Back in 2015 Dying Light launched to massive popular acclaim. Since then Techland has updated that title for years as fans eagerly awaited the sequel. After years of waiting and multiple delays Dying Light 2 launched and it was well worth the wait. An exceptional journey as you survive the modern dark age. Using whatever tools available Dying Light 2 does not slow down and takes off right from the start.

Dying Light 2 stars newcomer Aiden Caldwell, a pilgrim looking for his sister in the city called Villedor. As a pilgrim Aiden is courier who takes on suicidal missions across the open land. After curing the Harran virus a new variant caused the fall of humanity. Those unfamiliar with the first game won’t be at a loss since the game attempts to separate itself from that game. Instead focusing on people trying to build new lives in the modern dark age.

Villedor houses thousands of people all attempting to live under constant siege of infected. Those inside are fighting for control and Aiden will determine who gains that power. The characters are not good or evil but instead trying to make the best decisions to ensure everyone’s survival. These decisions will have domino effects leading to changes in the environment and the end of certain settlements.

Many of the side missions attempt to build on the people surviving. Either couriers taking packages, people trying to find others beyond the walls, animals returning to the city, and much more. The developers even went on to include some fun mini-games involving the infected.

The developers wanted you to own your decisions. Choices are locked in, meaning you cannot manually save and retry. This can become annoying since a large part of the game is locked behind a major choice. You can swim around the area but it takes away from the experience of exploring the area. On the opposite end it adds intensity to the game, ensuring when you make a choice there’s no going back.

Villedor is an amazing place to explore. There’s plenty to see and once you get the glider it becomes a playground. There’s a combination of high skyscrapers and small rooftops to explore. Many dark areas hide infected and during the night sections the streets and rooftops become hostile dead zones.

The day and night cycle open up different ways to play the game with nights providing more experience and clearing out dangerous resource rich areas. The opposite is during the day you get less experience but it’s easier and safer to travel. Depending on which side you choose, by allocating resources to Peacekeepers or Survivors, will open up new options. You can do this regardless of which side you choose for story missions.

The presentation of Villedor is exceptional considering what Techland sought to accomplish here. Entire settlements have been crafted from the rooftops with farms and windmills. On the ground you find bandits luring innocents into traps, dead bodies, and just a haze of death everywhere. Humanity is attempting to live with the infection and reminding themselves they’re human.

Stay Human is more than just a sub-title for Dying Light 2. It’s a major element within the game’s story as those inside Villedor try to live normal lives. They trade, eat, crate families, and just try to do more than just survive. It’s a difficult thing to do, especially for kids, but the world continues turning regardless and just living for tomorrow isn’t enough.

Aiden can gain experience through traditional means, such as combat and parkouring but the biggest are inhibitors. These are located in specialized crates in the city and are necessary to increasing Aiden’s stamina. The issue is that Aiden, being a pilgrim, should have access to a lot of these talents. This includes wall-running and most momentum based abilities. Almost like the developers padded abilities to fill up the tree.

Aiden will face a lot of deadly enemies from infected to humans. The humans are cunning and will use their numbers to take down Aiden. They come in a decent variety and use an array of weapons and items to their advantage. They’ll toss items, charge your position when you’re healing, and keep their distance when hurt.

Infected enemies are dangerous but mostly charge your position directly. Despite this tactic they’re strong and will easily kill if you don’t take it seriously. Most dangerous types are added as you progress but these are story related.

Aiden himself has a lot of tools to deal with the oncoming threats. There are no guns, outside from a crossbow, since the military took possession of all of them. Instead Aiden must use a variety of weapons and gear options to take down his enemies. Weapons range from blunt to sharp and 1-hand to 2-hand to name a few. Aiden cannot swing away and must block or charge depending on the situation with a stamina meter determining how much you can act on. Other tools include knives, bombs, molotovs, and more. For infected there is a UV light for pushing them back but these are limited for some reason.

The weapons are incredibly designed and customizable. There’s no fixing option so once it’s broken that is it. This is a disappointed but the game gives you a constant supply of new items to use. In addition, you can purchase items and resources from vendors but infected trophies are a real pain to collect. These trophies unlock the best upgrades in the game and you need to get a lot of these. To the point that you’ll be farming trophies for a long time to get the most powerful items in the game.

The animation is exceptional, especially during combat. Enemies will react to certain damage and where you strike them, scream in pain, and collapse depending on where the final blow landed. The game does not shy away from genuine grow and the game’s cutscene share this quality. The voice-acting is hit or miss but Aiden’s VO, Jonah Scott, really does a great job. Some scenes are great like when in an elevator with a bunch of soldiers trying to make light of the situation or when speaking to a librarian about her favorite books. Other times the writing becomes annoying like when the you’re told to get some shoes for someone who sends you into her former home and doesn’t expect you to look around. Thankfully those moments are rare.

Dying Light 2: Stay Human is an exceptional journey as humanity tries to live in this new world. A contained story as the people of Villedor find new reasons to keep hold of their humanity. The narrative has you discovering how people find the will to continue living while changing the city for the better or worse. Dying Light 2 is another incredible title from Techland and no one should miss out on.

Dying Light 2 Review
Positives
  • Incredible Mobility System
  • Exceptional Combat and Brutal Executions
  • Lots of Equipment
Cons
  • Glitches and Issues
  • Locked Momentum Mobility Options
  • Shoes!?
9.5Overall Score
Reader Rating: (2 Votes)
4.1

About The Author

Adam S
Sr.Staff Writer

Adam is a Senior Staff Writer for GAW with over 15 years of experience in writing and is completely obsessed with video games. He holds a BA from Brooklyn College and lives in NY.