More Than Just Another Zombie Game

More Than Just Another Zombie Game

A soldier wielding a large knife attacks the player who is also using a large knife.

Screenshot: Techland

Dying Light 2 has been announced since the start of E3 2018. Much happened over the next three years, including various delays and the departure of RPG writer / designer Chris Avellone from the next project allegations of sexual harassment. Release now scheduled for February 2022 (alongside a bunch of other games) Dying Light 2 is almost here and I was finally able to play around four hours of the game via an early preview. And although, yes, this is still an open world zombie game like the 2015 original, Dying Light 2 seems more interested in the living than the dead, and maybe that’s what helps him elevate him over so many other zombie frolics.

In Dying Light 2, players jump into the (possibly) stinky boots of Aiden, an alien who is exploring “The City”. It’s a place humanity is starting to return to, but without a lot of modern technology to help it, which is why developer Techland refers to the world of Dying Light 2 as a “Modern dark ages. “You search for your sister while working alongside various factions and survivors, sometimes undercover and hiding your true motives. This results in you spending a lot of time in Dying Light 2 talking or dealing with people. Other people Zombies are still in hiding, but much of this game will focus on human politics, ethics, and conflict set against the backdrop of a deadly zombie apocalypse.

A player uses a melee weapon to attack a group of human enemies in a dark building near a fire.

Screenshot: Techland

While the original game had its fair share of NPC-focused storytelling, Dying Light 2 really doubles up and thankfully improves voice acting, writing, and performance as well. An early conflict involves two large groups of ideologically opposed survivors fighting over water, and at the end of my preview I had to make a tough decision. Even knowing that this was just a save taste that I would never go back to, I still hesitated a minute or more because I felt invested in the characters and their conflict. Quite impressive, Dying Light 2.

Dying Light 2 is also filled with small decisions, such as having to choose different dialogue options and blueprints during many quests. Most of them don’t feel like they changed the world much, but the characters reacted to my choices and the quests changed depending on what I did or didn’t do.

But, to be clear, Dying Light 2 is still a great action game filled with zombies and loot. And you can basically get through all of the well-written and well-played cutscenes and just focus on the zed killin ‘. I’m a huge fan of the original game, but coming back to it before this preview, I was reminded of how light and floating fights can feel at times. In Dying Light 2, attacks seem heavier and seem to connect better with enemies. Blocking, dodging, and crushing all feel heavier and more grounded, making combat more dangerous and satisfying.

A screenshot from the game showing a player jumping through a building while chasing someone.

Screenshot: Techland

Parkour was another big part of Dying light, and this is a more important aspect of the sequel. You can still climb just about anything and jump like an undead bunny, but like combat, it all feels a bit more grounded and stable. There is also a new endurance feature. I know some people don’t like stamina meters, but I think it helps make Dying Light 2’s parkour gameplay more meaningful and rewarding. You can’t just mindlessly climb the tallest building, but you kind of have to find places to stop and regain some stamina. You’ll eventually be able to improve your stamina to climb more freely, but having a limit helps make exploring more like a series of puzzles rather than just running willy-nilly. will.

Another big change will be the introduction of armor and clothing loot. In the first game, the loot consisted only of weapons and crafting supplies. In Dying Light 2, you can now find helmets, hats, boots, armor chest plates, shirts, pants, shoes and more. In the first game, I ended up having some really good weapons and was opening chests just to find… more weapons, most of which weren’t that good. I find the added loot diversity in DL2 helps make exploring distant places more rewarding and exciting.

A group of zombies crowd around a van at night as a man on top fights them.

Screenshot: Techland

Dying Light 2 is scarier and more dangerous during its game night. That was the case with the first game as well, but you could quickly make the night sections pretty trivial once you had some decent weapons and learned what to do with them. big and bad enemies were easily ignored. This time around, the developers seem to want to make sure that the night is truly a deadly and terrifying experience. I’ve seen more zombies on the moonlit streets in DL2 than I’ve ever seen at any time in Dying Light 1. Likewise, more mutated enemies that are chasing you quickly appear at night. Dying Light 2 also features fewer resources and healing items, at least during my few hours, which makes nighttime survival tricky and nerve-wracking. Combined with the improved parkour, I had a lot of fun in an “Oh shit, I’m fucked up!” kind of way.

Read more: 6-Year-Old Dying Light Just Got Free DLC

While reading the preview, one of the PR managers let me know my time is almost up. The four hours went by quickly, and I realized I hadn’t even reached the second area of ​​the demo. I asked about this and was told a lot of people get lost in exploring and questing in the first area. Between the humans and their drama and all the loot to be found, I understand. It’s very easy to get lost in the more human world of Dying Light 2.

I’m excited to play more of Dying Light 2 when it (finally) releases on February 4, 2022 for PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X / S, Xbox One, PC. If the end game can keep the focus on humans and continue to provide great areas to explore and tough decisions to make, it might end up being really special, and more than just a zombie game. And God knows we don’t need much more at this point.


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