The first Dying Light was an open-world survival game built primarily around parkour-inspired movement, brutal melee combat, and a unique day-and-night cycle that featured a daytime action-packed gameplay style. and a more careful style based on stealth at night to avoid the zombies, much stronger and more aggressive.
Based on my four hours of gameplay with a preview version of Dying Light 2, it’s certainly more of the same, but Techland has put a lot of effort into addressing many of the issues from the previous game., while also completely reinventing certain fundamental pillars of design. Ultimately, building a game that, thus far, simultaneously feels like the next natural step for the franchise, while also feeling like something that establishes its own unique identity.
The first thing that struck me about Dying Light 2 was its world. The open world of the original was the highlight, as it was designed to be a playground for your parkour skills, but it was so grounded in reality that it had no definite visual style. This has changed in Dying Light 2, which takes place 20 years after the collapse of society.. Humanity has slipped back into a modern medieval period, and nowhere is that more evident than in the Bazaar, which serves as the main safe zone in Old Villedor, the place where most of my gaming session took place.
The Bazaar is actually a large church in the center of Old Villedor that a group of survivors have made their home by fortifying its walls, adding small farms and turning the interior into an authentic makeshift city with shops, gunsmiths and wooden signs. hand-painted, plus scattered UV lights to help scare off the infected. Like any of the great cities in the Fallout series, the Bazaar is packed with its own culture and personality, between the images of the church, the sweaters and hoods worn by its inhabitants, which clearly look like medieval chain mail, and the almost total absence of technology, reinforcing the theme of the “modern dark age”.
The world outside the Bazaar also looks very different. There is a great dichotomy between the ground levels and the roofs of Old Villedor. On the ground, it is a wasteland. There are tons of zombies, stripes of brown and gray, and all the remnants of an abandoned society. However, if you look towards the rooftops, you will find greenery as far as the eye can see, with trees and overgrown grass on top of the ruined buildings, as well as survivor camps that can feed themselves by climbing rickety windmills, which will help to create safe areas with ultraviolet light that repel the infected.
I was also able to verify a later environment known as the Central Loop, which changed the small residential buildings of Old Villedor for gigantic skyscrapers that could only be crossed using the new paraglider, zip lines and pulleys.
Whatever environment you play in, getting around is a lot of fun.
Nevertheless, whatever the environment you play in, getting around is a lot of fun. This time, the jumps make you “float” a little more, and it took me a bit to get used to it, but in the end it allowed me to perform a very precise platform and some very cool jumps to defy death on the rooftops that I always found very satisfactory , especially when running. There is no sprint button, so you basically gain speed by maintaining your momentum, which is a good incentive to be as smooth as possible with your parkour.
The fluidity of movement is only one piece of the puzzle. Dying Light also stands out from other similar zombie survival games thanks to its brutal hand-to-hand combat, which feels pretty much the same in the sequel.. Speaking to Tymon Smektala, lead designer of Dying Light 2, he told me that one of the goals this time around was to combine parkour and combat so that players don’t just run into an encounter, stop, kill all the enemies, and continue. his path. To do this, one of the first skills obtained in Dying Light 2 is to jump on an enemy and kick another in the face, making it fly. Unfortunately, I haven’t delved deep enough into the combat skill tree to say how far Dying Light 2 will accomplish this specific goal, but nonetheless, the combat looks punchy, action-packed, and loaded with a ton of creative options. thanks to an extensive arsenal of modifiable melee weapons, craft tools and upgradeable skills.
The only thing that has completely changed from the previous game is the day / night cycle. Smektala told me that they realized that in the first game, many players were not playing at night for various reasons. Some thought it was too difficult, too scary, or they didn’t understand why they should bother.
The incentives to explore at night are much more obvious and clear.
To address this, Techland is making the incentives to explore overnight much more obvious and clear. During the day, a large number of infected hide inside buildings, which makes them very dangerous to explore. During the night, however, those infected will go out into the streets, leaving the interiors almost unguarded and making the valuables inside much easier to obtain.. There are also side quests that can only be completed at night and special open world events such as the GRE Anomalies, which are mini battles against powerful infected.
Other than that, walking at night is not as dangerous or scary as in the past. The Wrathful don’t roam the city anymore, or at least they didn’t in my experience. Instead, there are special infected called howlers who will alert the horde to your presence when they discover you, triggering a multi-level chase sequence (similar to the search stars in GTA), forcing you to flee and break. line of sight, or to stay and fight until there is no one left to chase you. The longer you stay in the range of the infected, the more your pursuit meter will fill, and each new level will lead you to increasingly dangerous threats, until you finally reach level four, at which point you will be in a great trouble.
The final design pillar of Dying Light 2, which was not present in the first game, is that your choices have consequences, both in terms of the story and the gameplay itself. I came across a number of points where I was offered a choice between one faction or another, and while I can’t comment on the extent to which those choices can affect the overall narrative, they struck me as quite dramatic. For example, the decision to share valuable information with survivors at the bazaar, or to take that information to law enforcement peacekeepers.
You can also capture specific facilities and choose between giving control to Peacekeepers or Survivors, with each option offering its own advantages and benefits.. Granting control to Peacekeepers will reward you with some kind of combat-related advantage, such as arming all vehicles in the controlled area with a drone car bomb, while granting control to Survivors will reward you with an advantage that makes it easier to displacement. For example: having zip lines that facilitate movement through the rooftops of the area. The more you align yourself with a specific faction, the more powerful the advantages you acquire.
Overall, I had a lot of fun during my time with Dying Light 2. My four hours of play focused almost exclusively on the content of the main quest, so unfortunately I didn’t get a chance to take a look at the multitude of side quests, optional activities and challenges, but even at a glance it’s clear that Dying Light 2 will be a huge game, which will once again be playable cooperatively.. We’ll soon see how it all turns out when Dying Light 2 releases on PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X / S on February 4, 2022.