All of the hype may be surrounding Blackout, COD’s battle royale mode right now, but Techland just launched their very own battle royale game.
Dying Light: Bad Blood takes the open world zombie parkour game into new territory. It’s a new multiplayer take on Dying Light that shares the same world and many of the same mechanics, but introduces a battle royale style standalone game mode.
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I’ve been playing Dying Light: Bad Blood recently, and I have to say, I’m quite impressed. I’ve played almost every popular battle royale game that’s dropped in recent months, and Bad Blood has to be the most unique.
Here is a look at what Dying Light: Bad Blood is, when you can get it for free, and my personal thoughts on it.
Dying Light: Bad Blood First Impressions and Overview
For those unfamiliar, Dying Light is an open world parkour zombie game with co-op. It’s like Mirror’s Edge and Left 4 Dead had babies.
Bad Blood is essentially a standalone battle royale style multiplayer game mode within Dying Light.
The same way Fortnite Battle Royale is actually a standalone game mode for Fortnite: Save the World.
There’s only 12 players in Bad Blood, and your main objectives aren’t quite the same as they are in other battle royale games.
In Bad Blood, your main objective is to collect blood samples from areas scattered around the world.
These areas are often infested with hordes of zombies, so you’ll need to fight through them to get the samples.
As you are doing this, you’ll be able to loot nearby buildings for melee weapons, upgrades, and utility items like medkits, firebomb grenades, or throwing knives.
Projectile weapons like bows and pistols are in the game, but they are very rare.
If you’ve played the standard Dying Light game, you’ll know that melee combat is a focus, and it works just as well here.
As you collect more samples, you are inevitably going to come across other players doing the same. At this point, it’s to you whether you stand a fight, or you use the parkour mechanics to make a quick escape.
If you fight and win, the player will die and you’ll be able to take their loot and collected blood samples.
Each match doesn’t last long. Not long after each game starts, a helicopter will be pointed out on your map.
The player with the most samples will be able to escape and win the match.
As you can imagine, there’s usually a bloodbath on the way to and inside the helicopter landing zone.
Dying Light: Bad Blood PVP Works Well Enough
Whilst your main focus is to collect blood samples, Bad Blood is still a PVP game. This is the first time human versus human PVP like this has been seen in Dying Light, so I was a little sceptical at first.
Creating player versus player melee combat is exceptionally difficult, especially when additional mobility is added.
Bad Blood’s combat is fluid enough, although not perfect. You essentially can block, kick, or swing your weapon.
You have the option to parry as well. The melee combat essentially relies on timing your swings and parries to stagger your opponent.
It works fine most of the time, although it starts to feel a little janky when your opponent starts running around, jumping, and climbing up walls.
The main issue is that it’s hard to track your opponent whilst they do this. Perhaps I just haven’t had enough practice with it.
There are a variety of different melee weapons, some slow and heavy hitting, some fast but do little damage. I think that, for the most part, the arsenal of weaponry is well balanced.
There’s the potential here for a high skill ceiling, which could make it frustrating for a new player to get to grips with things. After your first hour or two of struggling, melee combat does become a little easier to understand.
It’s a different experience to your typical battle royale game where you’re given piles upon piles of guns.
Dying Light: Bad Blood Will Live On Through Originality
Battle royale and originality don’t really belong in the same sentence, but I wouldn’t really even call Dying Light: Bad Blood a battle royale game.
Sure, Techland probably pushed this game out to capitalise on the battle royale hype train just like everybody else has, but it feels more like a standalone multiplayer experience.
I don’t think it’ll give you as much gameplay satisfaction as Fortnite or PUBG. The whole adrenaline rush thing doesn’t quite work in a 12 player game mode.
Personally, I think the gameplay in Bad Blood will get old sooner rather than later – it doesn’t have the same exciting appeal as other battle royale games.
However, for at least the first dozen or so hours, Bad Blood feels fresh, original, and different.
This is why I personally like this whole battle royale trend. Each new battle royale game only slightly reiterates the format, but each time I notice features and aspects that make that particular game stand out.
Games like Cuisine Royale, Realm Royale, and Radical Heights are all flops, but they have unique elements that future battle royale developers are sure to take note of.
Eventually, the battle royale game genre will be reiterated so many times that the genre will change and a new game will drop that essentially becomes the next Fortnite.
Dying Light: Bad Blood is a fun side step from the battle royale genre that shows us what kind of potential the genre has.
With all this in mind, I think that as a new game experience, Bad Blood is certainly worth playing. Don’t expect it to knock Fortnite or PUBG off of your digital game shelf, though.
Right now, Bad Blood is in ‘early access’, which means you have to pay to get access. I think it’s worth waiting until it gets to full release. At this point, it goes free to play and everybody can play it.
No set date has been confirmed, but Techland is hoping to get it to full release in late 2018 or early 2019.
If you are interested in getting in on the action already, you can find the Bad Blood early access Founders pack on Steam. Right now, Bad Blood is exclusive to PC, but it should drop on PS4 and Xbox as a free to play title once it hits full release.
Dying Light 2 is just around the corner, so make sure you look into that if you’re more into co-op zombie games.