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Dying Light Platinum Edition on Switch – An impressive port with insane amounts of content

I can vividly remember Jan. 2015 and the release of Techland’s Dying Light. Poised as a spiritual successor to Dead Island, the studio pivoted to work on its new IP which ultimately resonated with me and many others in a big way. It was ambitious in its scope and was well-rounded in its moment-to-moment gameplay.

Flash forward to now, and Dying Light is still being supported and has finally been ported to Nintendo Switch. Dying Light Platinum Edition is exactly what it sounds like. It contains all four core pieces of DLC as well as seventeen skins. Techland has pulled no punches in providing an all-in-one bundle for those who have not experienced the game yet. The Switch port also provides an option for those who want to parkour around a post-apocalyptic world on a handheld device.

Of course, the Switch port may raise some eyebrows. Even in 2015, Dying Light was demanding in its performance. The game features a dynamic day and night cycle, a sprawling open world, and an onslaught of Infected AI roaming everywhere. Thankfully, Techland managed to successfully bring the game over to Switch without forgoing much of the graphical fidelity, loading speeds, and overall performance.

The dead walk among us

For the uninitiated, Dying Light is set in the fictitious Middle Eastern city of Harran. You take on the role of Kyle Crane, an agent who infiltrates the city following a deadly viral outbreak. Harran has become a quarantine zone, with infected zombies taking over the streets and the remaining survivors split into warring factions. Crane gets sidetracked from his original mission when he becomes enraptured in helping the survivors of Harran.

It’s not an overly ambitious story. You’ll recognize many familiar beats and tropes throughout. Though, it does work as a propulsion device to get players into game’s meat, which is the gameplay.

Source: Techland

The City of Harran is a sprawling sandbox, primarily built around tin shacks, tall buildings, and construction sites. It is ripe for fluid traversal as you scale and parkour across rooftops to keep out of danger. Traversal is incidentally a huge focal point of the game, as survival from the living and dead hinges on keeping your distance most of the time. This escalates even more through the day and night cycle in Dying Light. When the sun sets, even deadlier Infected take to the streets. More powerful enemy variants can be encountered, and the stress levels really ramp up. The risk of roaming at night is high, but the rewards of braving the dark can be worth it.

Combat is also quite tense, as you can have the upper edge against enemies one moment and feel swarmed the next. Dying Light integrates a wonderful fight or flight mechanic into its open world. The survival, traversal, combat, and day and night cycle mechanics all combine into an interesting gameplay loop that helps Dying Light stand out in the saturated zombie genre. It’s what made Techland’s title a critical darling in 2015 and what helps it stand the test of time now, in 2021.

Reanimated for a new platform

The prospect of having Dying Light run on Switch was questionable for me at first. We’ve seen the concessions developers and publishers have had to make when porting large AAA titles to the console-handheld hybrid. While some games like DOOM (2016) successfully made the jump, others like The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt left players wanting more.

Thankfully, Dying Light leans more towards the former. You can chalk it up to being a six-year-old game, but when you take in how large the environments of Harran are, the number of enemies there can be in an area, it’s still impressive how well Dying Light runs on Switch.

Source: Techland

Playing while docked, Dying Light Platinum Edition maintains a dynamic range of 1080p to 720p. While in handheld mode, the game tops in at 720p, which is par for the course. The Xbox and PlayStation releases have been able to perform better, but the Switch maintains most of the performance.

One note to make is of the contrast at night. When playing in handheld mode, environments do look more saturated than compared to playing on a TV. It can slightly impact the tension of running from a pack of Infected in the dark. This could be rectified on the new Switch (OLED Model) but on a base model, the display does look a bit washed out. It’s also important to note that regardless of how you play, Dying Light Platinum Edition tops out at around 30FPS. I rarely ever saw a drastic dip in framerate, even when performance was being pushed.

Loading times are rather impressive. When fast-traveling between the Slums and the Old Town, the two major sections of Harran, the game loads at an impressive speed. In fact, at times, the Switch version loaded faster than the Xbox One version.

A mountain of content

Dying Light Platinum Edition packs in an impressive amount of content and value for players. For me, someone who couldn’t keep up with the number of DLCs, it was a genuine treat to experience it for the first time. This edition of the game includes the base game, major expansion The Following, the Bozak Horde mode, fantasy-centric Hellraid mode, and Cuisine and Cargo DLC. With all this content, players can expect up to 60-70 hours of gameplay.

Source: Techland

Additionally, this version of the game includes a ton of skins. Viking skins and cyberpunk-inspired outfits may break that initial feeling of immersion, but as Dying Light evolved, the weirdness added a lot of texture to the game that I found endearing.

Final thoughts

As someone who hasn’t invested much time into Dying Light since those faithful early days of the game’s release, I’m happy to have gone back. Dying Light Platinum Edition reminded me of how much Techland has supported this survival game over the years. The game remains one of the most recommended titles of the last generation. While there are some notable drawbacks to playing on Switch, it’s still an impressive port loaded with value. With Dying Light 2: Stay Human on the horizon, there’s no better time to go back to the roots of the IP.

A copy of Dying Light: Platinum Edition was provided by the publisher.

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Steve Vegvari

Steve is based in Toronto, Ontario. His adoration for everything gaming began very early on in the SNES-era. He’s gone on to write honest content around the web. While not writing about games, Steve is often looking for the next big narrative-driven title. Something with an impactful story, regardless of genre or platform. Bonus points if it has an appealing achievement/trophy list!
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