Dying Light 2 Stay Human – PC Review

Dying Light 2 Stay Human – PC Review

Genre: Open world Zombie Survival
Developer: Techland
Publisher: Techland
Release Date: February 3rd, 2022
Edited by AlexKnight2005

After several years of development and delays, Techland has released another parkour-filled, mutant undead-slaying fun in the form of Dying Light 2. Dying Light 2 takes players to a new city with all new characters and an even healthier number of new enemy types. The developers say the game boasts a massive 500-hour full completion, multiple endings, and cooperative gameplay from start to finish.

The heart of Dying Light 2 is built off of a symphony of great mechanics introduced in the first game. Those mechanics have been retooled and refined to a razor’s edge. Parkour is heavy-handed throughout, with movement playing an integral part in both combat and exploration. The option to play co-op with up to four friends also means you can use them as a meat shield or a distraction to the mutants.
There is a lot the praise about this game, but there are times when the game feels like it has a little too much fat left on the bone.

Suppose you wanted to continue the story and plot from Dying Light 1 and imagine where Kyle Cranes is. You will be disappointed, but we get to know many new characters. The main character for Dying Light 2 is Aiden Caldwell. Players will learn more about Aiden Caldwell, a Pilgrim traveling to the last known city on the planet searching for his sister. It sounds like a pretty standard plot for the most part it is. The story is not the strongest part of the formula here, which shows quite a bit throughout the game.

Aiden is not a deep, thoughtful character but his motivations revolve solely around finding his lost sister, who he has not seen since they were children. Even if the plot seems bland and not revolutionary, that would have been fine. However, many quests feel disconnected and disjointed as you work your way through the city. Characters come and then vanish for several missions before once more popping back up and becoming important again. It’s a strange dog and pony show that never really finds a footing ultimately. Instead, it stumbles from one plot point to the next.

And boy o boy is their plot points. Like most open-world-style games, you will find yourself slogging from location to location, doing fetch quests for people within the different factions and communities you meet. Each location and community has new story quests, leading to even more questions and concerns. The problem is, you never really learn the answers to some questions. So, while Aiden’s search for his sister and his fight for the city’s people ultimately come to an end in their ways, the story comes off as a bit unsatisfying. To confuse you even more, some of the side quests are insanely good and brilliant when it comes to storytelling. And those few missions just make it even more glaringly obvious how disjointed the main storyline truly is.

I do not want to give away too much for those interested in seeing what happens to Aiden and the friends he makes along his journey. But, it is worth noting that there are some definite rough edges in Dying Light 2‘s central narrative. While the story might be a big deal to some, the gameplay is by far the most crucial part of Dying Light 2‘s formula. With an astounding five hundred hours worth of content to complete every quest, find every collectible, explore the whole map, and unlock every ending, there is a lot of game to play here. Be your in luck that the gameplay shines a lot brighter than the main story does. The developers have taken all that they have learned about fast-paced parkour and combat in Dying Light and translated it very well to this sequel. Running across rooftops, sprinting through alleyways of undead, and just exploring, in general, feels great. The running and jumping speed provides an excellent sense of momentum to the game. Ultimately, it is the gameplay that makes Dying Light 2 stand out.

Parkour mixes well with standard combat in Dying Light 2, and while ranged weapons like bows and crossbows are available, it’s melee weapons that pack the most punch. Axes, table legs, and an assortment of other weapons can be looted from the world. You can also mod each weapon. That lets you add fire or electricity mods to deal additional damage to enemies when you hit them. One of the most significant changes between Dying Light 2 and the first game is how looting works. You can no longer grab weapons that enemies drop. Instead, you’ll be randomly given something when you loot them. This means you can’t simply run upon an enemy with an ax, kill them, and take it.

It’s by far one of the most disappointing changes to the gameplay, as it leaves gathering weapons up to chance when you loot the bodies themselves. Repairing has also changed. It can now only be done when you add a mod now. Because mods also repair, it makes adding a mod before a weapon has been damaged a waste of resources. As you explore the world, you’ll unlock points for both combat and parkour. These allow you to improve your character’s movement and fighting abilities. Players who enjoy slaying hordes of the undead will be happy to know that there are many skills to unlock. Combat can be clunky and a bit wonky at times. But, this isn’t new for the series. Any returning veterans from the first game should feel right at home smashing table legs into undeads’ heads.

There’s also a new nighttime mechanic, which has you sprinting to UV areas to keep a dangerous infection from spreading. You’ll need to make the most of your time early on. However, you’ll eventually end up with Immunity Boosters and other powerups that allow you to recharge it on the go. At that point, what was an interesting mechanic becomes little more than an annoyance. Additionally, Techland has made the changes between nighttime and daytime more obvious. Undead fill the streets at night, the most powerful of the undead lying in wait to give chase. This leaves buildings clear to explore, as less undead will fill them. Because of that, players have even more reason to explore the city at night. There are also tons of buildings to slink through. And players will find different radio towers and other facilities to activate and climb.

Finally, player choice is one of the biggest things that players will find in Dying Light 2. This is something that Techland brought up a lot during marketing for the game. As such, it’s something that players will see a lot of as they work their way through the story. The game is made up of two main factions. Their choices will directly affect how those factions evolve through the world. For the most part, the changes feel pretty surface level. Turning on power stations for one faction simply unlocks certain world upgrades in that area. However, I haven’t had a chance to explore every possible ending or choice that was placed in front of me. As such, it’s hard to say just how deep some of the choices may go.

Like its predecessor, Dying Light 2 comes with a completely cooperative experience. Players can invite up to three other players (four in total, including the primary player). Together, they can explore the city, take part in quests, and unlock powerups to make them stronger. Loot and other items are all client-side, which means you never have to worry about fighting over important weapons or other gear you find in the world. Co-op gameplay runs relatively smooth, though a few issues have popped up since the game’s release. It’s possible players could see dead enemies standing up or even not be able to loot or kill certain enemies because they’ve glitched out. Another big issue with co-op gameplay is the fact that storyline progression does not save when players leave a game. Instead, the progress only saves for the primary player. That means any players joining their friends will need to play through the story and quests twice if they wish to play alone at any point. Considering how heavily Techland touted co-op gameplay, it’s disappointing to see this particular issue popping up.

You can spread out as far as you like during open-world activities, but while you’re on a quest, you’ll need to stay in the vicinity of your friends, or you’ll be teleported to them. The host can also choose to teleport players to his location if they don’t feel like waiting for them to catch up. Each co-op player has a total of three revives. If they drop to zero health while playing, other players have about 20 seconds to reach and revive them. Once a player has been revived three times, the next time they lose their health, they’ll die and respawn at the nearest safe zone. They’ll then continue playing from there with three more revives. If you’re playing a story quest or sidequest, you’ll frequently come across dialogue options when speaking with characters. Each player can select the dialogue option they want, and icons will show which player has voted for which option. While it works well as a quick voting system, the host of the co-op session is the ultimate judge, and even if other players vote for one option, the host can activate another. At its core, Dying Light 2 is a successful follow-up to Techland’s parkour-filled undead mutant slayer. The developers have clearly tried to shove as many mechanics as possible into the game to help pull players in and keep them busy. This shows very clearly as you explore the city of Villedor, running from rooftop to rooftop. The inclusion of popular mechanics from other open-world games feels a little too on-the-nose at times, and it can get distracting to the point of being a nuisance to unlock all of the safe zones and activate all of the facilities.

While a big part of the main narrative, the choice system feels too surface level at times. While I haven’t had a chance to fully explore the consequences of every choice, it mostly felt like something that was in place to push the story along instead of actively changing how the world acts or feels. This isn’t the first time that player choice has been watered down. However, it is blatantly obvious as players explore Villedor and meet the people that call the city home. Altogether, Dying Light 2 is a solid follow-up to Techland’s formula. Sure, the series still has some rough edges to file down. At times it feels like the developers took the “everything and the kitchen sink” standpoint when designing many systems, which isn’t always a bad thing. It means there’s plenty to keep you busy as the game continues to throw activities your way. Overall, the entire experience comes together well and leaves an engaging and fun world for players to run around and explore.

Pros:

  • Parkour is smooth and fun
  • Amazing exploration
  • Fun co-op gameplay

Cons:

  • Combat can feel wonky at times
  • The story can feel disjointed in some areas
  • Not being able to repair your weapons

Healshot gives Dying Light 2 Stay Human a Drastik Measure of 8.6 out of 10.0 (86)