Post-apocalyptic parkour is still the best part of Dying Light 2

Dying Light 2: Stay Human has been out for a little under two weeks now. Easily one of the most hotly anticipated games of 2022, its release has proved mixed.

This as a generally positive swathe of reviews have all pointed out several technical glitches that hamper what is an otherwise action-packed first person game set in an impressive post-apocalyptic urban sprawl.

Dying Light 2 is definitely worth picking up, but perhaps not until developer Techland has issued a few fixes, which it has already confirmed this week. Like its predecessor, it is a game that will be well supported post-launch and there will be plenty to do for players once the endgame rolls around.

So what has our experience been with Dying Light 2?

Well we have been playing the game on the PlayStation 5 (R1 069 RRP) and instead of doing a “normal” review, we are going to highlight what we believe to be the game’s best element – exploration.

Sure, we have experienced some technical problems, such as NPCs behaving erratically on environments not rendering as they should, but our PS5 playthrough has been nowhere near as frustrating as it was with Cyberpunk 2077 (on the PS4).

With that in mind, here are our thoughts on the superb exploration in Dying Light 2, how some of the newly added aspects have played out and why it receives a hearty recommendation from us.

Lots to like

First we need to get one thing straight, Dying Light 2 is not doing anything new from a narrative perspective for zombie killing games. Yes, living on the rooftops during the day and fighting for your life at night is indeed a new take on things, but it’s something we encountered with the 2015 original.

That said, there are things that we like. The performance of Rosario Dawson as Lawan is great, treading the fine line of being an ally we should trust. The same goes for the world of Villedor, as a Mad Max-esque free-for-all city where it is indeed survival of the fittest.

If you want the brutality to turned up a few notches in Dying Light 2, Techland was duly obliged.

We also like the new mechanic of risking further infection when you’re not exposed to UV rays or lights. It adds a level of risk to resource finding missions, as well as times when you need to clear out a pocket of infected. It means that every choice you make is deliberate, as a stealthy approach versus an all-guns-blazing one carries with it additional risks and rewards.

Another enjoyable aspect of gameplay is crafting additional resources and weapons, along with finding recipes that can give you a distinct advantage over others. If you have the will and time on your hands, you can get quite inventive in terms of the weapons you’re carrying, along with the garb you wear.

A middling hero

Speaking of which, the protagonist of Aiden Caldwell has us sitting on the fence. The voice acting is solid, being neither offensive or stellar, but we would have enjoyed the ability to actually customise our character.

We know that this brings about added headaches, as was the case in the aforementioned Cyberpunk, but playing as a very similar character to the original game seems liked a missed opportunity.

Dying Light 2 isn’t perfect, however, at least from the narrative perspective. Outside of leaning into zombie tropes, the opening stanzas of the game move rather slowly before giving you a swift uppercut.

Whether that is more impactful is up for debate, but our introduction to Aiden and this world set 22 years after the events of the first game left us wanting. It is therefore one of those games you have to stick with for the initial slog before it begins to pay off.

And pay off it does, as we can now talk about the parkour elements of the gameplay, which will likely be the part you will be reminiscing over time and time again, and may even be the reason you return to play through the campaign again.

Only way to travel

The smoothness with which you are able to chain together different real-world parkour techniques, along with some physics defying ones, never gets old in Dying Light 2. Added to this is a map that nearly every inch can be traversed, scaled and explored.

Outside of needing to explore to not only progress the campaign, but also scrounge for valuable resources, the movement system on offer is a joy and actively coaxes you into venturing into areas you probably shouldn’t without the necessary tools or ammo.

As such, for the completionists more concerned with endgame than online multiplayer, exploration might be the most rewarding part of Dying Light 2. There’s also an online co-op aspect to the parkour for the game too, so you can tackle that as well once you’re done with the campaign.

Having played two games recently where the traversal was expert in Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End and Horizon Forbidden West, we can safely say that Dying Light 2 sets the standard for first-person movement in gaming in much the same way that Mirror’s Edge did.

Sure, killing zombies with a retro-fitted cricket bat is fun, but if you’re going to pick up this game for any reason, it should be for how much fun exploring the post-apocalyptic city of Villedor is.


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