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Sunday, December 04, 2022

‘Dying Light 2’ brings zombie-slaying fun video game odyssey

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It still feels like zombie games are a dime a dozen, but finding one that’s high quality and doesn’t feel like a retreat to old ground. After much delay the long-awaited “Dying Light 2” is finally out and while it does have issues the core gameplay has been vastly improved and delivers a fun experience.

Set several years after the end of the first game, the sequel takes place in a world that has been largely consumed by another zombie plague. You play as Aiden Caldwell, who as a boy was part of secret drug tests and now lives as a wandering mercenary called the Pilgrim. Aiden is on a quest to find his long-lost sister, Mia, and he finds himself called “The City” after being infected by a zombie. The story begins with a good amount of intrigue, but lacks interesting characters in the first few hours.

The developers insisted on focusing on the player’s choices influencing the outcome of the story, but the real effect, like in many other games, is that the choices are not major. There are two major factions in the story and those changes in the outcome of the story when aligning with one are often told and not shown. The system is prone to too many lapses and to make things worse the plot is completely derailed and the conclusion feels too quick and disappointing.

Despite those shortcomings though, “Dying Light 2” excels in its gameplay. Combat and parkour movements feel better than in the first game. The player has a wide variety of melee weapons and some at their disposal, as well as lots of craftable items like Molotovs and hand grenades. There’s a nice, visceral feeling when swinging at enemies, whether they’re zombies or humans, and the emphasis on using parkour in combat adds further depth to these encounters. Traveling through the city with long jumps, running over walls and using a paraglider all feel good and make the simple act of exploration fun.

There’s also a new gear system that gives the player different bonuses based on the armor they equip. One can choose to focus on increased health and damage with two-handed or speed when using ranged weapons. They can also mix different pieces, but it seems like the bonuses are only worth it if you stack the same in all your armor. One drawback of this system is that there’s currently no way to bring your favorite piece of gear to its current level, so this means that you’re constantly stuck with gear until you reach the game’s max level. Riding a bicycle.

On top of all that, there’s also a returning co-op system that lets up to four players team up to face the apocalypse. It should go without saying that finding friends to play with makes the game more fun, although I would also say that playing alone puts a lot of stress into the game.

“Dying Light 2” launched with a good amount of glitches and while the majors have been taken away, there are still issues with the song. Even with the disappointing storyline, the game offers a decent amount of content, along with satisfying combat and a robust parkour system. ‘Dying Light 2’ gets three and a half stars out of five.

“Dying Light 2” is available for Windows, PlayStation and Xbox. Developer Techland plans to release the game on Nintendo Switch in the future.

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