'Dying Light 2 Stay Human' Review

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Polish video game developer/publisher Techland has a special place in the heart of gamers that have an affinity for the undead.

The studio's work can be seen in genre-defining experiences such as the very first Dead Island and its spiritual successor Dying Light. It's been awesome watching Techland dedicate years of updates to Dying Light and building it up into one of the most feature-rich games of the last generation, but it's also been quite excruciating waiting to get my hands on its highly anticipated sequel. But now that it's finally here, I'm here to proclaim that that wait was well worth enduring.

Dying Light 2 Stay Human is a bonafide gem that offers a highly engrossing open-world experience that exceeds its predecessor in every way possible.


Since The City is four times bigger than the original game's main locale of Harran, there's a whole lot more to do and see this time around. Just like the first game, you'll need to rely on your parkour skills to quickly move around and leap over obstacles & right onto nearby rooftops. The overabundance of animations given to the game's parkour system means you'll be treated to more realistic outcomes during your speedy runs and death-defying jumps, which is definitely a plus. As you upgrade your parkour abilities and get your hands on helpful tools (such as a brand new paraglider), the game's exploration elements open up even more and become that much more enticing to interact with. Making your way around the game's various districts and figuring out the best way to run, jump, & climb through its many nooks & crannies is highly addictive.

On the combat front, Dying Light 2 retains the first game's focus on intense melee action. And just like before, the systems at play here work extremely well. As you open random chests and complete numerous missions during your lengthy journey, you'll begin to accrue a huge collection of hammers, bats, swords, etc. Some of the stronger melee weapons you'll acquire can be outfitted with elemental attachments that make their attacks even more effective against the Infected and human foes. Weapon breakage is still a thing, but it's not annoying whatsoever since it's pretty easy to get your hands on a replacement once one of your favorites completely breaks down. Bashing and slashing feels, looks, and sounds great, so you'll enjoy getting close and personal with Dying Light 2's vicious opposition. And thanks to the game's streamlined skills system, you'll get plenty of satisfaction from upgrading Aiden's varied melee, parkour, and ranged weapon abilities. The crossbow and bevy of elemental arrows you'll acquire deep into your playthrough are especially satisfying in action.

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For such a massive game, Dying Light 2 is pretty refined in many aspects. But not all, sadly. I encountered a bunch of troubling glitches during my playthrough that points to a lack of polish in some key areas. There were moments where the audio would drop out completely during dialogue sequences, plus there were times where my character would get stuck on pieces of the world's geometry as I attempted to leap onto or through them. It became super frustrating at times thinking I successfully climbed onto a structure, only to fall to my death because some annoying glitch caused Aiden to lose his grip even though his stamina remained stable. Witnessing dead foes' bodies wig out and clip into the environment was also pretty disappointing. On a performance level, the game runs well as expected on current-gen hardware (I played Dying Light 2 on my Xbox Series X). But it's still hard to overlook some of the buggier aspects of my experience. I'm very much looking forward to incoming updates that smooth out the game and get rid of its bugs & glitches.

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On the whole, Dying Light 2 is an amazing follow-up to Techland's previous foray into the world of the undead. Many of the complaints lobbied against the first game have been taken to heart and remedied for the better - the main plot, side missions, nighttime exploration, and many more elements of Dying Light 2 are higher-quality experiences. And getting to do them all with four-player co-op play enabled is a dream scenario that's thankfully a reality. The random occurrences of bugs and glitches put a damper on things at times, but they're not enough to lower this game's quality to the point of being non-recommendable. Dying Light 2 is a must-play and one of the earliest contenders for the 2022 Game of the Year.

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