For fans of the genre, survival horror games are like a dark, eerie carnival ride that takes you on a twisted journey through the depths of fear and desperation. Navigating through haunting landscapes and derelict environments keeps you constantly on the edge of your seat, never knowing when danger will strike or what unspeakable horrors lurk around the next corner.
This is precisely what AAA game developer Techland had in mind in the masterful creation of the Dead Island and Dying Light series. The two games give “zombie infestation” a new meaning and a sense of thrill through treacherous journeys where your survival is critical.
We all know that zombie-themed games amount to absolute gore, jump shocks, and bloodshed, so these two games are not for the faint-hearted. But if they fit right up your alley, knowing which of the two is best will save you hours of playtime. So who takes home the victory spoils, Dead Island or Dying Light? Let's find out below.
What is Dead Island?
Gear up and brace yourself for the undead paradise of Dead Island, where blood, guts, and zombies have replaced the sun, sea, and sand. Dead Island is an action role-playing survival horror series by Techland.
The game's first title, Dead Island, debuted in 2006, and a subsequent stand-alone expansion dropped in 2013. A sequel to the game Dead Island 2 is currently in development.
Survival is vital in this brutal, first-person horror series. Players must scavenge for resources, craft makeshift weapons, and fight off hordes of ravenous undead in a desperate bid to stay alive. As you explore the lush tropical island, you'll encounter a diverse cast of survivors, each with unique skills and abilities. From the gun-toting rapper Sam B to the knife-wielding hotel receptionist Xian Mei, you'll need to work together to fend off the zombie menace and unravel the island's dark secrets.
But beware, the undead are not your only enemy. Ruthless gangs of human scavengers will stop at nothing to take what's yours, and deadly infected creatures lurk in the shadows, waiting to pounce on unsuspecting survivors.
What is Dying Light?
Dying Light is a survival horror game by Techland and published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. In essence, the game, a remake of Dead Island, does a tremendous job of blowing the initial title out of the water. While the first release fell short in many ways, Dying Light maximized its potential and delivered a much-improved experience.
In the post-apocalyptic world of Dying Light, the day is for scavenging, and the night is for survival. The game, a “zombified Far Cry,” tests your skills and nerves like never before.
Set in the fictional city of Harran, Dying Light puts you in the shoes of an undercover agent caught in the middle of a zombie outbreak. During the day, you'll explore the city and scavenge for supplies to help you survive. But when the sun sets, the infected become more aggressive and dangerous, and you'll need to use all your skills and cunning to make it through the night alive.
With a day-night cycle that affects gameplay and a vast open world to explore, Dying Light is a game that will keep you on the edge of your seat. And with its deep crafting and weapon customization systems, there's no shortage of ways to survive the zombie apocalypse.
It's no surprise that Dead Island and Dying Light's rivalry is the talk of the town. Aside from the two games being the brainchildren of Techland, the two IPs have, for a long time, held mutual respect. The developer takes this rivalry a notch higher by giving both franchises established and long-running series to keep this comparison conversation going, and who knows for how long?
Notwithstanding, it's evident that Dying Light excels where Dead Island fell short. For starters, the game introduces a parkour-style movement system that allows you to jump, climb, and slide your way through the city; the game emphasizes mobility and agility. But be careful; one wrong move, and you could find yourself surrounded by the infected.
In contrast, Dead Island also emphasizes agility and fast-paced movement, with a stamina bar that dictates your physical action. After a while, the bar depletes, which means your character needs to regain stamina. This is a disadvantage when battling a high-level zombie since your character can easily get killed.
Moreover, Dying Lights' dynamic day-night improves the gameplay, where the zombies bring out all their claws at night, allowing players to scavenge for resources during the day. This feature adds a touch of surrealism to the game. Unfortunately, Dead Island does not include this feature.
To sweeten the pot, Dying Light features a deep crafting system that lets you create new gear and weapons using resources you find in the open world. In contrast, Dead Island has a limit on its crafting system and places more emphasis on firearms.
A giant leap that sets Dying Light ahead of its spiritual predecessor is leveraging next-gen graphics using the C-Engine. C-Engine offers massive scalability and compatibility. This allows developers to port games easily to different consoles. As a result, the game runs smoother with fewer technical issues on newer hardware.
Moreover, Dying Light features a more realistic visual style with well-detailed environmental and character models. The game's dynamic lighting and shadows improve the overall immersion and atmosphere.
In contrast, Dead Island uses Unreal Engine 4, which gives the game its categorical, stylized, and cartoonish look.
Undeniably. Dying Light takes the world of the undead a notch higher with its improved gameplay and stunning graphics. Not to say that Dead Island is a lesser opponent. In fact, the game set the stage for the subsequent, foreboding survival series.
However, when drawing parallels between the two, Dying Light gives you a bang for your buck. The game is a must-play for fans of survival horror. So grab your machete, load up on ammo, and get ready to face the undead hordes in a fight for survival like no other.