“Dying Light 2:” A review


Leah Van Weelden

The newly released “Dying Light 2 Stay Human” is a zombie action game that can be played on multiple platforms. It is a sequel to 2015’s “Dying Light.”

The highly anticipated “Dying Light 2 Stay Human” was released on Feb. 4 and is the sequel to 2015’s “Dying Light.” After a somewhat tumultuous development cycle, mainly due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the game is now out for the public to play. Techland, the developer, continues to add onto the formula that made the first game great and those things are the parkour and the combat as both have had upgrades that make the gameplay more fun.

“Dying Light 2” is a first-person RPG with a lot of action and a lot of parkour. The story takes place 20 years after the outbreak in Harran as the GRE, the main villains from the first game, accidentally released a more deadly version of the THV virus that turns humans into zombies. The story follows Aiden Caldwell and his journey to find his sister, Mia and to unravel the mystery behind the experiments the GRE did to people before the collapse of humanity.

“Dying Light 2” enhances the parkour from the first game by making it quicker and more fluid. It gives players more satisfaction from running on the numerous rooftops in the game to having various tools to assist this, like the grappling hook. The game also made some big changes to the combat system, as it is not just hitting and dodging enemies now. It adds more parkour-style combat, like jumping from foe to foe and dropkicking them. One thing that the first game did terribly was human versus human combat. In the sequel, they fixed it by adding a parry mechanic and making it so the AI doesn’t get too dodge happy like in the first game.

Another gameplay factor that changed is the night system. In the first game, going out at night was high-risk but high-reward. At night you got double experience, but that was really it. You didn’t need to go out at night unless the story required you to.

In “Dying Light 2”, night works differently as the game still rewards you for going out at night by giving more experience and loot. But the night is a huge part of the core gameplay and introduces the “immunity mechanic,” aka a timer for how long your character can stay outside at night. With this you have to manage your immunity, otherwise, you will turn into a zombie. It is a cool spin to the game and makes sense as the world has been infected by the virus from the first game.

Another thing that Techland changed for “Dying Light 2” was the inventory system as it now has a lot more meaning than in the first game. The inventory still displays stats like attack power and durability of weapons, but it now adds armor stats and more detail into your loot. The inventory gives it a more role-playing game (RPG) feel to the game with various stats, like armor and attack damage, that influence gameplay. This gives the game a better feel overall as what you have equipped has a lot more meaning rather than just having damage like in the first game.

The story is like all of Techland’s zombie games, which means it is not very good and has a lot of problems in it. The story is not well-written, the main story feels padded out to extend playtime and the “choices” you can make don’t really make a lot of sense given what the protagonist is trying to do.

The side quests are the bread and butter of these games but those in “Dying Light 2” aren’t as fun as in the previous title. A good amount of them is just a combat or parkour challenge rather than an exploration-type quest. Overall the story is a little worse than in the first game, but it has a decent explanation of what has happened since the end of the first game. For example, in the game’s intro, gives a prologue to what has happened after the Harran outbreak.

If you have played Techland’s original zombie game series, “Dead Island,” you know the game series is pretty rampant with bugs and technical glitches. That trend continues with “Dying Light 2” as this may be the buggiest Techland game since “Dead Island Riptide,” as in the day one patch they had to fix over 1000 problems. While the game had a terrible release week, with some players comparing it to the “Cyberpunk 2077″ release, Techland is fixing a lot of the problems quickly.

Overall, the game is pretty good, as the game builds on the mechanics of the first game, but takes too much from the first game storytelling-wise and has too many bugs and glitches that ruin the experience. The core of the game is still there and it is worth playing if you enjoy the zombie genre, parkour or even just looking at the environment.

Matthew Byrd of Den of Geek says that “Dying Light 2 gets too much right to be a bad game,” and that “the game is not bad, but it is a disappointment.” The game is great if you look at the positives and the passion put into it from Techland. But Techland keeps tripping over itself with poor coding and story writing that prevents the game from being the best it can be