Dying Light's hard mode patch will eat you alive

Has the spark gone out of your Dying Light? Do you find yourself running out into the street late at night, hoping to provoke a reaction from the undead hordes you once feared? Have rival survivor groups gone from a real threat to a minor nuisance? Hard Mode may be for you.

An update rolling out now for Techland's fist-person zombie survival game introduces a punishing new option for the game. And all you have to do to try it yourself is go into the pause menu and bump up the difficulty setting (or select it upon starting a new campaign).

Be forewarned, though: this isn't the "should be the default setting if you're decent at shooters" kind of hard mode. Instead, it makes changes all across the game that are carefully calibrated to make your (virtual) life miserable.

Nights last twice as long, which means way more time spent hunkering down and dodging Volatiles. Speaking of whom, the Volatiles will no longer show up on your minimap, so you'll have to slow down and use your survivor senses if you want to avoid them.

Other mechanical changes include rival survivors claiming airdrops faster, not pausing the game when you open the inventory, and health/energy recovery taking much longer. Naturally, enemies can inflict and receive more damage before they drop, too.

If all that sounds awful, know that the patch also adds a bunch of new outfits and a Gold Tier of rare, powerful weapons. So that's something.

Connor Sheridan

I got a BA in journalism from Central Michigan University - though the best education I received there was from CM Life, its student-run newspaper. Long before that, I started pursuing my degree in video games by bugging my older brother to let me play Zelda on the Super Nintendo. I've previously been a news intern for GameSpot, a news writer for CVG, and now I'm a staff writer here at GamesRadar.