Zombie release Dying Light will feature a 4v1 multiplayer mode pitting its co-operative team against another online player who will join your game at random as the nearly unkillable Night Hunter.
The new mode, which was teased earlier this week in a trailer released by developer Techland, is the first full multiplayer experience we've seen for the new release so far. In a hands-on play-through, we were shown a condensed version — 2v1, half the team size you can otherwise expect.
Techland throws players into the game's post zombie-apocalypse setting where their tasks are threefold: First, they need to set up explosives throughout a building to draw the attention of other human survivors. Next, they need to destroy three sets of what are essentially zombie nests — undead growths that spawn in random areas of the map. Finally, they need to survive continuous attacks from the opposing player whose character, the Night Hunter, is incredibly fast and incredibly strong.
The latter isn't impossible, but takes coordination and the use of two particular tools. One lets you send out a wave that tracks the location of the Hunter and pinpoints him on the map. The next is your only legitimate defence: A ultraviolet light that deters the zombie and can eventually stun him, giving you a 10 second head start before he's on the move again.
Techland is also experimenting with its approach to cooperative play throughout. The studio is introducing bonus missions that co-op players can opt into at certain points in the campaign. These are basically mini missions, one that pits players against each other in a race out of sections of a zombie-riddled building, another that counts the number of undead you kill compared to your comrade. All of these can be opted out of at any point.
The playable Night Hunter character is actually old news. That feature was first revealed last year as part of Dying Light's "Be the Zombie" pre-order bonus. This, however, is the first time we've seen how it plays out.
Dying Light's new multiplayer mode seems to continue a trend of similar modes rearing their head during this year's Gamescom. As announced earlier today, BioWare Austin's next role-playing release Shadow Realms will similarly feature 4v1 multiplayer with where four-players fight cooperatively online against a single playable enemy who controls major aspects of the game.
Likewise, Lionhead Studios' next entry in the Fable franchise, Fable Legends, also adopts this 4v1 multiplayer style — a hat-tip to earlier pen-and-paper games that pit players against a DM who fills the game with enemies. Also announced earlier this year is Evolve, which pits a team of four hunters, each with their own skills and specialties, against a giant, player-controlled monster in multiplayer mortal combat on a deadly alien world.