Just as Dying Light’s grappling hook reduced the player’s use of parkour, so ranged weapons sidesteppe­d the meaty, messy melee – the very combat system envisaged as the series’ central pillar. “To be honest, we introduced firearms because we felt that’s what players will expect,” Smektała says. Player stats back him up: after the machete, firearms are the most used. Dying Light 2’s shift to the future gives Techland a second swing, literally, at focusing on melee. In this world, traditiona­l firearms have worn out, no one is producing new ones, and there’s a bigger narrative justificat­ion for their absence that Smektała hopes people will tease out from side stories. Bows and crossbows still exist to wean people off their ranged reliance, however, and there’s mention of a boomstick that “basically explodes in your hand, but also damages enemies in front of you.” Enough to dethrone the mighty machete? Smektała smiles. “If you don’t have a machete in a game about infected or zombies then you are making a big mistake.”

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