Dying Light 2: Online Co-Op, Story, And Everything We Know So Far

Techland’s Dying Light 2, the sequel to the open-world zombie-apocalypse game, is shaping up to reinforce the original’s stellar combat and traversal gameplay with a more fleshed out and fully realized world. One of the original game’s biggest strengths was its handling of blending melee combat with slick parkour-based traversal in an open-world overrun by the infected, and it was always thrilling getting in and out of major scrapes with a bag full of loot intact. Dying Light was one of the best games of 2015, and with the next game, there’s a deeper emphasis on having your character play a more prominent role in shaping the fate of the last bastion of humanity left in the world.

As we head into 2020, we figured it’s time to lay out everything we know about Dying Light 2. Since its debut back in 2018, the upcoming sequel looks to do all the things a traditional follow-up sets out to do–build upon the foundations of what was there, tell a new story, and introduce some new surprises. But there’s a bit more going on with Dying Light 2 than we expected, so here’s a quick breakdown of everything we know about the game so far. Once more details are revealed, along with a firm release date, we’ll update this feature for more info.

What Is Dying Light 2?

Dying Light 2 is an open-world action game set in an isolated urban landscape during the zombie apocalypse. You play as Aiden Caldwell, a freelance runner who handles various odd jobs and tasks for the citizens of The City, one of the last human settlements in Europe. Following the events of Dying Light’s post-game expansion, The Following, the former-protagonist Kyle Crane was infected with a new strain of the virus that turns people into the ravenous infected, and he unknowingly spread the disease throughout the world. After the global outbreak, modern civilization came to an end, pushing humanity into a new dark age.

The sequel takes place twenty years later, where the modern world is a thing of the past. In Dying Light 2’s present, advanced technology is scarce, and firearms are hard to come by, requiring you to scavenge parts and piece make-shift weapons together to survive the onslaught of infected, along with enemy factions looking to take what you have left. As you freely explore The City, which is four times bigger than the original game’s world, you’ll be able to take on side-missions, explore abandoned buildings, and make essential choices that will impact the flow of your story. Ultimately, your decisions throughout the settlement will leave an impression on the state of the last human settlement.

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Release Date

As of this time, Dying Light 2 will launch in the first half of 2020 for PC, PS4, and Xbox One. Techland and publisher Square-Enix hasn’t confirmed the release date at this time, but in a separate interview from WCCFTech, developer Pawel Pohleder confirmed that Dying Light 2 was always planned to be a cross-gen game. In addition to the current hardware, the game will also be released on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X.

Should You Still Play The Original?

Though Dying Light 2 is a continuation of the original game’s plot, which set the groundwork for the new story, the sequel works as a standalone game on its own. Set two decades later and in an entirely different location, Dying Light 2 sticks with its narrative, with references from the previous game only serving to flesh out a sense of worldbuilding. Still, the original Dying Light is an exhilarating game that’s held up well. If you’re interested in the sequel but haven’t played the original, then definitely give it a shot. With that said, you won’t be at a huge loss if you want to wait for the sequel.

The E3 2018 Debut Trailer

Debuting at E3 2018 during the Microsoft Press Conference, Techland showed off the first look of the follow-up to the 2015 game. Set in a European urban setting, the protagonist fought against several bandits that culminated in important choices that could change the fate of a city’s district, such as taking control of the area’s water supply for selfish benefit. Shortly after the debut, narrative designer Chris Avellone took to the stage to lay out Techland’s vision for the game.

“Dying Light 2 is everything that you would expect from a bold sequel of the first game,” stated Avellone. “A fluid parkour system with improved natural movement, deep and tactical first-person melee combat, and of course, terrifying nights when the infected emerge from the depths of the city to feed on anyone they can find. We invite you to a new vision of the post-apocalypse, an unforgiving reality we call the ‘modern dark ages.'”

What’s New In The Sequel?

The most significant change coming to Dying Light 2 is the new adaptive storytelling. Throughout the game, Aiden Caldwell will rub shoulders with the various factions in The City, and at critical points in the plot, he’ll need to choose whom to side with to press forward. Depending on which factions control the districts of The City, you’ll see changes to the environment that reflect their ideologies. During E3 2019, we saw a gameplay demo that showed off a mission set at a fortified water dam. A faction had moved in and turned it into a safe-haven. While it seemed like a peaceful place, your present task required that you break in and confront the leader, putting you at odds with the group. Choosing to take over the dam will not only claim the territory for your chosen faction, but it will also change the very layout of the district’s map itself. By manipulating the dam’s water levels, certain areas of the map will flood, making them inaccessible. On the inverse of that, other places will see the water drained, which will unearth new places to explore, along with mutated infected that will spread to the city.

Throughout the game, you’ll acquire new abilities and weapons to aid you in your fight against bandits and the more evolved infected. There’s a more significant emphasis on crafting gear, and in some instances, you can build modded weapons that have multiple uses. In the E3 2019 demo, Aiden picked up a special harpoon gun that can be used a mace when you’re out of ammo. Along with that, modded weapons are far more effective in the sequel, but your enemies are also far more capable of taking you down in combat.

According to the developers, the sequel plans to take more cues from role-playing games to give players more choice in the flow of the narrative. With Chris Avellone serving as narrative director, whose previous writing and design credits include the Fallout series and Planescape: Torment, Dying Light 2’s story offers a lot more flexibility when compared to the original’s static plot. This approach will, in turn, create more opportunities to shape the dynamic of The City based on your preferences. In addition to the returning focus on open-world exploration and melee combat, the adaptive narrative adds a new twist that makes the game’s world feel more like your own. In a recent interview, the Techland devs stated that to see the game’s 100+ hours of content, it will require multiple playthroughs of the game.

Will There Be Multiplayer?

Yes, Dying Light 2 will feature co-operative multiplayer for up to four players. Just like the original game, players can have others join their game to take on various missions, activities, and other open-world excursions. As of this time, there hasn’t been any additional info about what you can do in the open-world with other players.

The Extended Gameplay Trailer

At E3 2019, Techland showed off extensive gameplay behind closed doors to press, showcasing a vertical slice of the game’s key pillars for combat, traversal, and storytelling. In the months after E3, the developer released a video of the same demo to the public online. In this video, we saw Aiden freerun across the rooftops to catch up to a truck belonging to a rival faction. This extended clip showcased a lot of the upgrades to melee combat and traversal, both of which feature a greater sense of weight, speed, and flexibility. During parkour traversal, Aiden can run across walls, along with grabbing enemies from perches and use them to break his fall from long drops.

Pre-Order Guide

Currently, there isn’t a set release date for Dying Light 2, nor is there any info on any special collector’s editions of the game. Still, you can pre-order the game at this time on various digital distribution platforms. Check out our pre-order guide to find the best places to go pre-order the game.

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