Dying Light 2 Stay Human just got its first major expansion in the form of Bloody Ties. With this expansion, developer Techland hopes to focus on improving one of the mediocre parts of the base game — the combat. With that in mind, let’s talk about whether it’s worth revisiting the world of Dying Light 2 Stay Human for the sake of Bloody Ties.
Let’s get one thing out of the way: Dying Light 2 Stay Human had many problems at launch, and when it comes to core game design, the Bloody Ties expansion doesn’t really do much to fix these issues. Rather, what you can expect from Bloody Ties is essentially more of the same.
"Let’s get one thing out of the way: Dying Light 2 Stay Human had many problems at launch, and when it comes to core game design, the Bloody Ties expansion doesn’t really do much to fix these issues."
The expansion has a rather simple premise. Protagonist Aiden learns about a mysterious tournament that has been happening for a while in Villedor, and after a series of events, is basically thrust into the midst of the tournament. As you might expect from the core premise of the expansion, combat is the main focus here. Sure, there’s a story with new characters and a somewhat interesting mystery to solve, but combat is definitely the focus with Bloody Ties.
One of the fundamental issues with Dying Light 2 Stay Human: Bloody Ties becomes clear right off the bat: the writing just isn’t particularly compelling. You’re introduced to your guide to the story for Bloody Ties right off the bat in the form of Ciro. However, this new character exemplifies some of the worst aspects of Dying Light 2 Stay Human as a whole; there just isn’t much in the way of good writing to pull you through.
Right off the bat, Aiden develops some weirdly protective feelings towards Ciro, which comes off as weird right from the get go because, let’s face it, how many of us would be willing to lay our lives on the line for someone we’ve met literally just minutes ago? Ciro as a character is rather poorly written, which becomes a problem since his personal quest for vengeance and story ends up being much of the driving force behind the Bloody Ties expansion as a whole.
On a fundamental level, the writing in Dying Light 2 Stay Human: Bloody Ties leaves a lot to be desired. There isn’t much in the way of a compelling storyline to follow, and the characters are just outright annoying, bordering on you hoping that they were actual enemies that you could kill.
When it comes to gameplay, there isn’t really anything new here. Bloody Ties hopes to emphasize the decent gameplay Dying Light 2 Stay Human has to offer. However, Bloody Ties also acts in showing off the deficiencies of Dying Light 2 Stay Human’s gameplay. Compared to the first Dying Light, the sequel’s gameplay is rather simplistic, especially when it comes to playing around with physics, and Bloody Ties tends to put you into arenas that exemplify just that.
"Bloody Ties hopes to emphasize the decent gameplay Dying Light 2 Stay Human has to offer. However, Bloody Ties also acts in showing off the deficiencies of Dying Light 2 Stay Human’s gameplay."
In terms of sheer content, there isn’t really much to chase after. The loot is quite boring, and there isn’t really much in the way of new modifiers for craftable gear. The starting cutscene of Bloody Ties does tease an interesting new weapon, but that turns out to be more or less the equivalent of a wet fart. Nothing’s really going to beat your endgame-level hyper-powered fire-spewing machete, especially when you realize that the recommended level for kicking off the Bloody Ties storyline is 2.
Honestly, if you’re looking for an excuse to come back to Dying Light 2 Stay Human, I should warn you to stay for the gameplay more than the story, which is both short and succinct. At the end, you are left wanting for more parkour and combat amidst the abrupt ending. While the gameplay is both exciting and immersive, the narrative is a let down. And even then, the best part of the gameplay – the parkour and emergent action that you’d expect while free-running around the city – emphasizes the wrong thing. The combat, when you get down to it, is honestly much more boring compared to the original Dying Light.
If you’re hoping for some more interesting encounters during the night time—something like what you’d expect from the original Dying Light—be prepared for a healthy dose of disappointment. Considering the fact that most of Bloody Ties revolves around Carnage Hall, there aren’t really encounters that will challenge your mastery of the game. No fight is going to test your skill at parkour and improvisational combat. No. Most of the fights in Bloody Ties are just going to pit you against regular enemies—and with a worrying frequency, zombies.
"Rather than using the bloodsport arena of Carnage Hall to introduce more interesting concepts in fights, Techland decided that just plain old regular enemies will do just fine, be they zombies or your typical bandit-type enemy."
A surprisingly large amount of the combat sessions in Dying Light 2 Stay Human: Bloody Ties revolves around fighting off zombies, including the latter half of the opening quest. Rather than using the bloodsport arena of Carnage Hall to introduce more interesting concepts in fights, Techland decided that just plain old regular enemies will do just fine, be they zombies or your typical bandit-type enemy.
Visually, Dying Light 2 Stay Human: Bloody Ties doesn’t really offer much in the way of interesting visuals. In fact, the base game’s campaign offers way more interesting sights and sounds than the first expansion. If you’re hoping this to be the point where you get to show off your system’s graphical prowess, be prepared for a healthy dose of disappointment. There’s little in the way of new and interesting visuals, be it in the form of fidelity or art direction, and you aren’t really going to get anything new in the way of fancy graphics and visuals to drive the content home.
Honestly, Bloody Ties is a rather disappointing first DLC outing for Techland. In its efforts to exemplifies the best aspects of Dying Light 2 Stay Human—the gameplay—the expansion in fact emphasizes the most boring aspects of that. Rather than presenting new, interesting encounters that put to test your prowess of the compelling parkour-fueled moment-to-moment gameplay, the Bloody Ties expansion instead focuses on combat.
There isn’t much to do in the expansion than just use your primary attack, and occasionally, the block button. There aren’t any encounters that test your understanding of the core gameplay. In fact, there isn’t really anything to put what you might have learned while playing Dying Light 2 Stay Human since its release back in February to the test.
When you come down to it, Bloody Ties feels like something that would have been better off as a random side quest in the base campaign of Dying Light 2 Stay Human. Nothing it offers is original enough to warrant its status as the “first major expansion” for the game. Instead, it feels more like an extension of the natural gameplay and story that would have been better off as already available.
"Bloody Ties feels like something that would have been better off as a random side quest in the base campaign of Dying Light 2 Stay Human."
If Bloody Ties is supposed to set expectations for what you can expect from the series of expansion releases Dying Light 2 Stay Human is supposed to see down the line, get ready for some sore disappointment. While nothing in the first expansion is outright bad, more than anything, there’s just nothing new to come back to, especially if you’ve already experienced everything the base game has to offer.
This game was reviewed on PC.
Fits in as a decent break from the main campaign.
Boring story; Annoying characters; Dull new combat encounters.