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E3 13; Dying Light’s optional HUD aims to create a more ‘immersive experience’

Submitted by on Friday, 14 June 2013No Comment

Dying Light ImageZombies are nothing new when it comes to survival horror but Techland Studios, the developers behind the Dead Island franchise, are looking to continue to trend with their upcoming first-person action adventure where you’ll have to use your parkour skills in order to survive in an open world environment.

Dying Light allows people to play as one of four characters in a massive open landscape infested with zombie-like creatures. During the day, the zombies are less aggressive and allow you to explore the abandoned buildings scrounging for items or loot, but during the night, vicious creatures known as Volatiles roam the streets looking for you.

During our E3 demo, one of the most impressive features of the game was an absence of any type of HUD. No map, no health bar, nothing except for the weapon you’re carrying. Instead, the game relies on the environment to guide the player.

Your character is in constant radio communication with another survivor back at your base camp. Our objective was to get to boxes of medical supplies that were airdropped into the city before they were raided by others. The red smoke from flares attached to the crates marked our destination. How we got there was entirely up to the player. With the streets crawling with zombies, the rooftops were clearly the better option. Speed was of vital importance for this objective so fighting was avoided as much as possible.

As we made our way towards the medical creates, we heard a scream in one of the nearby buildings. Players could either choose to go on and investigate said scream or continue with the main mission. Investigating the scream opened up a new side quest. There was no indication that popped up on the screen or hint as to what this optional path entailed. The choice to investigate is entirely up to the player.

The absence of any type of HUD in Dying Light aims to create a more “immersive experience” for the player, a Techland Studios developer told us. It requires players to be aware of their surroundings, rather than relying on a map to simply get from point A to point B.

Fear not, HUD loving folks. The developers are aiming to allow players to turn the HUD on or off depending on their play style. Think of the no HUD option as more of a hardcore mode for people who want a little extra challenge to their game.

Dying Light is currently scheduled for a 2014 release on the PS4. The demo we saw was being played on a high end PC, but was designed specifically for the PS4’s capabilities.