How Very Soulsian: Dying Light’s Multiplayer Invasions

'I better hide so they don't see how ruddy goofy I look.'

Pretty good game, that there Dark Souls, isn’t it? Pret-ty good games. And influential too. The most obvious trace we’re starting to see in other games is invasions, when some bully from That Internet comes swaggering into your game to ping your knicker elastic, tear pages out your copybook, and stuff you into a locker. We saw it in Watch_Dogs, and now it’s in Dying Light too, Dead Island creators Techland’s new zombie ’em up.

Sort of. In a pretty gross way, ‘Be the Zombie’ mode is split off into a DLC pack that publishers Warner Bros. are waving around as a pre-order bonus. Without it, you can be invaded but not invade.

‘Be the Zombie’ invasions are limited to online co-op games, from the sound of things, though WB are very vague about all this. They also don’t say when they’ll release the mode to everyone else (though they surely will), or how much it might cost for regular folks. What they do say is:

… pre-orders and pre-purchases come with the free Be the Zombie DLC, letting players take control of the Night Hunter themselves. By playing as the Night Hunter and invading other games, players get access to a completely new character with a unique set of moves and abilities which can be upgraded using experience points.

We’ve dropped them a line asking for more info. The game’s due on January 30th. Here, look:

28 Comments

  1. Sp4rkR4t says:

    Wow. “Pay us more and you can piss people off with no retaliation unless they paid us more as well.”

  2. slerbal says:

    Good tag. “pre-order guff” indeed!

  3. Premium User Badge

    Lexx87 says:

    Fucking hell – actually cutting off a game mechanic as a pre-order bonus?

    I have no words for that. Oh…wait… yes I do. Twats.

  4. Schiraman says:

    Wow, that really is horrendous. I’ll be avoiding that game then.

  5. Anthile says:

    This is an outrage.

  6. iainl says:

    Well, if they really don’t want me to buy the game at a later date, I guess I won’t.

  7. oWn4g3 says:

    I was really looking forward to that game but this DLC bullshit is more than just a bit offputting.

  8. Dezmiatu says:

    The invasions were not the reason I loved Dark Souls. Reminded me far too much of PKs in Ultima Online, only with even less of a drawback for the gankers. Is that really what game makers are latching onto?

    • fish99 says:

      Agreed. What I remember from Demon’s Souls is how many blood stains you’d see in the nexus from people who beat a boss and then deliberately killed themselves so they could attempt the next area without the risk of invasion. Now the playerbase may have warmed to the PvP somewhat since then but I still think most people play the Souls games for the PvE experience and would rather not have to deal with invasions.

      I’m sure someone who loves the PvP is about to violently disagree with me though…

      • Geebs says:

        I’m far more into PvE in the Souls games, but I actually enjoyed the occasional invasion (although it’s incredibly annoying when you can’t yet fast-travel i.e. immediately before O&S). DkS depends on the sense that, even if everything isn’t strictly against you, at least there’s very little there to help you; invasions are a way to occasionally up the stakes even further than you otherwise could.

        I will admit to sometimes passive-aggressively going off to make a coffee and just leaving my character standing there when the same OP jerk has invaded me for the third time, though.

        (Speaking of which – for-pay DLC-only invasions are total bullshit that completely ruins one of the more interesting recent innovations in gaming)

        • fish99 says:

          Yep there’s definitely less at stake through being invaded as you progress through the series. Bonfires are more frequent, enemies despawn now, and TBH the soul protection rings in DS2 have virtually removed any meaning from dying (assuming you use them).

          I remember the run to face Old King Allant (1-4) in Demon’s Souls, versus say the ‘run’ to the Rotten in DS2. Bit of a shame the series has gone that way really.

      • socrate says:

        Pvp to me is about a fun fight for both party…dark soul PvP as always been about extremely disadvantageous fight which the only people that like it really are griefer that love to do it to other people but hate getting griefed themself..aka its an horrible broken pvp system that bring nothing to the game itself..just look at what build people use these days they are all about using the most OP build they can google in pvp you see all cookie cutter…in the beginning people would tend to use fun way to fight now its all about thinking you’re good cause you use the obviously OP set of gear that everyone use and that doesn’t get nerfed and yet they nerf lightning magic to oblivion like somehow this was a thing hard to dodge in the first place.

        Out of all the good thing that came out of Dark soul 2 there was alots of horrible thing done to the game also..and the really bad DLC didn’t help either…i despise the generation of game dev that think now that every game should have PVP in them and multiplayer element…i think it is usually extremely badly made and introduced in most game today and even before…that is why there is a thing called pvp only game aka competitive like Moba(god still hate that name) and fps multiplayer…which btw are also extremely unbalanced even though alots will claim they are.

    • derbefrier says:

      People like the mechanic so yes. Its being copied. Some of my best moments in dark souls were fighting off invaders. It could be annoying at times but overall I thought it was a great original way to incorporate pvp mechanics.

    • Blackcompany says:

      Agreed. Dark Souls 1 invasions were novel. They happened as a counterweight to your being at your most powerful. In human form and able to summon help from NPC companions as well as other players. Invasions balanced that out and were a novel way to add tension in exchange for the advantages of human form.

      Dark Souls 2 completely blew it with Invasions.

      They are no longer novel or tension builders. They have become so frequent that they turned me off to the game. My girl and I are going to go back once the game has died down, so we can finish it out in peace. It had gotten to the point where, as soon as you moved into an area, the obligatory invasion was coming. Predictable as it was annoying.

      And now more games have latched onto this same tired mechanic. As if this is what defines Souls games. They do so much else both right and better. And this is what sticks. This.

      Sort of…discouraging. I would urge from to either severely nerf or even drop Invasions from their next Souls game. Dialing them back a goodly bit from Dark 2 would be most welcome. Especially if they leave in the idea of dedicated PVP areas for those interested.

  9. Cross says:

    Between Arkham Origins, Shadows of Mordor and now this, WB Games is quickly building up a reputation as the publisher most mercenary in its DLC practices. This is disgusting.

    • SIDD says:

      EA will be so disappointed to hear that!

      Edit: Oh just realised that EA are the distributors for WB – so balance has been restored to the dark side, I guess

    • TheTingler says:

      What’s the Shadow of Mordor one?

      I think Deep Silver withholding the “Hard/Ranger Mode” on Metro Last Light is pretty bad too. And isn’t there another game that’s withholding a major multiplayer mode as DLC only? I can’t remember which…

    • Blackcompany says:

      What bothers me most about Mordor – and make no mistake, I love the game – is its flagrant ripping off of Assassins Creed and its cannibalizing of Batman for mechanics/game play. Sure, Nemesis is innovative. And pretty fun. But that’s a background totem supporting the game play. And that game play is shamelessly copied from elsewhere.

      Now, there is an argument to be made for ‘borrowing’ known systems people enjoy using that we know work. Someone in the forums mentioned that it provides more time to focus on things like Nemesis when you dont have to develop a combat system from scratch and that it also means players with experience in your prior games can drop right in instead of relearning some poor reinvention of the wheel. And those are good points well made.

      Still it worries me. Has AAA gaming become so expensive and thus so risk averse that any attempt to innovate actual game play is forbidden in favor of sticking to the tried and true? If so, how long will a complete and total lack of innovation keep gamers sufficiently interested to continue buying games at AAA price points? If the CoD/Battlefield method has become the norm industry wide, how much longer does gaming have before a vast majority lose interest?

  10. Premium User Badge

    Henke says:

    Booing at preorder DLC aside,

    Looks pretty cool, and I like how it’s implemented in a more organic way than Dark Souls/Watchdogs’ invasions, by not just having another “player” invade you, but instead that player takes the role of an enemy type. Wouldn’t mind having the option for these invasions in SP as well.

  11. Bradamantium says:

    See, now this is the kind of pre-order DLC that oughta have folks up in arms. Slicing off an entire arm of gameplay and wrapping it up separate is ridiculous. Way to iterate on one of the most interesting mechanics of recent years in a purely negative way…

  12. Siresly says:

    I was interested in this game before I knew of the existence of this mode, and it doesn’t particularly interest me. I’m sure there are people who will say things similar to this and reason that this therefore doesn’t have an impact on their intent to purchase.

    But, I was never going to pre-order this game, because pre-ordering is generally something you shouldn’t do for all sorts of reasons. Encouraging bullshit like this being one of them. Buying this game near release also does not send a good signal in this case, so that’s no longer my plan. Ugh, they’re going to argue that this mode is free. And I hate that bullshitting almost more than the actual separation of the mode.

    Warner Bros. is acting gross recently. Apparently they’re doing a similar thing with MKX, using Goro as a pre-order bonus? And then there’s the Shadow of Mordor stuff, Youtubers only getting early access if they agree to whatever stipulations were in this brand deal. Game sites were also forbidden from posting footage.

    Related to concerns of this nature is that I just heard publishers and developers can choose which curators to display on store pages. This does not bode well. Curators can advertise publishers, and publishers can advertise curators. Companies like Warner Bros. are bound to leverage opportunities here.

  13. derbefrier says:

    I am not usually one to bitch about dlc but this is bit much

  14. Crusoe says:

    Mechanics as DLC.

    Fuck off, then

    • WiggumEsquilax says:

      Exactly this.

      Walling off gameplay mechanics behind a paywall is automatically enough for me to not buy this game. It’s also enough for me to NEVER buy this game, at any price, no matter what is offered, ever.

  15. malkav11 says:

    It’s kind of gross, but it’s also not a feature I want at all. On either end. I don’t play PvP games for a fucking reason.

  16. Tei says:

    I use to watch people playing watch men, … invasions where the most funny thing, always unpredictible