Every zombie in Dying Light 2 goes through several stages of evolution.
Techland might not be looking at Dying Light 2 as a game about zombies, but zombies are, either way, an integral part of the experience they’re creating. Recently, while speaking with GamesRadar, lead designer Tymon Smektała gave some very interesting details on how the Infected in Dying Light 2 will operate out in the open world.
Essentially, they operate in a very systemic manner, and react to several things in the game’s word- most of all sunlight and UV light. Zombies, Smektała explains, each have their own life cycles, and go through several stages of evolution, with each of these stages granting unique attributes and behaviours. These systems, then, all interact with each other to make for emergent gameplay moments.
“We have this whole cycle of infected life in the game,” said Smektała. “The infected start as a Viral, which is someone who just got bitten and just got infected, so they still show traces of humanity, and at this point they are very quick, very dangerous – they avoid the sun at all costs. But after some time in that state, they turn into what we call Biters, which are your regular zombies; slowly moving infected that, if able, will try and grab you and infect you or eat you, but the sunlight is dangerous to them, and they are not as quick and as agile as the Virals.
“And if Biters stay in the sun for a long period of time or under a UV light, they turn into Degenerates; decaying zombies that are very weak with pieces of flesh falling off of them, so they’re not really that dangerous to you,” he continued. “But still you have to keep an eye for them because Dying Light 2 is a systemic game, a lot of things happen emergently. And of course, there’s a different path of evolution for the Infected where they turn into the Volatiles, which are the most dangerous, extreme night predators. If you see them, you just need to run. There’s no fighting with those guys because they will just kill you.”
The emergent mechanics in play in Dying Light 2 are sounding very interesting, which is exacerbated when you consider the wrinkles being added by other factors, such as the in-game factions and the story decisions players will have to make. It remains to be seen how cohesively the game will be able to package all this in the end, but right now, things are sounding good.
Dying Light 2 is due out some time this year for the PS4, Xbox One, and PC, though a specific release date or window hasn’t yet been announced.