By DEV CROWLEY
DYING LIGHT: HELLRAID
As a fan of Techland and Deep Silver’s Dead Island, I was very excited when Techland came out with DYING LIGHT in 2015. It was similar to Dead Island, but with better graphics, better mechanics, a great story and parkour! I spent all of my free time that summer playing all of the side quests and trying to fully complete the game. I am a huge fan and, needless to say, was extremely sad to hear that the second DYING LIGHT game was delayed indefinitely. Something that Techland is really good at, though, is keeping players happy. I am impressed with how much more content they have released over the years for DYING LIGHT; new modes, skins weapons and now a DLC. DYING LIGHT: HELLRAID is a medieval castle mode to give players a taste of Techland’s game HELLRAID, which has also been very delayed (or cancelled). My big question was: how are they going to make this connect to the DYING LIGHT world?
Short answer: they didn’t, but that’s not a bad thing. To get to the DYING LIGHT: HELLRAID DLC, all you need to finish in the main game is the Prologue. After that is completed, head to the Tower and you’ll see a room off the first floor with lots of candles and a mysterious, possessed arcade machine that somehow runs in the apocalypse. You will be transported to a world in a dark castle; you have no weapons but have all of your leveled up physical skills from the main game. You will find weapons, loot chests for defensive potions, and health items to try to find the parts of the Clavis Stone to unlock a gate.
Achievements in the game are rewarded via HELLRAID level-ups and HELLRAID coins. The coins are used to buy HELLRAID weapons in the main game, as you don’t get to keep the weapons found in the DLC, but you can buy them with the coins. I do think that part is a bit unfortunate, but I have seen a lot worse microtransactions. At least these coins are earned through gameplay. Resident Evil does something similar. The graphics, aside from the environmental design, aren’t much different from those of the main game. The map is tight and vertical as you are spiraling your way down a castle tower and enclosed pretty much the entire time. The enemies are the same models as the main game with skins on them, some being zombie-like with glowing eyes and others being straight up skeletons. The sizes are also similar as you have smaller and weaker enemies as well as lumbering, large ones that knock you down in one hit.
The DYING LIGHT: HELLRAID DLC doesn’t really allow you to utilize one of the best parts of DYING LIGHT, and that is the parkour aspect. This is more representative of a standard horror RPG where you are moving from room to room, dungeon to dungeon, disposing of enemies and searching for loot and secrets. The entire play time averages about 1.5-3 hours, which is an okay size for a DLC priced at $4.99, but the price tag is $9.99 which seems a little hefty in my opinion. The DLC is really repetitive as the player fights waves and waves of the same enemies in environments that don’t change a whole lot. While the main game has repetitive enemies, the environments are varied and vast, so it doesn’t feel like you’re doing the same thing over and over again. Even the final battle is just the same waves of enemies in increasing difficulty.
Overall, the DYING LIGHT: HELLRAID DLC is a fun change in the environment and a little bite-sized challenge, but it is overpriced for the amount of new content that it provides. While The Following DLC definitely lived up to its price tage, HELLRAID stumbles a little. However, I do appreciate Techland providing continual new content to keep players involved until DYING LIGHT 2 finally comes out. Cross your fingers for a release date announcement in the near future.