Old Town and quarantine zones
The joys of surviving a zombie apocalypse continues! Since my last post about Dying Light, Lord Crumb and I have been progressing through the game at a steady pace. We’ve moved out of the Slums (the first map) to Old Town, which is definitely the richer area even if it is still crawling with zombies.
One of the nice things about having so many tall buildings is that the volatiles mostly keep close to the ground, making it easy for us to run around at night. We’ve taken to not even sleeping and instead using the opportunity to try and increase our agility rank. We’re both maxed out in the survivor and power skills now, and Lord Crumb managed to max out on agility just last night. I’m still lagging behind at 22/24 agility but I don’t expect it to be too much longer. One of the great things about maxing out agility/power is that you no longer get fatigued by running and fighting, which makes life that much easier.
As you can see in the shot above, I found a legendary (orange-quality) sickle that glows bright blue all the time, so much so that it actually caused lens flares when Lord Crumb looked at it. I got it not long before we left the Slums and it lasted me until I bought an legendary machete which I stacked with legendary mods and blueprints, making it as powerful as it possibly can be. It has a green glow to it but not as flashy as the sickle.
We’re over halfway through the story line now, even though we’re close to finishing all of the side quests and have unlocked all of the safe houses. We’ve also been completing quarantine zones as we’ve come across them and just have two that we missed back in the Slums. We were afraid to do them at first since they were labelled as “Difficulty: Hard” and since they’re instanced, we just assumed they were like MMO dungeons. It turns out that they really aren’t that hard, they’re actually easier than a lot of the situations we’ve come across in the open world. They’re great for survivor experience though, especially since you can repeat them as many times as you like. Some of them definitely turn up the creepy factor though. One of them was an apartment building that had eerie piano music playing in the background and zombies that would bang on doors when you came near them. The zombies never did get out but it was still nerve-wracking to hear it while you’re trying to clear out nearby rooms.
It was also here that we encountered our first Screamer, which is a small child zombie that does exactly what its name says. A lot of zombie games (and movies) stray away from any child zombies, so I was actually surprised that they were included here. Not that I actually want to see undead kids, it’s just an observation I’ve made over the years. It’s interesting because it’s such an old trope, one that dates back at least to 1968 in the original Night of the Living Dead movie. The Screamer even look more disturbing than some of the abominations wandering around outside, including the Volatiles. It must have to do with the fact that kids are just naturally creepy.
Another quarantine zone looked like most other buildings until we came across a room that had to be inspired by The Butcher in Diablo I, because what the actual fuck.
We were certain that something terrifying would spawn out of it but other than a pair of runners, there was nothing to jump out at us. Part of me is disappointed that they didn’t use this opportunity for something really scary, but part of me is impressed that they didn’t. By switching up where the jump scares come from, we’re always getting surprised when we least expect it. There’s already been once where I was opened up a closet, searching for loot without really thinking. I nearly leapt out of my chair when I instead found a zombie inside and it tried to eat my face. Now Lord Crumb is the one who has to open all the closets.
So far, Dying Light has just the right amount of horror for me. A few scares here and there, some general eeriness, but mostly just running around and slicing zombies apart.