Horizon Forbidden West and Far Cry 6 may have received a lot of attention lately but Techland’s Dying Light 2 had its own share of big announcements recently. First is the game’s release date – it’s out on December 7th for Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PS4, PS5 and PC. Second is the debut of “Dying 2 Know”, a new livestream series where the developer will share details on various aspects of the game. For the debut episode, new gameplay was revealed along with new information. Let’s take a look at 10 noteworthy things here.
That Dying Light 2 is set after the first game was always obvious but it actually takes place 20 years later. Following the virus outbreak in Harran, which the GRE attempted to contain, several groups began selling the virus on the black market for their own ends. This resulted in different strains being created and circulated, and it wasn’t long before the virus spread throughout the world. In just five years, society as a whole had collapsed. Another 15 years later, 98 percent of the world’s population is dead and The City serves as (apparently) the last bastion for humanity.
Players will control Aiden Caldwell, a member of the Pilgrims (considered the equivalent of ronin or wanderers in the present-day) and an outsider to The City who’s searching for a relative that may have clues to his past. Unfortunately, Aiden is infected and needs to stave off the virus before it’s too late. Perhaps because of the infection, he possesses exceptional strength and agility and thus becomes a valuable asset for many different interests.
As you might have guessed, The City isn’t a welcoming place. There are various Factions vying for control, each staking their own claim on what remains, while bandits and other miscreants roam free. It’s not long before Aiden encounters the Night Runners, a group that sought to help survivors, especially those trapped out at night when the Infected are most active. In the new gameplay trailer, he meets Hakon, who’s seemingly a member of the group but later reveals that it’s just a myth. Other members seemingly reside within The City and Aiden has the choice to join the group but their ultimate agenda is unknown. Of course, whether the player opts to join them or not is completely up to them.
There are three key Factions in The City: Survivors who create safe zones and nurture flora; Peacekeepers who maintain law and order through whatever means necessary (read: violence); and the Renegades, ex-criminals who follow the Colonel. You can help or harm any of them, perhaps even ignore them entirely for the sake of Aiden’s goal. Each faction promises multi-dimensional characters that can assist Aiden in different ways… or become his enemy and make life difficult. There are also various bandits and outlaws that roam the land who can’t be negotiated with and they may clash with different Factions on the streets.
City Alignment System
Water and electricity are some of the most important resources in The City so the factions that control them are at an advantage. Upon claiming water and electricity for a district, you have the choice to assign one of the factions to it. This will influence the district’s appearance and result in far-reaching consequences for The City’s overall prosperity. However, you can also unlock different tools that will aid in your own mission. These include car traps – which are good for dealing with bandits – or zip-lines for moving around more quickly.
New Infected Types
Though it hasn’t been completely overrun, the Infected are still very prevalent in The City. As night falls, they roam the streets more aggressively but due to the virus evolving over the years, several new Infected types have emerged. These include a giant Infected with a burly arm wielding a rebar attached to concrete as a hammer; a lithe Infected with long arms and hands that have mutated into long claws; and much more. Volatiles also return and will still pursue Aiden relentlessly. On the literal bright side, UV rays are still effective against the Infected and you get a personal UV flashlight to briefly stun them.
In Dying Light, evading the Infected and Volatiles as long as possible at night would provide XP bonuses. While this still remains (more on that in a bit), there are other risk vs. reward sources. Once the Infected are out and about in the nighttime, you can explore their nests and find some of the most valuable loot. This seemingly includes injections that Aiden must take to keep his infection at bay. You’ll need to be sneaky though since there are still a few Infected left behind in the nest. It should be interesting to see what other risks await (and whether you can hang around in the nest until the Infected hordes return since there is a day/night cycle).
Parkour and Combat
Movement options in Dying Light 2 have been expanded significantly. The overall number of parkour moves has been doubled over the original (and look better than ever thanks to over 3000 animations). Aiden can still dropkick hapless fools, sending them off of rooftops into the street below, along with using an Infected’s body to break his fall and executing a super-jump of sorts. Combat has been improved to be smoother and more responsive compared to the original though Techland has yet to go over some of the finer differences. More details on the parkour and movement will be shared in “Dying 2 Know” episode 2 so that’s something to look forward to.
Deluxe and Ultimate Editions
Along with the Standard Edition, Dying Light 2 has Deluxe and Ultimate Editions to pre-order. The Deluxe Edition costs $80 and comes with the base game, the “Legendary” skin pack – which contains an outfit, weapon skin and para-glider – and weapon charms. Wallpapers, a digital comic and digital soundtrack are also provided along with the first of two story DLC. The Ultimate Edition costs $100 and includes all of the content from the Deluxe Edition along with the second story DLC, crafting items and a two hour boost to Night XP earned.
There’s also a physical Collector’s Edition for $230, available in limited quantities and which includes all of the content from the Ultimate Edition along with a steelbook, physical art book, UV flashlight, map of The City, UV stickers and a 10” statuette with a stylized UV lamp. Also, pre-ordering any edition nets the “Reload” pack which includes an outfit, weapon skin and para-glider for free.
As noted with the various special editions, there’s an Expansion Pass that contains access to two story DLC. Its cost hasn’t been revealed though and aside from the DLC releasing months after the game’s launch, virtually nothing is known about their content. Judging by the Reload and Legendary packs, not to mention the previous game’s sheer number of skin packs, it’s likely that Dying Light 2 will also have plenty of cosmetic DLC outside of the Expansion Pass as well.