Bloody Ties, the first official DLC to this year’s wildly successful Dying Light sequel Dying Light 2 Stay Human is almost upon us. Promising another thrilling first-person yarn through zombie ravaged post-apocalypse, here’re 15 things to know before diving back into Dying Light’s blood-soaked world.
First of 2 story DLCs
Bloody Ties is the first of two confirmed DLC stories coming to Dying Light 2. In fact, developer Techland have promised 5 years of post-release support, content, and DLC. Techland’s guarantee is completely trustworthy too, after all, they’re only just moving on from supporting the first Dying Light released 7 years ago. That title received a mix of free and paid post-launch content, so there’s no reason to think Dying Light 2 Stay Human won’t receive the same treatment.
Bloody Ties story centres on Aiden entering blood sport
With Roll7’s Rollerball inspired skater-cum-blood sport Rollerdrome releasing in the summer, perhaps post-apocalyptic bloodlust-tournament themed video games are on the rise? Either way, Bloody Ties taps into similar gladiatorial aesthetics, with Aiden tasked with entertaining crowds of blood-thirsty revellers in arena-based combat, encouraged by the promise of unimaginable wealth and fame in an increasingly sadistic world.
New adventure deeper than arena-based combat
Bloody Ties’ plot is said to run thicker than pure bloody action, with themes of rivalry, power, and revenge rearing their ugly heads alongside Aiden’s fight for fame and survival. New friend Ciro is encountered once Aiden enters the pantheon of fame-hungry fighters, and together they’ll join forces solving the mystery behind Ciro’s brother’s death whilst uncovering the true, shady nature of the tournament.
Story a tonal shift away from Dying Light 2 Stay Human
The story of Dying Light 2 Stay Human takes a much more serious turn when compared with its predecessor, with a tense narrative supported by a cast of emotionally compelling characters. Bloody Ties, on the other hand, appears to make a tonal shift once again, with a much more light-hearted, kaleidoscopic, black comedy aesthetic, perhaps owing to the fact fights aren’t just for survival anymore, but for glory and spectacle too.
Story approximately 6 hours
Bloody Ties game designer Tymon Smektala is on record stating in interview there’s a chunky story behind all the arena-based combat, with players expecting to take roughly 5-6 hours to see it through to its conclusion. This – they add – does not include side quests, which Smektala claims will allow players to change the flow of the DLC’s narrative, taking players outside of the main combat arena and back onto the twisted streets of Villedor.
Less focus on human combat
The bulk of encounters in Bloody Ties will be against zombie enemies, with human combat, as claimed by Smektala, taking up around 30% of the DLC’s action. The game’s announcement trailer certainly shows plenty of human-on-human action so Smektala’s promise slightly goes against expectations. It’s not exactly unwelcomed though; Dying Light 2’s thrilling parkour and zombie-ravaged combat are some of the most favoured aspect of the sequel, so it’s great it’s first DLC entry uses Stay Human’s best features as a foundation on which to build its action.
New location – The Carnage Hall
Described by Techland as ‘the epicentre of death, wealth, and splendour,’ Bloody Ties new location is the macabre circus arena known as The Carnage Hall. An opulent arts venue for opera performance in a past life, The Carnage Hall is now repurposed as the ideal venue for the most ‘adrenaline-fueled, blood-soaked’ shows of all time. Bloody Ties won’t be contained purely within the walls of this grand venue though; alongside the building itself is a surrounding area which players will get to explore.
Arena combat is bulk of DLC
All the pomp and grandeur promised in a place like The Carnage Hall means this is sure to be a compelling location in which to fight to the death. Bloody Ties, whilst affording players opportunity to step outside The Carnage Hall’s walls, will predominately take place inside the arena. This is a combat-heavy expansion, after all. An arena battler is said to have given Techland opportunity to home in on the best combat aspects from Dying Light 2, with players expecting to be able to maximise their arsenal in new and creative ways. In short, as the DLC’s designer Tymon Smektala puts it, the violence and brutality of Dying Light 2 has been ramped up a notch.
Spectacles and shows
In the arena, Aiden will be tasked with undertaking ‘spectacles’, that is, multi-objective arena shows that’re based on historical or mythological events. Imagine it this way: it’s the arena floor redesigned to resemble a traditional fable – say, Robin Hood infiltrating the Sheriff of Nottingham’s castle – but with a dark twist. They’ll be creative ways to take on murderous hordes of mutated enemies without it being purely a wave-after-wave arena battle.
New enemy types
A DLC heavily focused on zombie combat should come with rafts of new enemies, and thankfully Bloody Ties won’t disappoint in this department. Fresh mutations await Aiden in The Carnage Hall with sickeningly imaginative names such as ‘The Gorilla Demolisher’. Other freaks of nature known as ‘Cataclysms’ and ‘Infernos’ lie in wait too, and it’ll be exciting to take on these fearsome opponents for the first time come Bloody Ties’ release.
Alongside the hordes of new zombie enemies are a handful of new weapons for players to get to grips with, with the best gear said to provoke a sense of status as much as providing devastating power over other fighters. Amongst the surprising new weaponry is the Shield Glove, which Techland purport offers a new way to play with an item both simultaneously destructive and defensive.
Bloody Ties does not fall into trappings of other arena DLCs
As per game designer Tymon Smektala, Dying Light 2 Stay Human’s first DLC is not just another arena title. In their eyes, arena DLCs are characterised as minigame heavy with an overall lack of substance. For starters, Bloody Ties won’t have minigames whatsoever, but beyond waves of enemies, spectacles, and multi-themed narratives already discussed in this feature, Smektala also claims that the events inside the arena itself are very interesting and may even defy expectations. This perhaps is owed in part to the more bite-sized nature of a story taking 6-or-so hours to complete; a more focused narrative gives the development team chance to harness each character, so there’ll hopefully be an emotional payoff after all the blood is spilled.
There’ll be secrets and surprises
Fans of Techland’s titles, and of both Dying Light games in particular, will come to expect Bloody Ties be filled with Easter eggs. Well, players shall not be disappointed; Bloody Ties is said to be bountiful with secrets and surprises throughout, enriching the play experience for those keen enough to explore everything the DLC’s new areas have to offer.
Currently scheduled for release November 11th
Bloody Ties has had its release pushed back a few times. It was initially slated for release this past June, which was then pushed back to September citing need for further development. That release date slipped to mid-October before Techland landed on its current release date of November 11th. All these pushbacks should prove fruitful in the long run; Dying Light 2 Stay Human did release with a handful of technical gremlins, so fingers crossed Bloody Ties will be playable without a hitch when it’s eventually released.
Pre-order bonus – the Aristocrat Pack
Deluxe and ultimate edition owners of Dying Light 2 Stay Human will already be eligible to receive the Bloody Ties DLC without charge alongside the Aristocrat Pack. For everyone else, you’ll need to pre-order before the DLC’s release to get your mitts on the pre-order bonus items, which, according to the game’s Steam page, includes the Aristocrat Guard outfit and Aristocrat weapon.