The original ‘Dying Light’ is a 2015 survival horror game where you are a character stranded in a decimated location, surrounded by nothing but zombies, infection, and the worst of people coming out. It sounds like a game that’s been done time and time again but it offered one very unique perspective – a huge concentration on parkour and combat.
‘Dying Light’ was a game where the ability to climb walls and leap between roof tops was enough to separate it from the pack. But there was also great emphasis on the survival horror of it all, a brilliant character skill tree with a range of choices, and a lot of exciting gameplay. ‘Dying Light 2: Stay Human’ took the best of these mechanics and directly applied them to current generation gaming with great success. With even more additions, including paragliding, an expanded system for your skill tree (and with even more versatility), a choice system that allows your actions to impact the world, and a better mechanic for the day-night cycle to have more impact on you as well.
In the previous game, the streets are littered with zombies during the day, and at night they become more vicious, greater numbered, and stronger boss-like zombies were very often out as well. This made the day-night cycle rotation have a great impact on how you played the game, only being out at night when necessary for missions and trying to camp out otherwise. But in the sequel, things are a bit different. During the day, most of the zombies – and the boss zombies – hide inside buildings to avoid the sun, and during the night most of them flood the streets and leave far fewer numbers inside, which forces the player to make wiser decisions on when to perform missions, scavenge for medicine and money, and ultimately look for collector’s chests which contain material you need to level up either your combat/health, or your parkour/stamina. An introduction of a stamina meter with the health also changes gameplay because your player will get tired if he’s not strong enough. Meaning you have to pick and choose what you pursue and how you go about it.
You also play as a human who is already infected. As you spend a large amount of time indoors or in the darkness, your immunity meter plunges out of control and will result in you losing control of your character and his health – and the story of the game also uses this as its own undertone for many things to come, but you’ll learn all this in due time. You must take shelter with UV lights in safe zones you must establish all over the map, while only being able to eat a handful of UV mushrooms or releasing a temporary UV light to provide brief solace.
It’s a seriously fun game and the gameplay is worth the price of admission alone. The story is a sorta typical zombie-apocalypse trope where survivors are trying to continue with their lives in harmony while a police-state figure tries to conquer and impose on their land, all while savages and bandits try to claim their own territory and kill everyone they encounter. Your choices feel impactful but not in a really well-earned sort of way, so that’s not the biggest hit in the world, but it does make the story play out in ways that almost demand multiple playthroughs.
It has scares, it has gore, it has extreme parkour, it has humor and heart, and it has an ever evolving skill tree which allows you to modify how you play. It is seriously worth a purchase, or at the least a rent. I haven’t stopped playing it since it released last weekend.
“Dying Light 2: Stay Human” is currently available on PC, PS5, PS4, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S
‘Til Next Time,
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