- Dying Light 2 Review – Falters Under The Spotlight - March 20, 2022
Have you waited in anticipation since the announcement of the release of Dying Light: Stay Human (aka Dying Light 2)?
If you’re anything like me, you were just a little bit more than disappointed when the release date of Dying Light: Stay Human was pushed back. I grew up playing zombie video games. Personally, Dead Island was the first video game I ever played. And ever since I fell in love with zombie video games, thanks to Dead Island, I’ve been on the hunt for other zombie survival games that I would love just as much as Dead Island.
Over the years, I’ve found a lot of fun video games that I enjoyed playing. But there wasn’t any game I found that was as fun as Dead Island.
Until Dying Light.
In my teens, I spent nearly 300 hours playing the original Dying Light and The Following. I played, re-played, and played some more. There was so much beauty to be found in all this game had to offer. There wasn’t any other zombie video game on the market that even came close to touching the joy that Dying Light brought me.
So, you can imagine I was more than giddy when I finally learned that Dying Light: Stay Human was getting ready to make its way to my front porch. I’ve honestly had the game on pre-order for so long I completely forgot about it. It wasn’t until I was watching YouTube videos one day that I saw an ad come up for DL2 that reminded me of my anticipation for the game.
I nearly shoved the disk into my console because I was too impatient to let the disk properly load into my PS. I mean, can you blame me? I’ve been waiting around for this game for a long time. There’s a lot that it’s got to live up to – Dying Light was one of (if not the) best zombie video games on the market. I can list off a few other games that could be considered close to the overall quality and playability of Dying Light – but none have ever replaced the #1 spot in my heart.
So, all of that to say, when I tell you how disappointed I was in Dying Light 2, know that it wasn’t coming from the perspective of someone looking to hate. I genuinely wanted to love this game. And I’m not going to say the entire game was crap – there’s a handful of positives about Dying Light 2. But, if you’ve been here since Dying Light and are on the fence about getting Dying Light 2, in this Dying Light 2 Review, I’m here to help save you from some heartbreak and frustration.
TL;DR: Don’t buy Dying Light 2. It’s not worth your money. It’s as simple as that.
An extended bottom line upfront:
For those of you who are looking for a little more of an explanation as to why I wouldn’t recommend Dying Light 2, I’ll give it to you. I’m going to go as far as to say that I think Dying Light 2 was the biggest disappointment in the gaming industry since the Last of Us Part 2.
I have major issues with the storyline, the horror, the characters, and all of the bugs in the game. I regret ever having my hopes up. All of the previews made this game looks so exciting. I wouldn’t recommend you buy it.
With all of that said, let’s dive into it. I should probably give you a spoiler warning, too – so consider yourself warned.
- Release date: February 4th, 2022
- Platforms released on: PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox X/S, Windows
- Developer: Techland
Related: Is Dying Light Cross Platform?
What is Dying Light 2?
If you’re wondering what Dying Light 2 is because you’ve never heard of Dying Light, don’t worry! Honestly, I really enjoyed the first Dying Light, so if you’re looking for a new video game to get yourself into, and you haven’t played the first Dying Light, I would recommend you go check that out. After that, you should totally download The Following.
But, Dying Light 2 is a video game that was developed by Techland. It’s an open-world first-person action and horror game. I mean, some people may not consider this to be a horror game. There are a lot of horror elements to this game, though, so I’ll stand firm by my point.
But do you have to play the first Dying Light for the second one to make sense? No, I don’t think so. The storylines in both of these games are different, and while there are some minor connecting points, the overall storyline of the second game has super boring and dull.
At the beginning of the game, you’re given kind of a quick summary of everything that happened in Dying Light. Basically, there’s a horrible disease going around the world, and it’s turning people into deadly zombies. However, there was a vaccine that was released that prevented people from getting sick.
But, the GRE military labs tested the disease, which caused a mutant strain to get released into the population. As a result of this mutant strain getting released, the entire human race was in grave danger – ya know, the typical events that happen to make a zombie game logically possible.
Now, there’s only a group of people left surviving from the virus. This all takes place in 2036, which makes the game feel a little bit eerie, considering the unknown future. The small group of people who are left surviving is referred to as the Pilgrims.
In the first Dying Light game, you play as Kyle Crane. In Dying Light: Stay Human, you play a character named Aiden.
Aiden has a bit of backstory – which I feel was important to explain, considering Kyle Crane and Aiden share the same voice actor (why? I have no idea. I wish they used someone else). Aiden and his “sister” were involved in some military experiments. Now, Aiden’s traveling around to find the man who performed these horrible science experiments.
There are three goals Aiden has throughout the entire game. They are:
- Find Mia (his sister)
- Learn more about his mysterious past
- Find Waltz (the bad guy in the storyline)
These goals bring Aiden to Villedor. Fifteen years prior, at the beginning of the pandemic, Villedor was one of the safest places to be because of its quarantine procedures. Personally, I wouldn’t ever want to call Villedor home. But Aiden is living at the end of the world, so I guess I need to cut this location some slack. As Aiden tracks down Waltz, a big secret is revealed. Mia isn’t Aiden’s sister (what!!). Instead, Mia is actually the daughter of Waltz. Aiden and Mia share no relationship.
Also, there are two groups of people you deal with inside of the game. One group is called the Peacekeepers, and the other group is called the Survivors. Each of these groups has its own neighborhood. Inside each neighborhood, you’ll find a water tower, an electrical station, or a facility. Assigning certain things (such as a water tower) to one group of people creates changes within the game, such as safe zones.
Without going into too much more detail about the storyline (there’s a lot), there are main themes in the entire plot. Mainly, I feel like the storyline focused on betrayal. I did like the plot twist with Mia – but that’s about all I really enjoyed about the storyline.
I was really hoping to hear some sort of update on our beloved Kyle Crane. But, since Dying Light 2 doesn’t take place in Haron and it takes place 15 years after the infection, I didn’t have high hopes. Sadly, there wasn’t any information on Kyle Crane in the second video game. You don’t get to play as him. For a little while, while I was playing this game, I was really wondering if Aiden was actually Kyle crane.
But, it’s made clear that Kyle Crane isn’t coming back when Spike talks to Aiden at the very beginning of the game. Spike talked about how he wished “Crane could’ve seen this.” After Aiden asked who Crane was, Spike made him drop the conversation. Sadly, after this, there is no resurfacing of Kyle Crane in this game.
What I didn’t like
I felt like every time I tried to make a choice; I was left with a consequence that made me immediately regret my decisions.
I didn’t like how aggressive the alive enemies were. Honestly, with all of the layers of inter-personal conflicts among the alive (human) people in the game, it stopped feeling like a zombie game. Instead, it felt like a dystopian video game that just happened to have zombies in it. With the usage of zombies in the main storyline, I didn’t feel like they were the main threat. Instead, I was more worried about being betrayed by a human enemy than getting eaten by a zombie.
I didn’t buy this video game to get wrapped up in an adult, drama-filled, violent version of iSpy the Bad Guy?. I’m here to survive zombies taking over; I wish the zombies were the main focus of the storyline.
Overall, I thought the main storyline of this game was super boring and disappointing. There’s so much more that they could have done to make the storyline exciting and refreshing. Imagine me just wearing a big frowning face as I’m writing this review. I. Am. So. Disappointed.
I actually like what Techland did with the zombies in this game. Instead of having random zombies in the game, there was actually a cycle that the zombies in the game went through. You have your expected day and night cycle in DL2. Infected stay out of your way during the day, but at night, you could be in serious trouble.
But what I personally thought was cool was the life cycle zombies have in this game. When a person is bitten in the game, they transform into a Viral. A Viral has some humanity in them, some remnants of their old personality. But, Virals are super fast, dangerous, and don’t like the daylight.
After a while, a Viral will turn into a Biter. This is the typical zombie who doesn’t move around very quickly. Prolonged sun exposure causes a Biter to turn into a Degernate, which causes the flesh to start to fall off of the zombie. And, of course, we have Volatiles (the big and scary zombies). Volatiles hunt in packs, don’t like UV or sunlight. They can climb super fast, so be careful!
I loved the graphics on the zombies. I loved how I could watch former people turn into different types of zombies.
Violence & Gore
There’s a lot of violence that happens in this game. And while I’m not even a person who looks down on violence – I am in this situation. I don’t feel like the violence featured in DL2 helped the game at all. I don’t feel like in a lot of situations, the violence helped to support the overall storyline of the game, either. So, instead of the violence adding to the storyline, I feel like it was used as filler to stretch the storyline.
As far as the gore factor, there’s a lot missing from that in the second game. In the first Dying Light, you could see blood coming out of zombies’ heads; you would see blood splatter whenever you hit somebody on the head or a smear of go on the concrete if you stepped on a zombie’s head. The gore available in Dying Light just wasn’t as realistic, messy, or gruesome as it was in the first game. I felt like I was missing a lot of the gore that was available in the first Dying Light.
But, if you were to pick up Stay Human and not have played the first DL, you wouldn’t notice this decline in the gore factor. I wouldn’t say the overall gore in the game was bad – just not what I was expecting.
Now, if you played the first Dying light, you’ll know that parkour was a very important part of the first game. With the second game, it really seems like Techland realized all of the potential that was there with the parkour abilities inside of the first game.
So, as I was playing through Dying Light 2, I realized that there is a lot more that I could do with parkour. It literally felt like every corner I turned, every wall I touched, every texture in the game was something that I could climb on. And climbing wasn’t the only thing that I could do in the game either. You could grab or swing off of stuff too.
I did really enjoy the settings of the parkour abilities in Dying Light 2, and they were similar to what was found in the first game. I didn’t have any part in the game where I was frustrated because I couldn’t easily get to a bag to search because there was a wall hiding it from me. Instead, I could use a light post to swing over the wall and keep moving.
There were some times I was faced with a horde that was just too big for me to handle. So, I could quickly swing way into a different environment where I kept myself safe. I think the parkour factor was the best in Stay Human, but after all, wasn’t the parkour factor what the first Dying Light was known for?
I honestly think the crafting system may be what I hated most about this game. I found it so frustrating to use. There were so many bugs. I don’t know why they had to go about changing things. There was nothing wrong with the first crafting system.
I had a ton of bugs when I went to craft. There were items I couldn’t craft because of the bugs in the game. I don’t really have a whole lot to say here, simply because of all of the difficulties I faced with crafting. But, I’ll get more into my experience with all of the bugs in DL2 later.
Compared to Dying Light, not having any guns available in Dying Light 2 really makes this game not very fun to play. I know that in the first Dying Light, there weren’t a lot of guns available, to begin with. But, there still were some available in the game. Only having melee weapons to use in Dying Light 2 took a lot of the fun out of playing this first-person perspective game.
I do understand that this is realistic considering where the apocalypse is at this point in the game; I do wish that there were some other firearms available. I don’t think that there would be anything super fancy necessary. But maybe having a few pistols and more shotguns available would be super cool.
I don’t know about you, but I really found such a thrill in the nighttime when I was playing the first Dying Light. Knowing that there were Volatiles that could come and take me out every time I decided to step outside while it was nighttime, it was so scary. It really kept me on my toes as I was running around heron trying to avoid getting eaten by at least three Volatiles.
I wish that there were scarier things going on at night in the second game. There wasn’t a lot offered at night in the second Dying Light. For me, it really reduced the scary factor that came when the sunset. Even just overall atmosphere wasn’t what it used to be. There wasn’t as much screaming and groaning from zombies in the second game as there were in the first.
I’m going to put a spoiler alert here. The boss that I had the biggest problem with was the boss at the end of the game. I know from playing Dying Light what Techland is capable of when it comes to creative endings. So, you can say that I was very surprised when it came time for the final boss in Dying Light 2. I had to kill the final boss four times. It wasn’t that I had to kill him four times because I sucked, and I had to restart four times.
Instead, the final boss had his health reload four (yes four!!) times after I completely drained him. So basically, he revived himself four times, and I had to go five matches to kill him. This felt so amateur to me.
And honestly, it reminded me of something that I would see in an older video game when technology just wasn’t around to create unique and exciting endings to video games. There’s so much more they could have done to make the bosses in this game more exciting, especially if you look to Dying Light to compare the boss is too. Techland always managed to keep me on my toes. They failed that same effect in Dying Light 2.
When it came time to actually fight zombies, I noticed that there was a bit of a difference in the way weapons felt my hands. Even lighter weapons, like baseball bats, seem to be a bit heavier in the game than they were in Dying Light. Why I did appreciate how responsive all the combat was when I attacked zombies, I wish that the swings didn’t feel so heavy.
Plus, I didn’t like several of the controls in the game. There were a lot of complex controls to remember. A lot of these controls were way more complex than anything you saw in the first Dying Light. It did take a little bit of practice to get everything’s moved out on my controller, but I really wish that I didn’t have to spend so much time trying to remember each of the unique control settings needed for attacks. Instead, I would much rather focus on improving my aim and learning how to handle certain weapons. But maybe that’s just me.
Don’t even get me started on how upset I am about how stamina works in Dying Light: Stay Human. In Dying Light, how the stamina bar would deplete made total sense. If I was swinging, if I was fighting a zombie, if I was performing an attack, or if I was running – all of these things would make my stamina deplete. But In Dying Light 2, there’s a lot more that affects your stamina bar.
For example, if you have to jump and hold onto a ledge or a wall to re-focus your aim, holding on depletes your stamina. I think they could’ve kept this out for people playing on easy mode and maybe could’ve added it for people playing on normal and hard modes. I played on normal but found that this made things super challenging when I was trying to keep myself alive at night.
I placed my game on pre-order. The day that I got my game, there was a lot of information going around about the bugs in the game. I even had a friend reach out to me to make me aware of all of the complaints about the bugs in the game and to be prepared to have some problems.
And while I was prepared for there to be some problems, I wasn’t prepared for my entire experience to be filled with nothing but issues with bugs.
In all honesty, I’m so upset about the bugs. Not because they were there, but because of how quickly they were fixed. It was only a day or two after a lot of people started getting their pre-ordered games delivered that Techland put out a fix for the bugs.
To me, that just really shows that they rushed the development of this game and didn’t even care enough to take an extra day or two out of production time to ensure the game wasn’t riddled with bugs. To me, that just makes the entire thing feel rushed, and like Techland didn’t actually care about the quality, they’re putting out.
For example, I had a lot of problems with my Survivor sense not working. I think having a fully functional Survivor sense is super important, especially since it’s one of the buttons I spam while I’m playing. I use my Survivor since to ensure that I’ve looted everything I can in an area and to keep track of Volatiles around me.
But, one of the bugs in my game made it, so the Survivor sense wasn’t functioning with every press of my button. Instead, I would only get it to work one or two times while I was spamming it. And if you’ve ever played the game before, you’ll know that having the Survivor sense working 1-2 times while you’re running away from Violates at night isn’t ideal.
Also, there were some spots in the game where I had problems with the audio not working. So, sometimes there would be characters talking to me, and I couldn’t hear anything coming from my TV. Thankfully, my husband was able to help me figure these parts out to get to the end of the game. But, it wasn’t ideal.
I liked that there was the option to have health bars over zombies and other enemies in the game. Sometimes, it just got a little annoying to have, just depending on what type of playing mood I was in. So, I would go back and forth between turning this all on and turning this off.
I thought this was an addition that Dying Light needed, as it was something Dead Island had, that I always felt made DL lag a little bit behind Dead Island. So, I’m really glad to see this addition in the game.
I don’t want to play this game again. I’m not going to play this game again. As someone who played the first Dying Light, I think the entire game needs to be scrapped and re-written. But, if you didn’t play the first game and you’re considering this game – I would say check it out. The first DLC is getting ready to drop into the game, so you may enjoy it, especially after all of the bugs are fixed.
Question: Is Dying Light 2 related to Dying Light?
Answer: Yes! Dying Light 2 is the sequel to the first Dying Light game. But you don’t have to have played the first game to play the second. The storylines aren’t super elated. So, if you wanna start off with the first Dying Light, feel free to do that!
Question: Is Dying Light 2 multiplayer?
Answer: Yes, you can play Dying Light 2 co-op. So you can play this game with your friends online. But, you can’t play this game split-screen if that’s the method you were looking to play multiplayer on.
Question: Do you play as Kyle Crane in Dying Light 2?
Answer: No, you don’t play as Kyle Crane in Dying Light 2. You don’t get any sort of update on Kyle Crane in the new game.
Final Thoughts 5/10
In my personal belief, I think that from the ads that were released, I went into buying this game thinking that it had the ability to win Game of the Year. But, there are so many problems with this game. Putting aside all of the bugs in this game, I don’t feel like it’s as scary as the first Dying Light was. I felt like the storyline was super boring; there wasn’t any real-life or personality in the characters presented.
Overall, I’m more disappointed in Dying Light 2 than I have been in anything else in a long time. It’s hard to find a whole lot of positives to say about this game, especially because the commercials for this game made it seem like such a different quality. So, save your money and invest in another game. You’ll thank me later.