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Video Game / Dying Light

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Dying Light is 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, Colonel Kadir Suleiman, 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, now known as Rais, 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 Mirror's 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 on January 28, 2015 for Play Station 4, Xbox One and PC. It was later brought to the Nintendo Switch with all expansions on October 19, 2021, and patched to support the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X And S during the month of March 2022.

An expansion pack to the game, called The Following, was released on February 9, 2016. The plot continues with an all new storyline, with Crane journeying to the countryside outside of Harran where there are rumors that a mysterious religious figure called the Mother has found a way to give people an immunity to the undead virus.

A prequel novel called Dying Light: Nightmare Row about Mel Wyatt, an 18-year old American athlete stranded in the city along with her younger brother during the zombie outbreak was released in 2015 and released in English on March 9, 2016.

A standalone Spin-Off, Dying Light: Bad Blood was released on September 13, 2018, featuring "Battle Royale"-style multiplayer combat with up to 12 players. This was eventually made free for all Dying Light owners on January 27, 2020.

A sequel, Dying Light 2 Stay Human, was announced and was originally set for a 2020 release with Chris Avellone as the narrative designer. Avellone was later removed from the project due to sexual harrasment allegations and the game was delayed and released on February 4th of 2022.

Not to be confused with the trope Dying Candle.

The game provides examples of the following:

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    Dying Light 
  • 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 is a special bloated infected called a Bomber 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 (unless you block the attack with a shield).
  • Affably Evil: Karim fits this role, giving you tasks while working for Rais.
    • During one sidequest, after the politician Assani left via chopper and left several crates behind for you to loot, he waits nearby, claiming that he could have stolen the reward but decided not to because you deserve it.
      • His kindness is amplified even more when the sidequest reveals that Karim used to be a bodyguard working for Assani before parting out during the outbreak. This would explains why Karim is the only one in Rais' group to not be completely evil. It's implied he only joins Rais because it's necessary for his survival and clearly disagreed with some of Rais' decisions throughout the game.
    • After Crane got his gear confiscated by Rais and managed to escape from The Pit, he was saved by Brecken after blacking out. After waking up at the pier, one of the guards there tells him that his all of his equipment has been recovered by none other than Karim. This becomes an Offscreen Moment of Awesome when you realize that Karim has to somehow snuck all of Crane's stuff without being detected by Rais and then has to give them to Brecken's group despite both groups being enemies.
    • In the last mission, you stumble on a dying Karim that tells you about how Rais betrayed them and shot him. While bleeding out, he tells you to take an alternative route to the top of the tower because they've placed mines.
  • An Arm and a Leg: One means of dealing with enemies used by Rais. A member of Brecken's group described the reasoning behind it, revealing both Rais' sadism and his intelligence. The death of an enemy gets rid of that person. Their severe injury, on the other hand, requires other people to treat them and temporarily incapacitates those individuals as well.
    • Also occurred with local politician Erol Assani, in an attempt to stop the spread of the Harran Virus through his body before Antizen started being dropped on the city. He blames the almost certainly innocent person (revealed to be Karim) who conducted the procedure for this.
  • Apocalypse How: Focused Destruction. A few districts of a city state called Harran are the only places affected by the outbreak, with humanitarian aid (including a drug that slows the zombie symptoms) being dropped in. Much of the game is an attempt to keep the villain from changing this to a true apocalypse.
  • 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.
    • One side-quest has you ending up fighting an unnamed soldier who was left behind after the outbreak and who went insane and became a serial killer. He wears a helmet and body armor and can survival a lot more damage than the bandits you usually fight.
  • Artificial Brilliance: Human enemies armed with melee weapons will freeze and hold their hands in the air if you happen to be carrying a firearm, since a gun is obviously more dangerous than, say, a knife or a lead pipe.
  • Artificial Stupidity:
    • One of the tricks the game uses to allow so many zombies in the game world simultaneously is to actually disable the combat A.I. for all regular zombies outside a radius of a few dozen feet from the player. As a result, you'll sometimes see enemy survivors wading into a crowd of zombies in the distance and smacking them around without the zombies fighting back. Fast zombies and special zombies still have working A.I. (since you never have more than several at once), so they still will attack survivors, even when both are off in the distance.
    • The enemy human A.I. usually forgets that firing a gun outside will draw all the surrounding zombies. You can eliminate the Rais troops in a few outdoor Oldtown sections by getting on top of a tall building, letting them see you and start firing, then sitting back and watching as every Volatile and Viral in earshot rips them to shreds.
    • The game features randomly-occurring events where you can rescue friendly NPC's from a zombie attack in exchange for a reward. Said NPC's will then thank you and run off - often right into an even larger pack of zombies who will kill them in a matter of moments. This can also set you up for a bit of Video Game Cruelty Potential if you use explosives or guns nearby to draw a pack of virals to the person you just saved.
  • Ax-Crazy: Rais, the sociopathic human-hunter in the "Fan Zone" side mission (and the connected Bozak Horde DLC), and the gibbering cannibal in the side mission "Chasing Past."
    • The Virals are pretty bonkers too, being under the grip of an extreme Hate Plague that drives them to murder everyone they come across, while still retaining enough marbles to be somewhat cunning about it.
  • Asshole Victim: Dawud is presented as an impulsive, but ultimately well-meaning man who only wanted to protect his son, so it's easy to feel bad for him when he gets bitten and Crane has to kill him. However, people who read two optional notes will feel less bad for him, as it's revealed that he is guilty of domestic abuse and fraud.
  • Awesome Aussie: Harris Brecken, the leader of The Tower. 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. When you first manage to find a gun early in the game ammo is scarce, it won't do enough damage to instantly down a zombie, and the noise will just attract more zombies, including virals. They're best only used against other gun-wielding enemies - keeping a rifle around is a good idea for when you're going up against Rais' armed thugs (who provide a plentiful amount of rifle ammunition when killed) or other armed foes, but one should be aware of their surroundings before pulling the trigger.
    • Simple, yet Awesome: However, for the rest of the game, guns will kill most zombies and armed thugs with one headshot, saving you the hassle of enemies that dodge your attacks and generally keeping you out of harm's way, and makes every mission with melee thugs a complete breeze, while also being of great assistance when fighting larger zombies and explosive zombies. Some craftable guns also came in with a silencer that eliminate the virals problem.
    • The sidequest "Gassed Up" also features the technician Jeff 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. Fortunately, you can search his house later on and can find a powerful double-barrel shotgun for free.
  • 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 for allowing Crane, a prisoner in their custody, to slip free long enough to punch Rais in the face. 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. These weapons usually has a high amount of damage along with a decent durability and handling.
  • Battle in the Rain: During a Night Hunter invasion when down to the last life/hive a thunder storm starts up along with appropriately intense music. Needless to say this makes the Hunter even harder to keep track of.
  • Big Bad: The main human villain is Rais.
  • Boring, but Practical: Molotovs can be crafted at the beginning of the game and require only two common, easily-found ingredients, but deal a massive amount of fire damage over time to everything in their splash radius (with the added bonus of not attracting virals like grenades and dynamite, as long as you avoid oil spills and cars). They're essential for clearing out groups of zombies, especially during the Early Game Hell, and can even kill human enemies and virals in one or two hits.
  • Boss in Mook's Clothing: The Fan Zone killer is a side-quest enemy who at first seems like any other hostile survivor, but he has an incredible amount of health and can survive as much if not more damage as a Demolisher. Unlike Rais' soldiers, he seems to be wearing military-grade heavy body armor and his dialogue may imply he was a soldier who got left behind during the evacuation and went insane.
  • Brain Food: The final, working potion developed by Dahlia involves using Bolter brains as an ingredient.
  • Brand X: The outbreak happened just as Harran hosted the "Global Athletics Games," an obvious stand in for the Olympic Games.
  • Breakable Weapons: Weapons degrade when attacking, and can only be repaired a few times. Although sometimes during free roam, you might stumble upon a survivor (indicated by a blue shield on the map). If you opt to help the survivor, then he will reward you by offering to refurbish your weapons, effectively repairing any weapons and restoring their repair limit. It's a good idea to carry all of the weapons that you need repaired in your inventory before helping him as the survivor will despawn if you try to go back and forth to your stash.
  • Bullfight Boss: The Demolishers. Massive hulking-like zombies with body armor, they have two forms of attacks: throwing large chunks of concrete at you (with accurate aiming) if you're at a place they can't reach, or charging full-speed at you if you're at ground level.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The name of the achievement for beating the game says so. Rais is defeated, the military has backed off, the GRE didn't manage to get their hands on the data. However, Rahim, Zere and Jade are dead (with Crane being forced to kill a zombified Rahim and Jade), and with Zere dead and his research destroyed there's now no hope for a cure. Although one hopes that there is enough Antizin left in the city for the survivors until it is completed...
    • The new material for Dying Light 2 really enhances the "bitter" part when it is revealed that despite Crane's efforts and the optimistic ending of the main game ("The Following" DLC notwithstanding), the zombie apocalypse happened anyway and has now spread all over the world, with humanity all but wiped out. And even worse, Kyle's adventures in Harran had very little to do with it.
  • Blatant Lies: Near the end of the game, the GRE reestablishes contact with Crane and offers to rescue him in exchange for Zere's research. At this point, Crane already knew the GRE's true intention and pretends to accept their offer.
  • 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.
  • Bullying a Dragon: Rais' men go after Crane with the same zeal, no matter whether Crane's a newcomer to Harran or a grizzled veteran who's mowed down many others before them. Late in the game, random survivors will also engage Crane even if they know of his feats.
  • But Thou Must!: An early mission Kyle undertakes for the people of the Tower is retrieving a supply drop of Antizin, the drug which keeps infected humans from going zombie. When Kyle reaches it, Mission Control orders him to destroy it and claim it was worthless, thus justifying contacting Rais — a dreaded warlord even before the outbreak — to trade for more. Please note two things; First, the Tower survivors have already repeatedly stated that Rais is too vicious and crazy to interact with in any way, shape or form. Second, Kyle is infected and needs Antizin as badly as everyone else in the tower. Despite this, the player is forced to watch helplessly as Kyle automatically disposes of the medicine in a nearby Trashcan Bonfire.
  • 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.
  • Celebrity Survivor: One of the game's major characters, Jade Aldemir was a famous kickboxer known as "The Scorpion" before the outbreak. There are posters of her, and you meet a fangirl who is only in Harran to watch Jade compete.
  • 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: (watching a static TV) This is where we got the announcements about the Antizin drops. And they've just... stopped. (punches TV) There were KIDS in there! I... I froze. Lena has to step up... maybe she should be in charge. What the fuck, Crane, I'm not a leader! I'm a goddamn parkour instructor!
  • Chekhov's Gun: Subverted. In an early mission to retrieve Antizin from a night drop, Crane destroys it on orders from the GRE but not before taking a vial for himself. The vial is never mentioned again. Doubles as a Headscratcher, since it would have been a perfect last minute save when he and Jade are forced to decide who will receive a life-saving dose of Antizen later on.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: In the side quest O Brother, Where Art Thou?, Osman, the man who had his arm hacked off by Rais during the antagonist's introduction is located when his brother Nazim is tortured into revealing his location by some of Rais' men. They apparently removed some of his fingers to loosen his tongue.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Anything involving Rais can be identified at a glance by three yellow slashmarks (Rais' symbol) and his men prominently wear yellow in their outfits.
  • Color-Coded Item Tiers: Items are color coded from several levels. Higher tiered weapons generally do more damage, can be repaired more often and can be equipped with more upgrades. However, the higher the level, the rarer and more expensive it is.
    • White. Most basic, common and weakest items in the game. Although there are some important items like the medkit and lockpick that only came in the white category.
    • Green. Uncommon items that are slightly better than white ones. Most of the weapons-carrying biters in the game usually wields a weapon with this color.
    • Blue. Mid-tier items that are usually considered decent enough by most standards. Usually carried by Rais' men or the hostile survivors at Old Town.
    • Purple. Epic items that appears around mid-to-late Survival levels. Lockpicking the Very Hard police vans also has a good chance of finding a weapon of this color.
    • Orange. Some of the best items belongs here. Buying one at a Store would usually costs around 15000-25000 money. Most developers blueprint weapons also belongs here.
    • Gold. The bounty update in 2018 added these extremely powerful weapons. Examples are the Ranger's Bow and The Last Wish revolver that can kill a Demolisher with a single headshot.
  • 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.
  • The Computer Is a Lying Bastard: One of the Bozak challenge posters tells you to "run, swim, and climb to complete this challenge". This is a complete lie. If you swim during this challenge, you will fail it, because your swim speed is much slower than your run speed. Instead, you're supposed to run down a side route to get to the objective, instead of taking the more obvious (but much slower) swimming route.
  • 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 the bureaucrat Thabit in The Bunker sidequest who actually promises to use the mayoral seal "to the fullest extent of [his] corruption". Then he tries to attack Crane with a crowbar, regardless of whether or not Crane has a gun equipped. Described best by Ihsan (the quest giver): "Try not to kill him. But if you do kill him, I totally understand,".
      Thabit: By order of the "mayor", the contents of this vault belong to ME! (immediately get his face blown off by a double-barrel shotgun at point-blank range)
  • Cowardly Mooks: Bolters. They're nocturnal zombies (their tissues is photosensitive) with their backsides covered in green pustules. Unlike normal zombies, if they realize Kyle is nearby, they will immediately run away. Killing them and then looting will give you a Bolter tissue that can be sold for a high price or used to make a powerful Toxin upgrade for a weapon.
  • Crossover: Dying Light has had a few.
    • In October 2019's community event, they crossed over with Left 4 Dead 2, adding in three melee weapons from that game as free DLC and significantly increasing the spawn rate of Virals for the duration of the event.
    • For their April Fools 2020 event, they crossed over with Unturned, giving all the zombies in the game the heads of the Unturned zombies as well as adding another free DLC pack of Unturned melee weapons.
    • In October 2020, they did a second Left 4 Dead 2 crossover event, this time adding William "Bill" Overbeck and Gnome Chompski as a free DLC character and melee weapon respectively whilst increasing the Viral population again.
    • April 2021 saw a crossover with Rust, featuring several cobbled-together weapon schematics, sidequests to unlock stronger variations of those weapons, and a outfit of plate armor constructed from trash cans and sheet metal along with a similar custom job for the buggy in The Following.
  • 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.
  • Cutscene Incompetence: Played straight repeatedly on the main storyline.
  • Damsel in Distress: Played relatively straight; at one time in the main storyline Crane must rescue Jade Aldemir, who, although an Action Girl, seems to suffer just as much from Cutscene Incompetence as Crane does.
  • Darker and Edgier: Even more so than the spiritual predecessor Dead Island. Here Crane is forced to do morally atrocious stuff like burning the antizin under his higher-ups orders, and eventually seeing so much of the well-meaning survivors die, at least a couple of truly Hate Sink villain, and a Ray Of Hope ending that goes dark in the continuation DLC.
  • 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 Biters will jump at you to try to chew your face off if they get close enough, forcing a QTE to push them away. An upgrade in the Agility skill will allow you to immediately counter their bite, preventing any damage. Volatiles will do the same, except they can leap from quite the distance. And the damage dealt is way, way bigger.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Crane as the game goes on just becomes more exasperated than anything else.
  • Death by Falling Over: The various traps throughout the city are a One-Hit Kill on most zombies, even if they don't like they should've died from one (like zombies just getting tangled up on a spike trap instead of being outright impaled on it.)
  • 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. The survivor points loss is negated when dying at night, but subverted if you're playing on nightmare difficulty as dying causes a significant loss of legend points.
  • Death of a Child: Played with, no surviving child is harmed on screen, but there are references to off-screen child fatalities (a notable one is the outbreak of the 18th floor at The Tower, with Jade and Brecken explicitly mentioning the deaths of a few kids), and a rare variant of zombie in the second half is an undead child called a Screamer. Subverted in that while the animation for making them stop attracting zombies has Crane calming the zombie kid, you can shoot it or hit it afterward (or even shoot him instead of calming him).
    • In an aversion of this trope, one room in the sewers (where the first Screamer is encountered) does contain the unzombified bodies of several children. Fortunately, they are at least clean of any blood or visible injuries.
  • Decontamination Chamber: To reach Dr. Camden's Lab, you must pass through a decontamination room, but to do so, it must run it's decontamination process... while it's flooded with zombies. Interestingly, shortly after you run it, the entire horde inside drops dead.
  • Degraded Boss: The Demolisher reappears as a relatively tough form of zombie after you beat it the first time. Interestingly, the example is actually inverted, as the "boss" Demolisher you first fight actually has less than half as much health as the regular Demolishers you fight later in the game. This is to compensate for the fact you'll be fighting him with low-level base weapons, due to having all your equipment taken away from you just prior to the fight.
  • Difficult, but Awesome: A basic bow can be found around level 9 Survivor Rank in pretty much any store. They are silent, have retrievable and easily produced ammo, and can kill even a Goon in two or three head shots. Getting used to their firing arc takes a lot of practice though making them hard to use when first picked up. Once mastered they are probably the best ranged weapon for simply roaming the streets.
    • The "Tic-Tac" Skill in the agility tree is also this, In theory, mastering this ability allows you to Wall Run up any surface for about three steps, providing you with a quick and easy way to get to higher ledges instead of trying to find a lower point to start climbing. In practice, however, the issue is judging how high up a ledge is, because if you get it wrong, Crane will slowly slide down the wall, and any attempt to use the climb button during that point will cause Crane to turn and fling himself off the wall, great for wall jumping when no handholds are available, but when trying to climb a tower, usually ends with Crane becoming street pizza, and it is quickly overshadowed by the grapple hook, unless you are trying to beat the freerunning challenges.
  • Disc-One Nuke:
    • The easter egg EXPcalibur sword that can be found on a rock just off the coast. It deals significantly more damage than other early-game weapons and can be obtained as soon as you leave the Tower. It's also not particularly hidden, as the majority of famous Lets Players managed to find it while playing the game blind before release. The only drawback is that it can't be repaired.
    • The easter egg Korek Machete (named after one of the Devs) is more well-hidden, but can be obtained near the beginning of the game if you know where to look. It does more damage than any weapon you'll get until you're about midway to max level.
    • A more mundane example; the rebar club you get from killing a Goon is extremely powerful, killing most enemies in one hit and even killing the Goon themselves in just 5 hits (compared to at least a couple dozen swings from a regular early-game weapon). The drawback is that it uses a lot of stamina and can't be repaired, but it's devastating even if you swing it while tired (once you get the timing down) and easily replaced by killing more Goons.
    • if you know where to look, you can get a gun right after you finish the tutorial section. Early on, guns are very hard to come by, the only ways to get one are either to lockpick a police van, which are "Very Hard" difficulty, often surrounded by zombies, and have a low chance to even contain a gun in the first place. You can also get one by killing one of Rais's men and looting their guns, which is also difficult and dangerous early on. However... there is a shack in the southeast corner of the slums where a pistol always spawns at the start of a new game. The shack also contains a few boxes of pistol ammo and once you acquire a gun, shops start selling ammunition at a relatively cheap price.
    • Cosmetic bundle DLC and event weapon blueprints are fairly obvious examples of this trope, as a lot of them are craftable from common ingredients despite having high damage bonuses; being able to turn a beginner weapon into a decently powerful one against early-game enemies. Craftable DLC firearms are also an example of this, although ammo for them appears very rarely until later in the game.
  • Discount Card: Two ability in the Survivor Rank will lower prices at shops while another will increases the price of items you sell.
  • 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 Ditz: For all his athleticism, Crane often doesn't come across as the brightest bulb in the box. He follows the GRE orders without question despite the fact they openly insult him AND seem actively evil just by what they request. When they inexplicably order him to burn the last drop of anti-viral medicine in the city he does it almost without hesitation despite being infected himself too! Most egregiously, he pockets a vial of Antizin at this point but completely fails to mention this to Jade, who dies giving him a shot she also needed...when they could have presumably just taken one each... Crane also completely neglects to ask for Antizin at the Tower despite the fact they have a surplus after Rais gave them a little bit (and he's their number 1 runner). Instead he just continues having seizures, never mentions this and it ends up getting Jade killed.
  • Domestic Abuse: A document found in-game shows that Dawud, an NPC who provides you a mission before running off with his son when Crane gives him a gun, was well-known to the police for his violent outbursts against his wife. This is why he needed to trick a runner to get him a gun - the police wouldn't give him a permit.
  • The Dragon: Tahir to Rais. He's the first named character that Crane meet in the game (he's one of the three men that ambushes Crane as soon as he landed in Harran at the prologue). Apart from that, the game really doesn't characterizes Tahir that much besides being Rais' right hand man. Late in the game, immediately after Jade's death, Rais sics Tahir against Crane, forcing a melee fight against him. After defeating him, Tahir calmly dares Crane to finish him off, which he obliged by slashing his throat with a machete.
  • 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' men.
  • Dying Moment of Awesome: Trapped in Rais' museum stronghold, without any weapons, feverish from the infection, and literally seconds away from turning, Jade still singlehandedly kills the goons Rais sends to kill her and the still recovering Crane without receiving any injuries herself. And then she turns...
  • Early Game Hell: Initially, the game is almost a chore, with zombies taking countless hits to kill, weapons breaking as fast as the player can use them, and bandits that will wreck face. Almost all of these issues disappear later on once the player gets a few skill levels under their belt and turns into a whirlwind of destruction. The early game does everything short of telling you point-blank to not get into fights and focus on evasion, since none of the early story missions require you to be in combat at all. As your Survivor level increases, you find better weapons and combat gets easier.
  • Easter Egg: The game got quite a bunch of cool easter eggs and references in it:
    • A couple of hidden blueprints references the devs team:
      • The Korek Machete can be found on top of the building of the Underground Parking quarantine in The Slums.
      • Interacting with the checker pieces repeatedly at the rooftop of The Tower will give you the Sick Bomb.
      • The Right Hand of Glova can be obtained by gathering two stones at specific locations at Old Town and placing them at the skull at Ishaq's apartment that can be accessed in the Shadow of The King sidequest.
    • On the southeast corner on the map in The Slums, you can find the sword of EXPcalibur in the middle of a small island.
    • After completing the Lost in Space sidequest and returning to Selma's room, you can find a action-figure of Ray McCall, the protoganist of the Call of Juarez franchise.
    • A cave on the northeast corner of The Slums is a massive reference to Destiny's original loot cave that eventually got patched.
    • Picking up a certain flower at the Antenna area teleports you to an area where zombies are advancing towards a house through a field with plants that are fighting back.
    • During the Siblings main mission inside the school, 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.
    • One of the shops in The Slums is named Left4Bread.
    • A very well-hidden pipe in the southwest of Old Town teleports you to a close recreation of World 1-1. You can also find a hidden block in the easter egg that would give you a blueprint of the Pyza Suit that allows you to glide momentarily.
    • After completing the Gunslinger and Lost in Space sidequest, you can find Dawud's son in The Tower wielding a Master Sword.
    • A hotel in The Slums (the same hotel where you go save Kristov in the Prodigal Son sidequest) is called the Bites Motel.
    • In the Antenna area, you can find a RV that contains alien drawings, photos and poster saying Believe.
    • You can find a graffiti of a simplistic horse that is accurate to its original appearance.
    • During Babar's escort mission (the guy that believes that he is a werewolf), entering the second hangar and turning on the power will cause all the zombies to dance, Bollywood style.
  • Eldritch Location: During the main story mission The Museum, 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 (they have twice as much health as a Giant Mook, and have an unblockable leap attack that can't be dodged without higher level combat moves). Also, once you attack one of them, it will immediately alert every single freaking Volatiles in the vicinity of the area. They can sprint faster than the player in a straight line and even parkour through buildings and obstacles if spotted by them. Their one weakness is U.V. light, which stuns them briefly, 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. Most of them have similar powers to the special infected from Left 4 Dead.
    • The aforementioned Volatiles above.
    • Spitter-type zombies called Toads that pukes deadly acid at you. They have two attack: they spit out a large pool of acid that explodes like a grenades at long range or rapidly spits small acid bursts at you in close range.
    • The explosive Bombers. They will attempt to wobble to the player and then explode violently, showering deadly flesh everywhere that could kill you in one shot. You always find them indoors and they are intelligent enough to hide behind corners, waiting for prey to comes near them.
    • Goons. Tall, skinny (and usually shirtless) zombie wielding a large two-handed rebar. They move slow and have easily telegraphed attacks but they packs a punch and have a large area of effect.
    • The tank-like Demolishers. Massive brute that appears to be former policemen or SWAT members, they are strong enough to rip concrete with their bare hands and can also charge at you like a bull. They are incredibly durable as well, requiring you to strip off their armor to expose their flesh.
    • 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. Crane is also forced to kill Rahim and Jade after they become virals.
    • Screamers are incredibly discomforting child zombies who do Exactly What It Says on the Tin. They started appearing in the second half of the game in the Old Town.
    • Bolters are a unique one. They don't attack humans, instead running away from them. They can only be found at night time and their tissue is extremely valuable.
    • Exaggerated 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, bleeding, impact 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.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: By the end of the game, Crane's GRE contact has had enough of Crane's heroic actions and even asks why him why he gives a damn about the survivors.
  • 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.
  • Face Death with Dignity: After being mortally wounded, Tahir simply tells Crane to get it over with and kill him. When Crane suggests he should just leave him to suffer a slow death, Tahir's response can be summed up with "Yeah? Go ahead.", sounding positively bored.
    Crane: Wow, Tahir. You're looking pretty fucked up, huh? Yeah, those don't look like the kind of wounds you recover from.
    Tahir: So? Then kill me.
    Crane: No, no, I shouldn't. I should just leave you here to suffer. That's what you deserve.
    Tahir: Yes? Then why don't you?
    Crane: Because you're not the kind of loose end you leave untied.
  • Fan Disservice: Quite a few Biters (the basic zombie type) are women wearing bikini tops and short shorts. Considering the state that their bodies are in, the effect is far less sexy than one would think.
  • 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.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation:
    • After finishing the main quest by killing Rais, you will still be greeted with cutscenes and events where both the protagonist and the other characters acknowledge Rais. It is most egregious when you complete the politician's quest after the main quest, when Karim, who is actually dead, waits for you on the roof.
    • There's no given reason why Virals shouldn't be able to get into most of the safe zones; in fact, while clearing the zones out, its possible to attract some virals into the zone, even after the entrances are secured and the power is on- but as soon as a zone is declared safe, they will keep out.
  • Gang Up on the Human: Zombies in general prioritize attacking the player over other human enemies. So trying to cause a Mêlée à Trois with Rais' thugs is usually more trouble than it's worth.
    • You can get around this by moving to a safe distance and throwing a loud weapon toward them, like a grenade or explosive throwing star (or just letting them sight you and start shooting if they have guns). The noise will attract virals and possibly volatiles, who will fight Rais' men as long as they don't see you.
  • Genre Shift: With the Hellraid download, that cancelled game's properties were turned over to Dying Light. So you'll enter a portal that takes you from a modern zombie plague story into the world of Dark Fantasy.
  • Giant Mook: Towering zombies wielding rebar serve this role, being extremely tough but also very slow. There's also a Boss in Mook's Clothing hulk-like zombie that can smash through walls, throw large objects, and do a charging tackle.
  • Glass Cannon: The player-controlled Hunters that appear as PvP invasions are extremely maneuverable and very deadly, but aren't any more durable than a regular zombie and can be dispatched with only a few hits.
  • 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. As evidenced by the final cutscene of the game.
    Crane: What do you want?
    GRE: Rais already told us he had that dead scientist's data. All we're interested in is the cure. We're offering you a chance, here! Get the rest of the research and come with us!
    Crane: I can think of a lot of reasons to tell you to go fuck yourself, but why don't we just pretend for a minute that you DON'T think I'm stupid? You need the cure. It's here, in the city... somewhere. And as long as it is, you won't try to pull any Ministry-style bullshit.
    GRE: Crane, why do you even GIVE a fuck what happens to these people? You don't belong here! This is just a job for you!
    Crane: Not anymore, it's not. I'll be in touch when I've decided what to do next.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: When Crane slashes Tahir's throat with a machete, the camera pans away from the act, only showing Tahir's blood splattering across the wall.
  • Gotta Catch Them All: There are zombie statues, notes, voicemails, and flags to collect.
  • 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.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: The GRE plan to weaponize the virus and to sell it to the highest bidder in the black market.
  • Guns Firing Underwater: Averted in a way that ends up helping Crane. While he never attempts to fire a gun underwater (You can't try anyway), Rai's men attempt to ambush him on his way to Old Town. Thankfully, as true to life, bullets don't work very well aganist a target that's underwater, and they at best do scratch damage to Crane so long as he stays underwater. Which makes you wonder why they bothered to shoot him in the water in the first place.
  • 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.
  • Harmful to Minors: Early on, a father named Dawud takes his young son without the permission of his mother Selma, uses a gun to force his way out of the Tower (even injuring one guard in the process), and attempts to flee to Old Town where he believes he'll be safer. Not only is this a kidnapping, but everyone except Dawud seems to understand that he's putting the child in an enormous amount of danger. Even moreso where after meeting Troy at the Old Town, Crane received a public broadcast call from Dawud, claiming that he is now infected and pleading anyone on the radio for someone to save his son. When Crane arrived at his place, Dawud had already turned into a viral and Crane is forced to kill him. Luckily, the boy survives relatively unharmed (physically, at least) and is promptly returned back to his mother.
  • Hazmat Suit: Some biters can be seen wearing this along with oxygen tanks strapped to their backs that will explode if damaged. Their origins can be traced to 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.
  • Head Crushing: The player can gain the ability to finish off knocked down enemies with a head kick.
  • 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.
  • Hell Is That Noise: The gut wrenching screams of virals can be heard when you make enough noise to attract them.
  • 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 main mission The Museum, 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.
      Crane: That's a fucking bite wound. YOU GODDAMN STUPID FUCKING KID!
    • Averted with Michael in the main quest Public Face. When Crane is busy planting explosives to show the rest of the world that there are still survivors in Harran, Michael mentioned that he's surrounded by zombies and will try to hold them down as much as he can. Luckily, Crane managed to convince him to drop the detonator and run to safety. You can find him safe and sound later on at The Embers' hideout.
  • 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.
  • Hate Plague: The Harran Virus first makes this mark upon it's host, turning them into rabid, psychotic rage zombies called Virals.
  • Idiot Ball: For all his athleticism, Crane often doesn't come across as the brightest bulb in the box. He follows the GRE orders without question despite the fact they openly insult him AND seem actively evil just by what they request. When they inexplicably order him to burn the last drop of anti-viral medicine in the city he does it almost without hesitation despite being infected himself too! Most egregiously, he pockets a vial of Antizin at this point but completely fails to mention this to Jade, who dies giving him a shot she also needed...when they could have presumably just taken one each... Crane also completely neglects to ask for Antizin at the Tower despite the fact they have a surplus after Rais gave them a little bit (and he's their number 1 runner). Instead he just continues having seizures, never mentions this and it ends up getting Jade killed.
  • I Told You So: One random encounter reveals that her ex-fianceé refused to come with her to Harran to cover the athletics competition for a number of reasons and now she's dreading going back to this.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: Mentioned a couple of times in the game's sidequests:
    • The sidequest Chasing Past features Umar, a cannibal who killed and ate a young child's father, living in the basement of their old apartment building. To make it worse, when you first stumble upon his slaughterhouse, the first thing you'd see is the gutted body of Mike, a dog that belongs to the child.
    • Discussed in the sidequest Total Security. After their leader Hanson accidently died, the rest of the group ran out of supplies and discuss the possibility of turning to cannibalism when they're trapped on the roof of a high building in the slums.
    • Rais' men apparently eat eyes as part of an initiation.
  • Infinity +1 Sword: The bounty system added in 2018 adds a number of special gold-tier weapons that can be acquired by fulfilling certain special requirements after you beat the main campaign. By far the most powerful seems to be the Last Wish revolver, which has a special attack that kills Giant Mook enemies with a single headshot.
  • 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.
  • Incredibly Lame Pun: "A Crane, on a crane!" Courtesy of Rahim.
  • Initiation Ceremony: In an escort mission, it's revealed that Rais' prospective recruits have to consume human eyes.
  • 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 characters such as Zere and Camden are humble and level-headed. The best part? Both of them return in The Following DLC. Cheers.
  • 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.
  • It Can Think: The Virals are quite intelligent and cunning when hunting their prey, being able to dodge and time their kicks and punches while fighting as well as having very short periods of lucidity. Biters can also suffer a mutation at night, (or day, as of The Following) that allows them to gain this back as well as their mobility.
  • Item Crafting: Weapons can be augmented to make them more dangerous, and so can ammunition.
  • Item Farming: While there's no outright need to do this, it's made exceptionally easy by the ability to just sleep in a bed to pass from one day to the next and claim free items from the Quartermaster (which, if desired, can then be sold to the shop owner at the same value those items would always get). It's even easier in the university safehouse in Old Town than it is in the Tower as you don't have to ride an elevator to get to and from your bed. If you're patient, there's no way you'll ever be less than fully supplied when you go out to face Harran.
  • Joke Item: A reward for a certain quest is the "Anti-Gadoid Gun". It is apparently really good against 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.
  • Just a Kid: A serious resentment of Rahim, who believes everyone is holding him back as a kid (he repeatedly asks others in anger if they disregard him for his age). He frequently attempts to subvert this trope by planning to destroy a Volatile nest. Unfortunately for him, everyone else was right.
  • 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.
  • Karmic Death: The Fan Zone Killer lures in victims via a phony distress call, and managed to rack up more than twenty victims. Sadly for him, Kyle ends up being lured by said distress call, outs his trap to the outside world, and for all his Social Darwinist talk about him being the strongest, it does little to save him when he tries to add Crane to his list of victims and ends up dead as a result.
  • Katanas Are Just Better: Katanas very similar to the one from Dead Island appears as a mid-to-late level weapon.
  • 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: All three major factions in the game have their own.
    • 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.
    • Rais gets Tahir, who is pretty much just as ruthless and cruel as him. You fight him in melee combat later on at the end of The Museum story mission. After defeating him, Crane considers leaving him to dead before changing his mind and slashing Tahir's throat.
    • Troy gets Savvy. True to his name, Savvy is a technological genius and uses his resources to find a way to break through the communication jammer so they could send a message to the rest of the world that there're still survivors in Harran.
  • 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.
  • Last-Name Basis: Characters will always call Kyle Crane by his last name. Averted in one major scene in The Museum story quest.
    Jade : One of us have to live, Kyle...
  • The Leader: The game features three prominent leaders in their respective groups:
    • Harris Brecken is the leader of The Tower. A level-headed and caring person, he is the first leader that Crane meet and clearly his responsibility of managing everyone in The Tower has taken its toll on him. He disappears halfway throughout the story once Crane makes it to Sector 0, but his presence is still felt throughout the story.
    • Rais/Suleiman is the leader of... Rais' garrison. The Big Bad of the story, he is a calculative, philosophical and psychopathic leader that is feared by almost everyone. He enjoys seeing others suffer for his amusement and uses his ruthless ways to hoard most of the supplies in Harran (including Antizin).
    • Troy is the leader of The Embers. She takes up Brecken's role after arrived at Sector 0. She is more akin to a rebel leader and is determined to find a way to escape Harran. Despite that, she is a friendly person and is willing to help Crane in finding Jade despite knowing him as a GRE agent.
  • 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 leave untied before slitting his throat.
    • Called Back to in the final battle against Rais. Crane doesn't kill him, to make him suffer, but Rais fights back, pushing crane onto a container, leading to his Disney Villain Death moment.
  • 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.
  • Level Scaling: Like Dead Island, the game has level scaling, but unlike Dead Island it's not 1:1, so you do feel more powerful as your level increases. For example, at level 1, zombies have about 150-200 health and a basic, common rarity weapon does an average of 20 damage, requiring several hits to kill just one zombie. At the maximum level of 25, zombies have about 400-500 health and a basic, common rarity weapon does around 700-800 damage, allowing you to chop through hordes with single swings. The only enemies that scale on a 1:1 ratio with you are Rais' soldiers, and only those encountered on the overworld rather than during main story missions.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Volatiles hit hard, can survive twice 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. Said person also gets to spend the rest of his life without being dependent on daily doses of Antizin, or being indefinitely detained in a quarantine camp by the government (another wealthy character towards the end of the game mentions that even the power elite will be detained in quarantine camps if they've been infected and require Antizin to avoid turning).
  • 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.
  • Machete Mayhem: Machetes are a common mid to late game weapon. Very powerful versions show up as your survival level gets near max.
  • Magic Pants: The Demolishers, who are strongly implied to be former riot cops, are still clad in the riot armor they wore when alive. The problem is the Demolishers are 20 foot tall monsters, yet the riot armor still fits them perfectly.
  • 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.
    • On a meta sense, the Volatiles is pretty much the face of the game. Part of their popularity is because of their unique design and appearance as an Elite Zombie. Another is because they're genuinely scary and terrifying monsters that scare a lot of players.
  • Mêlée à Trois: Zombies and human enemies will fight each other as well as the player. However, the game usually clears the immediate area around human enemies of any zombies, so the two usually don't interact unless you lure distant zombies towards a group of human enemies. On the second map, Old Town, there are more hostile survivors wandering around randomly instead of being part of fixed encounters, so human vs. zombie fights are a lot more common.
  • 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.
  • Mission-Pack Sequel: Dying Light is built on an updated version of the same engine and code as Dead Island, the core combat system is the same and the basic zombie types share quite a few animations and code with their Dead Island counterparts (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.
  • Mood Whiplash: The sidequests alternate between serious tragic drama and comedic silliness. Surprisingly dark themes such as domestic abuse, mass suicide, and a pedophile sex slave collector are juxtaposed against such silliness as an obviously deluded man who thinks he's a werewolf, a man obsessed with fishing during the zombie apocalypse, a man who wants to build a laser gun to fight the Reptilians, or a poker party than tricks you into bringing them booze by pretending to be delivering a baby.
  • Mythology Gag: The first merchant you meet in Dead Island would repeatedly say "I heard this scourge came from outer space" over and over again. The "Legless Spider" side-quest in Dying Light involves investigating this very possibility. It turns out to be a red herring.
  • Neck Snap: Available as a stealth kill from behind when unlocked. Also seen in story, with the deaths of Rahim and Jade.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Kyle complies with the GRE order to destroy a handful of crates full of Antizin vials, which would have helped a lot of survivors for many days. For comparison, Jade says that five vials could last "a few days". The destruction of Antizin also forced the Tower group to make contact with Rais, which also proved to be a detrimental decision. Most of the tragedies in the game would have been averted if Kyle had kept the Antizin.
  • No-Gear Level: All of your equipment is taken from you during the game's two boss battles, the fight in Rais' arena and the fight against Tahir. This is most likely done because your weapons scale with your level, but enemies do not, so by controlling what weapons you get during the boss fights the Devs make sure you don't kill the bosses in 2 hits. (Although it's possible to randomly find a leveled weapon in the second boss fight by searching a lootable pile, which makes said boss fight much easier if you're at a high level).
    • 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.
  • Not Completely Useless: The Anti-Gadoid gun is useless as a weapon, but can be sold for money, used to draw zombies toward you when the need arises, or given to a character in a side mission who wants a gun.
  • 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.
  • Not Using the "Z" Word: Averted. While they are sometimes referred to as "infected," the game is not afraid to refer to them as "Zombies."
  • Oblivious Guilt Slinging: After Crane volunteers to deal with Rais for Antizen, Jade contacts him to talk about how deeply she and everyone in the Tower appreciate the risk he's taking for them. Crane—who had just come back from destroying the Antizen drop the Tower desperately needed on GRE orders—cuts her off, clearly ashamed.
  • Oh, Crap!: Whenever the sun sets in the game this is the main character's reaction.
  • Older Than They Look: A randomly encountered resident of the Tower mentions that Spike, the Black quartermaster found near Dr. Zere's lab, is actually 50 years old, and notes that he looks much younger than that.
  • One-Man Army: Kyle Crane qualifies, and he often seems like the only one capable of getting things done.
  • Our Zombies Are Different:
    • The Virus is a mutation of the real-world Rabies Virus, and so the infected are of the Technically-Living Zombie variety. While it varies somewhat from person to person, most victims don't seem to turn immediately, and experience periodic stomach cramps and seizures of worsening severity until they do, but otherwise don't seem to be dramatically weakened until the very last stages of the infection. In some cases, these late stages of the infection seem to grant the infectee a burst of superhuman strength and reflexes before they turn completely; both Crane and Jade dispatch everal armed mooks in a fraction of a second in this manner.
    • Once the victim has turned, the virus has two main stages:
      • Viral: Freshly turned infected. Virals are very mobile with keen reflexes, being able to run for long periods of time, jump great distances, hop over obstacles, climb surfaces, and dodge attacks. They are very sensitive to noise, like gunshots or explosions, and appear to be able to communicate with each other through screaming. They are still capable of actual speech, and will beg for mercy if almost dead, but it isn't known whether this is truly their humanity briefly resurfacing or just a ruse to lull their attacker into a false sense of security. Unlike most zombies in media, they don't bite, instead making mad lunges and swipes, beating their opponents to death.
      • Biter: The advanced stage of the infection. In terms of appearance, most biters are uniquely bald, including the females. Biters are very sluggish but also quite durable, being able to survive several blows to the head and survive amputations and broken bones that would kill Virals. However, most of the residual intelligence of the Viral stage is gone; for example, instead of jumping over obstacles they will haphazardly clamber over them, sometimes killing themselves in the process. Unlike virals, Biters will sometimes use weapons to compensate for their slower attacks, and are capable of throwing them at the player for high damage.
      • Apart from these, there are several types of 'special' infected, possessing 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).
    • The virus can be suppressed with Antizin, a type of antiviral medication - while this doesn't cure it outright, it does seem to 'reset' the infection timeline, meaning that someone who is infected with the virus can live a more or less normal life if they receive regular doses. One of the main conflicts in the earlier parts of the game is the difficulty the survivors have in procuring this medication, and how unscrupulous individuals take advantage of the situation such as Rais' group hoarding them or the Goodnight Mr. Bahir sidequest that involves phony Antizin.
    • The zombies' main weakness is ultraviolet radiation. They are much weaker during the day thanks to the sun, and survivors drape their safehouses in UV lights in order to ward them off. The zombies themselves seem to be aware of this on some level; those that spend their time outside will stare at the setting sun in unison during the late evening, anticipating the comfort the night gives them.
      • Due to being a mutation of rabies, the zombies are also hydrophobic. They will quickly back off if the player hides underwater and die instantly if submerged.
    • Special zombies seem to retain some vague sense of who they were before their infection. Screamers, which are infected children, always remain in their homes, and Thabit from The Bunker sidequest mentions that Halim, a policeman who was infected and transformed into a Demolisher travelled all the way to the Harran police station and stayed there.
  • Plague Zombie: The zombies in Dying Light are the result of a viral infection.
  • Post-Apocalyptic Traffic Jam: Encountered frequently on the highways and bridge. It is implied that the former drivers abandon their cars and were killed by the zombies, or became zombies themselves.
  • Precision F-Strike: The normally cool-headed GRE contact exclaims "Crane, why do you even GIVE a fuck what happens to these people?" when Crane refuses her offer to leave Harran with Zere's research.
  • 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.
  • Ragnarök 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.
  • Random Encounters: Unlike Dead Island, which had pre-set named survivors scattered across the map to provide quests or interact with you, Dying Light randomly spawns mostly un-named survivors on the map, who you may encounter as you run past the area. You get experience from rescuing them from zombies or thugs (after which they run into a nearby building and disappear), but if they get eaten it's no big deal.
  • 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.
  • Regenerating Health: Your health regenerates up to a point. Two of the agility skills increase the point your health regenerates to.
  • Reptilian Conspiracy: Referenced. Suspected to be behind the outbreak by a Conspiracy Theorist survivor. He is, of course, just crazy.
  • Respawning Enemies: Zombies will respawn, ensuring you always have something to fight or avoid as you travel across the map.
  • 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.
  • Scenery Porn: When you're on the top floors of the Tower, looking around the city about you will be amazing (and surprisingly accurate to the in-game map).
    • For a localized version, Crane's room in the Tower will get more items in it the more quests he completes. The game doesn't exactly point out any of the things that appear in there, so you need to have paid attention, but if you do, virtually everything in there has something to do with what he's done. For example, three paint cans will appear on Crane's desk. They're from part of a lengthy quest where you were going to signal a rescue chopper and needed three paint cans to write "HELP" on a roof. A DVD of Charly may show up, and every major zombie type you've encountered will have a photo of it pinned to a corkboard.
  • 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 McCain.
    • 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.
    • Dawud's son is holding a toy that looks remarkably like the Master Sword.
    • One easter egg you can find in the slums is a cave filled with zombies and some chests that is a reference to the infamous "loot cave" in Destiny. Upon entering you'll receive the message "your destiny is to build your legend(and get loot)", then once you kill enough zombies in the cave you'll get a message to go do quests because of a new "patch".
    • Some of the Goons are bright green and shirtless with purple pants like The Incredible Hulk.
  • 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. They can also bring down human enemies with ease. Catching a group of thugs off guard with one can easily wipe the entire gang out. Given the humans tend to be far worse then any of the zombies this makes them very awesome indeed.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: Two characters fit this role:
    • Tahir, The Dragon to Rais. His ambush towards Crane at the beginning of the game causes Crane to be bitten by one of the zombies and requiring Antizin, which causes a lot of issues multiple time later on.
    • Amir. His screentime is less than 30 seconds and he got killed in the game's prologue, but his Heroic Sacrifice saves both Crane and Jade. Late in the game, Camden revealed that Amir used to be a GRE operative like Crane as well.
      (Crane shows a picture of Amir to Camden)
      Camden: Hey! That's him! That's the GRE operative I was telling you about! What's his name?
      Crane: Amir.
      Camden: Yes! Yes! Amir Ghoreyshi! What are you doing with a picture of him?
      Crane: We, uh... had a mutual friend.
  • 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. The game also takes a page from Dead Rising by having the basic zombies be weaker and slower, but come in much, much larger groups.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: Rahim's plan to destroy the Volatile nest by himself shows why Just a Kid is a trope.
  • Survival Horror: Played With. Starts out as a true survival horror, where even a couple of regular zombies are a serious threat, but as the game goes on fighting the hordes becomes increasingly possible. Played Straight at night though; even with all skills and the highest tier of equipment, fighting at night is simply not an option; you run, hide, or die. Since much of the game requires you to play at night...
  • 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.
    • Defied by Rupert in the Dungeon sidequest. His wife, Jasmine has been previously bitten and realizing what's going to happen, begs Rupert to end her once she becomes a biter. Unfortunately, Rupert is unable to fulfill her wish, instead choosing to lock her up in the basement. When Crane finds out about it, he confronts him gently and offer to end her suffering. Rupert reluctantly agreed and finally believed it's for the better.
  • 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.
  • Take Your Time: Taken to a silly extreme. About a third of the way into the game, Crane gets a call telling him Harran is going to be razed to the ground in 48 hours. Yet you can freely pass that amount of in-game time — even just sleeping in a bed to pass from day to night or vice versa — with no repercussions. You can spend days, weeks even, farming the Quartermaster at the Tower for gear and supplies and nothing will happen.
  • 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. Though this may be debatable, as some background dialogue indicates the victims of the virus are actually dead on a cellular level, and actually are reanimated decaying corpses.
    • Although the Virals are a clear-cut example, as they are only in the first stage of transformation and haven't fully turned yet. Jade turns into a Viral on the spot rather than dying and reanimating when the infection finally overtakes her.
  • Ten-Second Flashlight: The regular flashlight lives forever on regular difficulties, but dims over time and must be switched back on in Hard Mode. The UV Flashlight (used to repel volatiles) only lasts for the short burst on every difficulty.
  • Token Black Friend: Apart from Zere, Spike is the only black character that you meet in the main storyline. Apart from being one of the two quartermasters, the game really doesn't characterizes him that much. However, a random encounter with a man named Haluk reveals that he used to live with Spike before the outbreak and know a couple of personal things about him that others doesn't. To name a few:
    • His real name is Rudolph.
    • He hates celebrating birthdays.
    • He's fifty freaking years old even though he looks thirty.
    • He used to work at University of Southern California.
    • He flew to Harran because apparently he was accused of having an affair with one of his female students at the university.
  • Too Dumb to Live: A couple of survivors dips into this that usually cost their life.
    • There's Thabit from The Bunker, a City Hall bureaucrat who helps you find a resource stockpile under the city hall, then tries to betray you and fight you for it. He's a bureaucrat, not a fighter, and goes down with one hit even from a weak weapon.
    • Jeffrey from the Psycho challenge. Dubbing himself El Jefe The Zombie Killer, he prides in being a skilled zombie slayer, only to get his merits beaten by Crane, over and over again. After his last challenge, he snaps and declare to Crane that there could only be one zombie killer. Three guesses what happens next.
    • Rocket from The Best Runner challenge. A prominent runner working for Rais, he creates a few friendly freerunning challenges to Crane despite both groups being enemies. Before tackling his last challenge, he mentioned that some of Rais' men are starting to suspect him, but decides to challenge Crane anyway. Once again, guess what happens next to him.
    • One random encounter has you meeting a British man on top of a tower. He reveals that he is building a glider that will allow him to fly above Harran and saved by the military. Never mind the fact that the whole city is under quarantine for a reason, or that his own idea of testing the glider is to basically jump off the nearby building with him piloting it. You never get to know what happens after that, but the probability of the guy surviving is pretty slim.
    • Rahim, who's own hot-headed arrogance leads to his demise. He hid the fact that he was bitten so he could still bomb the nest in the tower(and this was after he specifically promised Crane he would NOT do any such thing), which led to him becoming a zombie, forcing Crane to put him out of his misery.
    • 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 that runners from the Tower might be helping him with supplies, while his inherent anti-social tendencies cause him to evade the zombies quite skillfully even though he doesn't comprehend the threat they pose.
  • Took a Shortcut: After finding Spike as the quartermaster of Old Town, if you subsequently return to the Slums he's in the Tower too, with the original quartermaster (and will return to Old Town instantly if you do). You can even get supplies from both quartermasters on the same day.
  • 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. If Crane attacks one with a grapple instead of a long-range attack, he will cradle it gently and it will actually calm down, before Crane snaps its neck.
  • 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.
    • As long as you keep on kicking a zombie while it's down, all it will be able to do is moan pitifully as it struggles to get back on its feet.
  • Video Game Weapon Stats: The game has a couple of basic, easy to understand stats for the weapons. The stats can be upgraded using the various upgrades found in this game.
    • Damage. Self-explanatory. The higher, the better.
    • Durability. Melee weapons only. Measures how much hits can you dish with a weapon before requiring it to be repaired.
    • Handling. Melee weapons only. Measures how fast you swing your weapon. Two-handed weapons generally has lower handling than one-handed weapons to compensate for the higher damage.
    • Rate of fire. Guns only. The higher it is, the faster you fire your weapon.
  • Viewers Are Goldfish: At each loading screen Crane will have a short voiceover detailing the last plot element introduced (if a story quest is selected as active), even if said plot element was shown in game not less than 1 minute ago.
  • 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 of their strained relationship with the Ministry and it not being "politically advantageous".
  • 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.
  • Wounded Gazelle Gambit: If a Viral recovers from being knocked over, he or she will sometimes appear to cower and beg for mercy for a second before resuming attacking you.
  • You Are Number 6: All the infected in the Tower are given an ID - Crane's is 31 because he's the 31st person infected. Justified and downplayed since Crane is only called '31' near the beginning since no-one knows who he is. Everyone uses their real names freely, the ID is for Antizin rationing.
  • 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.

    The Following 
  • All for Nothing: In the "Nuke" ending, Crane detonates the nuclear stockpile beneath the region to destroy the virus, in the process killing everyone he's spent the DLC and the main game trying to help. The "Refuse" ending isn't much better, as the Tower runs out of Antizen and it's implied that all the Antizen-dependent individuals there are starting to turn, and Kyle himself gets turned into a Volatile and escapes the quarantine zone, spreading the virus further.
  • And Then John Was a Zombie: The Following ends with Kyle turning into an intelligent Volatile. Unfortunately, he's going to turn into a mindless killing machine whenever the sun sets. The only alternative ending is for Kyle to kill himself and everyone else with a nuclear bomb.
  • Car Fu: The Buggy can be used to run down zombies in The Following. It gets it's own skill tree with more offensive options available on it.
  • Cool Car: You get a buggy early in the campaign. It starts off pretty normal, but you can give it higher quality parts over time, as well as nitro boosters, mine deployers, a ramming bar, and even a flamethrower to turn it into a lean, mean zombie-killing machine.
  • Creepy Good: The Following themselves are incredibly creepy, and do and say quite a few suspicious things over the course of your dealings with them, but ultimately it turns out they were genuinely good guys trying to help the people of the countryside survive the zombie outbreak. The real villains of the story are, once again, Rais' army.
  • Cutscene Incompetence: Averted during the third and final encounter against Kaan where Crane easily subdue him without even being distracted one bit.
  • Despair Event Horizon: At the end of the game after Rais' army massacres all of her followers, the Mother decides to end everything by setting off a series of nuclear bombs. Kyle can either agree to help her or try to stop her.
  • The Dog Was the Mastermind: The new leader of Rais' army turns out to be none other than Kaan, the friendly if slightly oily merchant you met early on in the game.
    • Non-Action Big Bad: Unlike Rais or Tahir, he's no fighter and is dealt with pretty effortlessly in a cutscene.
  • Downer Ending: The Following ends in one of 2 ways. Either Kyle helps the Mother set off a stockpile of nuclear warheads to destroy the entire region (and themselves with it) to stop the virus, or Kyle kills the Mother and escapes, only to discover his exposure to the origin serum has turned him into an intelligent Volatile just like the Mother; self-aware during the day, but a mindless killing machine at night. And he ends up emerging outside the quarantine zone in front of a mother and her children... just as the sun begins to set...
  • Earn Your Bad Ending: Neither ending is even remotely happy, but the worse of the two, where Kyle makes it out of the quarantine zone as a Volatile is harder to get since it requires fighting the Mother and her assorted Mooks. Taking the other option pretty much just leads to the ending cutscene.
  • 11th-Hour Superpower: In the final phase of the final boss fight your normal attacks are replaced by a very powerful bare-handed melee swipe. This is because Crane is in the process of turning into a Volatile.
  • Game-Breaking Bug: The Following has its own save file and is loaded separately from the main campaign in the menu, though your save is linked to your campaign save so that your stats and inventory can sync back and forth. There's a bug, with no clearly-established cause, that makes your Following save load you into the Harran map instead of The Countryside. As it's not normally possible to return to Harran during The Following, there's no built-in way to go to The Countryside from Harran either, so you're stuck. The only known fix is to have someone else invite you to their Following co-op session, which forces your game to load you into The Countryside. This bug was never fixed, and Techland's own support site only offers the co-op workaround as a solution. If the game's co-op stops working someday, or if you're playing on console and don't pay for online features, you're out of luck, and probably can't play The Following again without losing progress (potentially your progress in both the expansion and the main campaign).
  • Genre Shift: From a parkour-based open world game into a vehicle based one. The parkour is still here, only highly de-emphasized due to the smaller number of buildings and larger expanses of wide open fields.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: The events of the game strongly imply the Harran virus was created by the local military as part of some sort of experiment.
  • Hand Cannon: The unique, gold-tier Last Wish revolver, obtained by completing a specific bounty (in-game challenge). When it has only 1 bullet left, it fires a powerful explosive round so strong it can kill the insanely durable King Mook enemies with less than a dozen headshots. You can also load 1 bullet once the revolver is empty and then aim-down-sights to cancel reloading the remaining 5 rounds, allowing you to do this with every shot.
  • Happy Ending Override:
    • The Following crushes all the cautious optimism that could be gleamed from the end of the main game. The Tower is running out of Antizen, which indicates the GRE never resumed airdrops and thus strongly suggests that they were successful in effectively un-personning the Harran survivors, despite all of Kyle's endgame efforts in broadcasting the truth and stopping the firebombing.note  Dr. Camden's research isn't bearing any fruit, so it doesn't look like a cure will be synthesized after all. Finally, the DLC ends with either Kyle turning into a Volatile and spreading the infection outside the quarantine zone, or setting off a series of nuclear bombs to destroy the entire region.
    • One of the major sidequests involves Volkan Dal, an NPC you helped try to escape Harran in the main game. Turns out he managed to find a working plane, but it broke down in mid-air and he had to parachute out. You spend a mission trying to track him down, only to find out that one of the locals shot him in the head and took his shoes. The local claims that Dal had already turned, but Crane's remarks upon examining Dal's body indicate he suspects the local just killed Dal for his shoes.
  • Harder Than Hard: Nightmare Mode. Enemies have higher health, combat stamina is limited, weapons break faster and nights last longer, but to compensate, a new weapon tier with extremely high damage is accessible, and unlike Hard Mode, vendors sell ammunition and the flashlight lasts forever.
  • Hi Jacked By Ganon : Rais' army turn out to be the main antagonist of the DLC again. Now controlled by a Obfuscating Stupidity man named Kaan.
  • Heavily Armored Mook: The Following has a new type of Giant Mook bandit wearing an improvised armor suit made of welded metal plates; they're about as tough as a Giant Mook Goon special zombie.
  • Hope Spot: The whole expansion! In a last ditch effort to save Harran in light of its dwindling Antizin supplies, Crane goes to see what the people in the countryside are doing to resist the plague. Turns out they don't have a cure either; just an elixir that's superior to Antizen but will eventually transform the imbiber into a special kind Volatile that maintains sentience during the day, but becomes a mindless monster at night. The survivors of Harran never had a chance.
  • Humanoid Abomination: The Mother is a volatile, except she's one that's sentient when the sun is out. In one of the endings, Kyle becomes one as well.
  • Kids Are Cruel: A sidequest in The Following has a child cry for help over the radio, Crane then goes to the warehouse where he was trapped with his brother, only to find out that the whole thing was a ploy by a group of kids to lure people into a trap so their pet Demolisher can kill them. After killing it, you gain access to the kids' vantage point where Crane is shocked by how many supplies there are, and how many people must have been lured to their deaths. The kids, meanwhile, escape via Villain: Exit, Stage Left and you have no way to bring them to justice.
  • Madwoman in the Attic: Two sidequests you receive at the same time involve strange sounds coming from a well near town as well as a strange "monster" that's stealing people's canned food. Investigating the "monster" shows it's actually a survivor, who gets shot by some hunters who still think he's a zombie. The dying survivor explains he's been stealing food to feed his son and begs you not to let the child starve. The path he shows you leads to a chamber underneath the well... where the survivor has been keeping his zombie child and dropping off cans of food for him.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: Is Kyle really the Messianic Archetype described in the prophecy, or just happened to be in the right place at the right time?
  • The Mole: Kaan pretends to be saved by the Mother in order to infiltrate the organization, and tip off Rais' remaining army. His appearance earlier in the game implies that he was trying to find out information before hand.
  • Mugging the Monster: At the end of the game, Rais' army launches an attack against the Children of the Sun's secret headquarters inside the dam. Crane arrives too late to stop them, but upon entering the dam finds that all of Rais' soldiers have been ripped to pieces. Turns out the Mother is a sentient Volatile and quite capable of taking care of herself.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: The ending where Kyle refuses to nuke the quarantine zone. Still clinging to the hope that everyone in Harran can be saved and a cure can be found with the help of the elixir, he inadvertently wanders outside the quarantine, only to realize too late he's been turned into a Volatile. All he's accomplished is spreading the disease out even further, dooming even more people.
  • Old Save Bonus: If you have a save file of a completed main campaign, you can start The Following with all your weapons, skills, items, and cash from the end of the main campaign.
  • The Remnant: The remnants of Rais' army have relocated to the Harran countryside, where they once again come into conflict with Kyle Crane. Crane is shocked when he first sees them, and immediately warns his allies that they're far worse than the local bandits as well as the zombies.
  • Revolvers Are Just Better: The weapons added by the DLC include 3 wild west revolvers taken from the Call of Juarez series, the quickshooter, six-shooter, and ranger. Compared to the basic semi-auto pistol, the revolvers do more damage but have a slower reload and lower ammo capacity.
  • Shotguns Are Just Better: The Semi-Automatic Shotgun is one of the best new weapons to offer, with a full magazine capable of stopping an army of charging infected dead in their tracks and also packing a heavy punch against even the likes of Volatiles and Demolishers
  • Shoo Out the Clowns: Kyle encounters Tolga and Fatin at one point in the DLC, and agrees to help them in their latest plan to escape from the quarantine zone. Said plan turns out to be to outfit a boxcar with rockets and use it as a battering ram to smash through a wall to the outside, WITH THEM INSIDE OF IT. Said plan goes about as well as you would expect, and further drives home the bleak, hopeless mood of the storyline. Subverted near the end as, after Kyle has climbed up the side of the dam, Tolga and Fatin contact him and tell him that their plan worked, and they're now outside of the quarantine zone, and tell him how beautiful it is outside.
  • Shoot the Shaggy Dog: All of Kyle's efforts don't amount to anything in the end. See Happy Ending Override and Downer Ending.
  • Superboss: Taking a cue from Dead Island: Riptide, The Following has named, significantly tougher-than-normal special zombies scattered throughout the game world acting as optional bosses. They're referred to in-game as "Freaks of Nature" and are significantly larger than normal zombies, as well as being incredibly tough (the tougher ones can withstand several dozen headshots from an Infinity +1 Sword that kills normal Giant Mook enemies with one headshot).
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: After the reveal at the Lighthouse, The Unseen, who has been communicating with Kyle for the Mother disappears. It's implied that the mother killed him along with all her other followers at the Dam.
  • Whole-Plot Reference: The plot of The Following DLC mirrors a number of plot points of The Valley of the Yetis DLC from Far Cry 4. Both take place after the end of the main game in a sparsely populated, isolated region, focus around a very mystical, isolated cult, and end with a Happy Ending Override of the main game, with the protagonist turning into the very monster he'd spent the entire DLC fighting at the very end.