“Dying Light 2 Stay Human” was released on Feb. 4 and only continues the long list of games in 2022 that are failing to live up to their expectations. After seven years, Techland, the developers of the Dying Light franchise, kept up the legacy of complex parkour and combat that the first game was infamous for, but with a cliché storyline.
“Dying Light 2” takes place in a post-apocalyptic European city called Villedor where a zombie outbreak has engulfed the world in an undead pandemic, which is scarily accurate to its time of release. Players can explore a vast map estimated to take over 500 hours to complete every aspect of the games, including obtaining all the collectibles and finding every spot on the map. The main story takes place 22 years after “Dying Light” and follows a new protagonist, Aiden Caldwell.
Unfortunately, the main character is insufferably boring and doesn’t add anything to drive the complexity of the story further. The story of “Dying Light 2” follows Aiden as he recalls flashbacks from his past while helping others survive the apocalypse. This overused storyline of a tragic past is hard to execute successfully when multiple game studios have already profited off of the same backstory. The storyline is separated into sections as players have the option to choose between two different factions, the Peacekeepers and the Survivors, which is ultimately a choice between good or bad. Making a user pick between good or bad is yet another overdone story. The choices that players make do not have an impact on the bigger decisions of the game, evidenced by there only being two endings. Giving the players the ability to pick and choose which side they want to fight for but not adding a plethora of different endings just shows how cliché the story really is.
The gameplay is full of bugs that can affect the immersion of the player, but that is to be expected. I would recommend players wait for the developers to release updates to fix some of the issues, especially if you do not have a high tolerance for bugs. However, the bugs don’t make “Dying Light 2” a bad game overall.
The combat and player parkour are some of the best features “Dying Light 2” has to offer. The combat is increased by the ability to choose different combat skills and craft weapons. Crafting weapons is especially fun when you have to take into account how long you can stay in a building to loot so you don’t die. “Dying Light 2” also adds a fatigue meter that makes players think about the combat moves they use in order not to burn through their energy. As someone who does not excel at combat in video games, it was quite frustrating at times to be limited by my character’s fatigue meter, but also helped me manage not to just press random buttons.
Parkour is what made “Dying Light” stand out in the first place, so it would be a crime for the sequel not to expand on it. Luckily, players got what they wanted: better parkour controls. In the beginning of the game, Aiden is prone to falling and hurting himself, just as any beginner would when it comes to parkour. As players progress, they will obtain parkour points to expand on their skills and completely customize their tools and abilities attached to a character. The parkour movements of the player are much smoother than in the original “Dying Light,” as the developers used real-life parkour experts to try and create the most realistic movements possible.
If the bugs got ironed out and if the gameplay had a richer story, I would have become more invested in “Dying Light 2,” but as someone who is tired of a cliché storyline, it’s not the game for me. However, for anyone who craves a good zombie story, juicy action and parkour, “Dying Light 2 Stay Human” will satisfy that desire.