Dying Light 2 Stay Human - Dying Light 2 - Before You Buy
Hey, we're back with another episode of the Before You Buy That Show where we give you some straight-up gameplay and our first impressions of the latest games released. As usual, it's me. Jake Baldino, and today we're talking about Dying Light too. We've been waiting a long time for this one. We talked about the original game a lot.
You know, it's one of our favorites. For me personally, I was kind of bored of zombie games, and then Dying Light did some cool and fresh new stuff that hooked me long term, and I feel like I've been preaching about it ever since. So if you're tired of that, I'm sorry, but Dying Light too has been a long time coming because it's bigger and bolder.
You know, a larger world, hours and hours of gameplay, great character progression and leveling, there's some great atmosphere, and although it's a disjointed adventure. I still found myself enjoying my time here overall. Keep in mind though. I'm just predisposed to liking these specific types of games, and you know, titles from European studios with a little unique charm to them, and again.
I really like the previous games, so that's where I'm at personally, but let's dive in so you can decide for yourself. And just so you know, this footage was captured on a PS5 review copy in performance mode, and we'll get to that. This footage does show later game areas a bit here and there, but is spoiler free.
Now in Dying Light 2, you are Aiden, a pilgrim. He's like a runner of sorts in this post-apocalyptic. World where people 15 years after this zombie outbreak are trying to rebuild behind walls, aiden is one of a select few out there who are just out in the dangerous outside world running around and being a badass.
He's looking for a long-lost family member, and his search leads him to this massive fictional city of Villador. Villador is freaking huge and is basically just a post-apocalyptic playground. It's almost shockingly big, especially because you get around most of it on foot. There are different districts and a lot of variety, and it's filled with all types of survivors waiting to sell you weapons, talk to you about nonsense, and give you random side quests.
The people of Villa D'ore are divided up kind of into different factions. There are the survivors, who are just kind of like regular people trying to live. Then there's the peacekeepers, who are like the more militaristic group that wants to keep everyone safe but can sometimes resort to brutal methods.
There are also random murderous bandits out there, of course, and there's also specifically the renegades, who are like mad max crazy evil dudes. Many of the communities and little open world settlements you unlock are perched atop buildings. The streets below are filled with zombies, but during the day the nastier creatures usually just hide out in abandoned buildings, and then there's this day-night cycle, and at night, that's when the game can be really dark and it's just you and a flashlight and a couple gadgets against faster, nastier zombie creatures.
Now, doing stuff at night nets you better loot, more reward items overall, and more experience points, so you have the freedom to explore at night as much or as little as you want because it can be pretty tense and it can get you pretty sweaty. It's really beneficial to do so, but the game doesn't force you outside of a couple of specific story moments, and just like the first game, these moments can get really intense, like the creatures when they're alerted to you and an intense chase starts that only escalates the longer you run and enemies are like literally popping out of super greats crawling out from underneath cars.
As leaves fall out of windows in front of you, it gets wild and cinematic. You feel like you're drowning in zombies, especially if you're playing on hard now during the day. You're completing main missions and side missions. You're climbing towers to unlock new safe zones. You're scavenging for crafting items to make new lock picks, bombs, or healing items generally.
You're doing open world stuff. You know, the game has a lot of side quests, and some of them can be pretty involved. Dialogue and story wise, though I found a lot of them uninteresting, there is definitely some open world bloat here. I've talked about open world games that pack in just a lot of stuff for the sake of it.
There is some of that here. There are a lot of parkour challenges and a lot of familiar-feeling enemy bases to clear out and take over. There's also some repetition. For example, a lot of interiors look the same and some places feel like you've seen them before, and if you're a certain type of player, you might get bored of endlessly looting, you know, clicking on the same backpacks, or holding square, to get a rag or bolts or whatever for another molotov cocktail for hours and hours, despite that the actual progression and pacing for me personally is great.
It was really good enough that I didn't care. Getting around the city and getting into random fights is satisfying, fun, and the best part of the game. Couple that with making your character better and stronger, and it's the icing on the cake. You know, for a game where the base game controls are just like run, jump, and heavy attack, the game does a really fantastic job of building on that control scheme as the game goes on, both your abilities and skills and your gadgets.
By the end of the game, you've got like a makeshift limited-use gun, insane weapons with attachments. A paraglider I have a grappling hook, crazy moves and climbing strength, and a bunch of tricks to just get around the city. It feels liberating and satisfying, in a article game way, to go from being a parkour guy who struggles climbing certain things or has fallen damage, to basically being Spider-man.
I love it. I think the gameplay is just great now. The combat, with a lot of moves unlocked, feels good. It can be simple, very simple. It's all melee-based mostly, but it's brutal. Over his shoulders and drop kick into another, it can be a little finicky when it's all executed. While running around, it's smooth as hell and like that's where the game is at its best, it's also at its funniest too, because if something like that I described sounds really cool, half the time you just screw it up and it's also goofy, but in a good way, plus throw in bombs and different weapon types, and even a bow and arrow, and you can have some really cool moments and encounters.
The game was hyped up as one of those action RPGs where your choices really matter again. Like many games, they do matter, but it still doesn't always feel like much. There are two types of decisions: there are story decisions that pop up here and there that definitely seem to change the flow of some things, and then there are the faction decisions, which I thought would be cooler than they are.