Dying Light Does The Tedious CG Trailer Thing

If you play it in reverse, it's actually just the Dead Island trailer again.

You know how Dead Island dev Techland can’t resist pairing zombies with CG trailers and dismally sad twists even though their games aren’t at all about the latter two things? Well, they’ve done it again, though I will admit that Dying Light seems to have clambered into the Realm Where Gameplay Dares Not Tread with a bit more of its overarching concept intact. Running! Jumping! Thwacking with objects that weren’t designed with thwacking in mind! You’ll find all of that Mirror’s-Edge-meets-zombies action with a shiny, cut-heavy makeover after the break.

Oh, and of course, the twist. Our parkour-powered hero thwacked so many undead lives away, and yet in the end, someone else thwacked him just when his goal was in reach. The thwacker became the thwackee. It’s basically Shakespearean.

Here, for the uninitiated, is what the Dead Island developer’s latest is all about:

“Welcome to the unforgiving world of Dying Light, where a city devastated by a deadly outbreak has become a battleground. As day turns to night, survivors race to a cache of supplies, but the pulse-pounding free run is only half the battle. Staying alive through the night, when the infected become even more deadly, is the real challenge.”

Bonk and run. It’s the only way. Also, why are worlds always so unforgiving? Why can’t they just, like, let it go, you know? We all make mistakes. If you ask me, worlds just need to learn how to deal.

Dying Light will be out sometime next year. So, that’s parkour down, but what will the gaming industry combine with zombies next? I’m hoping for Farming Simulator. Desperately.


  1. BreadBitten says:

    [Squinting at the video “thumbnail”] Is that you Cole McGrath?

    • Syra says:

      I was thinking exactly that too. And then the electrified wrench? Are they TRYING to be unoriginal/steal someone elses IP?

  2. dee says:

    The actual music video to the trailer music is great. Captures that feel of childhood dreams perfectly, it’s nostalgic.

    • KhanIHelpYou says:

      As far as Wood Kid game trailers go, I think AC:Revelations did it better than this one.

      On the music side it felt like it fitted the action and the atmosphere better, here the song kind of feels detached from the horror (not in a good way.)

      And on the mechanics of the CGI no-gamplay trailer at least the ac:r one fitted into the story, the events in the trailer happen exactly that way in the game proper. We’ll just have to wait and see if Not-Cole MacGrath getting brained with a baseball bat is relevant to the story I guess.

    • Okami says:

      Yeah, it really is a wonderful video for a really great song. Seeing it uses for such a banal zombie game trailer made me actually a bit sad.

      • JoshuaMadoc says:

        On the other hand, it’s great advertising, because I’ve never heard of the song or Woodkid before.

  3. F3ck says:

    It’s the Murrow quote that lends it integrity, I think…

    …seriously though, since it’s a first-person, single-player, PC game I’m probably obliged to buy it.

    Then place it on the shelf with the dozens upon dozens of additional games that I’m going to play once they’ve agreed to pay me to drink too much caffeine and not play some version of STALKER.

  4. YogSo says:

    Was anyone else reminded of that famous Smirnoff commercial by Michel Gondry after watching this?

    • Ultra Superior says:

      Not a single soul. Na zdrovye tavaryshiy

    • Liquidoodle says:

      Yes! I always remembered that advert but never knew what to search for to find it, such an excellent advert and an awesome track too. Thanks for that :D

  5. Ultra Superior says:

    In case of zombie outbreak, just wait for a month until all the dead flesh decays.

    Maybe sooner, cause them birds, flies and worms are hungry for meat.

    Zombies, what a stupid fantasy.

    • fauxC says:

      I’m pretty sure thermodynamics would stop them before decay set in.

      You’re right about the “stupid” part though.

    • Mstrymt says:

      Wouldn’t that depend on the type of zombie? the “zombies” in 28 days later for instance aren’t dead afaik.
      Also I’d consider the reavers in serenity to be zombie-ish , also not dead, and have enough wherewithal to fly spaceships

    • Balance of Power says:

      @Ultra Superior says:

      “Zombies, what a stupid fantasy.”

      Well if one is set on being massively pedantic then ALL fantasy is stupid. You’re more than welcome to not like zombies as a horror sub-genre, but why do idiotic fuckwits like you try to rain on everyone else’s parade?

      Have fun with your My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic game. That’s REAL fantasy, right there.

    • Contrafibularity says:

      Basically, although I’m pretty sure that before zombies were actually a whole genre, it wasn’t so much fantasy as much as plot device/setup for exploring societal issues in a (then) original way (ie Romero films).

      Of course, with every iteration that last part sort of dropped to background, and now it’s mostly just zombies for zombies’ sake, with perhaps some decay-themed aesthetic, and some survivalists’ wet dreams thrown in because focus groups are fucking stupid.

      And now, it’s probably going to all be revolving around survivalism. I don’t know whether that’s a comment on (American) anxieties, or more obviously even, the fact we’re living through (which is to say, causing) the worst mass extinction in the planet’s history while we’re so cobbled up in our cityscapes we don’t even take notice, let alone change course (despite the fact we won’t survive either when we’ve destroyed our environment and most complex life). Or something like that. But now I’m speaking in generalities unrelated to this game so I’ll shut up.

  6. cpt_freakout says:

    Nathan, the Zombie Farm Simulator already exists, and it’s an iOS game. Seriously, here you go: link to itunes.apple.com

    If you’re wondering, yes, it’s nice, but in the same way the first hour of Farmville is nice. Then it constantly, and I do mean constantly, asks for your money, as well as gimps all the advances you might make within minutes to the timeframe of decades (unless you spend, spend spend!). Free mobile games, everybody!

  7. AngoraFish says:

    I’m completely over this dystopian view of human nature that The Walking Dead seems to have contaminated the zombie genre with.

    I just can’t believe that if humanity were ever threatened by a voracious zombie horde the survivors would almost all turn out to be psychopaths.

    It’s not even that interesting… how about disparate survivors coming together through the force of their mutual interest in survival to collectively repel the horde?

    • DatonKallandor says:

      World War Z had it right – some people will react well, some badly and some crazily. With the same overall hopeful tone that alien invasion scenarios usually have. A threat that is completely “other” is bound to unite us against the “other”. Unfortunately the name World War Z will be forever tarnished by the atrocious movie.

    • DrScuttles says:

      Isn’t “who is the real monster? Man is the real monster!” *gasp!* bollocks a pretty go-to cliché for the ever-consuming zombie fiction?
      In a way it’s understandable as zombies are pretty dull enemies. Without huge numbers, the ability to run or plot-dependent stupidity on behalf of the main characters, there’s not a huge deal of threat to competent protagonists. So throw in some humans who inexplicably become mad bastards at the first opportunity and your zombie plot has a sudden and dramatic third act.
      I’d argue that this trope has been done… to death.


      I’ll get my coat.

      • AngoraFish says:

        Cheers, great point. Given that zombies are such uninspiring enemies it makes sense that a contrivance such as the “enemy within” is required to inject some degree of dramatic tension into the narrative. Damn, however, it’s lazy storytelling.

        • DrScuttles says:

          On a related note, it makes me sad that George Romero hasn’t really moved on from the “the zombies are us and we are monsters!” thesis in his zombie films. The teenage me lapped up Dawn and Day of the Dead like buy-one-get-one-free Haagen Dazs only to be later dismayed by the derivative and phoned-in efforts of Land, Diary and Survival.
          Hell, I’m almost embarrassed to admit having sat through those last two.

          • Ruffian says:

            I hearya. I can understand it though, for sure, it’s just his personal vision of the Zombie – it’s not necessarily easy to take a new perspective on things, especially in regards to artistic types and their creations, I would think.
            Regardless, and I’m sure it’s partially from nostalgia and junk for me as well, the first three still remain at the top of the list of my favorite horror movies.

    • wodin says:

      Food..thats why..or lack of it..read some books about the POW’s of the Russians in WW2..where groups would hang around a dying man so they could eat him..sometimes getting stuck in before he actually died..hunger can drive people insane. Also it was said you could tell in the camps who had been eating people as they had a certain look about them..a crazy look.

      • AngoraFish says:

        Funny. I’ve not observed hunger as a particularly significant theme in a genre comprised primarily of raiding 7-Elevens.

    • Contrafibularity says:

      Good for you, you’ve seen through the fake grit and veneer of sentimental nonsense the writers are selling as supposed comment on society when the truth is they can’t even envision a single scene that does not in some major way revolve around a weapon. Seriously. To the point where every one just turn into episodes of As The World Turns Into Mad Gun “Sports” Enthusiasts.

      Just watch those Romero films and be done with it, those are the only zombie films you’ll ever need to see.

  8. phoenixdk says:

    I can’t believe that no-one else has mentioned how the guy thwacking our thwackee protagonist at the end of the video looks EXACTLY like Jason Statham.
    Or maybe I’m having Statham hallucinations (again).

    • LionsPhil says:

      Persistent Perceptual Stathamitis is a crippling affliction, too often misunderstood and overlooked in the modern world. Please. Give just five pounds a month to help us research a cure for this dehabiliting disease.

  9. Okami says:

    Judging by how much the trailers for Dead Island and Riptide had in common with their respective games, I’d say its a safe bet that Dying Light wont feature any parcours at all.

  10. Kein says:

    Remember when game trailers were about actual game and its gameplay? These were times.

  11. elnalter says:

    Dead Island was a terrible game and this will be terrible too. CGI can’t hide that.

    • Balance of Power says:

      Dead Island was a fine game (though I cannot comment on Riptide), somewhat derivative but Techland made it work. I, for one, look forward to seeing/hearing more on Dying Light.

  12. Crosmando says:

    Trying Too Hard: The Trailer

    also music sounds gay

  13. Wurstwaffel says:

    I like how that official trailer on the official WB channel is blocked in germany for having UMG-music-content

  14. Synesthesia says:

    They do have a pretty good group of animators with them though,dont they? As pointless as that was, it was pretty good.

  15. dmoe says:

    *~~~~*lyk dis if u cri er’time*~~~~*

  16. navyknight says:

    I don’t understand why people are getting tired of zombie games. I like the setting and the concept of zombie games, I wish more followed the zombies don’t run line of reasoning but I can deal with runners. How long have they been making first person shooters set during WWII or using a more current setting? I’m not saying I’m tired of them just that I don’t see what makes them any less tiresome than zombies. I hope they keep making zombie games, and improve on them more and more.

  17. Freud says:

    Although the Zombie genre is a bit stale some of the newer games (State of Decay, The Last of Us, Dying Light) focus on exploration, story telling, base building and some role playing instead of just hitting zombies over the head with metal objects.

  18. denizsi says:

    They promised that Dead Island would be big on survival, factions and choices with consequences and “an intricate melee combat system”, Then they released a simplistic arcady action game. Not inherently bad but far from the promise.

    This will likely be another arcadey action game with token Mirror Edge sections. Nothing inherently bad about that either, other than being rather dull.

  19. AJLeuer says:

    It pains me every time time I read some snobbish comment about pre-rendered trailers. We can all agree that they’re generally gorgeous and exciting, yes? So what’s this complaint about not showing gameplay, as if gameplay were the only possible legitimate reason for making a game trailer? I can’t think of any major game with a CG trailer that didn’t also release copious gameplay previews, so really it’s a moot point. Cinematics like this are great ways to introduce an audience to your story, setting, and characters. It’s OK to just enjoy them for what they are.

  20. NSGrendel says:

    Great combination of music and action. Lovely correspondence between visual and sonic beats. Excellent payoff after a very brief setup to develop any narrative or investment. Excellent and highly nuanced character animation throughout.

    People wailing on this trailer are not representative of anything but the inside of Kieran Gillen’s butthole.

    Pretentious, watashi?

    Even if the game turns out to be total shit, this is games based work that ends up having some form of artistic merit. Which is more than you can say for almost every single computer game.