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I’m sick of these uncle-eating zombies in this halfway abandoned building. In Dying Light 2 Stay Human, Earth experienced a manmade extinction-level event. All because a few scientists did not learn their lesson in the first game. You are Aiden a post-apocalyptic deliveryman who took up the job to find his lost sister. He gets some information that points you to the city of Villedor and this is where you will spend the rest of your time trying to stay human.

Developed and published by Techland Dying light 2 Stay Human will release February 4th, 2022, and will be playable on PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 4, and PlayStation 5. Open world, infected/zombies, brutal combat, creative parkour, and difficult decisions are plentiful in this game. Does Dying Light 2 Stay Human build off of the success of its predecessor or does it lose its stamina and fall flat?

Story

The horrific events of Harran were not enough to turn the Global Relief Effort or GRE away from experimenting. There was a sense of normality until a variant of THV (virus from Dying Light) got out into the world. The GRE had continued its research in secrecy for military purposes and it led to the collapse of society. The story of Dying Light 2 takes place 15 years after “The Fall”. This is how the remaining humans refer to the end of the world. In the end, greed and the chase for power led to the main character Aiden becoming a pilgrim. Basically, pilgrims are outcasts who travel between the remnants of society to deliver packages and information.

Moreover, Aiden took on this role for the sole purpose of gathering information to find his long-lost sister Mia. Through flashbacks, you find out that Aiden and Mia were separated as kids. It looks as if they were in a hospital setting and both were sick. You will have to make some tough decisions that may or may not help those around you. Anything to find Mia.

Now it’s 2036, infected are the majority, humanity is surviving any way they can, and yet it’s still not enough to bring all humans together as one. There are three major factions in Villedor, The Survivors, The Peacekeepers, and The Renegades. Now you will peacefully interact with the Survivors and Peacekeepers. On the other hand, The Renegades are fought on sight. One of the core points marketed for this title is choices and consequences. This holds up throughout the game. Whether it is choosing who gets access to a new utility source, or who you are going to help in a time of need. Your decisions have consequences that change the dynamics of Villedor and more than just cosmetically.

Choices Matter In Dying Light 2

Dying Light 2 Stay

The Peacekeepers are a law and order organization that focuses on defense. If you help them, you will gain access to various contraptions that will allow you to more efficiently kill the infected in a territory they occupy. The Survivors are concerned with freedom and do not wish to return to the ways of the old world. When you help them, they will give you more ways to travel around their territory.

You will meet a variety of people on your quest to find Mia, and how you interact with them will determine the outcome of the story. Will you help the survivors of freedom or bring law and order to Villedor with the Peacekeepers? Keep in mind that the right choice is not always obvious, and no matter what decision is made, no one can win in Dying Light 2.

Dying Light 2 Stay

Audio, Sounds Got A Bit Apocalyptic

Now, this is where I ran into quite a few issues that I hope are patched out once the game has a full launch. There were some key moments that I will not go into detail about because it will spoil the story, where the audio cut out. Legit no sound at all and thankfully sometimes the subtitles didn’t disappear. So I was able to keep up with the story. Honestly, though, there were key moments that I have no idea what was said and had to make decisions with no reference points. There was an update during the time of my review it fixed some of the smaller audio issues but still ran into the story mission ones.

When the audio is working which was a majority of the time, it matched well with the infected world of Villedor. During the day you hear survivors chatting as you parkour through rooftops. Mixed with the sounds of bandits beating up a hostage. Throw in the consistent sounds of groaning infected you have the daytime soundtrack. Time to talk about the night, the infected are out in droves and make their presence known. Random roars of different classes of infected, the screams of someone who has become something’s dinner. Cries for help and the sound of Aiden running both out of breath and away from virals and volatiles fill the evenings.

The sound issues I encountered were not present throughout the entirety of the game, but sadly occurred when it really mattered.

Graphics

Dying Light 2 Stay

The world of Dying Light 2 is as beautiful as it is terrifying. Villedor is a colorful infected playground built for you to explore. You will notice quickly that a lot of people look familiar outside of key characters. While out in the world I did notice a lot of the random NPC faces looked the same but it was not game-breaking. Another thing to note is the facial animations are not the best I’ve seen in gaming but the emotions are clear to see. Moving on, now during the action is when the game shines the smooth transition from cutscene to gameplay is visually pleasing. Each weapon and weapon mod was made with great detail. The “paper clip bow” became one of my favorite weapons to use because of the ranged damage and design.

Infected Come In A Variety Of Styles

The hordes of infected come in all shapes and sizes. Oftentimes their design gives them a small backstory, whether it’s a burlap sack over their head as if someone was trying to keep them Walking Dead style. Even seeing the last profession the person had before they turned. You’ll see the undead wearing a Peacekeeper uniform and even a few in hazmat suits showing they clearly had been turned for years. They have something that gives them character outside of them simply wanting you for a meal. Now for the technical end, I completed the game in the performance mode video setting. There are three options performance, quality, and resolution mode. I went with performance mode for this review so that I can see what this game can do during the fast pace parkour and combat. I was not disappointed.

Dying Light 2 Stay

Watching my enemies engulfed in flame after hitting them with a Molotov is pretty in a twisted way. The lighting in this game is used masterfully. The shadows cast by fires dance and that feeling of safety you get from UV lights in the distance during a chase. Memorable moments to say the least. Also, keep in mind, you will run into your typical open-world bugs. Random ragdoll physics on enemies and even clipping with certain objects. Overall graphically this game offers something nice to look at for hours on end.

Gameplay

The meat and scavenged potatoes of Dying Light 2, the gameplay. Now Dying Light 2 Stay Human builds off of the fun combat and mobility of the first game. You will be parkouring around the world while viciously hacking apart anyone who tries to slow you down. I have to start off with the bad and frustrating to get it out the way. I had the game crash on me three times while playing. It took a long time to access ranged weapons during my playthrough. I will be honest, I did quite a few side missions so that could have been the main reason. The main problem was experienced a few times during missions, the quest markers. Now I don’t believe myself to be terrible at games but the quest markers don’t often move as you are completing checkpoints during missions.

A Few More Quest Markers

I am not looking to have my hand held while playing but when you are in a dark area with an immunity meter filling up (I’ll talk more about this) and low on items. Having a general idea of where you are supposed to go next would be beneficial. One of the early story missions in the game had me confused and all I had to do was walk away from the HUB area to get the next step in the quest chain. The game did not tell me that and I roamed around the HUB thinking I needed to speak with a specific person for the mission to progress.

The immunity meter, this new mechanic works as a timer to show you when you will become infected and die. My first thoughts were while playing, “people are not going to like this” but, it did not get in my way very much. It added another element to worry about while being away from UV-lit areas. There are a lot of resources in the game that helps increase the amount of immunity time and there are items to collect to replenish them. The timer activates anytime you are away from UV light whether it’s natural (Daytime/Sun) or from actual UV Lit areas. So whenever you go inside an abandoned building the timer kicks on. Personally, I have only died once in my complete playthrough then again I am a hoarder of resources and go out of my way to harvest and gather.

Crafting Is Important To Survival

You will be able to craft everything from grenades to healing items on the go. The schematics needed for these items are either earned from missions or purchased from craftmasters from around the map. Looting slain enemies, opening containers, and mission rewards will be how you earn most of your resources.

Dying Light 2 Combat

You will be swinging a plethora of post-apocalyptic melee weapons made from almost anything including paper clips. With weapon names such as the Raggedy Chopper Long Axe, this should tell you how slapped together these will be. There are two-handed and one-handed weapons as well as bows. Oh yes, there is only one gun in the game, and it’s a two-shot pistol that costs a fortune to make. Honestly not worth it in my opinion it is also considered an accessory and not a weapon. The melee weapons will either be blunt or bladed. The larger weapons have slower attack speeds but knock the enemies off balance with solid hits. The stamina bar is your guiding light while fighting. Aiden will always sound like he is having an asthma attack after each fight (it adds to the immersion).

This game places a premium on stealthy combat. You have items that will distract enemies, allowing you to stealth take them down or sneak past them. There are missions in the game that feel impossible to complete unless you use the stealth mechanics.

The combat skill tree has 24 different abilities that become accessible by leveling up your Health. This is another new mechanic in the game, collecting GRE Inhibitors. Without spoiling the story, the inhibitors are the items that increase your health or stamina. Increasing your health gives you access to more combat skills while stamina gives you access to parkour skills.

The Parkour

The parkour in this game is cranked up a notch in comparison to its predecessor. The movement in this game is fluid and may cause motion sickness. Most of my deaths came from falling. So along with being more advanced it is more difficult to master. The world design keeps you out of the streets and on the rooftops. Makeshift ramps and ledges are throughout Villedor offering constant escape routes. You will feel like a ninja running around in this game, especially once you gather certain traversal gear. The trailers have shown the paraglider and it is fun to use once you get the hang of it. The combinations that you will come up with will create some epic runs.

Dying Light 2 Stay Human Overview

Plain and simple if you enjoy Dying Light the likely hood of you having fun in Dying Light 2 Stay Human is high. Even though I had fun and will continue playing this game especially once the multiplayer goes live. The audio issues I experienced were during pivotal moments in the main story. Choice and consequences are a large part of the experience. I could not make well-informed decisions because I didn’t know what exactly led up to the choices. Techland has been sending out patches and will most likely have a patch at launch. I believe these issues will be fixed but it is what I dealt with. So my overall score for Dying Light 2 Stay Human is 6.8/10. Thank you to Techland and Stride PR for giving me a review copy. Dying Light 2 Stay Human was reviewed on an Xbox Series X.

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Dying Light 2 Stay Human

$59.99
6.8

Story

6.0/10

Sound

5.0/10

Graphics

8.0/10

Gameplay

8.0/10

Pros

  • Parkour And World Traversal
  • Variety Of Weapon Mods
  • Combat And Abilities

Cons

  • Audio Issues
  • Facial Animations Feel Stiff At Times
  • Quest Progression In Some Missions Were Difficult To Find
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