Dying Light was a surprise hit when it debuted in 2015. Developed by Techland (creators of Dead Island), it was easy to see how the things that made Dead Island great only added to the fun in Dying Light. The addition of parkour to the already visceral combat of Dead Island transformed Dying Light into a stylish zombie slaughter playground.
Then, 7 years swiftly passed and Dying Light 2 emerged with the stakes much higher than before. After the gaming lull that was 2021, the start of 2022 has seen some pretty big games. Of which, Dying Light 2 was arguably the first in that list of ‘most anticipated games’ of 2022. With many other titles hitting the shelves, could Dying Light 2 capture the magic that sustained a dedicated playerbase many years after its initial release?
Find out all there is to know in this Dying Light 2 review right here at GamePro. After many hours of gaming, we’re going under the hood of Techlands’ parkour zombie combat simulator that had fans itching for it’s release for years! Scroll down to read our review and don’t forget to hit us up in the comments when you’re done. We want to to hear your thoughts on Dying Light 2 and just zombie survival games in general!
Now, let’s get into it!
The storyline for Dying Light 2 manages to be about as compelling as the first. Which, unfortunately isn’t really saying much. If followed straight through, the main story can be completed in about 20 hours or so. Tack on a healthy dose of side missions and that can easily balloon to 100 hours. However, if you are anything like Jirard The Completionist and must 100% every single aspect of your game, be prepared for a 500+ hour slog!
No seriously, we’re not kidding!
Without revealing too much, the premise of the game is that the virus encountered in the first game has spread across the world and mutated even further. The world has devolved into a ‘Middle Ages’ kind of existence (plus spare electricity apparently), and civilization is back to the days of the ‘strongest survive’. The main character ‘Aiden’ is what they call a Pilgrim who wanders from settlement to settlement. Most people apparently build safe havens and attempt to organize themselves against others who believe in different ways of survival from them.
This affects the gameplay by forcing you to ‘boost your immunity’ before turning at night by taking medicine that keeps you from fully turning. Every night that immunity falls unless you either take meds or stand in UV light.
As you reach Villedore at the beginning of the game, you are treated to quite a few boring memories of Aiden in his childhood with his annoying sister. Apparently people were using kids as test subjects trying to find the cure or something and Aiden was separated from his sister in the process. As a result, Aiden ventured to Villedore to find and reunite with his long lost sister and figure out what was done to him and the other kids.
While we had not completed the by the time of writing this Dying Light 2 review, the plot that was experienced was decent enough to want to continue. Although, not good enough to escape the tantalizing pull of the ‘skip’ button. Sorry, the cutscenes were just a little jarring and Dying Light 2’s major strength lies its parkour style action and combat rather than its cutscenes and exposition.
A standout feature of this Dying Light 2 review is the combat mechanics.
Dying Light 2 manages to keep the core of enjoyable melee combat that Techland has always been known for and improves on it. While there aren’t a host of new moves to use compared to the first game, there is a new parry system. Using it at the right time allows the player to counter enemy attacks and even deflect some ranged attacks.
When writing this Dying Light 2 review, we couldn’t help but notice that Dying Light 2 leans heavily into the melee combat that makes it fun. In an attempt to further do so, guns are not to be found in the mean streets of Villedor. It’s back to good ol’ fisticuffs and close quarter head banging. While there are still ranged weapons like knives and arrows, the power of the almighty shotgun is nowhere to be found in this sequel taking place years after the first game.
Unlike similar games to Dying Light, Techland does away with guns allows the player to experiment with fluid and fun melee parkour moves to take down the zombie hordes. The parkour moves flow into various attacks to the point of you being able to leap from buildings onto a foe and continue without losing a stride. Ground pounds, curb stomps, bash (or tackle if you are a Dead Island fan), and the overpowered drop kick fill out the player’s parkour themed combat moves.
It’s not your gun toting action in Last of Us, Resident Evil, or Back 4 Blood.
The other combat change of note is a reduced ability to craft weapons. Melee weapons must be found rather than crafted. While most weapons can be modded via blueprints, the player is no longer able to craft the weapon themselves. Not only that, the ability to ‘repair’ weapons is now only possible when a mod is added. Doing so makes the player rely a bit more on their moveset and other throwables as well.
The result is a greater reliance on farming for supplies while out and about
A cornerstone of the original Dying Light was the day night cycle. During the day, slow moving zombies (called Biters or the Infected) mill about while fast moving zombies (called Virals) run and leap about whenever explosions or loud noises are heard. There are also other zombie types that are basically boss level zombies or specialty zombies like spitters or those annoying explosive tubbies.
However, even with all of these zombie races, they typically aren’t much of a threat given the parkour abilities and various weapons at your disposal.
The difficulty and allure of Dying Light came (mostly in the early game) when night fell and the zombies called The Volatiles came out to play. These fast and seemingly invincible zombies (until you get stronger weapons) are gross, erratic, agile, and difficult to take down. As you took on certain missions in the dark, racing away from multiple Volatiles was a difficult and skillful task. This tension and difficulty was the trademark of the first game that made it so different from most other zombie games.
Conversely, Dying Light 2 adopts a different approach. In an attempt to invite players to adventure more at night, the devs have put the Volatiles on the substitution bench. While they are sprinkled here and there throughout the game, they are certainly not the constant nighttime threat they were in the first game.
As a result, the ‘zombie playground’ aspect of Dying Light 2 takes on a whole new meaning when compared to the first game. The rooftops are more of a safe haven while the streets invite the wrath of hordes, Virals, and the occasional Volatile at night. This is good for bringing in new fans or fans that mostly avoided the night in the first game.
However, it just feels like the difficulty of the game suffers now that the biggest threat of the game is a bit more rare and that’s a real shame
Truthfully, Dying Light 2: Stay Human gets too much right to be considered a bad game. And as such, we have graded our Dying Light 2 review a respectable 80%. Dying Light 2 is a content filled playground of parkour zombie killing mayhem that is hard to put down. While the foundation of the franchise does remain, the nighttime ‘fear factor’ from the first game seems to have been toned down quite a bit.
Whether that is a good thing or a bad thing totally depends on your own preferences. We couldn’t but feel when writing this Dying Light 2 review that Techland had definitely catered towards newer players to the genre rathe than battle-hardened survival veterans.
As a complete game, Dying Light 2 has ambitious ideas but may have lacked the financial backing to execute to perfection. For starters, the lack of cross play from launch was a huge letdown considering this is now just commonplace for most AAA titles. Secondly, the storyline is fairly weak and there are also performance issues that are akin to failed releases such as Cyberpunk. Thankfully, Techland appear to be fixing these quickly and the combat mechanics still make for a hard to put down zombie survival game.
Overall, Dying Light 2 is an action-packed survival horror game that is more ambitious than it’s predecessor but may need some more time and updates to make it to the top shelf. For Dying Light fans, you’ll find the game to be bitterly disappointing but highly addictive nonetheless. It’s outstanding gameplay props up an incomplete story and we hope that will just get better over time.
Thoughts on Dying Light 2? Join the comments below.
Our editors also recommend these other game reviews:
Dying Light 2 is a content filled playground of parkour zombie killing mayhem that is hard to put down. What is lacks with gripping cutscenes and a slightly toned down 'fear factor' it makes up for quality zombie combat simulation. It's mechanically ambitious but financially prohibited.
Questions about Dying Light 2 and whether this game is available on your preferred platform. Check out some of the most frequently asked questions the writers of this Dying Light 2 review are asked. Please note that there may be some spoilers. Don’t be getting upset now if you open a tab and stumble across a spoiler. Aim and shoot at your own risk! –
When does Dying Light 2 release?
Dying Light 2 globally launched on February 4th 2022 across all platforms. Depending on where you are situated in the world, you may have been able to play in the morning or in the afternoon.
Is Dying Light 2 cross platform?
No. At this moment in time, Dying Light 2 is not cross-platform. In fact, the current ability to play cross-platform is severely limited. For example, PS4 players cannot join to team up with PS5 players. That said, there have been hints of cross-gen upgrades in the future.
Will Dying Light 2 get crossplay?
As of this writing, there is no official statement that Dying Light 2 will get crossplay later. So, do not assume that this will be the case. However, with Techland not ruling this out and commentary surrounding expanding the world for at least 5 years post-launch, you bet that crossplay will be on the consideration list. After all, a game without crossplay in today’s scene is pretty much suicide. However, at the time of this writing, there is no way to play Dying Light 2 across different platforms with your friends.
How long is Dying Light 2?
If you only care about the main storyline, this will take you around 20-30 hours total. However, this will vary depending on how long you take perusing the open-world lands. For anyone who likes to explore side quests and venture off the beaten track, Dying Light 2 will take around 50-60 hours to fully complete. With plenty of side quests and storyline cutscenes to watch, there’s plenty to keep you playing. Heck, even the choices you make can vary up the length of the storyline.
Is Dying Light 2 multiplayer?
Yes. Dying Light 2 is a multiplayer game for up to 2-4 players. Although crossplay is not available yet, teams of up to 4 people on the same console or platform can play through the storyline together. There is an online lobby menu or you can invite your friends into lobbies.
Where is Dying Light 2 set?
Dying Light 2 takes place in Villedor City which is a fictional European city that is four times larger than Dying Light. The year is 2036 which is 22 years after the events of Dying Light and 15 years after the Fall. As of now, Villedor City has 7 distinct regions that players can roam around throughout Dying Light 2’s open world nature.
Can you repair weapons in Dying Light 2?
Yes. Players can repair weapons in Dying Light 2. However, depending on the number of slots an item has, players can repair up to 300 points of durability (gold weapon). Unlike the first Dying Light, players can only repair weapons up to the number of times as they have mod slots.
Is Dying Light 2 better than Cyberpunk?
It’s not hard to make a game better than Cyberpunk and thankfully, Dying Light 2 is better overall. While there are a few bugs to still iron out, Cyberpunk had both bugs and inherent problems with the game design. Dying Light 2 on the other hand just has a slightly weak storyline and a few bugs here and there.
Is Dying Light 2 still buggy?
Almost immediately after game launch, Techland has dealt with over 1000 bugs since first release. While Dying Light 2 was pretty buggy at the start, Techland are actively fixing bugs and will continue to fix bugs as they expand the game.
Content Disclaimer: This Dying Light 2 Review is independently written. We have not been commissioned by Techland, nor have we received any royalties for this article. This includes financial reimbursement, free advertising or the Dying Light 2 game.
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