ReviewsReview: Dying Light 2 Stay Human

Review: Dying Light 2 Stay Human

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I’m not usually a reviewer who likes to be late to the party, but in this instance, my thoughts are long overdue. Dying Light 2 Stay Human has been out for nearly a week and it hasn’t received the stellar plaudits I expected. I felt a little disheartened when I read my peers’ articles, but I didn’t let it discourage me. After all, who doesn’t want to murder the undead while trying to find your long-lost sister?

Developed and published by Techland, this is a first-person open-world adventure RPG. Set in a bleak post-apocalyptic world, you must fight to survive. You will balance friendship, trust, and politics in a volatile powder keg that is ready to ignite.

Dying Light 2 Stay Human is a much-anticipated sequel.

The gaming industry has a fine pedigree of zombie titles. However, recently, the standards have been slipping. Therefore, when Techland confirmed Dying Light 2 Stay Human’s release date, many fans clambered to get their pre-orders in. The developers promised storylines that branched off in multiple directions and actions that had consequences. Moreover, there were promises of improved parkour elements and a better skill tree. I can honestly say that they haven’t let us down! The promise of a 100+ hours main story and an additional 400 hours for everything else seemed unrealistic, but I shouldn’t have doubted it.

The plot revolves around a “pilgrim” called Aiden Caldwell. He wanders the dangerous lands undertaking quests for others, no matter the consequences. However, his needs are now his focus as he arrives at the broken town of Villedor looking for answers. His sister Mia was taken from him when they were just children and rumour has it that she may still be alive. Therefore, he cares not for who he hurts, or what he must do as he desperately edges closer to the truth.

God damn, you are ugly!

There are some shortcomings.

Dying Light was so well received that the sequel was set an amazingly high bar. Therefore, it understandably falls short in some categories. Yet this doesn’t make it unworthy of your time. No, you may simply need to adjust your expectations slightly, that’s all. So what am I referring to, exactly? Well, the plot and the acting, in a nutshell.

Now, I really enjoyed how the story twisted and turned depending on your decisions and actions. Yet, this fluid approach has consequences! When you are free to undertake side quests or roam the open world, the political landscape can change. Subsequently, conclusions to other quests or interactions don’t always marry up with the current situation and this can be confusing. Unfortunately, there is little that Techland can do to remedy this issue, as to do so would remove one of its key concepts.

The problems sadly continue with the almost laughable acting. Aside from Aiden, whose character is likeable and believable, the rest of the cast is subpar. Now, I still enjoyed every cinematic and conversation I experienced, but the wooden nature of much of it will be underwhelming for many. I, though, found it highly amusing and consequently I liked the break from the sinister and horrific nature of the gameplay.

This will hurt a lot.

From shortcomings to shining moments.

When a game sets its bar high, it’s bound to disappoint some. Yet, when it does things well, it blows your mind! Dying Light 2 Stay Human has so many of these moments that it’s genuinely hard to put down. I haven’t looked forward to playing my Xbox as much as I have this past week. Subsequently, I found myself playing for hours without even realising.

Parkour.

Attempting to replicate the finesse and athleticism of parkour is tough at the best of times, yet Dying Light 2 Stay Human has it nailed. Sprinting, jumping, climbing, and falling come second nature to our hero. It was enthralling to climb mega-structures or to dive across gaping chasms. Furthermore, every moment was slick and buttery smooth!

What I particularly liked about this element was how the character progression directly influenced your ability. This was great as it ensures the whole world isn’t open to you from the off.

The day/night cycle.

Villedor is dangerous at the best of times, but the day/night cycle opens up an array of new problems. With time specific quests, shops to raid, and new monsters to kill, nighttime can be horrendous. The difficulty is compounded further by your rising infection rate and the constant threat of howlers. These screechy bastards start a deadly game of cat and mouse where you are, unfortunately, the cheese-eating rodent. Only the use of UV light, extreme parkour skills, and luck will ensure you survive.

Quit hanging around.

Dying Light 2 Stay Human has a spectacular open world.

I was blown away by Dying Light, so I couldn’t wait to see Dying Light 2 Stay Human on a next-gen machine. Needless to say, I wasn’t disappointed. Yes, there are the usual annoying glitches, but these will be patched out. Therefore, what will be left will be a spectacular post-apocalyptic experience. You encounter some amazing characters, exceptional cinematic, and a gloriously large and varied map to explore. What’s more, as the sun sets, the familiar environment shows its sinister side.

It was easy to admire what Techland has achieved. Therefore, it was fascinating to explore the range of buildings, structures, and open spaces in this once-thriving town. Then there is the brutality of the combat and the endless amount of gore. Bludgeoning the undead with a hammer was amazing, and it was only bested when you managed to decapitate an arm, leg, or head. It is sure to make you wince, but it won’t stop you from doing it repeatedly.

The developers have brilliantly incorporated a haunting soundtrack that adds emotion and depth to the action. When innocent bystanders are in trouble, a daunting, yet upbeat track plays. As you explore restricted or dangerous locations, hard-hitting songs blare out. These moments were wonderfully complemented by the eerie sounds of people screaming, and the squelch of blood and falling limbs. Therefore, I can comfortably say that the audio is a raving success, as it will make your skin crawl repeatedly.

What a dank city.

Those zombies are in trouble.

Triple-A titles have a tendency to be complex to understand. Fortunately, however, Dying Light 2 Stay Human is easy to master. Thanks to a thorough tutorial and well-mapped layout, those zombies are in trouble. Yet, you will want to prove to the world how good you are! You can be put through your paces by undertaking parkour challenges. These tough events are not for the faint of heart as you must be quick, agile, and strong as you leap zombies and clamber buildings.

With a large character progression tree, an array of weapons to find and upgrade, masses of equipment, and a ridiculous amount of quests, this is enormous. Furthermore, you must unlock structures to assign to the factions. Whatever you decide has a political impact and alters side quests and relationships. On top of all this, this can be enjoyed solo or online with friends. Call for help and allow strangers into your game, or team up with your buddies and slaughter masses of the undead. This was truly an amazing decision from Techland as it increased both the longevity and replay value exponentially.

Dying Light 2 Stay Human is a must-play title.

I haven’t felt so consumed by a game for a long time, yet, Dying Light 2 Stay Human has got under my skin. Yes, there are some minor issues, but these pale into insignificance. Much of the gameplay and action are phenomenal and far exceed the first instalment. I adored it and I recommend you to buy it here! Will Aiden survive his ordeal and save his sister? Search Villedor, befriend the inhabitants and uncover the truth.

SUMMARY

Dying Light 2 Stay Human is a brutally dark open-world adventure title. You must use parkour skills and any weapons you find to navigate the city and kill any zombies. Befriend the inhabitants, complete quests, and get the answers you need. It's gory, tough, but oh so enjoyable.

+ Excellent graphics.
+ Creepy and atmospheric audio.
+ Easy to understand controls.
+ Actions have consequences.
+ Moreish and addictive.
+ Plenty of replay value and longevity.
- The acting is a little wooden.
- Minor glitches.

(Reviewed on the Xbox Series X. Also available on PC, Nintendo Switch and PlayStation.)
Daniel Waite
Daniel Waite
My gaming career started on an Amiga and spans many consoles! Currently, I game using an MSI laptop and Xbox Series X. A fan of every genre, I love to give anything a go. Former editor and reviewer for www.bonusstage.co.uk, I'm loving my new home here at Movies Games and Tech. I can be contacted for gaming reviews on the following email: Daniel@moviesgamesandtech.com

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Review: Dying Light 2 Stay HumanDying Light 2 Stay Human is a brutally dark open-world adventure title. You must use parkour skills and any weapons you find to navigate the city and kill any zombies. Befriend the inhabitants, complete quests, and get the answers you need. It's gory, tough, but oh so enjoyable.<br/> <br/> + Excellent graphics.<br/> + Creepy and atmospheric audio.<br/> + Easy to understand controls.<br/> + Actions have consequences.<br/> + Moreish and addictive.<br/> + Plenty of replay value and longevity.<br/> - The acting is a little wooden.<br/> - Minor glitches.<br/> <br/> (Reviewed on the Xbox Series X. Also available on PC, Nintendo Switch and PlayStation.)<br/>