Dying Light is a first-person survival horror game. In it, you take on the role of Kyle Crane, an agent exploring a quarantined city. To survive in the zombie-infested environment, Kyle must use his superior mobility and a variety of improvised weapons. There aren't many guns in the city of Harran, and making loud noises when there are zombies everywhere is a bad idea anyway, so most of the game's combat focuses on hand-to-hand melee weapons such as sledgehammers, cricket bats, machetes and knives.
To explore the city without getting mobbed by infected zombies, Kyle will want to make use of his parkour skills to vault off obstacles, clamber up walls and leap from rooftop to rooftop. During the day, this is reasonably safe; the infected react badly to ultraviolet light, which makes them sluggish and disoriented. Nighttime is a different matter, however; by night, the infected are fast, agile and dangerous, able to climb and jump to the upper floors of buildings. If Kyle doesn't have a source of ultraviolet light, he'll have to use trickery and misdirection to throw pursuing zombies off his tail.
Throughout the game, you'll earn experience points for completing missions, doing parkour stunts and defeating enemies. These points come in different categories which you can spend to develop Kyle's skills. As an inducement to take risks, experience point rewards are increased for things you do at night.
Although Kyle's mission is initially to retrieve a sensitive file from a local politician who is blackmailing his agency, he gradually becomes more and more aware of the terrible situation in Harran and must eventually face the choice of whether to complete his mission or to stay behind in the city and help the survivors of the plague. The plot twist isn't exactly unpredictable, but although the narrative is a little bare-bones it helps to give structure to all the rooftop-leaping, skull-smashing and fleeing in stark, unreasoning terror.
Criticisms of Dying Light have focused on its high difficulty level and sometimes unintuitive controls, as well as difficulty finding opponents in its online multiplayer modes. Overall, though, the game has been well-received for its tense atmosphere and innovative day/night cycle.