Dying Light 2 has been at the forefront of the minds of many, ever since it was announced in 2018 and subsequently postponed early last year. Now, we have a solid release date, new teasers and video material, and more general information about what we can expect from this long-awaited sequel. Here’s what you need to know before it drops.
Dying Light 2 release date
Though a revised release date of December 7 2021 was announced in May, Dying Light 2 has been delayed once more, with February 4 2022 being the current target. The initial release date was slated for spring 2020, though of course, that didn’t materialize. The reasoning behind this additional delay is to apply more polish to the game in general.
Though Techland says it’s near a completed state, they admit it has been “…the biggest and most ambitious project we’ve ever done…”. While of course disappointing, it’s a pretty fair reason, and encouraging to see developers putting the time into creating a high-quality finished game, as opposed to rushing it to market. Sad news of delay aside, here’s what we know about the game so far.
Dying Light 2 takes place 15 years after the events of Dying Light, with the attempt to contain the virus in Haran ending in abject failure. Villador, our new playground for rooftop parkour and zombie slaying, is the last bastion of human civilization in Europe, perhaps even the world.
Vying for control over what’s left of civilization are three major factions: the Peacekeepers, Renegades, and Survivors. Playing as Aiden Caldwell, we must align with, or fight against, these factions to help us achieve our goal of finding “the one we’ve lost”, our only link to a past before this modern dark age.
This jostling for power mostly takes place during the day, when man’s wolf is man. Come nightfall, however, the story is very different. Humanity retreats to the relative safety of the rooftops, where civilization has begun anew, and the streets are stalked by the new apex predators. Navigating this day/night cycle will be an important part of Dying Light 2, as being caught out at dusk will likely not end well for you.
Beyond this, the setting of the bipolar cityscape will be subject to change by the player. Techland has stated that our choices have consequences, ones that are very difficult, if at all possible, to revert once made. We will determine who gets clean water, where electricity is routed, and in all likelihood, which faction emerges victorious from the power struggle. Aside from unlocking new equipment and transport options, we will also be able to see the consequences of our actions reflected in the city itself, something that sounds quite exciting.
A zombie game set in a city is nothing new, so you might be asking yourself what Dying Light 2 brings to the table in terms of gameplay. Well, if you are a fan of the now series, you will be pleased to know Techland has taken everything that made the first installment great, then dialed it up, plus plenty of new additions to boot.
The City of Dying Light 2
Compared to Haran, the setting of the first game, The City will be about four times larger, with a plentitude of curiosities to explore, and just as many dangers to face. We’ve already mentioned that certain aspects of The City will change according to your actions, so we won’t dwell on that point much here, but judging by footage in some trailers, player actions may well open up or close off portions of the map, in addition to awakening new strains of the infected.
While the above is somewhat speculative, what we do know for certain is that exploration will play a more integral role in Dying Light 2. You will be able to scale several story high buildings, visit the rooftop towns full of people avoiding the more bitey citizens of Villador, explore the interiors of buildings, or scurry about the alleys for a more risky travel plan. There will be plenty of environments too, with an abandoned amusement park and swampy floodplain being two such examples.
Come nightfall, however, new places of interest become approachable. So-called dark zones, these places act as nests for the infected during the day, but tend to be much quieter during the night, when their inhabitants are out on the hunt. They aren’t off-limits during the day, but the developers have made clear that visiting one at nap time will end in your death – no exceptions. They are said to have unique weapons and the like though, so there is an incentive to brave the lion’s den.
Parkour and map traversal
A huge map will need a fluid and intuitive movement system in order to make travel interesting. Quite like the map size and scale, Techland has significantly improved upon the original movement system. Parkour will look much better, with double the animations of the first game, and offer a much wider approach to movement. Your parkour ability will even have a great impact on combat, opening up different tactics depending on your preferred fighting style. You can wall-run into a ground slam, stunning your enemies in a wide radius, or use your enemies as a springboard for your attacks. How you use your skills will be up to you.
As for wider map traversal, there are a few interesting options. Firstly, Techland has confirmed the use of vehicles, which is fine and dandy, but in a game with such a heavy emphasis on verticality, cars and trucks are hardly the biggest draw. The paraglider, however, is a different story. Traversing Villador will be a breeze, as well as undoubtedly presenting the opportunity to take in some gorgeous views. It can also be used to make a stylish entry into combat, as one trailer shows.
Player choice, as with several aspects of Dying Light 2, will also come into play here. Depending on your actions and affiliations, different transport options will become available. Trampolines in key areas will help you make much longer or higher jumps, while ziplines make for a generally faster journey.
New and improved infected
The main attraction in Dying Light 2 is, of course, the very dead themselves. Techland has developed what they ironically call a “life-cycle” for the infected, largely dependent on what level of UV light they’ve been subjected to. Virals and Biters are a familiar threat, though the new Degenerate, a sun-soaked zombie that is little more than a sentient heap of rotting flesh, though still a concern if they catch you off guard.
Volatiles are what cause the real trouble. They are fast, strong, and deadly, well-deserving of their status of apex predator during the night. We know that there are new mutations, a zombie with dagger-like growths on its forearms being one such example, but Techland is leaving the bulk of these new creatures to our imaginations.
An open-ended RPG
Dying Light 2 aims to be much more open than its predecessor, with much more focus on RPG elements. Player choice is clearly something Techland has in mind, with The City evolving and the plot unfolding based on your choices, rather than a completely linear and rigid experience. Unlockable skills and perks will make an appearance, with certain combat and parkour moves being part of a tree, though a full skill tree hasn’t yet been released.
There’s plenty more to find out about Dying Light 2 and, with the recent delay in release, plenty of time to find it out. It’s going to be quite the wait until we can all explore what the game has to offer. In the meantime, we’ll keep you posted on all things news related to tide you over