Dying Light 2: Everything We Know
Techland's next open-world zombie apocalypse game emphasizes letting you create your own story; here's everything we know about the game so far.
Techland's Dying Light 2: Stay Human is shaping up to reinforce the original game's stellar combat and traversal gameplay with a more fleshed-out and fully realized world during a zombie apocalypse. Since its debut back in 2018, the upcoming sequel looks to do all the things a traditional follow-up sets out to do--build upon the foundations of what was there, tell a new story, and introduce some new surprises. But there's a bit more going on with Dying Light 2: Stay Human than we expected. After a relatively long stint of radio silence on the project, the latest information we've got offered us one of the closest looks we've had of the game in a long time. So here's a quick breakdown of everything we know about the game so far.
Dying Light 2: Stay Human is set to release on December 7 for PC, PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X|S, and Xbox One. First announced at E3 2018, the game was originally expected to release during the first half of 2020 but was delayed for an indefinite period.
The long wait for Dying Light 2: Stay Human could be attributed to the tumultuous development cycle surrounding the project, with complaints regarding Techland's use of other games as creative starting points for its own projects as well as a toxic work culture. Another issue could possibly be linked to prominent developer Chris Avellone, who originally served as Dying Light 2: Stay Human's narrative director but was terminated from the project following sexual misconduct allegations. However, these reported issues have not been acknowledged by the company in an official capacity.
What We Know And Expect At E3 2021
New information about Dying Light 2: Stay Human was revealed via a livestream series that has begun called Dying 2 Know, which included a new gameplay overview (video below), its rebranded subtitle, and much more. Currently, it seems like Techland will continue to announce new details about the games using this livestream format, but whether or not we'll see a new episode during E3 2021 remains unknown. It's safe to say that if Dying Light 2: Stay Human were to make an appearance, it would be as a trailer at a big press conference. But until that happens, everything about the game's existence at the event is up in the air.
What Is Dying Light 2: Stay Human?
Dying Light 2: Staying Human is an open-world action game set in an isolated urban landscape during the zombie apocalypse. You play as Aiden Caldwell, a freelance runner who handles various odd jobs and tasks for the citizens of The City, one of the last human settlements in Europe. Following the events of Dying Light's post-game expansion, The Following, the former-protagonist Kyle Crane was infected with a new strain of the virus that turns people into the ravenous infected, and he unknowingly spread the disease throughout the world. After the global outbreak, modern civilization came to an end, pushing humanity into a new dark age.
The sequel takes place twenty years later, where the modern world is a thing of the past. In Dying Light 2: Stay Human's present, advanced technology is scarce, and firearms are hard to come by, requiring you to scavenge parts and piece make-shift weapons together to survive the onslaught of infected, along with enemy factions looking to take what you have left. As you freely explore The City, which is four times bigger than the original game's world, you'll be able to take on side-missions, explore abandoned buildings, and make essential choices that will impact the flow of your story. Ultimately, your decisions throughout the settlement will leave an impression on the state of the last human settlement.
Should You Still Play The Original?
Though Dying Light 2: Stay Human is a continuation of the original game's plot, which set the groundwork for the new story, the sequel works as a standalone game on its own. Set two decades later and in an entirely different location, Dying Light 2: Stay Human sticks with its narrative, with references from the previous game only serving to flesh out a sense of worldbuilding. Still, the original Dying Light is an exhilarating game that's held up well. If you're interested in the sequel but haven't played the original, then definitely give it a shot. With that said, you won't be at a huge loss if you want to wait for the sequel.
What's New In The Sequel?
The most significant change coming to Dying Light 2: Stay Human is the new adaptive storytelling. Throughout the game, Aiden Caldwell will rub shoulders with the various factions in The City, and at critical points in the plot, he'll need to choose whom to side with to press forward. Depending on which factions control the districts of The City, you'll see changes to the environment that reflect their ideologies. During E3 2019, we saw a gameplay demo that showed off a mission set at a fortified water dam. A faction had moved in and turned it into a safe haven. While it seemed like a peaceful place, your present task required that you break in and confront the leader, putting you at odds with the group. Choosing to take over the dam will not only claim the territory for your chosen faction, but it will also change the very layout of the district's map itself. By manipulating the dam's water levels, certain areas of the map will flood, making them inaccessible. On the inverse of that, other places will see the water drained, which will unearth new places to explore, along with mutated infected that will spread to the city.
Throughout the game, you'll acquire new abilities and weapons to aid you in your fight against bandits and the more evolved infected. There's a more significant emphasis on crafting gear, and in some instances, you can build modded weapons that have multiple uses. In the E3 2019 demo, Aiden picked up a special harpoon gun that can be used as a mace when you're out of ammo. Along with that, modded weapons are far more effective in the sequel, but your enemies are also far more capable of taking you down in combat.
According to the developers, the sequel plans to take more cues from role-playing games to give players more choice in the flow of the narrative. Dying Light 2's story offers a lot more flexibility when compared to the original's static plot. This approach will, in turn, create more opportunities to shape the dynamic of The City based on your preferences. In addition to the returning focus on open-world exploration and melee combat, the adaptive narrative adds a new twist that makes the game's world feel more like your own. In a recent interview, the Techland devs stated that to see the game's 100+ hours of content, it will require multiple playthroughs of the game.
Will There Be Multiplayer?
Yes, Dying Light 2 will feature co-operative multiplayer for up to four players. Just like the original game, players can have others join their game to take on various missions, activities, and other open-world excursions. As of this time, there hasn't been any additional info about what you can do in the open world with other players.
New Gameplay Trailer
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Recently, Techland showed off extensive gameplay for Dying Light 2: Stay Human after years of no new details. The latest footage offers a renewed overview of the game's various characters, factions, mechanics, and monsters.
Currently, you can pre-order the game on various digital distribution platforms. For more details on the various editions you can get, check out our pre-order guide.
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