However, it is out now for download, at full retail price, if you simply cannot wait for physical product, because you really, really, really always have to have your zombie things NOW.
We sort of get why everyone should've jumped on the zombie bandwagon - y'know, we love those decaying Jeremies as much as the next man - but how many more TV shows, films, books, comics and games must we endure before the bottom drops out of the market (much like the bottom might drop out of a zombie's rotten bottom)?
In games it makes sense that zombies should be everywhere; those rancid guys provide a unique sort of threat, one perfectly suited to video game design.
They're dangerous, but not so fast as to overwhelm a player's skills... you can have vast crowds of them to show off your new console's boring processing power... they generally inhabit a post-apocalyptic world that doesn't have to have too many non-enemy characters in it...
Trouble is, when we try to think of new things to do with zombies, it's hard to find an angle. Sunset Overdrive turned them into bright orange blobs. Call of Duty has now stuffed them inside exoskeletons. Resident Evil has mutated them beyond any recognisable zombie form - and the more extreme their monster designs get, the less frightening they become. But that has seemed to be about as far as most developers care to go, in terms of finding an original take on the undead.
When you look at some of this year's upcoming zombie slate, H1Z1, Dead Island 2, and State of Decay all appear content to deliver a "classic" (ie: unoriginal) zombie experience. And in many respects, that's exactly what you get in Dying Light.
Dropped into the fictional "foreign" city of Harran, in the midst of a zombie outbreak, it does all of the things you expect from a zombie thing, without ever really trying to pretend to be anything more. Consequently, given these levels of creative banality, you might have expected us to be scraping at our face with a wire brush right about now.
However, in Dying Light's favour is this: we don't yet have first-person-parkour fatigue. In fact, we've wanted a new, really, really good first-person parkour game since Mirror's Edge - for our money one of the most unjustly ignored games of all time. Get the running, climbing and tumbling right, but add it to a full-blooded zombie apocalypse, and you have our interest.
And Dying Light had/more or less still has our interest.
You assume the role of a free-runner fellow, sent out on gathering and rescue missions by your fellow survivors, due to your sprightly gait. Impeding your progress are the usual grizzled post-apocalyptic survivors, and pockets of putrid nasties.
Draw too much attention to yourself and the rotters will swarm you en masse - something which is also a problem when night falls on the game world; it frequently becomes a terrified sunset dash back to your safe house, before faster, nocturnal zombies emerge from their lair.
Though firearms become available later in the game, the combat is primarily melee-based - think baseball bats, molotov cocktails, and machetes (all upgradeable, along with your own abilities - sharing much of its DNA, through joint developer-parentage, with Dead Island).
In truth, combat in Dying Light is really an afterthought: the majority of the time it's safer to clamber atop a building, or run away by doing all that needlessly fancy mid-air spinning, that the parkour knobs are known for. However, you often can't avoid a head-on fracas, but the need to engage with the zombies sometimes becomes an annoyance, getting in the way of a more entertaining gameplay mechanic.
ROTTEN TO THE CORE?
The core of Dying Light is solid: it looks good, the controls are decent, but that zombie fatigue we mentioned earlier can't entirely be escaped. More problematic still, this has borrowed all the cliches from the UbiSoft handbook - most of the missions are of a type you'll have played hundreds of times before, in Watch Dogs, Assassin's Creed, Far Cry... It comes perilously close to feeling like drudgery.
It's never quite as playable as we wanted it to be, never quite as fun, but... on the plus side... hey - it's February! What else are you going to play?
SUMMARY: Zombie see, zombie do. Unoriginal through and through, but with a fun central gameplay conceit that just about makes up for it all.
FROM THE ARCHIVE:
Drrr zrrrmbrrzzz grrr trrr trrrlrrt? Yrz. Rr'm shrrdng mrr prrntz rrrrght nrrr.