Seven years after the release of the critically acclaimed Dying Light comes Techland’s follow up, Dying Light 2: Stay Human. DL2 is a First Person Open World Horror Action Platformer (what a mouthful) set 15 years after the events of the first game. Stay Human puts you in the role of a “Pilgrim” named Aiden trying to find his long lost sister.
Unlike the first game which took place just after the virus outbreak, in DL2 the world has been plunged into somewhat of a dark age, meaning there are a few big differences in terms of gameplay. The most glaring difference is that there are no longer firearms for you to wield. This makes sense in the world, but I felt it only detracted from the gameplay loop. Another big change in DL2 is that players can no longer use antizin to slow your infection. This time, in order to stop yourself becoming a zombie you need to manage the symptoms throughout your time in the world with items such as UV Mushrooms and safe house UV lamps. This change introduces a new layer to the experience that rarely impacts gameplay, only really becoming a problem during certain story missions.
A lot of items in DL2 are obtained via the crafting mechanic, which is not dissimilar to what we see in many similar games these days. One welcome addition is the “craft max” option which was not present in the previous title.
The movement (parkour) and combat systems are almost flawless, rewarding players that master their intricacies. Climbing, fighting and running around in the huge open world is a lot of fun, and potentially saves the game from being yet another monotonous open world action adventure title.
Graphics wise DL2 has its moments. The blood rendering is a standout, making those clean zombie decapitations very satisfying. Another graphical inclusion that really stood out was the rain. The dynamic weather system is a nice addition to the world, and the animation of the rain hitting the ground is exquisite. It’s the little things! The game world in general though is nothing to write home about, it’s not bad, it’s just not ground breaking.
Dying Light 2’s story is where this game falters, in a similar way to its predecessor. While there are some interesting characters such as Rosario Dawson’s “Lawan”, the story in general fails to be as engaging as it could be. Some parts of the story were very predictable, leaving the player waiting for certain things to happen. There were also a few too many fetch quests involved in the main storyline.
There is a co-op component to this game with other players (up to 4 in a party) able to join your game or vice versa. The only things secondary players take away from the game are items and experience, all mission progress stays with the host. A fun way of “matchmaking” is included where you can “Call for help” and other players with the setting turned on will be notified, given the option to join your game and give you a hand. The game is not cross play – which seems like a misstep given the gaming landscape at the moment – meaning you can only play with your mates if they are on the same platform you are.
I only ran in to one major bug while playing. The sound would sometimes stopped working and replaced with a horrendous buzzing noise. The issue was easily fixed by restarting the game.
As a big fan of Dying Light, my excitement for the sequel was palpable. I was not disappointed. I put around 27 hours into the game and finished the main story. The game is a hell of a lot of fun to play, and while the story wasn’t as good as it could be, I still thoroughly enjoyed it.
I would recommend this game for after the kids have gone to bed, it is extremely violent and there are some words thrown around that you wouldn’t want them to hear.