Since Dying Light launched back in January of this year to mostly positive reviews, developers Techland have been hard at work extending the experience with various expansion packs which include Cuisine & Cargo, Bozak Horde and a #DrinkforDLC Reward, with the aim of giving players a further quest to partake in. February 2016 see’s the Polish based developers biggest expansion to date launch in the way of ‘The Following’, which will not only further extend the Dying Light experience but add a whole new area of the map for players to explore and survive as well as the introduction of vehicles to the game, with buggies made available.
Earlier in the year we had the pleasure of chatting with Techland and Dying Light Producer Tymon Smektala about the studios love for the survival horror genre, recently we caught up again with Tymon to find out more about ‘The Following’ Expansion.
PressA2Join: Dying Light was an amazing game to experience, can you explain how ‘The Following’ will add to what is an already enjoyable and established title?
Tymon Smektala: We basically took everything that worked from Dying Light and added more diversity to the mix. All our new mechanics, features, weapons, missions etc. are all built to work well with what set by Dying Light with a new spin.
The vast new map and the dirt buggies are the biggest immediate changes players will feel and then the further the progress they’ll be able to see what else has changed.
Can you talk a little about the story behind ‘The Following’, will it separate from the game’s main story or continue on from where Dying Light left off, also will new players to the game be able to jump straight in or will levels of character affect the expansion/make life more difficult?
Tymon: The story in Dying Light: The Following takes place soon after the main game’s events. Player’s get vital info that could help with Tower’s immediate needs where the situation has deteriorated even more. How that plays out and the full tie in is a surprise but we’re basically using Dying Light: The Following to add to Kyle Crane’s involvement with the outbreak as a whole.
It’s recommended that players complete the base game before playing Dying Light: The Following. With the story and the gameplay we really wanted to create something that added to the whole experience and the best way to do that was to build past what already exists. You dive right in you might miss some story references and the learning curve will be much steeper. But yeah, the option to dive right in is there if you want. If you’re a masochist, then you can fire up Dying Light: The Following with a fresh character and turn on nightmare difficulty. Best of luck though.
You have spoken in the past about the size of ‘The Followings’ map and how it will be considerably larger than Dying Light’s main maps put together, during a recent video I noticed Farms, etc, as part of the new map, can you tell me a little about the new kinds of environments players will face and how much different will it be from the City streets of Harran?
Tymon: We hit you with the changes right from the start. The new map is diverse and open with various areas of safe havens like farms, mills, hunting towers and towns to name but a few. The biggest change is how you play. The urban area provided a lot of leeway when it came to getting out of trouble. In the countryside that window for mistakes is a lot smaller.
Dying Light’s main story offered the chance for players to explore and complete missions with up to four players, the game also included challenges, will ‘The Following’ continue to expand on that with new challenges?
Tymon: Absolutely! 4-player co-op is supported throughout almost the entire game and the player challenges are tagging along. A lot of the new features have co-op challenges attached, most notably the driving challenges. These set challenges ask players to do very specific things behind the wheel. They’re fun in single player as is but when you add co-op, things often get out of control. And it’s not just the basic “Get here first! stuff. We really played around with these and tried to get creative. Some were even created just from us goofing around during initial testing.
In Dying Light, players come up against a variety of terrifying monsters with, the likes of Volatiles, Goons and the obvious Infected to name a few, will players face any new enemies in ‘The Following’ and if so what can they expect from the new encounters?
Tymon: Yeah there are definitely a few nasty surprises waiting for players! The most notable of these are the “Freaks” but that’s all I ought to say at this point. We want the first encounters with these terrors to be a bit of surprise. Our existing enemy types have also had their behaviour and frequency tweaked so what may have worked before might not be the best strategy this time around.
‘The Following’ introduces vehicles to Dying Light for the first time, allowing players to traverse the game in a completely different way, how important will the vehicles be throughout the expansion and will there still be heavy emphasis on the use of Parkour?
Tymon: The map and our missions make it that parkour is still an essential tool to your survival. It’s also still a key weapon if you use the right skills. Since we know fans absolutely loved the parkour so we made sure it’s also vital in the expansion. Basically the dirt buggy is something new to your movement and weapon arsenal, while parkour is the familiar favourite which equally has a place in Dying Light: The Following.
Legendary Levels allow for players to further enhance their own Dying Light experience with new emblems, weapons and clothing to be unlocked, can you explain a little about the new weapons players can use?
Tymon: The main process with creating these weapons was we took some of the fan favourites and made some major tweaks to them. And it’s also about diversity here. We kept hearing that a lot of the cool weapons people found in the earlier parts of the game became obsolete later with no real levelled up replacement. So if you loved using the baseball bat at a certain point you had to stop because it just wasn’t enough. That changes now with Legend Levels.
The latest expansion looks very exciting and is sure to have the attention of fans of Dying Light both old and new, do you have any personal highlights for ‘The Following’?
Tymon: There’s a lot of highlights but the one I hear back about the most it the definitely driving. This is going to sound a bit twisted, but there is something really carnal and satisfying when you plow through a horde of undead in an apocalypse-style upgraded dirt buggy.
I thoroughly enjoyed ‘The Bozak Horde’ DLC, it added something different to the game, a real competitive nature, with ‘The Following’ set to open up the game and the world of Dying Light entirely in February, will it be the last expansion or do you have even more planned for the future?
Tymon: Right now all our attention is on Dying Light: The Following. What’s next, well I can’t really say. But what I can say is that we will be just as attentive with post-release support as we have been this last year. We know our fans appreciate this a lot so expect more.
The Holidays are upon us, it’s been an amazing year for Techland and Dying Light, do you have a personal message for fans of the game and people who have been behind the game from the very beginning?
Tymon: We can’t really say it enough but thank you to everyone who has made this a year to remember for all of us here in the studio! If I could, I would hug and high 5 all of you personally!
Massive thanks to Tymon Smektala of Techland for taking the time out to chat with us.
Dying Light’s ‘The Following’ Expansion launches on February 9th 2016 for the Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC and is available for players who own the Dying Light DLC Season Pass or purchase separately for those who don’t as well as Dying Light Enhanced Edition being made available via retail.
Dan has been gaming for nearly 30 years and has survived everything from Nuclear Fallouts to Zombie Outbreaks but his main love is Survival Horror and don't we all know it. Favourite games include Resident Evil and Grand Theft Auto, he can be regularly found cruising the streets of Vice City listening to the classics.