Dying Light 2: Stay Human-- What to know before launch

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Dying Light 2 has already faced some lash back due to multiple delays and internal issues. That said, Techland has stood firm by the February 2022 release date and has teased some pretty exciting stuff to help create hype. While they've unveiled some exciting things, other reviewers aren't too impressed. What do you think? Form your own opinion based on some basic facts below.

I've written up the major points and added some more context, teases, and speculation. 

The setting and story

You'll play as Aiden Caldwell, an average joe looking for his lost sister as he navigates a world of zombies and morally-questionable survivors. It's been a couple decades after the initial outbreak, so zombies are just part of business as usual in The City. (Yes, it's literally called The City-- works, considering it's the last major human settlement left.) This shift in the timeline provides the basis for a lot of new mechanics and plotlines.

Harran (the setting for the first Dying Light) is vastly overshadowed by Dying Light 2's major map size upgrade. The City is rife with secrets, so there won't be any shortage of new nooks and crannies for curious players to explore. Be warned-- the infection in this game is gnarly and pretty unforgiving. Aiden can only be out in the darkness for so long before his infection takes over. To balance this out for nighttime missions, there are plenty of UV lights around that players can take cover in.

The new mechanics

Story

Storywise, Dying Light 2 adds in way more executive decision-making. It's up to Aiden (er, the player) to influence The City and the lives of its denizens. Whether the decisions be political, personal, or petty, there are lots of intertwined storylines now that catch Dying Light 2 up to other RPGs. There are two major factions at play: The Peacekeepers (the military-police law enforcers) or The Survivors. You'll get different perks depending on who you side with, and the consequences can range from minuscule to massive. 

Combat/Gameplay

One of the biggest additions to Dying Light 2 is co-op play. Parties of up to 4 can play in a single session, which makes zombie hoard fights way more exhilarating. That said, when it comes to making major game decisions, it falls exclusively to the host of the session to make the call. This opens up a lot of fun replayability so players can take turns hosting co-op sessions and see what different actions garner what results.

As a game set a few decades into a zombie apocalypse, guns aren't really a thing. Players are going to have to get used to hefty maces and DIY-ed goodies in place of big shotguns. They've implemented a pretty cool weapon upgrade/enhance system to help compensate for the loss of firepower, and upgrades such as shocking damage can be earned throughout the game through side missions and XP.

Speaking of weapons, loot drops are more exciting. Instead of just weapons and/or supplies, players can now find armor and clothing as well, adding a whole new element to choosing your equipment loadout.

Parkour is now an even more integral component of gameplay, with a lot of combat skill-tree leveling involving more dexterity and fluidity to mirror what players do the majority of the time, which is jumping and climbing around The City. One example of this is a move where players can vault off an enemy to drop-kick a second enemy in the face. You definitely didn't see Kyle Crane doing moves like that. Techland put a lot of work into making the parkour movements feel better than ever, which makes sense considering that it is how you traverse the map. They even implemented a hang glider, which is kind of cool.

And with the map, of course, comes the game's day and night cycles. There are now more incentives to fight at night. Buildings are basically vacated at night, so while the streets may be full of raging zombies, their lairs are pretty much clear for looting. Certain missions can only be accomplished at nighttime, and they've axed some of the wandering Volatiles that made nighttime travel such a headache in the first game. So, you take the good with the bad.

On the topic of zombies, there's going to be the implementation of a GTA-styled "notoriety" system. Essentially, Howlers (screaming Zombies) will alert other infected hoards if you're spotted. You can either bolt or stand your ground, but be warned: the longer you stay in range, the larger the meter becomes, which means the more zombies will come your way looking for a bite.

There you have it! That's pretty much everything you need to know about Dying Light 2's upgrades/fixes/changes from the first game.

What are your thoughts on zombie games in general? Are y'all excited for Dying Light 2's launch? Put your thoughts below!

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