There are many things to fear in Dying Light 2 Stay Human: zombies, bandits, bigger zombies, psychopaths, giant zombies with steel beams where their arms should be, and the night all those crazy people come out to play. However, the scariest thing about Dying Light 2, the thing that made me sweat more than anything else in the game, was the constant fear that some random technical glitch would force me to quit the game and reload my last checkpoint. Without these technical problems DL2 sets a high bar in a busy month… but with them the game is turned upside down by a few undead pegs.
Dying Light 2 Stay Human puts you in the shoes of Aiden, a nomadic man who travels from colony to colony in this post-zombie apocalyptic world. He is known as a pilgrim, taking jobs and earning money in the town he visits. He comes to the game’s sprawling metropolis – simply called “The City” for those who don’t know – to find his sister Mia, who was separated from him when they were children. Oh, and he’s also infected with the virus, and staying in the dark for a long time will cause him to turn around.
The city was once an urban paradise, with shops and restaurants lining the labyrinthine streets. These businesses have all been long abandoned, dotted with the occasional undead inside who guard any secrets or treasures they hold. During the day, the streets are “safe” and survivors can bypass them virtually at will, with the real dangers hidden in the aforementioned shops. At night, however, the dynamic shifts and zombies sprout from every bloodthirsty corner as the stores stand empty.
Let’s start with the best part of what the game offers: freedom. Once the prologue is over and you get serious about The City, you’re immediately free to do whatever you want. Granted, it’s not complete freedom – the story missions will always run out of order, and half the town is inaccessible for a third of the game – but in this smaller section I’m free to my own devices. I can explore, participate in random encounters, fight zombies, enter a dark building to search for supplies, whatever I want. The abandoned storefronts I imagined are here. It’s cool, and the freedom is even better when you head to the other half of the map.
It’s as cool as the two main elements of Dying Light 2The core gameplay of is great fun to play – for the most part. For starters, the fight here is perfect. Hitting an enemy in the head with a table leg or mace-lined water pipe feels great on every hit. Watching me slowly wear down an enemy, highlighted by small changes like breaking masks or detaching limbs, is awesome.
Modifying a weapon to increase its power, such as giving it a flame mod to set enemies on fire, makes sense and takes very little time to learn. The combat is so good, in fact, that I’ll admit I went out of my way a few times to take out a few undead with my favorite weapon; partly because I want to test a sick mod, partly because I just want to smash a zombie some more.
The second tenant of the core gameplay is parkour, and this is where we start to see some cracks in the armor. When it works, and Aiden is jumping on rooftops or using cars to avoid zombies, it’s absolutely sung. Sometimes I came of age Assassin’s Creed vibrations, traversing massive buildings with relative ease and impressive flow. Unfortunately, parkour isn’t as good as combat, and one wrong move can be disastrous…even when that move wasn’t wrong.
Occasionally I would jump onto a platform only for the game to fail to register causing me to fall. It’s ok when I’m standing just below the platform I want to jump to, it’s much more frustrating at the end of a high climb and the missed platform causes me to die and start over. Factoring in the sometimes brutal checkpoint system, you may find yourself wasting 15-20 minutes of progress because the game decided you didn’t make the jump when it was clear you did. made.
There’s another factor when it comes to parkour: the tools the game gives you to traverse. The first is the paraglider which, despite a frustrating control system, overcame the obstacles and left me in awe. Going up into the sky and getting a bird’s eye view of the city made a lot of noise for me, with the views being very nice despite it being an undead-centric game.
The grappling hook, on the other hand, is a neat little tool that gives me extra swinging power whenever I need it. As long as I can attach myself to an object, I can detach myself from it, but again, the same problems as parkour arise. I can’t tell you how many times I fell dozens of stories to my death because the targeting reticle just didn’t appear. I can fully recognize when it’s me messing around, but when it’s not me, I get angry and sometimes that’s the case with DL2it’s parkour. Let me put it this way: in my game I’ve died about twenty times in total in over 30 hours, I can think of two deaths from combat. The rest was caused by falls due to wobbly parkour
It’s actually a perfect segway for the Achilles heel of the game, the only thing that will sink Dying Light 2 for many people if it is not addressed: there is a parcel technical issues here. Some of them are innocent – like when I use my character’s survivor sense to search for enemies, and the silhouette of the enemy I find is head-spinning. Others are much worse – like the game’s final boss who somehow falls through our battle platform, gets stuck inside the object and forces me to quit and open my save file again.
For a game we started hearing about in 2018, there’s a surprising lack of polish. The zombies will be on the ground next to a car, take a step, then suddenly they will be on top of the car. The audio will randomly cut out, replaced by loud, unpleasant buzzes that force another restart. These are small issues that taken in isolation would not be a problem, but combined they come very, very annoying.
I played the game on the Xbox Series X, and it looked and sounded good for the most part. From fighting zombies to using parkour, what the game wants to be good at. can be good for the most part. The problem arises when myriad little technical issues build and build to the point where I think I’m in the middle of one when a door won’t open, only for there to be a hidden solution.
Let’s make one thing clear: I do fun to play Dying Light 2 Stay Human. The story is great and warrants extra play through multiple endings, the combat is awesome, and there’s a tonne of things to do in this sprawling city (500 hours, apparently). He just needs to clean up technical issues and stop spawning the final boss inside the platform he’s standing on, among other things. If that happens, the impact – much like the game itself – will be night and day.