Dying Light 2: Stay Human in the tests: a worthy successor

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Dying Light 2: Stay Human is the latest game from the Polish developer Techland, which, despite many years of work, really became famous thanks to Dead Island. Then this game is also paid tribute at the very beginning with a little hint of its new zombie adventure in the open world. However, like its predecessor, Dying Light 2: Stay Human takes place in a much more serious atmosphere. Is it worth playing here?

First, Techland is sticking to the “classics”: at least my pre-release was still relatively buggy. Techland has promised to fix most of the bugs with a day one patch, but at the time of writing, I couldn’t tell if that would succeed. So broke during my game of Xbox In Series X, the frame rate suddenly dropped from time to time, the sound stuttered briefly, or the killed undead did not fall to the ground, but mutated into electric eels that rolled in an upright position.

I can forgive myself this with such an open world of the game at launch, if only the missions were not shot. Unfortunately, this also happened. Some quest givers suddenly stopped talking, but this should also be fixed for launch, so hopefully you won’t have to worry about constantly loading old saves for new attempts. Otherwise, Dying Light 2: Stay Human looks great from a technical standpoint.

Of course, this title also shows its last generation roots, which is reflected both in the character models and in the environment, with sometimes somewhat washed out textures. And pop-ups are also common, so it can sometimes be assumed that zombies have teleportation abilities. However, the prescience is very impressive, and the game’s setting, the city of Villedor, is visually more varied than the dreary Harran from the first game.

However, while the environment has taken on color, protagonist Aiden Caldwell remains rather pale. The character’s motivation to look for her missing sister also never really worked out for me, as as a little girl she seems more tiresome than cute in sporadic flashbacks. As in the first part, these are the stories of other residents, which are well done. In addition to the main story, there are many side quests.

However, the first three to four hours, depending on the difficulty level and your playstyle, are more of a learning experience. You start out in the middle of nowhere and gradually move into the city, or gradually encounter game mechanics such as parkour, combat mechanics, skill trees, and vital ultraviolet light. The latter plays a role, since Aiden also becomes infected with a zombie virus at the very beginning of the game. This means that he must not remain too long in the dark, otherwise the infection threatens to overwhelm him. Areas with ultraviolet lighting not only serve as silent zones from zombies, but also slow down Aiden’s own infestation when explored at night.

Exactly: As in the first part, you switch between day and night. During the day, the streets are a bit safer, but inside the buildings are full of zombies and harder to explore. At night, it is teeming with the undead away from the rooftops, but you can take advantage of the opportunity and perhaps get hold of new technology in dilapidated skyscrapers.

You will gradually pump up your skills in order to do gymnastics over rooftops or master new techniques in battle even more boldly. You will constantly find new weapons, but they all break after a while. However, sometimes you can repair and even upgrade your baseball bats, pipes, and boards before looking for a replacement. It is also worth looking for so-called inhibitors that increase your resistance to the virus or give you more energy and the like.

By the way, in Dying Light 2: Stay Human you will not find firearms. At best, you can do ranged combat with a bow. Most of the time you have to make contact with the undead as well as human opponents. By the way, here the USK version of the game has been edited to prevent injuries to people and attacks on neutral characters.

The feel of the game, with its mixture of parkour and some clunky but fun combat, has largely remained the same and has been improved. It also refers to the technology that gives you three graphics modes on modern consoles: “Performance” runs at 60fps at 1080p. “Quality” also matches 1080p, but scaled down to 30fps in favor of ray tracing. Then there’s the “Resolution” mode, which has a resolution close to 4K on the Xbox Series X, but runs at 30fps and doesn’t offer ray tracing.

I liked the highest resolution mode the best, because at 1080p Dying Light 2: Stay Human looks very rough on a 4K TV. The rest of the game is rough anyway: the world is harsh, and that goes for the game loop as well. As a player, you’re basically constantly under pressure: you’re either racing towards the next UV light, running from goaded zombies in pursuit, or climbing rooftops, often fearing you won’t have enough stamina to reach the roof’s edge’s next turn. left.

So, if you like to take your time while playing and prefer to immerse yourself in the game world in peace and quiet, then Dying Light 2: Stay Human is not the right place. There is always a certain pressure on the gas pedal – at least it doesn’t bother you that way. The large game world uses mechanics known from many open world games. Once you reach the high point, you can pull out your binoculars. If you point it at an interesting place, it will focus on its own, and the discovered place will be marked or added to your map. From now on, you can mark it as a target and track it. For example, you will unlock new quiet zones.

Ahead of the game, Techland announced that it has significantly expanded the role-playing elements in Dying Light 2: Stay Human compared to the first part. Therefore, your decisions in the game should play a big role. I didn’t manage to complete the entire game during the testing phase, but so far I didn’t get the impression that this would be the case to the extent that it was intended.

They probably didn’t want the player to get stuck too quickly. So it is quite realistic to first help a certain faction, and then (several times) go to the other side. This makes sense from a gameplay standpoint, as the player retains freedom. The plot, however, is quite funny that you first betray certain NPCs, but then shake their hands again a little later. As a result, the story of Dying Light 2: Stay Human feels more like a soap opera than a serious post-apocalyptic drama. But this also has its charms.

Anyway, I still have a lot of fun with Dying Light 2: Stay Human. Techland is not reinventing the wheel, but introducing a more diverse version of its predecessor. You can of course get lost in this open word game for a few weeks if you want, but it’s also okay to focus on the main story, even if some of the central fights are of course harder. An aspect that is certainly important: the game can also be played in co-op, which was an absolute advantage in the first part. Unfortunately, this was not implemented prior to launch, so I was unable to account for this feature. Let’s hope that you can work without errors.

Dying Light 2: Stay Human is not for the faint of heart, so the end of the day with this game will not be carefree, but very exciting. In any case, I can definitely recommend the game to fans of the first game, as well as to those who are looking for a self-contained open world with good main and side missions. Techland also provided the first game with many updates and a great addition. In this regard, I assume that the second part will also be interesting after launch. It’s already a dark zombie adventure that convinces with its raw charm.

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