Dying Light will eat your PC while redressing sexist tropes in games

4 min read


Polish developer Techland’s next game might, thematically at least, be similar to their last one: Dead Island. Their new zombie-killing simulator has something the previous one didn’t though; a big budget and a whole lotta polish. We’ve had a go at the game a few times, and have been impressed – even if zombies themselves may be a little passé, the game is pretty damned exciting to play. And if you plan on playing the game on your PC, you may need an upgrade. No, not you, guy with your Nvidia GTX 980! The guy right behind you. Yes, you. It’s probably time to upgrade.

It’s coming at the end of January next year for the not-so-new consoles, and PC.  If you want to play it on consoles. all you need to do is insert the disc AND THEN WAIT FOR THE MASSIVE, INEVITABLE DAY ONE PATCH. If you’re planning to play on PC, your PC must be this tall, according to Steam:

OS: Windows® 7 64-bit / Windows® 8 64-bit / Windows® 8.1 64-bit
Processor: Intel® Core™ i5-2500 @3.3 GHz / AMD FX-8320 @3.5 GHz
Memory: 8 GB RAM DDR3
Hard Drive: 40 GB free space
Graphics: NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 670 / AMD Radeon™ HD 7870
Sound: DirectX® 10

OS: Windows® 7 64-bit / Windows® 8 64-bit / Windows® 8.1 64-bit
Processor: Intel® Core™ i5-4670K @3.4 GHz / AMD FX-8350 @4.0 GHz
Memory: 16 GB RAM DDR3
Hard Drive: 40 GB free space
Graphics: NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 780 / AMD Radeon™ R9 290
Sound: DirectX® 10

Anyone else find those recommended system specs just a tad high? You’ll need an i5 2500, 8GB and a GTX 670  just to play the game  – but if you want it with all of the shiny extras you’ll need a i5 4570K, 16GB RAM and a GTX 780. That’s a lot of machine for a game that – while good looking – doesn’t seem to warrant that kind of horsepower.

More importantly, and wholly disparate from the game’s technical specifications is the fact that its writers are looking to redress some of the sexist tropes against women in video games. Even the most straightest, whitest, and male…est gamer has to admit that when it comes to story-driven games, the majority of women are written one-dimensionally. Hell, I’d say that the majority of characters are written one dimensionally – but because most writers for games are males writing games about and for males, they tend to be a tad more realistic .

Speaking on his own blog, the game’s principal writer Dan Jolley spoke about how Techland wants to write better female characters.

We knew that there were already devs out there who wanted to change female portrayals in the gaming industry before the spotlight really hit the topic this year. And I think Techland should be proud to be among them now.

We tried our damnedest to take Dying Light’s female characters out of the one-dimensional, trope-defined roles seen so often – way, way too often – in games, and turn them into real, multi-faceted people. I can’t say that all of our female characters (or male characters, for that matter) live happily ever after; Dying Light is a grim, brutal game.

But if we’ve done our jobs right, we have given these women believable, realistic lives.

Lives players will care about

And I think that’s an important thing to realise: Having better-written female characters in games isn’t about those damned social justice warriors coming and taking your games away, it’s about making better games with more relatable characters – characters that you’ll be able to care about.Even if they do end up being eaten.  As somebody who favours games that involve or invoke some sort of emotional response, I can only believe that better written women – better written characters – will only lead to better games.

Last Updated: December 5, 2014

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