Dying Light, by developer Techland, was a fast-paced, action zombie game that gave players the freedom to explore a zombie-infested world like no other. The game garnered a strong fanbase of 70 million players. So, it was not surprising when, three years later, Dying Light 2 was announced. The game was originally planned to be released at the end of 2019, but through a series of unfortunate events, that was delayed indefinitely. Thanks to some new announcements, though, we have a much better look at this exciting sequel.
The game seems to continue where Dying Light left off. A lot of concepts from the original make their way into the sequel, but Techland improved and expanded on the world. We may not know everything about the upcoming game, but there is a lot we do know. Here’s what we know so far about Dying Light 2 Stay Human.
After being indefinitely delayed in 2020 and some controversy behind the scenes at the studio, Techland finally announced that we can get our hands on Dying Light 2 Stay Human on December 7, 2021. That’s just squeaking by, but we’re glad to get the game before the year is up.
Along with the final release date, we also learned where we can play Dying Light 2 Stay Human. The game will hit all the major consoles, including PlayStation 4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X, as well as PC. Not much is known about the differences between the last- and current-generation versions yet, but we can expect at least graphical improvements, faster loading, and perhaps higher — or at least more stable — FPS.
You play as Aiden Caldwell in Dying Light 2 Stay Human, a protagonist who has the ability to use parkour free-running to his advantage. Much like the first game, you can run, jump, climb, and traverse the environment while completing jobs for NPCs you meet. Aiden will have to interact and side with factions in Harran, where the game takes place. Harran, set 20 years post-virus outbreak, serves as the game’s setting and is four times larger than the map of the previous entry. It’s unclear how Aiden’s personality will compare to Kyle Crane’s from the original Dying Light, but considering the sequel takes place two decades later, it’s safe to say you’ll be playing as a much more experienced protagonist. Techland hasn’t revealed much in terms of story to keep it a surprise.
While player choice was a part of the original in 2015, Dying Light 2 will be doubling (or even tripling) down on it, offering a slew of different ways to tackle missions. As part of a showing at E3 2019, we got to see a taste of how deep the decision-making can go. In the demo, a fortified base was placed on a water dam, which you can choose to infiltrate. You can choose to bust in Rambo-style or sneak in to avoid being seen. Or, you can opt to skip the section entirely. If you do decide to take over the dam, you’re able to flood certain sections of the map, changing the layout of it for the duration of your game. There’s a bit of risk/reward in doing this, though, as it will allow other sections of the map to become accessible. Be careful, as infiltrating this base will change your status with the faction that had possession of the base, which will impact your playthrough. It’s unclear if you’re able to mend your relationship with factions, but we imagine they won’t be friendly after you take them out.
Not only can you choose how to tackle certain sections of the game, but you can completely ignore some of them if you choose. We’ve seen and heard promises of player choice being meaningful in games before, but Dying Light 2 seems to be designed around letting you do things exactly how you want. Techland said you’ll have to play through the game multiple times in order to see everything it has to offer.
In regard to correcting decisions you’ve made, the game’s lead game designer, Tymon Smektala, said, “It’s not like you can like go back to the moment of that decision and just change it. You need to do some additional stuff, like complete a couple of extra missions, to fix the things that you think you wronged. But apart from those rare instances, all of the decisions are permanent.” The sequel will feel much more like an RPG than before — where you’re in the driver’s seat, making (tough) decisions.
In terms of combat, you will still be crafting weapons to get an edge on your enemies, both living and undead. Techland claims each and every combat encounter will be unique, meaning you’ll need to have the right tools and combat skills to overcome the challenges of The City. Of course, the day and night cycle will also play a major part in the sequel, as it did in the first game, where darkness brings out hoards of zombies as well as more powerful ones that really ramp up the difficulty.
In Dying Light 2, you can blast through the main story in around 15 to 20 hours, according to Smektala. However, it has so much to offer, with the possibility of many missable jobs based on your choices. Because of this, Techland says it will take over 100 hours to see everything in the game, which will require multiple playthroughs.
As explained by Smektala, “It is very hard to measure in an open-world game how long it actually takes to complete the game because of the things that happen between points A and points B of a quest, so basically it’s up to you how you play it.” Smektala explains that there are “emergencies” that pop up as you make your way to your next objective. It’s up to you if you’d like to stop and address them, but doing so will take more of your time. This, by the way, is way more content than the first game, so it seems Techland is expanding upon the original in a huge way.
One of the coolest things we got to see during its E3 2019 showing was the implementation of a glider — basically turning you into a pseudo-superhero at times. You can chain the glider into your route as you run through the city, allowing you to get around much easier and safer. Not only that, but you’ll have access to a grappling hook that you can use to pull yourself upward toward buildings. If you combine the two gadgets, you’re able to zip around like Spider-Man as you slaughter zombies. It sounds like something that shouldn’t exist.
As for your arsenal, Dying Light 2 will have access to over 50 additional weapons than in the original — and you can make them by combining items. You’ll gain access to blueprints, just like in the first game, but this time, stealth items will be more integral than before. In the E3 2019 demo, you’re able to use a gun to take out enemies from afar and then use it as a melee weapon when it’s out of ammo. It seems your weapons will be more effective than ever before, but your foes will be smarter.
Much like the first game, Dying Light 2 will feature online cooperative multiplayer, with up to three other players. You’ll be able to invite them to your world to complete missions or other tasks, but it’s unclear what — if any — changes will be added that improve the online experience. With player choice being such a focal point, Techland encourages you to see the consequences of other players’ decisions in their “versions” of the world. Likewise, they can do the same when they enter your world.
In the first game, you were able to compete against other players in PvP matches. While we aren’t sure how or if this will be handled in the sequel, Smektala says, “There’s a huge multiplayer component aside from [the] co-op mode.” It’s likely we’ll see some version of the beloved PvP action make its return in the sequel.
There is a good amount of DLC that is planned in the future for Dying Light 2. Actually, the game has planned out about four years of DLC for players to enjoy. In an interview with Prankser101, lead game designer Tymon Smektala mentions that the original Dying Light was supported for four years after the release, “…and the plan for Dying Light 2 is exactly the same.” He goes on to say, “We know that a lot of fans will be waiting for DLCs, updates, extra stuff they can get their hands on. And we promise to deliver them just that.” So players can be excited to know that there will be DLC scheduled. A lot of DLC.
The real question is, will there be DLC that comes out at the same time as the game? If that’s the case, then you may want to wait to pre-order, just in case there’s a bundle deal. Speaking of pre-orders…
Now that the firm release date is set, pre-orders for the game are live on all platforms. If you pre-order the game, you will also get the “Reload Pack DLC,” which comes with a unique outfit, weapon skin, and paraglider skin. However, you can go for the deluxe edition to also get a “Legendary” skin pack that comes with exclusive weapon charms, wallpapers, a digital comic, a digital soundtrack, and a digital artbook, plus the first planned story DLC. Finally, there’s the ultimate edition that comes with everything mentioned before, plus a two-hour night XP boost, crafting items, and the second story DLC.
You can get the standard edition for $60, deluxe for $80, and ultimate for $100.