Video Game: Dying Light

"Good night. Good luck."

A Zombie Apocalypse Survival Horror First-Person Shooter game made by Techland and published by Warner Bros.. The core foundation of the game is reminiscent of Dead Island, another open world first-person zombie game developed by Techland. Techland had broke from publisher Deep Silver over creative differences, and developed Dying Light under publisher Warner Brothers while Deep Silver contracted Yaeger Interactive (best known for Spec Ops: The Line) to make Dead Island 2.

An epidemic of a mutant strain of rabies forces the outside world to quarantine two districts of the Turkish fictional city of Harran, where the handful of survivors hole up in defensible buildings against the infected who roam the streets. One of the agents in charge of fighting the epidemic loses his brother, and blaming his government bosses, steals a file that details the production of a vaccine before assuming a new identity and hiding somewhere in Harran. The agency implements a communications blackout to stop him from broadcasting the details of the vaccine, as it's incomplete; producing the "vaccine" will actually make the infection much worse.

The player steps in here, in the role of freelance operative Kyle Crane, who's hired to infiltrate the quarantine, find out where the rogue agent is, and reclaim the file by any means necessary. Crane's mission is complicated when, within moments of his landing in the city, he's beaten half to death by looters and bitten by one of the infected. This forces him into the same situation as half the other survivors in Harran: find more vials of Antizin, the drug that temporarily suppresses the infection, by any means necessary.

Crane is rescued by the inhabitants of the Tower, a high-rise apartment building that's been turned into one of the major survivor strongholds, and to square the debt, put to work as one of its "runners": a freelance problem-solver who's got the parkour skills necessary to enter and survive the infected streets of the city.

Dying Light uses a free-running mechanic similar to Mirrors Edge to both navigate the level and to outmaneuver zombies, including jumping off of zombies that you run into, an emphasis on melee combat, and a day and night cycle that directly affects enemies.

During the day, gameplay is similar to Dead Island, with roaming zombie enemies, including a variety of Elite Zombie, that can either be avoided or attacked. During the night however, a vastly more dangerous breed of enemy emerges, and the player is able to use an echo-like ability to detect them in the dark.

The game was released in January 2015 on eighth generation consoles as well as PC.


Dying Light provides examples of:

  • Absurdly Spacious Sewer: The sewers of Harran are very spacious and the way you get past the quarantine walls to other parts of the city. It's stated by a random encounter NPC that they were built in an existing system of caves underneath the city.
  • Action Bomb: Par for the course, there are special bloated infected that waddle towards you and explode violently after convulsing for a few seconds or after receiving any kind of damage, which will kill you if you're anywhere close.
  • Adult Fear: Early on, a father takes his young son without the permission of the child's mother, uses a gun to force his way out of the Tower, and attempts to flee to Old Town where he believes he'll be safer. Not only is this a kidnapping, but everyone except for the father seems to understand that he's putting the child in an enormous amount of danger.
  • An Axe to Grind: One weapon type in the game. Smaller one handed hatchets and bigger two handed axes are available.
  • Apocalypse How: Type 1: Focused Destruction. Harran is the only place affected by the outbreak, with humanitarian aid (including a drug that slows the zombie symptoms) being dropped in.
  • Apocalyptic Log: Multiple, from a recording of a young boy looking for his missing father to the scattered pages of an author's "Battle Journal".
  • Armor Is Useless: Zig-zagged. A survivor tells you about a team that entered the quarantine wearing heavy, reinforced PVC hazmat suits that proved useless because the biters tore right through them. However, the now zombified team now act as a sort of heavily armored zombie that can take a lot more punishment and cannot be dismembered by any means, which means that while the suit offers adequate protection against an incendiary electrified katana, it is useless against human teeth.
  • Awesome Aussie: Brecken. Although he's not quite as proactive in the field once Crane enters the picture, the guy is tough as nails to have survived for so long in Harran.
  • Awesome but Impractical: Guns. Even when you finally do manage to find a gun, it is not very practical to use it outside as the gunshots will just attract more zombies.
    • The sidequest "Gassed Up" also features a technician who formerly worked at the Tower and now lives on his own as a pretend-soldier using the city's gas to create the "Apocalypse Wall", rigging pipes on a wall around the house he's claimed to spew fire and burn any zombies that come near, which he certainly believes to be awesome. At the end of the quest he turns it on and the gas promptly blows up the house with him inside it, fulfilling the "impractical" part of the trope.
  • Bad Boss: Rais: bad guy to moonlight for, as Crane finds out, and really bad guy to work for long-term. He shoots two of his own men with no warning in the zombie gladiator pit just so the scent of blood would draw the biters to you. In the endgame, it's revealed he's turned all his own men into zombies just so his tower is filled with obstacles you can't navigate. He's planning on taking a chopper out of Harran, so what's it to him?
  • Batter Up: Baseball bats can be found in the game and used as weapons, along with cricket bats.
  • Becoming the Mask/Going Native: Crane ultimately ends up joining the locals for real after learning of the GRE's corruption and ruthlessness. He's still out to topple Suleiman, though.
  • Big Bad: The main human villain is Rais.
  • Bigger Bad: In the last half of the game it's revealed that the GRE was behind the outbreak of the virus, and intends to destroy the infected districts of Harran in an effort to cover their tracks.
  • Brain Food: The final, working potion developed by Dahlia involves using Bolter brains as an ingredient.
  • Breakable Weapons: Weapons degrade when attacking, and can only be repaired a few times.
  • Bullfight Boss: The Demolishers.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The name of the achievement for beating the game says so. Rahim and Jade are dead, but so is Rais, the military has backed off, the GRE didn't manage to get their hands on the data, and the odds of a cure are looking good. Although one hopes that there is enough Antizin left in the city for the survivors until it is completed...
  • Blood Sport: Rais kidnaps survivors and forces them to fight zombies for the amusement of himself and his men in an arena near his base. Whether anyone is allowed to survive if they're able to kill all of the zombies is never revealed, although his reaction to Crane's victory suggests that this may not be the case.
  • Bloody Handprint: Seen on a few occasions, including on the basement door of a building inhabited by a cannibal and on a doctor's blue overcoat.
  • Body Horror: The mutated zombies can have visible intestines, open sores covering their entire bodies, or no necks to speak of. Even regular infected are often missing skin or body parts.
  • Boy Meets Ghoul: A note left by one would-be survivor heavily implies he got bit trying to have sex with one of the Infected.
  • By the Lights of Their Eyes: Turning your flashlight off around a Volatile or Night Hunter that is facing toward you is an extremely unnerving experience.
  • The Chains of Commanding: Brecken is the Tower's de facto leader, but the responsibilities of looking out for a large community of survivors clearly wear him down over the course of the game. As he says himself after the 18th floor outbreak:
    Brecken: I'm not a leader— I'm a goddamn parkour instructor!
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: In a side quest, the man who had his arm hacked off by Rais during the antagonist's introduction is located when his partner is tortured into revealing his location by some of Rais' men. They apparently remove some of his fingers to loosen his tongue.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Weapons have icons of different colors. The color signifies the "level" of the weapon. The higher the level, the more often the weapon can be repaired and the more upgrade slots it has.
  • Colossus Climb: In a sense, the real final boss is Rais' Tower, as he has made it a death maze and is shooting at you as you climb it. The man himself is the cherry on top.
  • Conspiracy Theorist: The bizarre, Reptiloid-obsessed man from "Legless Spider" believes that the zombie pandemic has been caused by his favorite species of sapient lizards. Given a sort of bizarre logic by the Contrived Coincidence mentioned below, although the effectiveness of his anti-Gadoid gun ( along with revelations about the origin of the virus discovered by the player later in the game) suggest that he's probably just crazy.
  • Contrived Coincidence: The side mission "Legless Spider" hinges on one of these. A meteorite crashed somewhere in Harran, then scientists came to check on it, and then the Harran Zombie Apocalypse came. So obviously The Virus came from space by way of the meteorite. A Played for Laughs Subverted Trope, as the people who believe it are clearly delusional and outright believe an Alien Invasion of Gadoids will follow, and the Joke Item you get from the mission is 100% useless for anything but drawing attention to yourself. So yes, it was just a coincidence.
  • Corrupt Politician: Subverted with Erol Assani. While he's revealed to be petty ( it's extremely unlikely that anyone knew that cutting off his leg would be unnecessary), his most corrupt action is his deliberate theft of several million dollars from the bank, which turns out not to have happened, and to have just been a distraction to keep the player busy while he got his family out of Harran. Assani genuinely wanted to help Crane escape the city, but because the owners of the helicopter knew who Crane was, he was unable to do so. Instead, he leaves behind as many supplies as possible for Crane.
    • Played straight, on the other hand, with a bureaucrat in Old Town who actually promises to use the mayoral seal "to the fullest extent of [his] corruption".
  • Cutscene Boss: The final fight against Rais/Suleiman is one of these. The game tries to have it both ways by giving you a regular boss fight against Rais' The Dragon, Tahir, prior to it.
  • Darkness Equals Death: After the sun goes down, the Volatiles start appearing across the city. They are incredibly dangerous, and if one spots you, you'll quickly end up being swarmed by several of them. You are frequently advised not to go out after dark, although if you do so and survive you get a nice experience bonus.
  • Deadly Lunge: Regular slow zombies will jump at you to try to chew your face off if they get close enough. Volatiles will do the same, except they can leap from quite the distance.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Crane as the game goes on just becomes more exasperated than anything else.
  • Death from Above: The Harran Ministry of Defense plans to fire bomb the infected districts of the city to get rid of the virus, despite knowing that some survivors are still present there. Some of the player's abilities, particularly the Ground Pound and the ability to stab your enemies from mid-air, also fall into this category. The latter is referred to as "raining death from above" in multiplayer.
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: If you die, you only lose a few survivor points and immediately respawn at the the nearest safe zone. All damage the player has done by that point remains intact, including how many hits were achieved against an enemy and how many enemies have died.
  • Degraded Boss: The Demolisher reappears as a relatively tough form of zombie after you beat it the first time.
  • Disney Villain Death: Rais goes out this way, being stabbed in throat and falling off a building while he's still alive at the conclusion of the game's campaign.
  • The Dragon: Tahir to Rais.
  • Driven to Suicide: One side quest has the player investigating a building where the security system has resulted in the survivors being trapped on the roof. After some time without food, they make the decision to poison themselves rather than resorting to cannibalism. People are seen throughout the game hanging from rafters and other protruding objects from metal chains, but it's difficult to know whether they killed themselves or were executed, given the presence of desperate survivors and Rais's men.
  • Easter Egg: Picking up a certain flower teleports you to an area where zombies are advancing towards a house through a field with plants that are fighting back.
    • There's an early scene where you can find a zombie who's been impaled to a wall with a saw blade and finished off with a crowbar to the skull. Gordon Freeman's been here.
    • A very well-hidden pipe in Old Town teleports you to a close recreation of World 1-1 of Super Mario Brothers.
  • Eldritch Location: In a scene during the second half of the game, when Crane begins to succumb to the virus, he hallucinates a floating version of Harran where zombies sit in classrooms and live like normal people. This is apparently how the zombies see the world all the time.
  • Elite Mooks: The Volatiles. They only appear in night time and in dark places and they are extremely hard to kill even if you are only facing one. Also, They can sprint as fast as the player and even parkour through buildings and obstacles if spotted by them. Their one weakness is U.V. light, which kills them extremely quickly, which is why they avoid sunlight and why the survivors have set up safe houses with U.V. lights across the city.
  • Elite Zombie: There are a few different types, including the aforementioned Volatiles, spitter-type zombies called Toads, the explosive Bombers, and the horrifyingly strong Goons and Demolishers. Virals, recently turned zombies who retain some human reactions and the ability to say a few simple words, are in the middle ground between normal zombies and the more elite varieties, and Screamers are incredibly discomforting child zombies who do Exactly What It Says on the Tin. Taken Up to Eleven in the "be the zombie" online mode, with the enormously powerful Night Hunter zombie type watching over nests of Volatiles and hunting human players with a host of abilities that sometimes border on the supernatural (like the ability to temporarily disable UV lights).
  • Equipment Upgrade: Weapons can be upgraded in two ways. One involves adding enhancements to sockets in the weapons that increase damage, durability, or handling. The second involves using blueprints and materials to add fire, electricity, toxin, strike damage, or a combination to the weapon.
  • Escort Mission: The game has a couple of escort missions where you have to escort a survivor from point A to point B, killing anything that gets in the way. They are not generally annoying and the characters you end up escorting are quite funny.
  • Exact Words: Rais is introduced issuing a Sadistic Choice to a thief, offering to chop off either his left or right hand. When told "left", he cuts off the right instead, asking after "Was that my left, or YOUR left?"
  • Exploding Barrels: Red barrels and propane tanks can be found lying around, and will explode if damaged.
  • Fantasy Gun Control: Guns exist, but are extremely rare and hard to find, especially in the early game, and the same goes for ammunition. The explanation is that Rais and his goons snatched up all the guns in the city in the early days of the quarantine, leaving everyone else to fend for themselves with sticks and parkour.
  • Fetch Quest: Quite a few quests involve getting items from one part of the map to bring back to the quest giver. Justified in that most of them aren't experienced enough to survive out of their safe zones.
  • Fingore: Rais' men chop the fingers off of an unlucky survivor to get him to reveal the location of one of his friends.
  • Giant Mook: Towering zombies wielding rebar serve this role, being extremely tough but also very slow. There's also a Boss In Mooks Clothing hulk-like zombie that can smash through walls, throw large objects, and do a charging tackle.
  • Glass Cannon/Fragile Speedster: The player-controlled Hunters that appear as PvP invasions are extremely maneuverable and can kill a survivor very quickly, but aren't any more durable than a regular zombie and can be dispatched with only a few hits. They're much closer to the normal Virals (fast zombies) rather than the super-tough Volatiles. Successfully playing as a Hunter requires strategy rather than pure brute force.
  • Government Conspiracy: The Ministry of Defense would really like the whole zombie city problem to go away. They are willing to lie to the public that there are no survivors to justify firebombing the entire city out of existence.
  • Hard Mode Perks: Nighttime is hazardous, but rewarding. Your Power and Agility level up at double the rate, and you get a massive boost of survivor points if you make it through a whole night. There's also a supply drop that occurs at night, and reaching it means you are guaranteed to get all the supplies from it.
  • Hazmat Suit: Some biters can be seen wearing this along with oxygen tanks strapped to their backs that will explode if damaged. Their origins is traced from the tale of a survivor of a Hazmat team who tried to help some victims trapped in their houses but only to be bitten by them as it turns out, the infected can still chew through their reinforced suits.
  • Heel-Face Turn: Several of the characters in escort missions are people who formerly worked for Rais, but decided to leave and move into the tower.
  • Heel Realization: Crane is a sincere humanitarian hoping to help the people of Harran, despite being a GRE agent. As the requests of the organization get more and more morally dubious, he starts to challenge them. Eventually, after realizing that the GRE definitely isn't the right side to be fighting for, he turns against them completely.
  • Heroic BSOD: While Crane is out trying to scrounge Antizen, an outbreak occurs on the 18th floor of the Tower. Instead of quarantining the apartment, Brecken attempts to save as many people as he can, which goes bad and results in the loss of the entire floor. Brecken then questions whether he's really worthy to be a leader.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: In the final act of the game, both Crane and Jade are about to succumb to the Harran virus. Jade sacrifices herself and gives the last dose of Antizen to Crane.
    • Subverted with Rahim, who hides his bite wound rather than being taken back to the tower so that Crane will deliver his explosives to a volatile nest. Rahim definitely views this as a heroic sacrifice, but everyone else just sees it as stupid and a waste of his life.
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters: Like every good Zombie Apocalypse, evil humans are far more dangerous to you (they have guns and can block your melee attacks!) and far more evil than zombies.
  • Hunting the Most Dangerous Game: A sociopathic survivor baits people into coming to the Fan Zone with a deceptive distress signal so that he can hunt and kill them.
  • In-Universe Game Clock: Critical part of gameplay. In daytime you are usually looking for supplies while during the night, you are forced to avoid super-zombies in stealth-based fashion.
  • Insufferable Genius: Worse, two of them; identical twin engineers Tolga and Fatin repeatedly abuse, insult and denigrate Crane for his "lower intelligence", in between arguing with each other over the pettiest things. They particularly stand out because most of the other "smart guy" characters in the game are humble and level-headed.
  • Item Crafting: Weapons can be augmented to make them more dangerous, and so can ammunition.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: One side quest features a cannibal who killed and ate a young child's father, living in the basement of their old apartment building. Other characters discuss the possibility of turning to cannibalism when they're trapped on the roof of a high building in the slums, and Rais' men apparently eat eyes as part of an initiation.
  • Infant Immortality: Played with, no surviving child is harmed on screen, but there are references to off-screen child fatalities, and a rare variant of zombie in the second half is an undead child.
  • Initiation Ceremony: In an escort mission, it's revealed that Rais' prospective recruits have to consume human eyes.
  • Interface Screw: Played for humor with Dahlia's potions. All of them except for the last work at keeping zombies from noticing the player, but then cause interesting effects with either the controls or the camera. Using camouflage or being spat on by a poisonous enemy also cause the screen to change color and, in the first case, to be covered in part with zombie blood, which obscures your view.
  • Not the Fall That Kills You: You can survive falls from ridiculous heights as long as you land on something "soft". Such items include water, garbage bags, zombies, and even cars. An unlockable upgrade allows you to land anywhere, as long as you press a button to do a forward roll at the right time.
  • Joke Item: A reward for a certain quest is the "Anti-Gadoid Gun". It is apparently really good against The Reptilians, but for things that actually are believed to exist, it has a damage of zero, meaning enemies are not even staggered, let along hurt, and are just drawn to the player's position by the gunfire.
  • Justified Tutorial: The crafting tutorial is Crane making a DIY medkit for an injured denizen of the tower, and the parkour tutorial is presented as a series of tests from Rahim making sure Crane is capable of being a runner.
  • Kukris Are Kool: Kukris are available for use in the game, usually as mid- or high-level weapons.
  • Lame Comeback: When he's accused by Rahim of being lazy (when he was in a coma for three days), Crane only reaction is a little "I'm not lazy." He repeat a minute or so after when he's taking the elevator.
  • The Lancer: Brecken gets Rahim, who is both younger and significantly more likely to act like a loose cannon in comparison to him. This, unfortunately, does not end well for Rahim, because his impulsiveness and desire to wipe out the Volatiles in the slums results in his badly subverted Heroic Sacrifice.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Consider Rais' Exact Words moment above. It's immensely satisfying when Crane cuts off his hand later, while escaping from the Gladiator Games.
  • Left for Dead: Averted with Tahir, who asks Crane why he doesn't just leave him to die from his wounds. Crane informs him that there are some loose ends that you just don't left untied before slitting his throat.
  • Le Parkour: A major part of gameplay, adding to the frantic nature of the game. It's the only way to avoid the shambling masses during the day, and the only way to outrun volatiles at night (they can run faster than you on a straightaway). Some recently-turned "fast" infected, Virals, are also able to parkour after you while babbling and shrieking.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Volatiles can survive almost as much damage as a Giant Mook, and run even faster than you. They don't parkour quite as fast as you do, but they're pretty damn close.
  • Life or Limb Decision: Prior to the development of medication to suppress the symptoms of infection, removing an affected limb was the only known way to keep someone from turning. A major character in a side quest was not too pleased when someone removed his limb the day that the treatment started being air dropped into Harran, although whether his anger is justified or not is very debatable, since the person who removed his limb likely didn't know that it would be unnecessary.
  • Luckily My Shield Will Protect Me: Get your Survivor rank high enough and you can craft and equip riot shields that block frontal attacks from zombies and bandits. Blocking at the last second lets you damage your attacker. Later you can craft elemental shields that blast, shock or freeze enemies.
  • Mascot: Globby, the Global Relief Elephant, is a kid-friendly mascot for the GRE who appears in some Public Service Announcements near the beginning of the game.
  • Mle Trois: Zombies and human enemies will fight each other as well as the player.
  • Metal Slime: Bolters are a rare zombie type that run away from you instead of attacking you. Killing them nets you a lot of points and gives you a rare crafting item that's worth a lot of money.
  • Neck Snap: Available as a stealth kill from behind when unlocked. Also seen in story, with the deaths of Rahim and Jade.
  • No-Gear Level: All of your equipment is taken from you during the battle in Rais' arena and the fight against Tahir.
    • In a surprising example of an Anti-Frustration Feature the game is nice enough to give you the option to restore your original gear after the fights.
  • No Item Use for You: You lose the ability to use your grappling hook in a lot of the later main missions due to Crane's seizures.
  • Oh, Crap: Whenever the sun sets in the game this is the main character's reaction.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: Some of the more heavily mutated infected have traits that are dramatically different from classic Romero-type zombies, including the Volatiles (which look like skinned versions of the Predator) and the Demolishers (enormous monsters like the Tank from Left 4 Dead).
  • Plague Zombie: The zombies in Dying Light are the result of a viral infection.
  • Press X to Not Die: When a zombie grabs onto you, you must mash a button to shake it off otherwise it will keep on dealing damage. See also Cutscene Boss.
  • Public Service Announcement: Early in the game, you can watch a series of PS As for children about the virus and what to do to the infected on a television in the tower.
  • Punch Clock Hero: Kyle Crane, before discovering the true nature of his employer.
  • Qurac: Harran is a more realistic example than most, with a few hints of the Arabian Nights version in Old Town, some elements of the corrupt government type seen in the Ministry of Defense's callous attitude toward the quarantined districts, and a wealthy oil magnate whose main goal is to escape through dubious means to avoid being quarantined, because he's been bitten. For the most part, it's just a relatively normal city-state that happens to be located near Turkey without too many stereotypical characteristics.
  • Ragnarok-Proofing: Surprisingly enough, Harran still has a working electrical and gas grid despite the system not receiving any kind of maintenance since the outbreak began. You do spend a bit of time replacing fuses and resetting circuit breakers, and you're told early on that the gas grid is almost entirely dependent on the work of a single survivor. To some extent, it's all justified; the quarantine within Harran only covers two districts within the city and they're still receiving support from the outside, and it's only been two months since the outbreak.
  • Red Herring: You're initially led to believe that Brecken, the leader of the Tower, might be the rogue agent you're looking for. It's Rais, the leader of the far more unsavory survivor group.
  • The Reptilians: Suspected to be behind the outbreak by a Conspiracy Theorist survivor. He is, of course, just crazy.
  • Sanity Slippage: People infected with the Harran virus experience seizures, followed by hallucinations that become both more vivid and more terrifying until they finally lose their minds if they're unable to get Antizin in time. The later symptoms are experienced by Crane when Rais and Tahir force him and Jade to choose which of them will receive their needed Antizin.
    • The realities of life in post-infection Harran seem to have made this endemic, as Crane meets a fair few people who have gone over the edge to some extent or other. This includes a man named Stukav who always wears a gasmask due to fear of infection, and a man who believes he is a werewolf so insistently that, when Crane meets him, he has been booted out of his old survivor's group because they thought he was too annoying to put up with.
  • Shout-Out: An early quest involves bringing a mentally-challenged man a copy of Charly.
    • The bizarre whiteboard graffiti from Dead Island: Riptide reappears here, which amounts to name-dropping David Foster Wallace and his famous work concerning John Mc Cain.
    • A bakery in the slums is named Left4Bread.
    • In Old Town, there's a particularly detailed graffiti mural showing a monster version of Totoro next to a child who looks unnervingly familiar for viewers of Silent Hill, holding an umbrella covered with blood.
  • Simple Yet Awesome: Molotov cocktails. They are extremely easy to make with very common materials and are extremely effective at clearing large crowds of zombies.
  • Spiritual Sequel: Dying Light really is a more polished Dead Island in many of its systems, to the point where several crafting recipes have essentially made the leap untouched. It places a much higher value on evasion and movement than DI ever did, however.
    • Mission Pack Sequel: Dying Light is built on the same engine and code as Dead Island, including the same combat system and the same coding and animations for the basic zombie types (the Biters are Walkers, the Virals are Infected, etc). However, a robust parkour system, day/night cycle, and many tweaks and balances have been added, and the Elite Zombie enemies are somewhat different from those in Dead Island.
  • Staking the Loved One: A sort-of case twice. Crane isn't exactly a "loved one" or loving of either of these people, but they are good friends of his. Due to turning, he is forced to Neck Snap Rahim and then Jade.
  • Synthetic Plague: The Harran virus was apparently developed by the GRE.
  • Take a Third Option: In the demo where the aforementioned moral choice was shown and the consequences of it (A group of heavily armed thugs gets to it first) it was clear that it's possible to kill the thugs and get the supplies from there even after helping the girl.
    • Averted with the game at night. The two main options are run or hide until daybreak, but an enterprising player might attempt to get a leg up in missions at night or extra supplies by fighting through the zombies. As shown in the gameplay trailers, trying to fight them will result in death no matter what, with their Hive Mind mentality and One Hit Kills making it impossible to hold any kind of offense against them.
  • Technically Living Zombie: The Harran virus is a close relative of rabies, and makes its victims very sick without actually killing them and reanimating their corpses.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Weirdly averted; one of the survivors you meet early on is Gazi, who is legitimately mentally disabled yet still has managed to survive all on his own. It's implied he perhaps survives due to the help of runners from the Tower.
  • Troubled Child: You encounter surprisingly few of these, although there is one particularly significant example in the Old Town area. A side quest allows you to discover the source of his trauma, which was apparently his father's death at the hands of a cannibal in the lower part of their apartment building.
  • Troubled Fetal Position: Child survivors in the handful of side quests where you have to rescue them find safe hiding places and curl up into this position. Survivors who you randomly encounter being beaten by Rais' men also enter the fetal position and stay in it even after the attack is over until you tell them that it's okay to get up, in a variant caused by both trauma and the risk of physical injury.
  • Undead Child: Screamers are infected children encountered indoors during the second half of the game. They cause some Interface Screw and make it impossible to use weapons if you get too close, while at the same time drawing in virals.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: Occasionally, you'll come across survivors being attacked by either zombies or Rais' thugs. You can just stand by and watch them die as they beg you for help.
  • Villain Decay: Rais starts out as a philosophical villain that is cold and ruthless to everyone, even his own men. By the end of the game, he becomes a mocking troll constantly taunting Crane. Lampshaded by Crane who gets more annoyed with Rais talking than anything else as the story progresses. At the end, Crane becomes so annoyed by Rais, he is willing to forget about getting revenge. It's the actions by Rais that forces the final battle between them.
  • The Virus: The Harran virus, a synthetic plague related to rabies that turns human beings into zombies.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Crane's reactions to the supposedly humanitarian GRE, ranging from them ordering him to work with Rais, to refusing to assist the Tower survivors and halting Antizen drops because it's not "politically advantageous" though it's clear by the context of their statement that it's purely because he isn't doing every single thing they say.
  • Where the Hell Is Springfield?: It is never stated which country the fictional city of Harran is located in. Wherever it is, it looks pretty close to Turkey, especially since Harran is the name of an ancient Turkish city.
    • Supplemental materials indicate it's an independent city-state that pried itself loose from Turkey after World War II.
  • Zombie Apocalypse: Averted. Contrary to way this trope usually goes, the authorities managed to act fast enough to contain the outbreak to two districts within one city. Crane's stated mission objective is to keep this trope from actually coming into effect.
    • Deconstructed in the game's first mission, by the GRE Public Service Announcement playing on a loop in the top room of the Tower. The message points out that the legal status of the zombies is complicated and explores both the legal implications of their actions and of those who attack them unprovoked. While possibly thought-provoking, this never has any implications in the actual game.
  • Zombie Infectee: Subverted for the most part, because people who are bitten are generally open about the fact, since there's a medication that can suppress symptoms. Played straight with Rahim and later Jade, in the first case because Rahim is desperate to get Crane to take out a nest of volatiles rather than worrying about him, and in the second to keep Crane from giving her medication that he needs for himself.