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The game revolves around an undercover agent named Kyle Crane who is sent to infiltrate a quarantine zone in a city called Harran. It features an enemy-infested, open-world city with a dynamic day and night cycle. The day-night cycle changes the game drastically, as enemies become more aggressive and more difficult to deal with during night time. The gameplay is focused on weapons-based combat and parkour. The game also features an asymmetrical multiplayer mode (originally set to be a pre-order bonus); and a four-player, co-operative multiplayer mode.
The development of the game began in early 2012. Prior to the game’s official announcement, several reports claimed that Dying Light was a sequel to Dead Island, another franchise created by Techland. The rumor was later denied.
The game’s parkour system puts emphasis on natural movement. To implement that, Techland had to abandon most of the story elements, and had to build them again from scratch. The music development was handled by Paweł Błaszczak. According to him, the soundtrack was inspired by movie soundtracks of the ’70s and ’80s.
At release, Dying Light received positive reviews from critics, with praise mainly directed at the combat, graphics, co-operative multiplayer, navigation and the day-night cycle, while receiving criticism regarding the story, difficulty and technical issues. The game was the best-selling title for the month of January 2015 and broke the record for the first month sales for a new survival horror intellectual property. Techland announced that they would be committed to the game after its release. As a result, in May 2015, they put another project on hold to concentrate on the post-release development of Dying Light. The team released numerous updates, and two downloadable content packages, namely Cuisine & Cargo and The Bozak Horde. An expansion, titled Dying Light: The Following was announced as well and was released on February 9, 2016.