Dying Light 2 – Review

When the original Dying Light was released back in 2015 it quickly became one of my favourite games, I played countless hours of it, had the DLCs and I even bought the game again on the Nintendo Switch (Which I will say is an absolute gem to play in handheld).

So, you can imagine my excitement when Dying Light 2 was announced and they showed that first glimpse of the game, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it and when it was finally released it was pretty much everything I hoped for.

The events of Dying Light 2 take place 20 years after the first game, so you don’t play as Kyle Crane, however, he does get a noticeable passing mention at the start of the game, which was kind of nice to hear and gave both games some kind of link.

The first thing I want to talk about is how the game looks, and it is absolutely stunning, some of the vistas that you get to see in different parts of the city are sensational. You don’t have to take my word for it, you can see from the screenshot below:

The lighting, the detail in the world, it all just makes it feel (and excuse the pun) alive

There have been some noticeable changes from the first game, one of which being that you can no longer repair a weapon with metal parts, to me was one of the first game’s best features, finding a weapon I really enjoyed using and then being able to repair it and stick with it. This feature was removed from the second game and it did confuse me a bit, but I can see why they have done it, personally, it made it easy to find a beast of a weapon and just rinse the zombies that were around. From the changes made and how the second game plays out, I can see that Techland wanted this to be more of a challenge, they don’t want people to be comfortable, they want you scrambling when you see that your weapon is about to break. 

If you can repair them, as mentioned above when you find that weapon you’re comfortable with, it doesn’t give any incentive to go out and find another one, you can just repair it over and over again, so I can understand why they’ve removed that feature from the game. It does help with getting players to explore more of the map. 

One thing I think this second game does well is to actually get you out at night, I felt that after playing through this one that the first game didn’t really give you that incentive to go out and play at night, you could easily find an open safe house and just rest till morning and carry on with your day. 

With Dying Light 2 there are certain missions/locations which can only be played at night, if you access them during the day you would only get a message telling you to return at night, and for those which are accessible during the day, you would be greeted by a whole horde of zombies. I really like this change, I like how it’s meant to get you out and exploring at all hours and not just during the day. This must have been something that the developers picked up on from people playing the first game so decided to mix it up a bit. In this writer’s opinion, it’s a very good change and also, these dens or outposts, when visited at night, have fewer zombies in and also contain some really cool stuff, and it’s where you will find a lot of inhibitors you need to level up your stamina and health.

Now, onto leveling up. There are several different bits that you can level up in the game. The first of which as mentioned above is to do with your health and stamina. The way you level up both of these stats is by finding inhibitors in caches found around the city. These are not just lying around for you to find and most take a bit of work to figure out how to get to or you need to have reached a certain part of the story before they’re accessible, which when it’s telling you there is one on the other side of a wall, but the door is locked until later on, is a bit of a tease. But I guess that’s the way the cookie crumbles. There are plenty of others out there to go and find so if you can’t get to one, just have a look for another one, and the best part is that you have a detector, so when you’re within a certain range of one it will pop up at the bottom of the screen and you can follow until you find it. 

The next bit that you can upgrade is your parkour or combat and you get points for each of these based on pretty much just playing the game, as you parkour and fight this will give you XP which will in turn give you points to spend on either of these categories, depending on which one you got the point for of course. 

These points can then be used to unlock various things such as when jumping over an item, being able to dropkick someone on the other side, faster climbing up items when running at them, and more. 

I have been absolutely loving the story for this game, fighting between 2 factions, of which you have control over who you support by who you give control of certain things too, this can be things from electricity substations, water towers, and more. I like how the decisions you make affect the story and how it’s your choice to decide what the greater good is. This is one of my favourite pieces when it comes to gameplay, letting the player decide how the game plays out. I know I could restart the game and make completely different choices and I would get a completely different ending as well as experience. Knowing that saving or killing someone who I did the opposite with last time could have a different ramification always interests me, it’s kind of like the What If series. What if I had saved this person instead of killing them for what they did? Would they become an ally in the game or would they come back to get me later? Would they save my life at some point because I spared their life? So many permutations to think about, and it’s what has me coming back time and time again. 

The story is gripping, compelling, and well played out across the game, there is a tenseness to the whole thing which has you on your toes and wanting more and more which is what has me coming back. I love the series and can’t wait to see how this plays out with future DLCs.

I would highly recommend playing this if you’ve played and enjoyed the first game. Even if you haven’t played the first game I would say that you don’t really need to have played it to understand what’s going on in the second.

Reviewed on Xbox Series S|X

Joons rating –

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