Published on: 07/02/2022
Dying Light 2 Review: Is This The Best Zombie Game in Years?
When Dying Light launched in 2015, it was quickly regarded as one of the most exciting zombie games to ever release. It featured never-before-seen parkour mechanics, impressive verticality, and super-satisfying zombie-slaying combat. While the story was a little flat, Dying Light offered players quite the adventure, and now, seven years later, Dying Light 2 has been released. However, the open-world epic hasn’t been quite so well received, and in this Dying Light 2 review, we’ll explore why.
If you’re wondering whether or not to buy Dying Light 2, take a moment to study this snapshot review. Ultimately, Dying Light had an extended development window and a packed content roadmap, and it seems as though Dying Light 2 will feature the same level of content. That’s all well and good, but how exactly does the game itself look, feel, and behave?
On with the Dying Light 2 review.
Dying Light vs. Dying Light 2
It’s the question most people are asking, as in some ways, there’s a lot of confusion surrounding the timeline here.
Firstly, let’s address the story. Dying Light was set in 2014, or thereabouts, and it featured the very origins of the franchise’s zombie-plague-style outbreak. The ‘Harran Virus’ as it was known would ravage a fictional middle-Eastern nation, and at the end of the game, we find out it wasn’t successfully contained.
Dying Light 2 is set in 2036, and following yet another outbreak, the Harran Virus (THV) has spread around the entire world, decimating the human race. Humans now live among the wreckage of a dead planet, this time exploring a fictional European setting. For the most part, both stories were/are underwhelming, predictable, and riddled with plot holes. However, if you’re interested in some quick-release entertainment in the form of high-octane zombie slaying, you’ll feel right at home.
According to SteamCharts.com, Dying Light 2 boasts the highest concurrent player count out of any ‘zombie game’ in history. It’s pulling in the big numbers, but many of the reviews are leaning towards the unfavourable. While Dying Light enjoyed a relatively stable launch, Dying Light 2 has released with a plethora of bugs and performance issues, particularly on PC.
How Does The Apocalypse Feel?
Let’s be honest for a moment – Dying Light 2 is something of a McDonald’s meal. It looks fantastic on paper but when you sit down in front of it, you notice that it’s an unfair representation, it’s not all that enjoyable, and afterwards, you might regret paying full price for it.
Dying Light 2 looks fantastic – especially on PC with the graphics tuned for maximum quality. It’s a beautiful game and it looks way better than Dying Light. In the first instalment in the franchise, the Infected all looked exactly the same – in Dying Light 2, the character models are superb and varied. This game truly feels apocalyptic in the environment, which is huge and ripe for exploration, but the revised parkour mechanics feel nowhere near as fluid or rapid and combat isn’t as satisfying overall.
On an environmental level, Dying Light 2 feels more like the world has truly ended, with bands of survivors grouping up and trying their best to get by. There are several references to ‘the old days’ that remind you how much the world has moved on, but these small details are sometimes more impressive than the base story itself. It’s a relatively cliché and overdone experience, with the protagonist hunting down the evil doctor that did him wrong many years before.
Ultimately, Dying Light 2 borrows many elements from the first game. There’s a similar levelling process that introduces soft RPG mechanics, and the customisation elements are also quite similar. There’s more depth here, but it’s not anything we’ve never seen before.
So, What’s The Verdict?
Let’s sum up this all-important Dying Light 2 review.
If the bugs could be ironed out relatively quickly and the content roadmap gets underway, Dying Light 2 could be a spectacle to behold. It’s a gorgeous environment held back by a sub-par story and less satisfying combat than its predecessor. Furthermore, the ‘500-hour story’ promise has flipped around, and now, you can complete the main story in around 20 hours. With all that in mind, Dying Light 2 is a somewhat solid post-apocalyptic experience for fans of the genre.
But don’t buy in at full price expecting value for money just yet. It can get better and it likely will – Techland has rarely disappointed us in the past.
And for fans asking, ‘Is Dying Light 2 multiplayer’ – yes, yes it is. It’s a co-op.
Stay safe out there, zombie slayers.