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“Dying Light 2: Stay Human” - Is It Worth Buying?

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Mark is a college lecturer from Liverpool. He has a keen interest in Japanese culture and loves video games. A proud father and grandfather.


As someone who completed the first Dying Light and enjoyed it, I have been looking forward to Dying Light 2. Was it worth the wait? Yes, definitely! If you liked the first game, you'll love the second.

There will be no story spoilers in this review as exploring the world and finding your own path is one of the highlights of the game. You play as Aiden Caldwell. He is a Pilgrim, a group of nomads who are used by settlements to get deliveries or messages to other locations while being hated by the same, distrustful people. He is on a mission to find someone and must discover clues and information in a city called Villenor.

The map is four times larger than the first game, but the main improvement is the verticality. The humans live on the rooftops as the rest of the city is infested by the zombies. Exploring the city during the day is safer than the nighttime, but a lot of the missions are now set during the night, forcing you into some tense encounters.


Has the Parkour Improved?

After a very well done opening cinematic gives you an update on how the world has ended up like Haran in the first game, you start in the countryside where you learn the basics of the parkour system. You meet up with a character from the first game, another pilgrim.

The parkour, which was really well done in DL1, has been massively improved, easy to get used to, and makes traversing the open world a pleasure. The Assassin's Creed games were always impressive in their free-running animations but, even though first person is even harder, Techland have improved on the first game.

There are two skill trees to populate, one for combat and one for parkour. You learn new skills regularly after earning points which you do just by playing the game, each new move is flawless in its animation.

Techland says they have used thousands of different animations for the parkour and it really shows. Two years after the original launch was penciled in, they have spent the time delivering what they promised in the original game reveal video. It was ambitious, but they have pulled it off.


Not Just A Zombie Game

The zombies offer just one of the many threats in the game. They take second fiddle to the story as there are also human threats around every corner. But the zombies have mutated and there are stronger, more horrifying creatures to test you, especially after night falls. There are new types of zombies to tackle, the most annoying being the Volatiles. But I won't spoil the rest. I'll let you find out the hard way.

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Meaningful Decisions?

One of the promises from the original trailer for the game was that the player would make decisions that actually changed the course of the game, not just meaningless narrative options. Have they delivered? Yes.

After the prologue, the game forces you to make decisions which really do impact the game. These decisions have a profound effect on how things turn out and will make the game re-playable to see how an alternative decision will impact the story. The developers call it a "narrative sandbox" and that's exactly what it is. Well done, Techland!


Has the Combat Been Improved?

The combat is just as brutal and over the top as the first game. There are plenty of weapons to use, but it only comes into its own later in the game after you have unlocked some of the better moves, similar to the parkour.

If you are feeling underwhelmed, give it time, you won't be sorry. You can modify and customise your weapons, which in turn ramps up the brutality. There has been a lot of time and effort spent on the combat animations and it never gets old. You also have new ways to dispatch the undead, from kicking them off a roof to stamping on their heads. Good, clean fun!


Is It Worth Buying?

After many disappointments in gaming over the past few years, it is my pleasure to recommend Dying Light 2: Stay Human for many hours of exploration, storytelling, and mindless slaughter and violence.

I have been playing on a PS5 and it runs great, although there have been a few people complaining about a some bugs, I haven't experienced any myself.

The developer says the story should take around 20-30 hours if you avoid any side missions, 60-70 hours if you don't, and to absolutely finish all the game's content should take around 500 hours.

Plenty to get stuck into, then. Enjoy!

© 2022 Mark

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