The new zom­bie RPG that will go vi­ral

PlayStation Official Magazine (UK) - - CONTENTS -

You’ll need all your park­our skills to evade the zom­bies… but what will you do against peo­ple?

To find its feet amid the army of zom­bie games on PlayS­ta­tion the orig­i­nal Dy­ing Light went, lit­er­ally, over the heads of its com­pe­ti­tion. A fo­cus on park­our tra­ver­sal and ‘zom­bies’ – re­ally fren­zied in­fected hu­mans with a lust for blood – that were equal to your ev­ery move lent the game a unique, if sim­plis­tic, take on the sur­vival hor­ror for­mula.

Re­tain­ing the good – park­our – and im­prov­ing the bad – ev­ery­thing else, Dy­ing Light 2 is shap­ing up to be one of 2019’s sleeper hits. On a base level, like in the first game you can en­gage in build­ing-shim­my­ing shenani­gans eas­ily by press­ing one but­ton. But de­vel­oper Techland has re­vealed it’s lay­er­ing RPG­like el­e­ments into the park­our sys­tem.

There’s a Metroid­va­nia feel to this se­quel’s de­sign, with new ar­eas of The City – the last large hu­man set­tle­ment on the planet still fight­ing to sur­vive – be­com­ing ac­ces­si­ble as you earn new skills and ex­pand your park­our moves. Sec­tions of the en­vi­ron­ment that had been in­ac­ces­si­ble are within reach af­ter you un­lock new ways to move around the world, trav­el­ling faster and with greater fi­nesse.

It’s a de­sign choice and lev­el­ling sys­tem aimed at en­cour­ag­ing you to con­stantly al­ter your park­our flow. The more you ex­per­i­ment and do, the more XP you re­ceive, with which you can un­lock new skills and ways to over­come the prob­lems you en­counter in the game.

When you be­gin to fight, com­bin­ing com­bat with these de­vel­oped park­our skills (leap­ing and wall-run­ning and kick­ing and swing­ing bats), Dy­ing Light 2 re­ally be­gins to show­case its brand of zom­bie ac­tion.


One prime source of joy in the orig­i­nal game, the abil­ity to kick the pur­su­ing in­fected off ledges to their splat­tery deaths, is def­i­nitely back, and now done with more panache.

“They’re zom­bies, right, so you could think they’re not that ad­vanced. But they are, and they’ve learned a slew of new tricks,” ex­plains the game’s lead game de­signer, Ty­mon Smek­tała. “Es­pe­cially the Vi­rals, the fast ones that have turned just re­cently – they still show signs of hu­man in­tel­li­gence; they co-op­er­ate, avoid dam­age, and can ac­tu­ally be quite smart.”

So ex­pect a hefty chal­lenge up on those rooftops. And it’s not just the zom­bies, the Vi­rals, that you need to keep an eye on. Set 15 years af­ter the first game, Techland has built on the orig­i­nal’s set­ting, de­vel­op­ing lore to lend its zom­bie-kick­ing fun some sub­stance. Penned by Chris Avel­lone (Fall­out: New Ve­gas) with help from Karolina Stachyra (The Witcher 3), the game presents new hu­man char­ac­ters who are ca­pa­ble of mis­treat­ing you just as harshly as any zom­bie.


Ac­cord­ing to Smek­tała, in Dy­ing Light 2 hu­mans are more dan­ger­ous than the in­fected zom­bie men­ace. They be­have in very com­plex and un­ex­pected ways to keep you on edge.

Smek­tała re­veals: “If you scare some guys they’ll just drop their weapons and run off. Or they’ll get des­per­ate with their last few health points and will start at­tack­ing you fe­ro­ciously, hop­ing this will let them sur­vive the fight. With hu­mans it never is as easy as bash­ing in­fected on their heads with a ham­mer.”

As the en­emy AI im­proves you’ll need to adapt your tac­tics. Smek­tała ex­plains how you can mix park­our at­tacks with en­vi­ron­men­tal takedowns, us­ing and in­ter­act­ing with the world to de­feat en­e­mies. There are throw­ables to take out foes from a dis­tance, too. “Each en­counter is a chal­lenge, a puz­zle for you to solve – but you have plenty of ways to find your own so­lu­tion,” he says.

Com­bat and move­ment is about choice, and that theme res­onates through the game. De­ci­sions you make in the story change The City. In many ways, Dy­ing Light 2 is evolv­ing be­yond its orig­i­nal premise. It’s in­fec­tious.


While the in­fected zom­biealikes grab head­lines, it’s the new hu­man AI that will cause trou­ble.

Above Melee com­bat is back, and al­ways fun in first per­son. You can un­lock new skills and up­grade your moves us­ing earned XP.

Set in a new Dark Ages, The City is a bru­tal and pri­mal place that jux­ta­poses mod­ern scenery with me­dieval prac­tices.

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