Six years, four months, and three weeks ago, a major developer released a big-budget action game set in a sprawling open world. In 2018, that same developer announced a sequel slated for the following year. It has since been delayed. And now, the original game is getting more content. Such is the story of Dying Light, a game about punching zombies before they punch you.
Yes, developer Techland just released a free add-on for Dying Light. Specifically, the existing Dying Light expansion Hellraid—teased in 2014 as a separate fantasy game before being put on ice and then released last July as a Dying Light expansion—is receiving a fresh infusion of narrative.
Prior to today, Hellraid was fairly light on story, centering on your use of a demonic arcade machine to descend into a demon-infested fantasy realm. You fight demons and the like with typical fantasy weapons, rather than, say, a baseball bat with nails sticking out of it. You just...kill stuff in first-person dungeon-crawling combat. And as in Dying Light proper, there’s an emphasis on free-running.
Today’s story mode expansion sounds like a one-act, tasking you with exploring a new area to rescue a mage by the name of Lucius. It’ll feature three quests, which, like the base game, you can play alone or cooperatively.
Beyond the content expansion, Hellraid is getting an overhaul to its lighting, plus updates to its inventory system and minimap. Here are the full notes, and a trailer:
It’s natural to wonder why this game that’s nearly as old as an entire console generation is still getting significant support. Dying Light, of course, was enormously popular at launch, topping sales charts in the wake of its release. (By 2019, 17 million people had played the game.) It’s still moderately popular, boasting north of 25,000 concurrent players on Steam as of this writing. Not exactly Counter-Strike figures, but still nothing to sneeze at for a six-year-old game that doesn’t fall under the “games as a service” umbrella. It’s not hard to see why Techland would want to keep the content drip-feed drip-feeding, even if only as a holdover until the imminent sequel.
Dying Light 2, initially planned for a 2019 release, is out on December 7 for PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.
(Updated 3/3/22 with new details)