Dying Light: Bad Blood wants you to betray your friends

In the grim darkness of the near future, there is only Battle Royale. And things vaguely similar to Battle Royale.

Dying Light is the latest game to announce news of such a mode. This one will be arriving in the form of a standalone expansion called Bad Blood and it actually sounds far more suited to the game than I initially suspected. That’s mostly because it doesn’t sound like it has that much in common with the battle royale sub-genre, whatever this here press release might say.

Dying Light is already a game about scavenging, scouting and fleeing from calamity, and putting players into conflict with one another as they try to survive the zombie-infested streets could well work. I’m encouraged by the fact that Techland aren’t going for mass battles – there will only be six players in a match – and your goal is to escape rather than to kill your competitors.

There are still lots of zombies, you see, including the specialised boss types, so you really want to get out of the city. Unfortunately, the evac helicopter has limited seats and some people are going to get left behind. Oh, and you’re going to have to pay for one of those seats if and when you make it to the chopper.

You won’t be paying with cash though. Of course not. You won’t even be paying with the scrap you find as you loot your way through alleys and across rooftops. You’ll be paying with blood.

To pay for a seat on the extraction chopper, you need to harvest blood samples from the infected. Form dynamic alliances with other players to get tactical against formidable zombie bosses – and then turn on your allies to steal their samples. In a cruel set-up where everyone fights for the survival of the few, betrayal is not a question of “if”, but “when”.

The more samples the players harvest collectively, the more seats are unlocked. But everyone pays for their seat individually, which means the alliances are short-lived and can easily end with a stab in the back. Make sure you have enough evacuation points once the chopper arrives, and don’t get killed as you race to the extraction zone.

I reckon this might work. It’s coming next year but you can sign up for a pre-release global playtest right now at the official site.

It’s no surprise that the extraordinary success of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds has inspired other developers to dip their toes into the battle royale waters but this sounds like it has more in common with The Division’s dark zone than with Battlegrounds and the like. In fact, it sounds a lot like Dying Light with a clearer short-term objective, time limit and other people to play with and pester.

One day, every battle royale (or battle royale adjacent) game mode will be dropped onto an island, where they’ll fight until there’s only one left standing. And it will, of course, be Battlegrounds because it’s not even one of the competitors. It’s the actual island.


  1. Vinraith says:

    I got really excited there for a moment, new content for Dying Light would be great. This, unfortunately, is of no interest whatsoever. I have no idea what the appeal of these “Battle Royale” things is supposed to be, but I’m suddenly curious how large the cross-over interest between a game like Dying Light (single player or co-op zombie survival w/ free running) and the nu deathmatch crowd would really be.

  2. Chromatose says:

    Eh, hard pass on this one I’m afraid. Seems to be distilling everything I *didn’t* like about the original down into yet another hypercompetitive ragefest for all the ritalin-bros.

  3. Lieutenant_Scrotes says:

    Dying Light is one of my favourite games of all time, just recently completed another playthrough (including The Following) on hard mode and enjoyed it even more than the first time.

    I’ll definitely be giving this a try just because of my love for the base game. Although in general I don’t enjoy the Battle Royale genre, having tried both PUBG and Fortine BR and quickly finding them tedious.

  4. DudeshootMankill says:

    Looking forward to this. The Dying Light engine and gameplay ported into another gamemode without the dumbest story and most annoying npc’s for any game ever, would be quite ace.

    Did anyone else feel like this? That the npc’s dialogue was the most terrible thing ever to be written, by a 13 year old?

    • hamburger_cheesedoodle says:

      I’m not sure I’d go to quite the lengths you say, but yes, I loved the gameplay of Dying Light but found the story, main character, and most of the NPCs quite tedious at best and obnoxious at worst.

  5. Tomo says:

    This doesn’t really sound like a battle royale game tbh. The main draw of battle royale games for me is going up against many, many other human players, which greatly magnifies the sensation of survival. With a bunch of NPCs and only six human players, it sounds more like a game of deathmatch mixed with something like Friday 13th/Dead By Daylight.

    Might be interesting though. And I’m glad developers are trying out different multiplayer ideas. For a long while, I feel like online FPSes got stuck in a rut of class-based games, with a focus on levelling-up and hats.

  6. KastaRules says:

    Outstanding zombie game, one of the best ever made.

    I am *not* into multiplayer so I am gonna skip this content but I do appreciate the dev’s efforts to keep the game alive. Ahem, I mean living-dead!