Dying Light is a recently released open world zombie survival game (I’m going to review it before too long). Now, there are a hell of a lot of open world zombie survival games, but one of the things that sets Dying Light apart is how it uses parkour as a central part of its movement and evasion mechanics. Never heard of parkour? Well, check out the video from Ampisound below and you’ll have a pretty good idea what I’m talking about.
Wait, So What is Parkour?
As you can see, parkour is essentially a way of getting around as quickly and easily as possible. It involves a lot of strength and flexibility. True parkour doesn’t mean huge jumps, back flips, and aerial acrobatics it simply means efficiency. It’s something I’ve found interesting for a long time, and that I think fits in really well in zombie fiction.
What better way to get away from slow, clumsy zombies than by moving quickly and across and variety of obstacles? The zombies get slowed down even more by the obstacles while you get to safely escape. Falling is obviously a concern, but traceurs (those who practice parkour) are trained in falling safely and getting back on their feet as quickly as possible.
Also, it looks super cool.
Is Parkour Effective Against Zombies?
Judging by this video (obvious spoilers ahead), not so much. Of course, this is also a highly stylized short film that is directly inspired by a game. A game with a fairly high difficulty curve (I die a hell of a lot). Also, the zombies in the video are all fast an agile. There are zombies like this in the game, but they are not the norm.
Against typical, shambling zombies, I think parkour could be quite effective. The obvious caveat being that it should be used as intended, not to show off and do sweet tricks. Ignore that warning and, sooner or later, you’re going to be Grade A zombie chow.