Dying Light 2: Stay Human is a direct sequel to 2015’s zombie survival game that took the world by storm thanks to its stellar combat and parkour systems. With this new release, Techland hopes to emulate the success of the original by refining the parkour, developing a larger open world, and providing more to do in the form of side missions and activities.
Run Forrest Run
Dying Light 2 does well to preserve elements from the first game’s parkour system while also introducing new mechanics and some improvements. There is a progression system that allows you to unlock new parkour skills as you play and gain experience. By the time you unlock all the abilities from the parkour skill tree, you’ll feel like you’re effortlessly flying through the city. This is also thanks to the playground-like world design which is filled with rooftops and platforms for you to traverse.
You can even make your way around a large portion of the map without ever having to touch the ground. That said, being able to traverse rooftops doesn’t mean you’re completely safe from the undead. At night, howlers can summon an entire horde of zombies that will follow you everywhere, including rooftops. It isn’t difficult to outrun the horde, however, it can be stressful knowing that there are dozens of zombies that will eat you alive if you stumble.
The Dropkick Returns
As for combat, the developers have decided to remove guns and focus on melee weapons this time around. This helps make things more intense when getting surrounded by a horde of undead. The combat system and abilities available are what you’d typically expect from an open-world RPG, but there are also some cool moves such as the iconic dropkick.
Mechanics such as dodging and parry attacks add a lot of depth to the combat system. Enemies will often surround you in large groups, however, it is rare for them to engage you from multiple directions. Enemy NPCs will typically attack you one at a time, making it easy to pick them off gradually, especially if you can funnel them through a doorway. Overall, combat can be quite easy if you are able to master the timing of your attacks and parries.
Dying Light 2’s has you play as Aiden Caldwell, a pilgrim who travels to the city of Villedor in search of his lost sister. In the city, you are introduced to a bunch of new characters that will aid you on your journey, however, I found it difficult to care for most of them. One of the most interesting aspects of the game is making choices that have direct consequences on how the story unravels. While some choices did have a slight impact on how certain characters interact with Aiden, they did prove to be inconsequential in the grand scheme of things. You can be working with a faction in one mission, betray them in the next, and still be on good terms with them at the end of the day.
There are loads to do in Dying Light 2, but I found myself sticking to the main story missions most of the time. While the story does have its great moments, it is often tough to stay focused on the task at hand when some missions don’t tie into each other. Going after side missions and activities would be an even bigger distraction from the already confusing story. The city of Villedor is massive and filled with tons of encounters and side activities. Aiden’s occasional flashback sequences do make things slightly more interesting by adding an element of mystery to the narrative.
While Dying Light 2 doesn’t have the same charm and uniqueness that made the first game so special, it’s still a solid sequel that isn’t afraid to try new things. Thankfully, most of the game’s issues are overshadowed by its excellent parkour, expansive open world, and adrenaline-rushing gameplay.