Release Date: February 4, 2022
Platforms: Xbox One, Xbox Series S|X, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, PC
Reviewed On: Xbox Series X
After multiple delays, game play changes, and a different outcome from the E3 2018 trailer, Techland’s Dying Light 2: Stay Human has officially been released on consoles and PC with the Cloud version for the Nintendo Switch coming later this year. With a vast open-world and smooth movement in the parkour you’ll use consistently to traverse, this action-adventure RPG looks entertaining, but is it enough to stay alive or does it let the 4-year development light die out?
You are Aiden Caldwell, and you have come to the city of Villedor, looking for your missing sister. You come across an informant who may know the whereabouts of a certain doctor, named Dr. Waltz, who may have information about your sister. Waltz is in search of a particular key that you have and would do anything to have it.
Sadly, the story is forgettable and takes too long to see the results of your actions. It has the ‘scratch my back and I promise in time to scratch yours’. Nothing really delivers or matters because the recycled story beats of Dying Light 2 doesn’t pay off. The game will trick you to think you’re making progress when in reality, it just stretches the game longer so you actually have a story. It really is disappointing because the story and concept could’ve compliment each other, and it doesn’t.
Dying Light 2: Stay Human mostly focuses on melee combat and parkour movement. Aiden is fast and feels good when you are traveling through the huge city of Villedor. As you progress in the game, you’ll gain more abilities that will help you in both areas. Most movement and attacks require your Stamina bar to stay functional. If you run out, you won’t be able to fight or move quickly around. Luckily, your Stamina will recharge automatically.
Speaking of melee combat, the gameplay in this area is basic. You’ll swing your weapons wildly and as you use them over time, they will eventually break. That’s right, weapon degradation is in the game. There are a lot of weapons around with different stats, so you don’t have to worry about being defenseless. If you can’t find any weapons, you can punch zombies and other humans to death, drop kick them , counter attack them after you parry, choke and stab them, or kick them to keep the distance.
It’s very generic and the most powerful attack is the drop-kick attack. You’ll launch them across the room and can take them out easily. Unfortunately, the control mechanism to parry and counter takes too many steps, and you could miss some enemies because of the short time to attack and forgetting the button mapped
Day and Night Cycle
The game does have a day and night cycle. During the day, there are less zombies in the world. At night, they appear more in certain places. If there is a building you want to explore, the game encourages you to wait for the night because it’s more likely you won’t encounter a lot of zombies. These places carry special items, weapons, gear, and Inhibitors.
Inhibitors are important as they allow you to have more stamina or life. If you obtain three, you can choose either to extend your chances to live longer or fight longer. It’ll also give you more immunity time at night. When you are playing at night, a countdown at the top-center is your immunity meter from turning into a zombie. If you run out of time, you’ll start to lose health until you die. You can replenish it by coming into contact with a UV light or using a Immunity booster
The performance of the game is steady and isn’t that bad, but there are moments where the game audio will have some issues over a period of play time, you may get stuck in some parts of the world (I got stuck over a fence which made the camera have a hoedown as it stuttered repeatedly), and pop-in tends to happen when you get closer to certain areas.
All in all, Dying Light 2: Stay Human may seem fun for the first three hours, but it becomes more repetitive, cliche, and boring the longer you play. The AI isn’t smart, the platforming can be odd in certain missions and areas, there aren’t enough enemy types, it’s not suspenseful or terrifying, and by the end, you’ll be thankful it’s over and may never return to it again.
As for the 500 hours to experience everything in the game, you really don’t need that much time as the story can be completed within 40 hours. You may want to do some of the side quests to make Aiden stronger, but you can easily get through the game if you mainline the story and unlock the right skills.
Though the parkour movement works very well, Dying Light 2: Stay Human just doesn’t bring enough life to the experience the early trailers had, which made us die with anticipation.
Eddie V. is a co-founder of Boss Rush Network who writes, podcasts, and loves video game trivia. You can find him on Twitter with @thatretrocode.
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