Dying light 2 the much-anticipated sequel to 2015’s parkour “zombie” survival from Techland has been out for a little while now and we got to spend some time with it and see just how it compares to its predecessor.
Set 22 years after the events that befell Harran in the previous instalment the G.R.E continued their research into the virus that caused the outbreak in the city despite promising to close their labs after the infection was quelled.
Unfortunately for the people of the world of Dying Light 2, this doesn’t make for good ol zombie-slaying so of course, they lied and continued their research without learning much of anything and before long a second outbreak triggered this time on a much larger scale.
“The Fall” happened and most of the world fell to the virus with only a few scattered settlements making up the remnants of the human race.
You play as Aiden, one of a few survivors known as a pilgrim, an individual who basically serves as a post-apocalyptic postman who travels between settlements passing along messages and making small deliveries.
You quickly discover Aiden’s reason for taking on this role that’s widely shunned and seen as suicide despite the skills and bravery required to accomplish such tasks, as a child Aiden and his sister along with a number of other children were experimented on in a GRE facility before getting separated thus sparking Aidens search across the apocalypse.
The main game takes place as he finally gets a big lead leading him to the city of Villedor a city though heavily damaged by the effects of the fall got off relatively lightly compared to the rest of the planet thanks to the fact the city found itself walled off and mostly isolated. What secrets does the city hold and how is it connected to the past? You’ll have to play yourself to find those answers.
The main story has a lot going on in terms of multiple converging plot lines with a number of the cast being connected and plot lines merging to make up the overall story seeing how everything comes together and each new reveal kept the story interesting and seeing the more emotional side even sometimes humorous side of the characters made me care about them or in a majority of cases make me wish I could feed them to the infected.
This extends to the side quests despite mostly being fluff. I found a majority of them interesting enough to want to do them and love or hate the quest givers.
They had a little life to them, making side quests feel rewarding whether I helped out or brought karmic retribution. It felt as though I made a difference to the lives of the people I interacted with even outside of the main quest.
Visually the game does a good job at showcasing an apocalypse be it of the death and decay of the streets below most avoid or the nature slowly taking back the city with plants and trees growing atop buildings that offer more safety from the infected.
Aside from the environments, smaller details such as the enemy designs go from great during the day to utterly terrifying at night all of the designs are well done and nightmare fuel but a volatile jumping on you in the dark can be unsettling as you get swarmed by the hordes inside a building.
That being said there were a few visual bugs I noted such as floating zombie parts and multiplayer partners launching across the map or plummeting 100ft into the ground only to magically appear exactly where they wanted to be like nothing happened none of these bugs hindered gameplay in any way just simply looked bizarre.
There were a few issues outside of the visual bugs I mentioned that did hinder gameplay however such as occasionally finding myself unable to climb anything for a short while or NPCs not being able to be interacted with or simply not even under their quest markers or even in the general area, resting seemed to had a 50/50 chance of fixing this while other times required restarting the game.
Audio does a great job, especially at night when the howls of the infected echo around the city or you’re exploring a long-forgotten area.
I found it added some tension to the nighttime segments that already had you on edge thanks to the infested streets and limited visibility, another great point is the game’s voice acting non of the lines feel forced and seem to have genuine emotion behind them be it a loss, pain or even happiness it took feeling something towards each of the cast to that extra level
Gameplay was mostly enjoyable when not bumping into the occasional bug be it slashing your way through the zombies with your makeshift weapons or jumping across rooftops to avoid confrontation and explore the large city.
At first, you will find yourself with limited skills and equipment at your disposal and this can lead to some tense moments if you go into any activity unprepared as you progress, however, the way you play will likely evolve as you become more of an unstoppable post-apocalyptic ninja.
New skills in the parkour system will allow you to wall run and combo actions to make your free running experience quicker and easier while the power skill tree makes dispatching enemy’s that much more simple when combining this with tools such as the grappling hook and paraglider you’ll find your playstyle constantly changing up while feeling rewarded for gaining experience in either field.
Overall despite my frustrations at times,s I found the title enjoyable enough to keep coming back to, most of that drive however was to see the story through to completion while hoping at least some of the cast can see happy days ahead.
Combat and exploration can be a little buggy but most of the time this isn’t a hindrance but remained prominent enough for me to get annoyed with the title on occasion.
For the most part, I’d recommend this game if not advising waiting on a patch. Players who enjoyed the prequel will undoubtedly find fun in this one too, just as new fans will surely get some enjoyment over this zombie romp.
A slightly buggy but fantastic zombie slaying experience
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