Dying Light 2 looks to improve on the first game.
At this year’s E3, we had a chance to sit and watch a small segment of gameplay for Techland’s Dying Light 2, and what we saw was definitely worth the time we spent. Dying Light 2 takes place in a world overtaken and conquered by a zombie apocalypse. Zombies – or the infected, as the game calls them – thrive on anything out at nighttime, crawling through the wastes of a once towering city that used to be glimmering with life and luxury. Now barren, fruitless, and depraved, the humans that have survived the apocalypse have split into factions and rule parts of the city and the surrounding boroughs. These factions sometimes fight each other, and also sometimes work together to either bring up the world, or to tear it down.
The world of Dying Light 2 is brutal and primal. There are no rules or governing bodies to help civilize the societies that remain. It’s been 15 years since the outbreak occurred and the infected have taken the world by storm; now we get a new world that is trying to rise from the ashes. The last human settlement in a once vast European metropolis, which is now fighting for survival. Not just from herds of zombies trying to kill the few remaining humans, but the many factions that survive within the city, which are all vying to take complete control.
The demo is about a water tower that is rumoured to have some people there, trying to get it up and running to bring fresh water to the citizens of this big city. It’s up to the player to decide if they want to help with the situation and bring water to the city, or go down their own path.
"As the player climbs to the top of the water tower, it really becomes imperative that they climb with precision so they don’t fall. Dying Light 2 is not only a large, open-world game, but a very vertical game, as well. Going up high from time to time will cause players to increase their set of skills real fast."
Infected don’t normally roam around during daytime- they run off and hide in dark shelters until night falls. But running across lost infected that never made it back to dark shelter before daybreak came around can still happen. These infected are always weak and easy to kill, even if they’re still out in big numbers. They’re usually no match for the player at all. But seeing them around during the day doesn’t mean they pose no threat; you’ll still have to be careful.
We get reminded of the city’s history quite often as well, as we see remnants of its history still scattered everywhere. As we go through the city, we see clues of past events that occurred and are now forever forgotten, lost to the infected and time: the war against the infected, the pillaging, the war of the apocalypse, everything that occurred before that until the present- it can all be seen in certain areas throughout the city.
The player finds a dark building – an infected hive; keeping the infected safe until night. They need to get through there, but it’s much too dangerous. So it’s time to parkour. The parkour in the game is revamped and reworked. Animations are different and more intuitive than before. Where the player has fleshed out moves of running and jumping from one ledge to the next, trying to scale this building they couldn’t walk through, they get to grasp onto ledges, then hop up, over a barrier then onto the next platform.
There is now more emphasis on the stamina bar than before. It’s important to now time your jumps and decide exactly where you’re going, or you could be in for a bad fall. Climbing up a wall or something similar will also deplete your stamina, so it doesn’t just involve jumping and hanging from platform to platform.
When meeting a group of humans that have something you need, there are actually several ways to go about what you want to do next. You can charge in and try to take them down, or sneak around and take their goods. Using stealth is a little tricky, and it involves using different parkour moves, depending on where you need to get to in order to take down your enemy.
Battles are almost all melee. You won’t find guns, but there are archers in the game. So when you fight, they’re pretty simple actions, nothing too sophisticated, which makes combat intuitive rather than always having to remember a series of buttons to press to get a good hit.
"With some big improvements over the first game, it’s sure to stir up some fans for better or worse and make new ones all the same."
As the player climbs to the top of the water tower, it really becomes imperative that they climb with precision so they don’t fall. Dying Light 2 is not only a large, open-world game, but a very vertical game, as well.Going up high from time to time will cause players to increase their set of skills real fast.
At the top of the water tower the player finds people who really were working on trying to get the tower up and running again. This is where the story branches, and we see just how the story can change from one moment to the next. We can decide to help them, or change the course of the game entirely. This branching dialog will have both rewards and consequences. We can safeguard the water and make it available for all citizens, allowing the city to thrive; or we can go another route and charge citizens for the water, causing the city to fall into more decay. The change is visible right after a short cutscene, where the player decided to let the water run free for everyone, and we see the flags of the faction the player aligned themselves with fly freely through the city.
Dying Light 2 is a cool looking game. With some big improvements over the first game, it’s sure to stir up some fans for better or worse and make new ones all the same.