Dying Light 2 - Xbox One/Series X

Dying Light 2 – Xbox One/Series X

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Buy your copy of Dying Light 2 now to get exclusive pre-order content – Reload Skin Pack Over twenty years ago in Harran, we fought the virus—and lost. Now, we’re losing again. The City, one of the last large human settlements, is torn by conflict. Civilization has fallen back into the Dark Ages. And yet, we still have hope. You are a wanderer with the power to change the fate…
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Awards

Rating

  • Graphics
  • Multiplayer
  • Story (Career Mode)
  • Originality

You Might Like

  • Great parkour and aerial exploration.
  • Stomping on zombies.
  • Dynamic day and night cycle.

Might Not Like

  • Pretty predictable story.
  • ENDLESS upgrading.
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Description

Buy your copy of Dying Light 2 now to get exclusive pre-order content – Reload Skin Pack

Over twenty years ago in Harran, we fought the virus—and lost. Now, we’re losing again. The City, one of the last large human settlements, is torn by conflict. Civilization has fallen back into the Dark Ages. And yet, we still have hope.

You are a wanderer with the power to change the fate of The City. But your exceptional abilities come at a price. Haunted by memories you cannot decipher, you set out to learn the truth… and find yourself in a combat zone. Hone your skills, as to defeat your enemies and make allies, you’ll need both fists and wits. Unravel the dark secrets behind the wielders of power, choose sides and decide your destiny. But wherever your actions take you, there's one thing you can never forget—stay human.

VAST OPEN WORLD: Participate in the life of a city engulfed in a new dark era. Discover different paths and hidden passages, as you explore its multiple levels and locations.

CREATIVE & BRUTAL COMBAT: Take advantage of your parkour skills to tip the scales of even the most brutal encounter. Clever thinking, traps and creative weapons will be your best friends.

DAY AND NIGHT CYCLE: Wait for night to venture into dark hideouts of the Infected. Sunlight keeps them at bay, but once it’s gone, monsters begin the hunt, leaving their lairs free to explore.

CHOICES & CONSEQUENCES: Shape the future of The City with your actions and watch how it changes. Determine the balance of power by making choices in a growing conflict and forge your own experience.

2-4 PLAYER CO-OP GAMEPLAY: Play in up to four-player co-op. Host your own games or join others and see how their choices have played out differently than yours.

The world is a dark place. It is fraught with danger. The way of life that we grew so accustomed to is so far in the past that it is but a distant memory now. Survival is everything. The last remnants of human life hide away in small pocket communities, scattered sporadically throughout the country. You are a pilgrim, one of the few people brave enough to attempt the perils of travelling between the last bastions of hope in this dying world. Facing both the infected and rogue human factions, you search for the sister you lost 15 years ago. An open world of danger is what awaits you in Dying Light 2.

In the months – years, even – leading up to the release of this game, we were drip-fed information that had us built up for an open-world game like no other. All the choices we make would make a big impact on story progression and world development. The world itself would change depending on our choices both in and out of quests. Has Dying Light 2 lived up to the promises that it presented so proudly to us? Let us take a deeper dive and find out.

Goodnight & Good Luck…

I loved the first Dying Light game. I think it really managed to find its place both in the open-world gaming space, and the overcrowded zombie gaming space. It was different, it had bold ideas. It was overall a fun and memorable game. I think no matter what Techland decided to do with the sequel, they were always going to have an uphill battle living in the first game’s shadow. Dying Light proved so popular, it attracted a cult following. One big enough for Techland to support the game with updates and DLC years after initial release. And I have no doubt that we will see that carried over into Dying Light 2.

I will point out that right now, for me personally, I do not think there are enough NEW things in this sequel for it to achieve the same heights as its predecessor. It feels like the world’s biggest expansion. But that is not necessarily a negative thing. The first game garnered a lot of love and attention for a reason.

Tricks of the Trade

The biggest selling point to Dying Light 2 is by far the gameplay. First-person camera action in an open-world setting is something we do not see very often. Coupling that with parkour exploration makes for a unique experience. Especially when you have zombie brains to smash everywhere.

The game divides pretty nicely between 2 different gameplay mechanics: combat and parkour. I was very happy with both. I liked that the upgrade trees split between two focal points. Want to go climb that weird building in the distance, or string together some wall runs to reach that room you can see? Earn yourself a few parkour points. Want to slay a building full of zombies, sneaking through and breaking their necks, or take on that behemoth guarding that military truck? Earn yourself some combat points.

The parkour felt fluid and dynamic throughout the game, and only a few times did I fall to my death through the game getting clunky. Picking out more abilities definitely sees the flow of exploration get smoother and smoother. Some of the abilities felt like they were there to fluff out the choices though. The first few you have access to are varying levels of climbing speed, which are absolutely vital upgrades. But try telling me that someone who runs through zombie-infested wastelands doesn’t already know how to climb faster than a snail on a lazy day.

The combat ability options felt a little less fluffed out. And it seemed to offer different abilities to suit different playstyles. I tended to stay clear of the ones that slowed down time with perfect timed dodges/blocks. I am terrible at ‘perfect timed’ opportunities in games. My combat tended to come down to throwing molotovs at everything and everyone. And, of course, running in with the biggest 2 handed weapon I had access to and swinging around in circles like a mad man. That and drop-kicking enemies off of buildings. God that is satisfying. I loved charging enemies on roofs and planting my feet in their chest, watching them plummet to their inevitable deaths. Maybe I AM a mad man. Ah, a problem for another time.

Upgrading health or stamina comes down to exploring zombie-infested buildings and hazardous zones. I liked this for two purposes. Firstly, it was an interesting way to encourage you to explore and put yourself in dangerous situations. Secondly, having the option to upgrade your health would further the options for skill tree unlocks.

Tools of the Trade

Dying Light 2 introduces us to the paraglider. With our already impressive manoeuvrability, this makes for some fun exploration options. The downside to this is that we only gain access to it about halfway through the game. It does make sense though. When we reach the second area, we see just how vertical it is in comparison to the first, so we only really find a use for it at this point anyway. There is a pleasant satisfaction to harnessing all your parkour abilities to climb a massive building, looting it of all its treasure, and then casually casting yourself off the roof to glide around the city looking for your next mark. It gives the exploration an extra little satisfactory feeling.

The grappling hook is only unlocked about 80% into the story, which came as a real bummer to me. I remember using it a heck of a lot in the first game. There is also a lot of wasted potential with the grappling hook. You can only use it to swing from A to B. You can’t use it to latch onto a ledge and use it to climb upwards or use it on enemies in any way. It is worth noting that you should be able to pull enemies towards you with it, but it never worked for me. It is possible this was a bug at my time of playing.

Besides the tools used for exploration, you will also have a plethora of blueprints to unlock and upgrade. Once you have a blueprint for an item, you can craft it at any time in your menu. You will have access to medicine, throwing knives, grenades, molotovs, UV lights, etc and many, many, many, many weapon upgrade mods. It is overwhelming how many weapon upgrades you can actually unlock. To add fire to a weapon, for example, there are (that I found) 6 different blueprints to choose between. Two for the weapon tip, two for the shaft, and two for the grip. There was one type that inflicted fire on critical hits, and one that ‘charged up’ for a fiery attack (though these also never worked for me). Each one of these blueprints has nine upgrades. NINE.

So, if you want to fully upgrade your fire blueprints, you are looking at needing the resources to upgrade 54 times. Not to mention the blueprints for shock damage, poison damage, cold damage, force damage, bleed damage etc. You will also want to upgrade your medicine blueprints, UV lamp, lockpicks, your 7 different buff inhalers, and all your different arrow types. There is too much. Way, way, way too much. Even for a ‘collect everything’ OCD maniac like myself.

A Story Like No Other? (Potential Spoiler Territory)

So, let us address this question then. A dynamic world where your choices matter? No, not really. Some of your choices will affect who ends up living or dying, but if you like a character, then you will side with them. It’s that simple. There is one decision you can make that is very reminiscent of the Megaton bomb situation in Fallout 3, if anyone reading is aware of that, but it is very easy to avoid. In terms of actual story, nothing really makes a difference. You still end up in the same place at the end, and no matter what, there is no real ‘happy ending’. After the credits rolled on my bleak and miserable conclusion, I took to Google to see what was what. Turned out I actually got one of the better endings.

I will also briefly point out that no other decision outside of the story matters at all. Want a few extra exploration options? Give stuff to the free folk. Want some cars to explode? Give stuff to the peacekeepers. Other than a few passing comments from NPCs, nobody really gives two hoots what you do. Find someone who needs saving? Yeah, nobody takes note of that kind of thing either.

Final Thoughts…

I want to make it clear that I did really enjoy playing through Dying Light 2. I just hold this IP in such high regard, and I can see so much potential with it, that I really wish that the edges were a little smoother. And the edges WILL get smoothed out. If anything can be taken from the past, it is that Techland will definitely continue to support the game.

Dying Light 2, at my time of playing, needed a little more time to iron out some of the issues it has. The good news for you is, by the time this review goes live, they will be making big progress towards their second large update for the game, and I am confident that some (if not all) of the issues I had will be resolved. And if you somehow find this review further down the line, give my issues no credence, they will surely have been fixed.

The main cruxes of the game (the combat and parkour) are the singing graces of the performance. I highly praise both aspects of the game, which are the main reasons you are likely here. Both parts are equally as enjoyable to take part in. Combat gives you plenty of options, even if I always just ran in headfirst to dropkick enemies and set things on fire, there is a rhythm to be found for any kind of player. Parkour and exploration always felt satisfying, even if there were a few areas out of reach until all equipment is unlocked, nothing ever truly felt unattainable.

Dying Light 2 was a great game to experience. I recommend it and encourage people to give it a try. The IP is still my favourite zombie-infested gaming world and I am looking forward to seeing what DLC is in store for us in the not-so-distant future.

Zatu Score

Rating

  • Graphics
  • Multiplayer
  • Story (Career Mode)
  • Originality

You might like

  • Great parkour and aerial exploration.
  • Stomping on zombies.
  • Dynamic day and night cycle.

Might not like

  • Pretty predictable story.
  • ENDLESS upgrading.