Dying Light 2 Stay Human from Techland is one of the most ambitious games scheduled for the next February 4, 2022 on Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5 and PC. In Meristation we had the opportunity to interview Bartosz Kulon, gameplay chief programmer, punctually responsible for the movement and combat mechanics that will allow us to survive in this incredible game. Next, we leave you all the details of this talk.
Meristation: What titles inspired the evolution of Dying Light 2’s gameplay?
BK: Actually, the answer is simple: ¡Dying Light! Since we released the first game, we knew what we wanted to achieve in the sequel. We constantly thought about expanding the parkour moves, the story, and the gameplay mechanics, and we knew how we wanted to achieve that. So we took everything we learned from the first game and used each (sometimes surprising) idea to make it more creative and complex. This is how we get our natural movement system, fantastic characters like Hakon, and an intense story in a vast open world in a modern dark age setting.
Meristation: How many different moves are there in Dying Light 2, with and without weapons?
BK: A lot. We have almost 3,000 animations, and a large part of them is associated with parkour and combat, which are also closely linked and can be combined. So it is difficult to give a precise answer about it.
Meristation: In the trailers we’ve seen for Dying Light 2, the game promotes aerial combat. Is this the main style of combat?
BK: The main style depends on the preferences of the player, but it is something that we are very proud of. We designed parkour and the environment to give people extraordinary freedom in combat. We wanted every move to be open, so you could experience a naturally expanding combat system. Each movement opens up new possibilities for how you can react next and new paths of behavior.
Meristation: When the enemies fight each other in the game, will they be able to realize that you are there to redirect the attack?
BK: We’ve done our best to make the world of Dying Light 2 believable, so yeah, sometimes while showing up on the streets, you might come across some NPCs fighting infected. And if you wish, you can also enter the battle.
Meristation: Do you have to press a button when rolling after a jump or is the movement automatic?
BK: It is difficult to answer this question without spoiling anything. So I’m just going to say: no, rolling is not automatic. The player has to be reactive so as not to lose momentum and connect one parkour movement with another.
Meristation: Will the learning curve to master all the movements be complex?
BK: Little by little you will get to know your abilities and skills. We want the loop to go like this: Start the game, learn the basic moves, expand your skills, and then add a tool. Learn from it, expand it, and then add another. This loop will keep the game fresh and give the player time to learn everything without feeling overwhelmed. Thus, you will become familiar with all the movement and combat mechanics, one by one, but to really feel and master them, you will have to spend some time figuring out how to fit them into your play style to make it even more effective.
Meristation: How many different weapons can we use at the same time in Dying Light 2?
BK: We give you a wide range of melee, throwing and ranged weapons. Of course, you can expand your arsenal of weapons thanks to the mods available in the game. You can also modify your weapon in more than one layer, so the number of final weapons increases quickly. But the arsenal is not the only thing to fight in the game. Aiden can use the environment to become a powerful force himself. For example, when jumping from a tall building, you can crush the enemy and use them for a soft landing.
You can surprise an opponent by catching him with the grappling hook or just use any obstacle, like buildings or buses, to run up the wall and attack from a different angle. So combat can become super creative when you explore your parkour skills, and your arsenal of weapons can be expanded with your own hands, legs, and abilities.
Meristation: What is the most technically advanced movement in terms of programming?
BK: The whole system of natural movement is built from small and large subsystems that must collaborate and alternate with each other. This makes developing parkour movements really difficult. For example, the wall race itself is not the most complicated movement from my point of view as a programmer, but having it cooperate with other systems, such as climbing, jumping or using the grappling hook or paraglider, It is very complex.
Meristation: Did you work with specialized athletes to capture the movements and could you tell us who they are?
BK: We worked with many talented athletes who did MoCap (motion capture) sessions in our Wroclaw studio. We capture a lot of movements, that’s why we have thousands of animations in the game. Of course, I have to mention our great performer and father of parkour, David Belle, which embodies Hakon in Dying Light 2. Not only did he bring the face of this character, but he was our advisor and inspiration. His movements are amazing, so I’m super proud to work with him.
Meristation: In your opinion, what is the most spectacular move in the game?
BK: I think it depends on what you like and prefer. There are people who think that running on the walls is incredible, and I agree, but personally, what surprises me the most are the parkour combos that you can perform. There are almost no limits to your creativity thanks to the environment around you and even the adversaries that you can use to perform a spectacular jump and take down another enemy. You can run away from an enemy, jump out of a window, and, in mid-flight, roll back to grab the window frame and kick the chasing enemy in the face. It’s really satisfying to watch and I can’t wait to see all the combos players will come up with at launch.
Without a doubt with all this that Bartosz has revealed to us, we can realize that Dying Light 2 Stay Human is a title that will surprise more than one in terms of playability. Now it only remains to wait for its launch to be able to test all these movements.