Techland's Dying Light is constantly undergoing changes at the hands of a team dedicated solely to incorporating next-generation features into the title, many of them tied to the PlayStation 4 controller, according to designer Maciej Binkowski.
A handful of features tied to the PS4's DualShock 4 controller have been added to the free-running zombie apocalypse game. Turning on a flashlight in-game will turn the light on the controller a bright white. Players can click the touchpad to call up the game's menu. Binkowski said the team is working to incorporate another feature using the DualShock 4's speaker; when another character speaks to players over the radio, the voice will come through the controller.
Accordng to Binkowski, Techland is trying to add voice recognition for multiplayer; this would allow one player to scream at hordes of zombies and lure them away from another player trying to accomplish important tasks.
Binkowski also said that Techland is hoping players make frequent use of the PS4's share features — the team wants players to share near-impossible feats and close encounters with zombies as proof of their amazing in-game deeds. During one part of the demo, I took on a horde of zombies with nothing but an axe and very little health, and miraculously survived. Binkowski said it's moments like these he wants to see being swapped among players, and Techland would place no restrictions on what game content is shared this way.
"To be honest, it's my favorite feature of the PS4," he said. "Dying Light is a sandbox experience, there's a lot of emergent gameplay. We can't wait for people to use it — there are so many situations happening in the office where someone says, 'Dude, I just did this and I couldn't believe it!' We want you to be able to share those stories. This feature is perfect for that stuff. We can even do things like 'Kill of the Week.'"
In August, I played Techland's Dying Light and became unbearably motion sick; this time around, during a demo of the PlayStation 4 version in New York City this week, I felt just fine.
Last month, Binkowski detailed the changes Techland was making to ensure players wouldn't get sick from the title's frenetic first-person motions. During my hands-on time with the game this week, the changes are very much evident — and successful. Binkowski said the final version of the game will run at 60 frames per second, an accomplishment that is "absolutely doable" with Dying Light. The game felt smooth on PS4, and I breezed comfortably through the demo without feeling a twinge of my previous motion sickness.
Dying Light will launch for PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One and Windows PC next year.