Chances are if you’re into zombies and video games, you’ll have played one of the two entries in the Dying Light franchise from developers Techland. The second released in February of last year, where players take on the role of Aiden, a pilgrim who has roamed thousands of miles to get to Villedor in the hopes of finding his long lost sister Mia.
Now between the start of Aiden’s story and the end, there’s a lot that happens and a lot that the player can do, but how much of it is worthwhile? After recently finishing up, it seems like a good time to discuss what the sequel does better than the original.
5. The Story
The first Dying Light had a lot going for it, but its story wasn’t one of its brighter points. Whereas in the first you’re playing as Kyle Crane at the start of the outbreak, parachuting into Harran in an attempt to find a stolen file for the GRE, Dying Light 2: Stay Human fast forwards fifteen years and into the shoes of Aiden, a wandering pilgrim in search of his sister. Whilst the story has plenty of predictable moments, it features a cast of characters that have a range of motivations, a stark contrast to the originals cookie cutter villains who were evil for evils sake.
Quite simply, the parkour of Dying Light 2: Stay Human will have you feeling like a superhero pretty quickly. Intuitive and fluid, you’ll be hounding over rooftops and jumping gaps with ease, and with a few skills unlocked the city really will be your oyster. With the new skill levelling system focusing on just combat and parkour, the more you use the parkour skills, the more you unlock and so on. Plus it’ll never get boring combining a myriad of different moves to end it by stomping on the head of a zombie.
3. The Map
Dying Light 2 takes everything from the original and supersizes it. Whilst you’d be freerunning around the favelas of Harran in the first game, the sequel sends you round the city of Villedor, some fifteen years after it has been walled off from the outside world, and well into its makeshift, anything-will-do-to-build-with identity that sees the buildings big and small adorned with everything from plywood to corrugated iron. Dying Light 2 also sends the players climbing a lot higher than before, with some of the best parts of the story involving climbing skyscrapers which gives an entirely new perspective on the map and how genuinely pretty it is to look at.
2. The Weapons
Dying Light 2 took a huge chance with its weapons, or rather, lack there of, but thankfully it paid off. The first game had a range of melee weapons and a select few guns. Whilst rare, the guns are all overpowered, clumsy and just plain awkward to use. Dying Light 2 features zero guns, and the game works better for it. There’s no blasting your way out of a horde, and the danger of being overrun and outnumbered regularly presents itself. With the game being fifteen years into the zombie apocalypse it also works in-universe, as arguably all the guns would have been used early on, and now the survivors have to go back to basics, with bows and arrows and hastily made improvised weapons.
1. Variety of Enemies
Zombie video games have had a long problem of trying to find new and exciting variants to their standard set of enemies, and unfortunately ever since Left 4 Dead, every game has come up wanting. Dying Light 2 does the same as a lot of zombie games before it, with their own version of the Boomer making an appearance, but this is more or less where the comparisons end. The volatiles return from the first game, this time joined by some transformed infected that can prove irritating if not death with quickly and correctly. Howlers, Goons, Banshees, Bolters and more are part of the hordes of zombies coming for you on your travels, and the human enemies are a little more varied with considerably better motivations beyond being evil for evil’s sake, as is the case in the first Dying Light.
Whilst Dying Light 2 has had numerous problems since release, none smaller than the game-breaking bugs Techland have fixed in several patches, but as a whole the game delivers on what a sequel should; it’s bigger, it’s better, and it’s more fun.