supposed to be brainless but they’re also supposed to be highly infectious, as in one bite and you’re soon to be their walking buddy.

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          golem09 says:

          Funny that you complain about the mandatory mission to save the girl, while the narrator TELLS you it’s optional. The line about saving her was probably triggered by the player standing still and giving a fuck instead of pressing on.
          Counting getting free from grabbing zombies as QTE’s isn’t what I’d do. Certainly not after having played Dead island. And since this is another concept on another scale, the kill animation if more fitting than just getting the zombie off.
          Being annoyed by the woman giving you pointers? She’s a character. She wants you to find shit. There isn’t much time, as was already proven by you being late for the first drop. Which was not “scripted late”. You suck, she is getting angry and lecturing you. Deal with it.

          Combat music? Ok that’s enough, I’m going to bed.

          • Yosharian says:

            “Funny that you complain about the mandatory mission to save the girl, while the narrator TELLS you it’s optional.”

            You haven’t understood my point.

            “The line about saving her was probably triggered by the player standing still and giving a fuck instead of pressing on.”

            You haven’t understood my point.

            “Counting getting free from grabbing zombies as QTE’s isn’t what I’d do. Certainly not after having played Dead island. And since this is another concept on another scale, the kill animation if more fitting than just getting the zombie off.”

            Re-read the bit where I talk about subjective opinions.

            “Being annoyed by the woman giving you pointers? She’s a character. She wants you to find shit. There isn’t much time, as was already proven by you being late for the first drop. Which was not “scripted late”. You suck, she is getting angry and lecturing you.”

            My opinion is that I don’t want a person telling me what to do in my games.

    • Upper Class Twit says:

      What in tarnation?

      This is an open-world game. And there weren’t any QTEs in that trailer.
      C”mon dude. You’re just seeing the problems you want to see.

      • botonjim says:

        To be fair there were a lot of stupid voice overs telling the player what to do, but hopefully they’ll tone it down for release. Strangely there were no signs of the other usual modern handholding staples like the glowing object, the obnoxious button prompt, the telling dots on the mini map or the dreaded breadcrumb trail, so that was good to (not) see at least.

        • Bhazor says:

          … no handholding?

          The player character has fucking sonar that shows him any zombies within 50 yards.

          • botonjim says:

            Oh, that’s right, I’ve seen it now. Hopefully that’s just for the night phase, but still :(

          • Deadly Sinner says:

            Er, that’s because the night is actually dark in this game, so it would be nearly impossible to navigate without turning up the gamma. Did you not notice that it wasn’t activated in the daytime?

          • Yosharian says:

            I actually like that, although it needs some sort of limiting mechanic, perhaps a simple cooldown like Witcher 2’s, or maybe it uses up some kind of resource.

        • Yosharian says:

          Yes, the lack of glowing prompts was great

  10. PitfireX says:

    God I wish they would just stop… people need to stop buying rubbish. fucking techland.

  11. Strangeblades says:

    This looks gosh darn amazing. I love the night time running aspect. Can’t wait to play this on the hardest difficulty.

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    CelticPixel says:

    I reckon they’re taking what they know and trying to expand it, so fair play.

  13. Bloodyhell says:

    One half of me wants to believe that Techland has learned from their past mistakes and this is the game that’s going to be good. The video looks good and like a lot of fun. The other half of me thinks, “hey, this is Techland and I’ve already wasted enough cash on their crappy games”.

    • Reapy says:

      I haven’t played any of their games but am watching still, they have an engine that can make a good game, they jut hvae to use it right, which they haven’t yet IMHO.

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    golem09 says:

    I don’t get all the techland hate. Bugs. Booho.

    Dead Island, greatest coop experience of my life. But yeah, fuck techland, they have bugs, and zombies are so old. Fuck the most fun first person melee ever.

  15. rockman29 says:

    Looks… boring? For a zombie game that seems pretty high on the power fantasy bit, the trailer makes it sound like it takes itself too seriously and not seriously enough at the same time… doesn’t sound or look believable at all. Not for me at least.

  16. Turkey says:

    If you already knew the guy was going to get sprung by a zombie followed by a fade to black at the end, chances are you’ve seen way too many game trailers.

  17. Christo4 says:

    I think it would have been interesting if you could only carry 1 or 2 weapons and rely on parkour stuff to survive because zombies are very dangerous.

    But unfortunately this is quite similar to dead island, only that you can run on buildings. Which is not bad in itself, but it seems that they just added it so that it looks like a different game, when it’s the same thing as before.

    MEH

    • DarkFenix says:

      Exactly the impression I got. The zombies look typically unthreatening, the game in general strikes me as “Dead Island, but you can climb on stuff if you like”. It’s such a great concept for a more survival and avoidance oriented zombie game, but they look like they’ve blown it already.

  18. maximiZe says:

    Techland are a peculiar bunch. They keep making the horribly boring and generic Dead Island games which are way too successful for their own good, then suddenly come out with a systematically slick gem like CoJ Gunslinger. Not sure what to make of this one, fidelity-wise the footage is pretty impressive. Then again I really can’t be arsed to play another modern zombie game, no matter how much Mirror’s Edge they cram into it.

  19. S Jay says:

    Mirror’s Edge mod?

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    tumbleworld says:

    It could be fun if they pull off the stealth-parkour-action blend, but it’s a tall order. The sudden boss music for the super-zombie was a worry, and there were several moments that felt like scripting/quicktime hidden by the lack of UI. My biggest peeve though was the moany sidekick. Frankly, zombies seem an attractive alternative to being nagged through an entire game.

    • LaurieCheers says:

      On the plus side, the player’s response to the boss-zombie was just to run away. Could be ok.

  21. F3ck says:

    I’m sold.

    I’ve been waiting for an outbreak game that was open-world (so Walking Dead is out) SP (sorry L4D, DayZ) and not so cartoony (apologies to Dead Island, it worked in Borderlands but not so much for you) so I’m definitely interested in this…

    …every zombie movie/show has had those quickly-brushing-past-zombies-so’s-not-to-get-bit scenes. I don’t want to play as the out of shape smoker (i.e., myself) whom cannot out maneuver a couple of shuffling undead.

    Upping the difficulty will be requisite, of course.

    (also, are those trash bags visibly rustling?)

  22. The Angry Alien says:

    This seems like a great idea, but I would want a few extra things from it 1) a 1 bite kill, you get bit, you’re dead. 2) More responsive AI (Come on TechLand if you try hard enough maybe you can pull it off) 3) I can’t really tell or not, but if there was maybe a city scape area (I.E. A new york type of city) to maybe make most buildings able to be entered into or break the windows maybe to enter. I just want that true survival horor feel. Like at night when you are running, I want it to feel like if I stop, I’m dead. Not that I can just jump on a zombies head whom isn’t even aware of my presence to escape. Just my thoughts.

  23. ZombieOutbreak says:

    Thank god, I thought that this game had become that lame Hipster zombie game.

  24. Jakkar says:

    … No, this looks all wrong… Throwing knives that kill the undead by being poked into their legs? Area of Effect sledgehammer ‘smash’ attacks that inexplicably cause zombies five feet away to fall over? Spike racks on walls, car-throwing giant zombies with predictable ‘charge’ attacks?

    Meanwhile the Dead Island-derived materials seem to have been weakened – the great agility trades off with far inferior melee combat in terms of complexity of their reactions to blows/methods of attack, judging by the video at least.

    So much potential here, why are they wasting it with RPG tropes and cheesy mega-attacks?

    • Jakkar says:

      Oh dear. I then watched the finale – copying Guillermo Del Toro’s design for the ‘Reaper’ vampire variants from Blade 2 isn’t clever.

      • RProxyOnly says:

        Exactly that went through my mind the instant I saw it… Kept expecting Matt Goss to pop his head up.

    • CASHMONEYDAD420 says:

      I got pretty hyped at the start from what looked like a highly immersive zombie survival game, but then silly, gamey shit like special infected, electrified knives and NIGHT SENSE™ happened and I realised this is pretty much just Dead Island with parkour.

      Such a disappointment.

  25. xf11 says:

    SSDD nothing new. All the same. No survival. And that little girl looks even more menacing than zombies.

  26. Shooop says:

    Exactly when was this terrifying? He just ran through zombies with total impunity until the very end to fulfill the jump-scare quota.

    It’s Dead Island but with more acrobatics. And Dead Island was utter crap once the novelty wore off 10 minutes in.

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      strangeloup says:

      Come on, be fair. The first ten minutes are pretty crap as well.

  27. pupsikaso says:

    This game would benefit so much from TrackIR

  28. Shagnasty29 says:

    Some argue that there have been enough Zed Games – but in my opinion, we’ve not had “the” Zombie game yet, that does it right – in a free form open world game.

  29. nitrog42 says:

    I love Techland’s secondary quests.
    A scream, we run in a house where there is a little girl, and you know what ? YOU ALREADY FINISHED THE QUEST, HOW FUN WAS THAT EH ?
    They really need to make something out of it, their game can be awesome but it really need a bit of polish on it.

  30. stoner says:

    Oh. Look. Another farking zombie game. Meh…

  31. Zogtee says:

    Dead Island 2: Return of the Lens Flare. Also, jumpy bits.

  32. The Taxidermist says:

    Leaving opened doors behind in those situations is not very clever. Silly game incoming. Zombies don’t scare shit.

  33. RProxyOnly says:

    Another day, another subject. Brown study over.

    This looks quite interesting, and I have to admit that’s one purty engine.

    “Hole up and survive the night”

    This REALLY sounds great.. but the sad thing is that the night and day cycle seems to be scripted to kick in at waypoints….. We should really be able to find the highest spot and have an nice 8 hr kip whilst the zombies mill around at the bottom unable to get you.. and yes, the whole point about zombies is “one bite and you’re fucked”… I’d really like to love this game, but atm I’m not feeling it.