Techland’s Dying Light 2 was revealed at E3 2018 and painted a rather different picture for the open world zombie survival franchise that many have come to love. While combat and parkour are receiving numerous tweaks, they still appear fundamentally similar to the first game. It’s the branching narrative, the ability to make decisions and have the world change as a result that’s utterly fascinating.
Lead designer Tymon Smektala spoke to Polygon during E3 2018 and noted that this branching narrative has a larger purpose. He revealed that the first game had over 500,000 unique weekly players and more than 13 million people who’ve played thus far. Word of mouth has effectively allowed the developer to take a shot at mainstream attention. The impetus with Dying Light 2, however, is to offer all those hardcore players even more reasons to come back.
“We tried to do our homework. We have a very supportive community, one that talks with us directly. […] Now we want to give them them a narrative that supports playing the game over and over and over and over again. So the guy that played it for 4,500 hours can now play even more and it is more meaningful, because he is not just bashing zombies on the head. He gets something more out of it.”
The company has Chris Avellone (Fallout: New Vegas, Prey) as its narrative designer to provide more weight to different choices. The game’s world consists of multiple districts and all decisions made will affect factors like which factions are control, available resources and much more.
Dying Light 2 is currently in development for Xbox One, PS4 and PC.