By Ujaan Pal Chawdhury
It’s been a few months since the gameplay trailer for Dying Light 2 has dropped, so we thought it would be a good time to talk about the first title. Zombie games have come a long way over the decades, from the challenging survival horror of Resident Evil to the fun and creative undead killing of Dead Rising. Although the plots of the different games vary, the gameplay of the titles are mostly the same, which is upgrading the playable character and weapons to take down the increasing number of zombies and their tougher variants.
The narrative of 2015's Dying Light fails to offer something astounding. In this game, you are put in the shoes of Kyle Crane, a covert operative working for a morally questionable agency, who is dropped in the zombie-infested lands of Harran to recover stolen data from a local warlord called Rais. But things go south as Kyle gets infected and has to ensure his survival by teaming up with the local survivors to take down both zombies and Rais. So what makes this title special? The two main game-changing elements- the parkour system and the in-game nighttime.
The parkour mechanics brilliantly adds another layer to the typical zombie genre. Along with facing zombies head-on with guns and melee weapons now, you have the option to avoid them by accessing rooftops and interiors of buildings in the open world. With the proper idea, you can climb and jump over almost anything and things are made easier after unlocking an extremely handy grappling hook. Agility is the key to victory in any situation in this game, be it during combat, shootout or simply escaping a zombie horde.
Like any other open-world title there is a day and night cycle, but here it plays a key role in changing the entire mood of the game. During the daytime, you will encounter human enemies and different zombie types such as regular Biters, fast running Virals, acid-spitting Toads, huge Goons and Demolishers with massive health pools but the deadliest of them all is reserved for the nighttime. The Volatiles only come out during the night and fighting them is next to impossible as one Volatile will attract others if it spots you. Even a single Volatile can obliterate you within mere seconds, leaving you the only option that is to make a run for it. It is amazing how Techland has splendidly utilized the day and night cycle with the implementation of a simple enemy trait. This made the title play like an action-adventure game during the day that changed to survival horror in the night.
Dying Light 2 Stay Human has teased some stealth elements and a diverse world that is heavily affected by the choices made by the players, throughout the campaign. Techland’s earlier zombie survival title 2011’s Dead Island focused on first-person melee combat. Dying Light tries to improve on the combat mechanism but still leaves a lot to expect. However, Techland more than proves that creative ideas can revive and contribute even in a popular and tiring genre. So even after few delays we still hope that Dying Light 2 lives up to its promises.