Dy­ing Light: The Fol­low­ing

De­vel­oper Tech­land Pub­lisher Warner Bros For­mat PC, PS4 (tested), PC Re­lease Out now


PC, PS4, Xbox One

Dis­patched to a farm­house dur­ing a mis­sion near the be­gin­ning of The Fol­low­ing, we ar­rive to dis­cover that the place is be­ing held by ban­dits. Our sur­vival in­stinct kicks in and we run up­stairs and bravely hide in the bath­room. We can hear them shout­ing out­side – they know pre­cisely where we are – but at no point do any of our as­sailants con­sider sim­ply open­ing the door so that they might reach their prey. Tech­land says that AI is one of the many ar­eas ben­e­fit­ting from an upgrade in The Fol­low­ing, but at times like this it’s a dif­fi­cult claim to take se­ri­ously.

For­tu­nately, many of the game’s other changes and ad­di­tions are laid out plainly. The star of the show is a cus­tomis­able dirt buggy, which quickly be­comes some­thing of an ob­ses­sion as you set about fur­nish­ing it with the best op­tions that can be bought, scav­enged or built with your own hands, ramp­ing up its sus­pen­sion, mak­ing its turbo unit more ef­fi­cient, even bolt­ing a flamethrower onto its front end. The world of The Fol­low­ing is mostly open coun­try­side, so get­ting about its broad ex­panse in a hurry is only prac­ti­cal on four wheels, and it doesn’t take long to turn your ride into some­thing that not only gets you from A to B but is also ca­pa­ble of churn­ing up swathes of the un­dead at break­neck speeds. The game warns against run­ning over zom­bies, but the bonuses awarded for do­ing so are the quick­est way of up­grad­ing your driv­ing skill tree, mak­ing any­thing with two legs a fair tar­get as you carry out fetch quests for the sur­viv­ing pop­u­lace.

You get to cover a lot of ground as you rip through the main quest­line, but there’s not a great deal of va­ri­ety in what you do around The Fol­low­ing’s map. At least there are some fun new ways of tak­ing down the swarm­ing en­e­mies you meet along the way. The bow may look like an ap­peal­ing op­tion on pa­per, but once you’ve got your hands on a cross­bow and used it to take down the game’s largest en­e­mies with sin­gle bolts to the head, you’ll form a bond that makes Dar­ryl Dixon’s re­la­tion­ship with his weapon of choice seem flimsy.

The Fol­low­ing’s set­ting gives it a more or­ganic flavour than the base game. It feels much more like peo­ple are liv­ing lives here, which helps to em­pha­sise your po­si­tion as an out­sider, even if the peo­ple you meet, bar a hand­ful of ex­cep­tions, fail to leave any kind of last­ing im­pres­sion. As be­fore, the big­gest im­pact is made by the scale of your zom­bie-evis­cer­a­tion spree.

If it’s judged only on its at­mos­phere, weapons, and the amount of killing it por­trays from be­hind the wheel, this ex­pan­sion hits the bulls­eye. If Tech­land can fill in all the bits miss­ing in be­tween, its next pro­ject could be some­thing spe­cial in­deed.

The Fol­low­ing sees you in­ves­ti­gate a cult, but it’s dif­fi­cult to keep your mind on the big pic­ture when you’re knee-deep in so much zom­bie flesh. Mak­ing the job eas­ier are new ways of dis­patch­ing the walk­ing dead

DE­MO­LI­TION MAN The Fol­low­ing’s largest en­e­mies, De­mol­ish­ers (above), were also the big­gest foes in the orig­i­nal game, and they’re as frus­trat­ing to fight here, too, soak­ing up clip af­ter clip of gun­fire, and some­how hit­ting you with arc­ing punches even when it looks like you’re safely out of range. It’s at times like this that you’ll won­der how you ever made it through Dy­ing Light with­out the cross­bow, which, aimed with ap­pro­pri­ate care, can be a more ef­fec­tive op­tion than an au­to­matic ri­fle. It’s quiet, too, mak­ing it the ideal tool for avoid­ing the at­ten­tion of packs of bay­ing Vi­rals.

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