In a world filled with ever more battle royale games, Dying Light: Bad Blood describes itself as a “brutal royale.” It doesn’t operate in the same way as games like Fortnite or Apex Legends, even though it does borrow many elements from them.
Dying Light: Bad Blood sets itself apart from other battle royales with unique gameplay mechanics and lots of distinctive features. Perhaps this is not surprising, since it is based on a well-received singleplayer experience rather than a brand new property. Currently in Early Access on Steam, the final version is planned for release on consoles as well.
The best way to describe Dying Light: Bad Blood is to say it is something of a miniature battle royale game. It features just 12 players competing against each other to escape the level in a helicopter that only has room for one. Accordingly, there are plenty of differences to set this game apart from other similar titles on the market.
Firstly, there is no shrinking circle or gradually smaller playing area to travel around. The world of Dying Light: Bad Blood remains the same throughout a match and you are free to explore as you see fit. Also, there is a very noticeable lack of ranged weapons. Instead, you have to rely on (and eventually master) the melee weapons on offer.
The last major difference is that the ultimate goal is not to take out your opponents but rather to escape on that single helicopter seat. To do that, you need to collect blood samples that are located throughout the level. Gather enough and you reach level five, allowing you to leave the island for good.
Like the other games in this franchise, Dying Light: Bad Blood is often a claustrophobic experience where you are constantly fighting in close quarters and must utilize parkour-style skills to get around. If you’ve played any previous Dying Light game, it will all feel very familiar as this is essentially just a multiplayer version of them.
PvP and PvE
However, what really helps Dying Light: Bad Blood stand out from the crowd is its blend of PvP and PvE. Matches don’t just revolve around battling against the other human players. You also have to contend with the rather large horde of zombies scattered throughout the map. These undead CPU can be found in highest concentration around hives, which just happen to be the locations where blood samples are located.
The end result of this is that you’re constantly coming into contact with zombies as well as other players. The combination of both PvP and PvE makes for some interesting gameplay scenarios. You can easily hide in ambush while an opponent is busy fighting to grab a sample of blood. Then you can take them out once they have wiped out most of the enemies, making your job that much easier.
Moreover, lots of CPU means there are very few lulls in the action. There is always something happening and no area is completely safe. Someone or something could be about to attack you at any moment.
Dying Light: Bad Blood also ensures you are coming into contact with other humans without the need for a shrinking circling. By having an objective that everyone needs to reach, the game forces you into seeking out conflict regularly.
Subsequently, you feel constantly on edge while playing Dying Light: Bad Blood. This is a unique feeling among battle royale games that often shift between intense action and then slower moments where you gather resources.
A culmination of this feeling is the final moments where you have to race toward the helicopter. Not only the person who collects enough blood can board the aircraft. Anyone is free to hitch a ride. It becomes a race to get to the landing spot and defend it until the helicopter arrives. Ambushes are very likely here and it generally becomes the most tense moment of any match.
As a result of being built on the foundations of an already successful game, Dying Light: Bad Blood has something of an advantage over other battle royale games. Performance is not an issue as there are very few technical problems thanks to the engine already being tested in the first title. If anything, this new game looks even better. A face lift has improved the lightning and made the color palette more vibrant so that the visuals look far more colorful.
Ultimately, Dying Light: Bad Blood is an excellent and novel take on the battle royale genre. Everything has been implemented well and the overall execution is very good, far better than many other games of this type. A shift to a smaller, yet more densely packed, map and the blending of PvP with PvE adds a whole lot of drama to proceedings. So much so, that you will be on the edge of your seat throughout most matches.