Review – Dying Light Platinum Edition (Switch)

Dying Light is an amazing game. We all know it by this point. It’s been out on other platforms for years now, and had an incredibly long DLC trail as well. Its sequel is well on the way, development hell issues aside. Yet, like so many other games, a Nintendo Switch port comes in to bring a game back for an encore. An old game, sure, but handheld has been a common theme for Switch third-party games since the console’s launch, and it’s unarguably been working for it. However, not every port is made equal. It’s almost become a challenge to get the most technically impressive game playable on the Switch, and there have been some intriguing feats. And Dying Light Platinum Edition is now one of the most impressive.

Dying Light Visuals

It’s not as pretty as the other versions, but it’s not an obscured mess.

First, a quick summary of Dying Light. It’s a first person survival horror game, with a focus on parkour movement and melee combat. You venture across an open world, completing quests, collecting materials, and dropkicking zombies. It’s the kind of game where the minute to minute gameplay just never gets old. It manages to nail first person platforming and movement in a way almost no other game manages. Combat is fun and weighty, and enemy variety is surprisingly varied for a zombie game. The titular mechanic however, the day/night cycle, is what takes the game beyond. Once day ends and the terrors of the night are let loose, the already fun game becomes a tense and nightmarish beast. All of this came together when it came out for the best zombie game ever, and none of this is lost on the Switch.

That’s not all either. Dying Light Platinum Edition also comes with all released DLC for the game. And to be honest, I had no idea 90% of the stuff ever came out. Sure, there’s the expansion The Following, which added a combat buggy and crossbow for even more badass possibilities. But there’s also an arena mode called Bozak Horde and an entire fantasy roguelike inside the game called Hellraid. As well as a large collection of DLC quests, bounties, weapons, and outfits to discover. The base game was huge, the expansion was big, and then there’s all of this other stuff. There’s so much game here that I guarantee even people who thought they finished the game will find something new to experience here. Hellraid is especially impressive, it’s literally a whole other game inside of the game. 

Dying Light Performance Switch

No matter the action onscreen, the performance holds up.

But this is a Switch port, so there’s the question. How does it run? The answer? Very, very, very, well. Surprisingly well, beyond any of my wildest expectations to be honest. It might even be more impressive then the Switch’s Witcher III port. It runs smoothly, maintains a decent level of graphic fidelity, and comes with a whole host of Switch exclusive features to sweeten the cake. Best of all being touchscreen support, a feature of the console that is criminally underused. There’s also some motion controls and aiming as well, which, while not critical, are definitely fun to play with. It’s just a fantasic port, and a perfectly acceptable way to experience this incredibly fun game. 

Dying Light Platinum Edition is the ultimate edition of an amazing game, now on a handheld. It takes the whole base game, its main expansion, and every other bit of DLC, big and small, ever released. Which wouldn’t matter if it was a bad port, but it’s somehow the exact opposite. One of the most impressive and smooth ports ever released for the system, and proof that it is possible for impressive games to work on the platform. Sure, it takes some work, but damn, does it pay off indeed. And yet Square Enix can’t get Kingdom Hearts, a PS2 game, to work natively on the system…

Graphics: 6.0

It’s a technical achievement, but not exactly a graphical one. It ain’t ugly, but you’ve seen better.

Gameplay: 10

In my mind, this is still THE ultimate zombie game. The open-world survival elements, enemy variety, the day/night cycle, I don’t even know if it can ever be topped. 

Sound: 9.0

Dying Light Platinum Edition is one of the games where the soundtrack perfectly matches gameplay, with well done voice acting to boot.

Fun Factor: 9.0

While the story still sucks, the rest of the game is so good it doesn’t even matter. And it all holds up incredibly well on Switch, for the perfect portable open-world survival horror experience.

Final Verdict: 8.5

Dying Light Platinum Edition is available now on PC, PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch.

Reviewed on Nintendo Switch.

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