Geek Review Dying Light 2 Stay Human

Geek Review: Dying Light 2 Stay Human

It has taken almost seven years, but the initial promise and potential of Techland’s Dying Light has finally taken a more complete form with Dying Light 2 Stay Human, which launches on 4 February. Expanding upon the open-world mechanics, the brutal and creative combat, the thrill of nighttime terrors, and placing further agency into players’ hands with choices and consequences, this is a sequel that has truly outshone its predecessor.

Taking on the role of Aiden, a Pilgrim that has arrived at The City to find the truth about his past and to seek out a missing sister, it does not take long to see that beyond the plague of the undead, conflict is never too far when humans are concerned. Caught between the Peacekeepers and the Survivors, making a choice will always come with pros and cons. 

While it would be hard to delve into the main narrative without spoiling a quite well-written story full of twists and turns, Dying Light 2 tends to keep you on your toes, testing your beliefs and values, and whether it all matters when it comes to making the hard decisions and progressing towards the end-goal.

A healthy number of story beats weaves these dilemmas into Aiden’s actions and choices, and it becomes much easier to immerse yourself into the everyday struggles of the people living in this broken world. There are also obvious gameplay benefits and visual changes that are reflected in the world as well, such as useful ziplines across the roofs or powerful traps that can be useful in a pinch. And if you ever needed a distraction, there are plenty of side content to dive into as well.

You could be saving a stranded lover stuck in a nest full of the undead and the more powerful Volatile variants, or engage in a surreal journey into the post-apocalyptic dating world using actual profile cards. It is clear that the developers are not afraid of having a little cheeky fun, even if most of the game is viewed through a serious lens. 

Unless you have about 500 hours to spare to completely devour Dying Light 2, you will not probably be able to experience every single activity in The City, but doing so can net some sweet rewards that will make the journey much easier.

Parkour challenges will require mastery of speed and technique, abandoned convoys hold precious loot, and random encounters pop up every once in a while to divert your attention. The more dangerous an area is, the better chance you will have of uncovering better gear and valuables, and the day/night cycle plays an important role in this aspect, heightening the tension with more fearsome Volatiles roaming the street while emptying lairs that are usually packed so players have a shot at plundering goodies. 

The undead rules the world in Dying Light 2 Stay Human

And the more you do, the more you will get rewarded. Dying Light 2 places progression at its core, rewarding experience for pulling off parkour manoeuvres and killing enemies, which feeds into the skill tree system in the game. And if you want access to the more powerful skills, it would be wise to go hunting for Inhibitors scattered around The City, perhaps the only last helpful pieces of a tarnished legacy left by the Global Relief Effort (GRE). 

The more Inhibitors you can obtain, the more Stamina or Health you can count on, and considering the threats one will face in The City, the more the better as the undead is back with a vengeance. Even the most basic of enemies being capable of causing substantial damage and whittling down the durability of your weapons. With overwhelming numbers, and several more dangerous variants that can hurt you up close and from afar, staying on the move and utilising advanced techniques are key to survival.

Dying Light 2 has certainly up the ante for combat, with all varieties of weapons delivering satisfying blows. It is always fun dismembering the enemies, or sending them flying with some blunt force trauma. Add to that mix mods that bring about other entertaining properties like fire and electricity, and the melee formula that made the first game so outstanding is better than ever before.

In addition, players can make use of the surroundings, with environmental traps and objects helping to create a playground of destruction. Other tools, like Molotov cocktails and Decoys, can give you more options when dealing with uneven odds, and when things get too spicy, running away is always an option. 

Stealth and subterfuge are great tools to count on as well, especially when you are dealing with more dangerous undead or the human element. Hiding in tall grasses, throwing coins to lead foes away, and silent takedowns can effectively thin the herd before the real action starts, and it is also the best way to survive rummaging through the aforementioned lairs with sleeping zombies. 

As if the stakes were not high enough, Aiden is in fact, an infected, which means spending any time indoors or at night triggers a timer that counts down to his eventual turning. Between trying to avoid awakening the horde, finding good loot, and preventing Aiden from losing his humanity, the gameplay is certainly refreshingly different from what you will be up in the day.

Of course, it is not like you are helpless against the timer. Levelling up with Inhibitors will lengthen your resistance, and there are also helpful items like UV Shrooms that can be a lifesaver when the clock starts reaching the end. Risking one’s life just to get more valuables sound just about right in the world of Dying Light 2.

Spending nighttime out and about has always been a harrowing experience for this franchise, and it is no different this time around. Visibility is limited, and if you alert the horde, the chase that ensues can be really exhilarating and at times, fatal. 

With four levels of intensity, each adds on even more undead piling out of every crevice possible, and Volatiles joining in the fun. Either you get to a spot with UV light protection, or you will perish. Even for the XP bonus at night, it might not be worth shortening your real-life lifespan save for those few important quests.

Choices matter in Dying Light 2 Stay Human

However, for all the refinement that has been implemented in the sequel, the game is not without some rough edges. 

Combat against human enemies tend to become a little too predictable as opposed to the undead, and it does not help that it becomes much easier as Aiden gets access to more advanced skills. Looting can be frustrating sometimes, requiring players to view objects with a certain orientation for the prompt to appear, and there appears to be a glut of crafting materials and valuables that only lessen the impact of the economy in Dying Light 2.

Questgivers can disappear, while conversations can trigger a sudden change in time that is not exactly easy to overlook. Of course, then there are zombies that get stuck or weapons that just do not want to be wielded, amongst other small niggling issues that will hopefully get fixed with the big day-one patch at launch. 

Combat against humans in Dying Light 2 Stay Human

That said, Techland has chosen wisely to zero in on the best parts of its formula for Dying Light 2, complementing the great combat, parkour, and tension with player agency when it comes to the worldbuilding and the narrative. Seeing your choices come to life, represented visually and with gameplay impact, adds both replay value as well as an added layer of immersion in a beautifully realised world.

Together with a tight narrative that acts as a nonstop, action-packed ride that showcases all of these attractive features as much as possible, the emergence of Dying Light 2, and the series as a whole, is definitely worth the wait for players to sink their teeth into.

Dying Light 2 Stay Human is available for pre-order on the PSN Store for $79.90.



Improving upon its predecessor in all aspects, Dying Light 2 presents a compelling argument that we humans are the biggest threat, even when the undead roams the world.

  • Gameplay - 8.5/10
  • Story - 8/10
  • Presentation - 8.5/10
  • Value - 9/10