Post-apocalyptic survival games are dime a dozen these days, and the medium has no shortage of experiences that try to craft open-worlds based on this very popular setting. Over the years, fans have had the pleasure of engaging with some very well-crafted and unique open-world games such as the likes of The Last of Us, Left 4 Dead, and of course – Dying Light.
Dying Light was released to good reviews and great commercial reception in 2015, following which developer Techland has showered upon the community a number of substantial post-launch content updates as well as expansion in the form of Dying Light: The Following. After a long and arduous wait filled with painful delays and awkwardly long periods of silence, the sequel Dying Light 2: Stay Human will be releasing on 4 February, 2022 for all platforms and there’s a high chance that it could be one of the biggest games of the year.
Techland has already proved its mettle with the first Dying Light game, which combined great parkour action along with a great open world filled to the brim with meaningful activities. The game also had a decent if not good story, which needs to be reminded is a pretty rare occurrence in this genre. Since then, with the exception of the game’s post-launch content – no other contemporary has ever come close to replicating the magic of the graceful movement system as well as the highly-customizable melee combat system found in this 2015 classic.
As such, fans are already clamoring for anything new from the franchise – and of course, Dying Light 2 Stay Human has all one would expect from the game, and then some more. It’s a pretty ambitious game, both from a narrative as well as a gameplay perspective. Set fifteen years after the events of the first game, Dying Light 2 Stay Human takes place in the middle of a virus outbreak in a fictional environment called The City.
But what about the world? How big is the playground going to be this time around? The developer revealed that the game’s map is almost 4 times bigger than the original. Of course, none of that matters if the game’s narrative and associated open-world activities don’t make use of that space in a meaningful fashion. That’s where the newfound narrative structure comes along. Unlike the original, Dying Light 2 Stay Human is more of an RPG this time around – as players will have a lot more options in deciding the fate of The City’s denizens.
The City is home to several factions who are all vying for power – from the Peacekeepers to the Renegades to the Survivors, players will have to take on faction loyalty missions, the outcomes of which have the potential to reshape entire districts and your allegiances with other factions. For instance, one faction might want to share the supply of water across the city while the other one might want to sell it in exchange for money. If the water is let loose across the city, there’s a high chance that it could be polluted by infection from zombies – while if left in the hands of these morally-grey factions, it would strike conflict among its citizens since water will become a precious resource.
According to Techland, there are no good or bad choices in Dying Light 2 – and players have to consider everything before choosing to go with one option rather than the other. In addition to this ambitious narrative structure, players can expect to see similar improvements to the gameplay side of things as well. There’s the same slick parkour system that propelled the game to such massive heights, although fans can expect to see some new moves being added to the mix as well. For instance, you can attach ropes to specific points to swing across wide gaps. You can also use a parachute to gracefully swerve across the dilapidated ruins of The City, all while covering large amounts of ground considering you are jumping from a high enough vantage point. You can also mitigate any and all fall damage by landing on an enemy soldier or a zombie, which is a neat little trick that looks supremely great in gameplay.
The combat is also a vital part of the experience, and while we haven’t seen much of the gunplay in action – Dying Light 2: Stay Human‘s melee combat sequences seem to be building off the highly-customizable systems found in the original. Players can pick up a ton of attachments for their weapons, which can have some pretty important alterations to the gameplay. There’s also the game’s signature day and night cycle, wherein the more powerful versions of the zombies will occur more frequently and in higher numbers during the night as compared to the day – although players can expect to be rewarded handsomely if they manage to survive the full night.
All of these improvements are looking to be coming together beautifully to make Dying Light 2: Stay Human one hell of a game, although one cannot be completely sure about that until the full game comes out. In addition to this, developer Techland’s choice of a release date is one that’s largely a result of delays – although it is certainly doing it a lot more favor than many might imagine. There are only three high-profile games releasing in the month of February 2022 to speak of – Horizon: Forbidden West, Elden Ring, and Dying Light 2: Stay Human. Of course, Horizon: Forbidden West is a PlayStation exclusive and while Elden Ring is yet another highly-anticipated release, its difficulty makes it appealing to only a select niche.
Techland has also released Dying Light: Platinum Edition earlier this year across all major platforms. While the developer has confirmed that the sequel will be an original story with no recurring characters, replaying or better yet playing the original for the first game would certainly be a great appetizer to get fans excited for the next game. Of course, it also helps that just like Dying Light: Platinum Edition, Dying Light 2: Stay Human will also release on last gen consoles. This nets the game a very big target demographic, which is one of the most important factors for the commercial viability of a game or any entertainment product for that matter. Dying Light 2 has a great potential to rake in some impressive sales numbers if it manages to deliver on its promises which it most certainly would, in turn, make it one of the biggest games of 2022.
Note: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, GamingBolt as an organization.