Since Dying Light 2 was showcased at Microsoft’s E3 press conference, more information has been revealed regarding the game’s world, combat, and day/night cycle.
The first big change in the upcoming Dying Light 2 is the change of location, taking place in a fictitious European metropolis 15 years after the initial outbreak. The new setting is built off of the themes of medieval and a modern dark age. Dying Light 2 will feature a map that is four times the size of the original game and its DLC The Following. The new city is dirty and chaotic, but pops due to the way it is lit. Not every area will be flooded with zombies like the last game, and the inhabitants have learned how to live with the monstrous menace. The areas with multiple humans will have less zombies while areas that have no living human will be swarmed with flesh eating creatures.
Another huge change to Dying Light 2 will be what the developer calls the ‘Narrative Sandbox’ style of story telling. This time around, the story will focus on what the player wants instead of what the main character wants, leading to multiple endings. The world will grow and change as the story continues due to the choices the player makes. In many cases new gameplay options become available depending on certain decision made, but those very choices will have a consequence that will affect the player in other ways. Missions will no longer be linear, given way to multiple ways to finish tasks. The player can learn about the weaknesses and secrets that the gamer can use in missions to change the outcome, creating different scenarios which further change the world and how characters act. Depending how missions are handled can cause factions to begin warring or make people move. Not every time will the outcome be apparent, but slowly shown over time; patterns and rules can be learnt to better understand what outcome may occur. Consequences are not always reversible; those that are reversible will require the play to wait for a future quest that will change the flow back to something more preferable. Due to the title’s focus on player agency and branching narrative, the city may or may not survive by the end of the game due to choices made. If the player chooses to go online, the players will be going off of the host’s world and have the final say with in-game decisions.
Dying Light 2 continues the same three major pillars from the first game: parkour, day/night cycle, and melee combat. The parkour and melee have been revamped with the idea of controlling the character’s body over controlling the character, furthering the technicality of the games interactions. All the systems for movement and combat have been tweaked, upgraded, or rewritten. As the player traverses the level, they will need to adapt the movement systems to the environment instead of having an overall move set that works everywhere. In addition to the upgrades, the project sports double the number of parkour moves, and will feature new challenges that are built around the game’s traversal systems. One aspect that makes the free running and challenges more difficult is the need to manage stamina, taking breaks and gauging what is possible, because not everything can be climbed easily.
Combat has been refocused in Dying Light 2, as Techland is now focusing on the day time instead of night like the previous game. With this change, human adversaries will become much more prominent, and combat tuned as a result. Melee battles now have more technical skill and strategy. Timing is going to be key, as blocking and parrying are major components to fights. The player can pick up objects and throw them to damage and distract enemies. In addition, parkour will now become a part of fights as the game has parkour fight moves for the player to use. All the new improvements and changing the focus to day has resulted in a more technical game that require more thought than button-mashing. In addition to the day/night cycle changes, the night will become harder and players will really “have to brave the night.”
Dying Light 2 began concept production halfway through the development of Dying Light: ‘The Following’, and will be released in 2019 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.