Zombie games are a really fun romp in wanton death and destruction. It’s cathartic, appeals to the fantasy of an unstoppable engine of death, and overall, is just fun. Sadly, there haven’t been any new zombie games out there that encompass these. At least, until the sequel to Dying Light came along: Dying Light 2 Stay Human. Here’s our review of Dying Light 2.
What Is Dying Light?
Dying Light is an open-world survival horror video game created back in 2015 by Techland and released by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. The game is about an undercover agent by the name of Kyle Crane, who was sent to a quarantine zone in the Middle East, in a city named Harran. The game features a lot of zombies, as well as parkour and a cool crafting system. It also has an asymmetrical multiplayer mode and a four-player co-op.
The crafting system and the parkour are the two things that made Dying Light a cool game to get. On the parkour side of things, you’re pretty much encouraged to run through the city of Harran as fast as possible. You jump, slide, and overall just zip your way through zombies as well as rooftops and railings. If it’s in range, you can climb it. If it’s close enough, they can jump to it. So long as you know your limits, the game expands upon it immensely, allowing players free movement as long as they’re careful.
Crafting-wise, Dying Light has a lot of unique weaponry that the player uses to defend themselves against the undead. From electrified machetes to an absolute beast of a Warhammer cobbled together from concrete and a Molotov — Dying Light gives the player the wackiest things that can be turned into a weapon. As Kyle explores Harran and the surrounding area, he’ll discover new blueprints that he can use to create stronger and more diverse weapons for his use. And he best use them, as the zombies get worse and worse, especially during the night.
What Is Dying Light 2 Stay Human?
Dying Light 2 Stay Human is an open-world, action survival horror RPG created and released by Techland. This is the sequel to Dying Light, which takes place 22 years after the events in the city of Harran.
There are a few changes to the game’s main character as well, with Kyle Crane dead and the Harran Virus spreading throughout the world. The protagonist this time, is Aidan Caldwell. We’ll follow his story, as well as the story of the people he meets in the city of Villedor, the last remaining holdout against the zombie hordes.
Dying Light 2 Stay Human is playable on PC, PS4, PS5, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.
PC System Requirements
When playing on PC, Dying Light 2 Stay Human has certain thresholds to have a good gaming experience. In this part of the article, we’re going to discuss the minimum and recommended requirements to run Dying Light 2. Specifically the minimum and recommended requirements of 1080p 30/60fps. We’ll talk more about the requirements to run this alongside ray tracing in a later part of the article.
Minimum System Requirements
Recommended System Requirements
Dying Light 2 Game Review
Now that we’ve introduced the game and what you’ll need to run it on PC. It is now time to continue our Dying Light 2 review by taking a look at the game through different categories. This review of Dying Light 2 will be looked at objectively.
If you’ve ever played Dying Light before, then everything in that game is still in its sequel, with a lot of new additions. Most of these we’ll talk about in the relevant sections as they come. A really big addition, though, is a timer that counts down until Aidan is turned into a zombie. See, he’s already been infected by the virus. However, the infection can be suppressed by being out in the daylight or being near UV lamps.
If it’s nighttime or he’s inside a building without UV lights, Aidan’s got a few hours, minutes at least, before he turns into a zombie. This adds a sense of urgency into the game, especially during the nighttime, or one mission where it’s necessary to move in the night.
For now, the only thing you need to know is that Dying Light 2 Stay Human stays true to what made the original Dying Light great. Its parkour is improved tremendously, and combat, though basic, is very consistent. There are a few additions here and there, but the one most important to talk about in the gameplay section is the various factions and the player’s relationship with them.
Factions and You
Dying Light 2 has two factions in Villedor that players can interact with. The first is the Survivors, those that lived through the various trials and tribulations of the world after the apocalypse. They’re nomads who do their best to ensure that their people stay alive and well.
The next faction is the Peacekeepers, an organization concerned with keeping citizens safe, by any means necessary. This usually means doing unsavory stuff that is usually unpalatable during civilized times. However, these methods are now seen as necessary due to the nature of the current world.
Last but not least, and the more wildcard faction of the bunch, are the Renegades. These are the anarchists, the terrorists, the ones that don’t care and only want to sow chaos and enjoy themselves. Those that get in the way of this will be eliminated, and damn any that get in their way.
The player can choose to help, ignore, or completely oppose any of these three factions. Depending on what they do about these factions, the people around them will react accordingly. To influence this, players can choose to give various facilities and installations scattered throughout Villedor. The player can also help these factions in clearing out zombies or other enemies as well.
However, do note that each action the player does against one faction will embitter them towards the player. The amount of respect and influence each faction has to you will determine what ending the player gets when finishing the game.
Combat and Physics
The combat in Dying Light 2 hasn’t changed that much. It’s still “slam your weapon to the enemy” with a few added variations. Dropkicks are still a thing, and the player can still craft various items to help in combatting the undead.
If we’re just talking about the similarities, this would be the end of our discussion on combat. However, there’s a bit of a problem. The combat feels a bit floaty, and some things just don’t seem right. An example of this is that players can no longer drop down on an infected enemy from above to incapacitate for an easy kill — this doesn’t make sense. On Dying Light 1, they can be brought down to the ground for a kill by just falling on them from a decent height.
There also doesn’t seem to be any weight on the attacks anymore. Enemies don’t flinch when you hit them with melee, and the zombie variants unflinchingly advance towards Aidan unless they’re killed. It’s honestly pretty annoying to see your attacks have seemingly no effect until the enemy you’re attacking dies.
In addition to this, there are other, more disconcerting things in combat and physics that keen players can detect. An example of this is the fact that zombies don’t stick to spiked barrels when they’re kicked by Aidan towards them. They don’t even have that utterly satisfying sound of slicing blades on the skin when they collide. Instead, it’s just a sickening wet squelch before the corpse slumps to the ground.
However, the game’s combat is still incredibly fun and rewarding if you plan your attacks well. Combining parkour with attack swings, slides, and dropkicks is still the best way to clear a zombie horde. If you’re looking for a bit of zombie-killing fun, then never fear, Dying Light 2 will provide.
Movement and Parkour
When it comes to movement, Dying Light 2 has a lot of things up its sleeve. The game has a few additional movement options in addition to its already great parkour. The floatiness that we talked about during the combat section of the article still applies here. But in this case, it helps as it allows players to do cool feats of movement in the game.
However, there are a few additions to Dying Light 2 that revolutionized the way players go through the world. Of particular interest is the addition of the paraglider, which completely upends the game’s movement in various interesting ways.
For example, players can now traverse even farther distances with a combination of parkour and paraglider use. There are also a lot of ways to leverage the environment to escape pursuing zombies and other enemies as well. Copious use of paragliders after jumping off of buildings to escape zombies, using wall running to avoid pitfalls, et cetera.
However, the floatiness we mentioned can work against the player at some points. If you’re not ready, the player may jump to their deaths by complete accident. Other than this, the parkour and movement are still top-notch.
Dying Light 2 is an incredibly good-looking game, with the game’s expansive world spreading out to the player’s eyes. Its various areas look good when the light is there, and incredibly sinister and foreboding when it’s not. Daytime in the game is very apparent, and the player will learn to dread the coming of the night when the sun goes down.
As per usual with a lot of games, the graphics is directly tied to its performance. For those that want to get 4K and ray tracing and all the bells and whistles — they best have a beefy gaming PC or console that can handle the load that the game will give to the rig. For those that do have the PCs in question, they’re in for a treat.
First off, the game can go at 4K 60fps, but it needs an incredibly strong PC to do so. This is something a lot of people don’t have. The reasonable option would be to just go for 1080p and 60fps with or without ray tracing. To get this kind of performance, the devs recommend either an Intel i5-8600K or an AMD Ryzen 7 3700X for the CPU.
RAM-wise, players need 16 GB, at least 60 GB of free space in an SSD, and a Windows 10 Operating System. For the GPU, they need a beefy Nvidia GeForce RTX 308. All in all, a total of between $2,000 and $2,500 for a PC that runs Dying Light 2 Stay Human at 1080p, 60fps with ray tracing consistently.
This isn’t something that’s recommended as the game runs pretty well with the same CPU but with the RTX 2060. If you’re a graphics hog, though, prepare to cough up some cash.
The story of Dying Light 2 takes place a few years after the events on Harran that unleashed the virus on the rest of the world. Now, the human race is scattered, forced to watch a slow death as various individuals slowly turn into monsters. The only way to avoid this grisly fate is to stay in the light of UV rays, which can be a bit of a challenge. When it’s morning, that’s not a problem, as the sun has UV rays aplenty. However, this is very not in the case indoors and during night time. During these circumstances, the infected need the use of UV lights to stop the change from happening.
In these trying times, the player takes control of Aidan Caldwell. A scavenger went to the city of Villedor to try and find the remains of his past, as well as his sister. While he’s in Villedor, he’ll have to navigate the zombie-infested streets and fight to survive. He also needs to negotiate and deal with the various factions of Villedor that each has its agendas. His choices going forward will decide how the city will look in the future.
Overall, Dying Light 2’s story isn’t that revolutionary. The player picks a faction they’d like to help, go through the game’s story mode while helping them with things, and is done. They’ll unlock certain additional stuff like weapons every time they help their chosen faction, and depending on the faction, will have a specific ending. Thus, there’s a good reason to replay the game if the player wants to see how everything will go with the various factions in the game.
Other than that, it’s pretty typical. If you’re playing Dying Light 2 for the story, you’re probably kidding yourself. It’s serviceable, but it’s not going to win awards.
In terms of map size, Dying Light 2 has a bigger map compared to its predecessor. The game has a total of 12 main sectors, with four accessible when the tutorial’s finished and eight more when certain quests are done.
In addition to this, there are also a lot of things to do and explore in the city of Villedor. If you’re one of the people that want to have a big sandbox to do your zombie-killing rampages on, then Dying Light 2 is great.
Dying Light 2 suffered a bit in terms of sound design. An example would be the spiked barrels, which have a distinct crunch when the player pushes/kicks zombies towards them. This isn’t the case anymore in Dying Light 2. The player gets a sickeningly wet squelch before the zombie just slumps to the ground.
Other than this, the various melee weapons don’t sound as they should. There’s no weighty sound to their hits to indicate that the player is connected. Landings after parkour sequences also sound a bit muted, though that could be explained by what Aidan is wearing. Other than this though, the game does sound great, with a few exceptions like what we told you.
Dying Light 2 vs Dying Light: Which Is Better?
For this part of our review of Dying Light 2, we’ll now compare it to the original game.
If we’re being honest here, the first Dying Light is a bit better when it comes to combat, sound design, and physics. However, Dying Light 2 innovated by adding in the paraglider and improving on the movement side of things.
To be honest, either of the two would appeal to zombie game enthusiasts but the original Dying Light still holds a lot of ground overall.
Dying Light 2 vs Similar Games
Now that we’ve talked about Dying Light 2 Stay Human, let’s talk about other games like it.
First off is Dead Island, which shouldn’t be a surprise given that this game was the previous game of Dying Light 2’s developers. Yeah, they made this game too, and it’s a cool zombie game. The player was on vacation on a tropical island when zombies showed up. Yeah, that’s the plot. There’s also some voodoo stuff going on, but that’s generally in the side and you can ignore that to just get out of the island ASAP.
Overall, Dead Island could be considered the prequel of the Dying Light series, and it shows in its gameplay. The physics is phenomenal for a game at its age, with bits of gore and body parts flying everywhere when you do a weapon swing. Graphics-wise, it still holds out even after all these years, and it’s still a pretty great game to play if you have the specs to do so.
Dead Island is available on PC, PS3, and Xbox 360. The game is also available on PS4 and the Xbox 1 with its Definitive Edition, which has all of the game’s DLC. Lastly, Xbox Series X/S and PS5 players can play the game due to backward compatibility.
Next on the list is Days Gone, an open-world, action-survival zombie apocalypse game created by SIE Bend Studio. The game puts the player in the shoes of Deacon St. John, a former bounty hunter-turned drifter who wanders the post-apocalyptic world with his motorcycle.
If we’re being honest here, Days Gone can be described with just one sentence: A combo of Sons of Anarchy, Last of Us 1, Walking Dead, and World War Z in one game. It doesn’t do it justice, but the game does play well and the overall premise and gameplay loop is very cool. There’s a myriad of strategies players can do to not only escape the zombie hordes but to destroy them. And if the game’s human enemies get uppity — draw a horde to their location and watch them panic and die as the zombies rip them to shreds.
All in all, it’s underrated, very cool-looking, and you can ride along with the open world in a motorcycle and outrun zombies with it. What’s not to love?
Last of Us 1
Last but least is Last of Us 1. It can’t be understated that the game’s sequel garnered a lot of differing opinions and really angry reviews. However, the first game of the series is touted as an absolute gem of a game, and for good reason. Its narrative pacing was top-notch, combined with gameplay that’s well-made for its time. Yes, it can get a bit dated, but it works in this case. Combine this with a lot of bonding between our main characters Ellie and Joel, and you have a veritable great game.
It also helps that the zombies in Last of Us are a bit on the interesting side as it’s inspired by a real-life fungus. The Cordyceps is a terrifying lifeform that straight-up puppets the body it infests and uses it to propagate. Overall, it’s a well-made game for its time, and, sadly, the goodwill that the developers had with their fans was destroyed with its sequel.
Try Out Dying Light 2 Stay Human Today!
After concluding our review of Dying Light 2, we encourage curious gamers to still try it. Sure, it’s not perfect, but the game is still an experience. However, buying it now at full price or waiting for a sale is yours to decide. If it’s worth getting now for you, do it. For more game features like this Dying Light 2 review, stay posted on Robots.net!