The original Dying Light went on to be a fan favorite. Not only did Techland support it for ages, across a wide variety of consoles, it stood out in a rather popular genre. The sequel promised bigger and better things. Having seen it at two different E3 events, it was clear they had a set direction and idea of what Dying Light 2: Stay Human would be. With delays, some passing resemblance to Cyberpunk 2077 and lack of details, fans started to worry. Now that players have Dying Light 2: Stay Human, is it the sequel fans wanted or does it fail the parkour?
Dying Light 2: Stay Human introduces Aiden in a rather interesting way. Taking place in the middle of a zombie outbreak, Aiden arrives in Villedor where he needs to adapt to survive the threats that await, but more importantly, find answers to his past. Throughout the adventure Aiden will flash to his past, memories of his sister Mia and slowly uncover who he is, while also deciding who he will become.
Combat Builds to Bigger and Better Things
The experience itself will depend on the player in question. The main storyline isn’t terribly long and is enjoyable, as long as you don’t think about it too hard. There are also various options to determine how the adventure goes. Some of these will make more of an impact than others, with every path taking different routes to the same general location.
Outside of the main adventure, there are a wide variety of side quests. They do well at making the world seem a bit more interesting, though the character stories are pretty hit and miss. They’re nice for those who love random interactions or perhaps want to get lost in another adventure. As long as you don’t expect too much from these missions, you probably won’t be disappointed.
If there is really a flaw with Dying Light 2: Stay Human, it’s that things are generally pretty slow. Prior to completing the prologue, Aiden is a fraction of his true power. Even basic things like climbing a building are a struggle, one that doesn’t make for an enjoyable opening hour or so.
Similar things apply to the combat system as well. Initially, only a few skills or abilities are unlocked, meaning it takes a bit to really see all that Dying Light 2: Stay Human has to offer. This also applies to weapons, craftable items, cash, and practically every other system. Once things start to move, the experience really opens up.
At first fighting, a bunch of zombies can be intimidating. There is only so much that can be done, a good number to fight, with the initial systems favoring more dynamic foes. The number of hits it takes to defeat a zombie with your bare hands alone can be seen as frustratingly slow. With weapons there is more variety, impact, certain considerations that move things along, building until you’re jumping off enemies, effortlessly dealing with weaponed foes, and going through the city without fear.
As nice as this sounds, Dying Light 2: Stay Human often feels underwhelming. A lot of actions, even with better weapons, often take too long, with far more foes than are really needed. It’s often far more satisfying to run around because the parkour system feels so liberating.
Not only does it start in a good place, well, besides the initial prologue woes, but there is also a clear line of progression. I don’t need to wonder if this cave has five zombies waiting for me, nor are there concerns about bigger threats. I can just run across a building, jump onto a billboard, move across, go to another building and keep going looking for the next big thing. Maybe that is a cache, perhaps it’s a certain enemy, optional fight, or dynamic mission. It’s unfortunate the two parts don’t come together sooner, as there is a lot of good to see, especially in the rather colorful city of Villedor.
Dying Light 2: Stay Human Review Verdict
At the end of the day, Dying Light 2: Stay Human is all about an investment that might not even pay off. Parkour remains the highlight, with a narrative that will likely engage, but how much it entertains will vary. Combat eventually improves, though it doesn’t immediately satisfy in the same way something like Sifu does. Instead, it’s a neat zombie game with fun exploration mechanics. For some that are exactly what they wanted, though, for others, it might just be better looking elsewhere.