It’s been nearly seven years since Dying Light launched on the last generation of consoles, and in that time, the fledgling franchise has made a hell of a name for itself. Despite staggering out of the gate at launch, the first game has become a cult classic — and it’s still supported by developers to this day.
From this well-supported, deeply refined foundation was born Dying Light 2 – a new game set in a new world with a new protagonist (apparently taking over 500 hours to fully complete). It’s a blank slate for developer Techland, and in many ways the studio has gone back to the drawing board to try and make the series more appealing to games of all tastes.
Judging by the games we’ve played so far, the series’ new approach is paying off: Dying Light 2 is a playground full of self-made parkour action, crunchy combat and story beats, where players can expect to get lost There are big differences, depending on the choices you make. Multiple delays have held the game back time and time again, but it’s almost time we finally get to know Techland’s long-awaited follow-up to one of the previous generation’s biggest sleepers.
We’ve rounded up the most important things you need to know about the zombie-fighting epic ahead of Dying Light 2’s release on February 4, 2022.
You don’t really need to play the first game before this
While you’ll definitely get more out of Dying Light 2 if you played the first game, that’s not a requirement to get into the new game: Dying Light 2 has a new protagonist, a new environment, and the events of the first game set 15 years later. That means Armageddon really has time to start, and what we see in Harlan’s new playground is a world built to fend off zombies — and a population that’s adapted to this strange new world full of undead fears and infectious diseases. That means, for us, we can go into the sequel with very little knowledge of the world of Dying Light and still have fun.
you need to be vigilant
According to the developers, there are more than 1,000 animations in the game – twice as many as the original game. This focus on mobility and movement greatly inspired the game design, leading Techland to create a city full of towering buildings and dangerous routes. Early on in the game, you’ll encounter a lot of enemies that are too strong to deal with, so staying nimble, knowing your escape routes, and choosing when to escape are all important — if not essential — skills.
Get used to melee combat
Harran – the setting of the game – is a fictional European city with a rich history. Much of the in-game lore is devoted to telling you why there are so few guns banging around (you don’t see a lot of guns in European cities, do you?) From a game standpoint, that means the update is focused on hand-to-hand combat and Hand to Hand – Learn how to use knives, poles, baseball bats and any other key to survival in the city. Whether you’re fending off the living or the dead, you need to master your body if you want to survive those long, scary nights.
keep an eye on the clock
Speaking of which, there’s a reason this game is called Dying Light 2. If you want to get the best gear, or get into the most dangerous places more safely, you need to pay close attention to the day/night cycle. During the day, the streets are generally safer (allowing you to navigate the city with ease), but zombies will crowd indoors, away from the sun’s deadly UV rays. At night, they’ll fill the streets – making it harder for you to get around, but letting you sneak into their lair and steal the best loot without too much risk. Pay attention to the timing and plan your actions accordingly. After all, you don’t want to end up stuck in the depths of a mall when the sun is about to rise…
Don’t forget to be sneaky
In the first game, stealth wasn’t a particularly viable option. Sure, you can try to sneak around bandits and zombies, but usually it’s much more efficient to slice through your opponent with knives and arrows. Now, though, updated AI and a more stealthy skill tree mean you can choose to sneak around rowdy undead and assassinate them, if that’s more your style. If you find story missions or side missions a little too tricky, you may need a quieter way to progress and level up until you get stronger.