Dying Light 2 | First Impressions

[Developer: Techland | Publisher: Techland]


Dying Light 2 is a game with engaging gameplay and an unengaging story. It has great parkour mechanics that make for enjoyable combat when facing zombies and thrilling moments that had me loving my time with the game. Whether taking on special infected or fighting off survivors looking to rob you, the game’s environments and systems are simply fun.

Welcome to Dying Light 2’s City, Villedor

Dying Light 2‘s map is not large, but it has depth. The entire city is full of survivors that are trying to live day-by-day. You can find them doing everyday tasks like cooking or even singing around a campfire. Outside of these more-peaceful areas, you’ll need to keep an eye out.

Special infected are littered around, such as Howlers who call “Virals” (regular zombies) to swarm you. Now a staple of the genre, Dying Light 2 also has Spitters, which will shoot acidic phlegm at you. Not all the special infected are so bloodthirsty: Bolters will run away from you, so you’ll need to track them down and take them out to get a chance at their high-end gear. These enemies and more are part of the viral variety you’ll find while explore Villedor.

Character Advancement

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Dying Light 2 brings in a skill tree with the same fun parkour and combat upgrades as the first game. Besides this, you can also find and use inhibitors to increase your stamina and health, adding a reward to deliberate exploration. Dying Light 2 puts a lot of focus on this, since without the inhibitors you’ll have a hard time trying to stay alive.

Each time you level up or use inhibitors, you unlock more skills and abilities from the tree, which really makes you feel your progress as you level up. You’ll also acquire trophies from special infected, which will help you upgrade the weapons you get into some seriously awesome gear.

There are a lot of crafting options, too: poison, explosives — you name it. Regardless, you can make it and love it just the same. The inventory is easy enough to organize, and Dying Light 2 does a great job of giving you enough gear from exploration without spoiling the pacing of advancement. You can use the loot you find to make modifications, pawn them off, or do a number of other things. If you want to play co-op with friends, EVEN BETTER! The game is just as fun — if not more fun — with friends. It’s not all praiseworthy, though…

Who Writes Dying Light 2’s S#%?

The story is the only thing that spoils Dying Light 2 for me. Granted, I love Dying Light 2 in more ways than one, but I can’t help but compare it to a lover who is often a 10/10, then somehow goes -20/10 HARD by doing something crazy that pisses me off and makes no sense whatsoever.

The opening took forever and screwed up the pacing. Each step of the way was a drag. Aiden, the main character, constantly gets flashbacks of his annoying younger sister from when they were kids (this happens even during stealth sections). And she is SO OBNOXIOUS! It’s a constant interruption while you’re finding your way to Villedor. Sadly, the writing issues extend even to the NPCs, as seen below.

“But in three hours, everyone’s asses will explode like shit geysers… then’ll come the puking. My uncle will just fucking kill me. And the rest’ll feed by corpse to the infected.”

Now, I am fine with not always taking the game seriously, but some of these lines are just bad and others pad out plots that detract from the enjoyment of actually exploring. Not that the story can’t be light-hearted (there is a guy called the “Fish Monk” whose interactions I loved), but when I had to hear about the sister again, or some other annoying character, I was tapping out! It just breaks the pacing too hard and too often.

The Finishing Stretch

Dying Light 2‘s strength is found when the game lets the player go off the rails and explore to their heart’s content. The dragging introduction feels like forever, paired with a story that is often intrusive and unenjoyable. I don’t think Dying Light 2 had to be an “it gets better the more you play it” kind of game, but it is.

That being said, if you can power through that start, you will find hours of fun and enjoyment with friends or by yourself.

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