Played Dying Light 2 Stay Human - Avellone and does not smell

Dying Light 2 Stay Human turned out to be a long-term involuntary construction. Techland studio planned to release game at the beginning of 2020, but in the end release moved down to beginning of 2022; during this time, the project managed to lose its lead screenwriter, Chris Avellon.

Played Dying Light 2 Stay Human - Avellone and does not smell
Dying Light 2 Stay Human - review game.

As a result, the sequel to Dying Light will be released as much as seven years and one generation of consoles after the original. And although the second part is noticeably superior to the first in almost every aspect, it does not differ radically from its predecessor.

Running on the roofs

According to the plot, 15 years have passed since the onset of the zombie apocalypse. Humanity has fallen back into the real Middle Ages: death lurks at every step, there are not enough resources necessary for life for everyone, people bite into each other's throats for any reason. The events of Dying Light 2 Stay Human unfold in a City cut off from the outside world (the settlement is called that), where the main character named Aiden went in search of his sister. But upon arrival, he finds himself involved in the disassembly of local gangs: one of them almost hanged the protagonist, suspecting that he was infected. And the head of the second group was recently killed, so the guys decided to quickly use the services of an outsider and ask him to investigate the case. Still, Aiden, whom no one in the City knows yet, will find it easier to ingratiate himself with the suspects.

This is where the demo version begins, for which I spent several hours. The main character meets Sophie (one of the leaders of the gang that almost hanged him), searches for her brother, watches the bandits, attacks their base... Dying Light 2 diligently works out all the gameplay cliches of action games in the open world. Storming outposts, climbing towers, detective vision, highlighting all the most important things — the game does not even try to offer anything unusual.

On the other hand, the gameplay itself feels much more convenient than in the first part. Aiden is very mobile: he jumps high, grabs any ledges and deftly climbs walls. He easily escapes from zombies, from ordinary people — I wouldn't be surprised if, with the proper level of pumping, the hero literally learns to run over heads. Besides, parkour is really nice here. The game conveys Aiden's speed well and provides the player with a lot of ways to show off dexterity: the area available in the demo is densely built up with small buildings so that there is somewhere to run on the roofs. Coupled with the towers, this fragment of Dying Light 2 strongly resembles the classic Assassin's Creed — at least in terms of entourage.

However, when it comes to battles, the comparison ceases to justify itself: Ezio and Altair's opponents patiently waited their turn before attacking, and the zombies in Dying Light 2 are not very polite and much more numerous. As soon as Aiden stops to quickly deal with a special infected, a crowd of enemies immediately gathers around him. And the hero's weapons are not serious: some pipes and hatchets that fall into disrepair after a couple of dozen blows. In the first part there was still some kind of gunshot, but here it's good if at least a bow gets caught.

However, the battles in Dying Light 2 are much more comfortable than before: enemies noticeably less often prevent the hero from carrying out strong blows. Fast combos still stun opponents, kicks are thrown away, and a jerk to the side allows you to effectively escape from powerful attacks. He is extremely useful in fights with large opponents, but small ones still take numbers. After all, Aiden is limited by his stamina, so he can't swing an axe endlessly, like in some Left 4 Dead 2. So in the open world, it's better not to be distracted by endless crowds of zombies and focus on the tasks.

Day and night

As in the first Dying Light, the change of time of day plays an important role. Zombies are afraid of light, so there will be fewer opponents on the streets during the day: they hide indoors. However, as a rule, all valuable loot is located there, so it is contraindicated to engage in gathering in the light of day — many quests specifically squander the time until sunset. But after sunset, Aiden has to deal with another threat: the suspicions of the locals turned out to be true — the hero is indeed infected with a virus.

In the dark, Aiden's immunity is constantly falling — to restore it, you need to get under ultraviolet lamps, carefully placed in key locations. And in their absence, you can use special mushrooms and use inhalers, which, like healers, must be crafted from improvised components. It would seem that it should not be so easy to find chamomiles and honey in the city to create medicines… However, local residents prudently put bee hives on the roofs of houses and even planted the necessary flowers. The abundance of orphan loot also looks a little strange. It is clear that it lies there only for the player to fill his pockets, but more than ten years have passed since the disaster — it is impossible to believe that during this time organized groups of survivors have not bothered to take all useful things into their hands.

And you will have to collect all the junk very, very often. From valuable trinkets that will go on sale, to crafting ingredients, weapons and trophies needed to improve recipes. In particularly rare army chests, you can also find inhibitors that allow you to pump health or stamina — you may have to fight with mini-bosses for them.

Another important part of the Dying Light 2 gameplay should be the cat hook, but for some reason it was not in the demo version. But the authors showed a segment with a paraglider, which is useful in the city center, where there are a lot of skyscrapers. Jumped off the roof, opened the glider — and soar to the next building. And if the player suddenly loses control and lands too early, it doesn't matter: with strong air flows from the vents, you can quickly return to the sky. It's just a pity that driving a glider is not as convenient as in the same Breath of the Wild.

Close your eyes and ears

Although in general, the gameplay of Dying Light 2 does not shine with originality, it shows noticeable progress in comparison with the first part — especially in everything related to action. However, the announcement of the game attracted the attention of the public primarily with the promises of a curious narrative experiment. Chris Avellon, who first introduced the game, promised an incredibly deep plot that takes into account every decision of the player.

Based on the results of the short demo version, it is impossible to fully say whether this is really the case, but it seemed to me that my actions did not affect the development of the story in any way. For example, in the second half of the demo, Aiden launches a power plant in the city center and has to decide which group to give it to: strict Peacemakers or freedom-loving Survivors. I chose the first ones, which is why the building was automatically painted in their colors. The extras showered the hero with thanks, but his partner, who sympathizes with the other side of the conflict, almost did not react to what happened: they say, it's your business, do as you know. Therefore, the weight of an important (by design) decision is not felt at all.

From the project, whose face Chris Avellon has been acting for a long time, you predictably expect a more or less high-quality script, but... Either Avellon himself is no longer the same, or Techland carefully cut out any traces of his work from the game after the scandal. Anyway, Dying Light 2 is written average at best, and at worst causes Spanish shame. The authors are constantly trying to twist emotions to the maximum, but for this they use terribly tasteless techniques familiar from the work of David Cage. Every death must necessarily be pictorial, every moment of sadness or joy necessarily happens in raised tones; almost no one talks here without exclamation marks. If some girl asks you to find her boyfriend in a dangerous zone, then for greater motivation she must certainly say "I'm pregnant" with anguish, otherwise how else to empathize with her.

I especially remember the quest with a little girl who wants to punish the bandits who stole her music box. When Aiden, at her request, deals with the first batch of villains, the girl immediately sends him on the hunt for the second, but says that he can keep the coveted box for himself and even sell it. I'm sorry, but then why risk your life at all for the sake of some trinket, for which everything was started? It feels like the developers just wanted to make a battle with zombies under a creepy melody, and the plot background for this scene was written anyhow. This "somehow" is not enough to give the player a clear motivation to run around the city back and forth, performing such stupid tasks for dozens of hours.

As for the graphics, everything was fine with it on powerful PCs: Dying Light 2 looks like quite a modern crossgen title. All the scenes take place with a first-person view, the production is very good, even if not at the level of Cyberpunk 2077. But on PS4 the situation is alarming. Everything, of course, is not as nightmarish as in the first Dying Light, but the picture looks good only in static: for example, during dialogues. And as soon as you move, the screen floats, everything gets blurred, frame rate drawdowns hit the eyes — for a game with a strong emphasis on speed and gameplay dynamics, this is a critical drawback.

Otherwise, Dying Light 2 is a typical sequel. If you were hoping for a game of a fundamentally different level of quality, then it's better to lower expectations by an order: the sequel has adopted almost all the pros and cons of the original. On the other hand, if you are a Dying Light fan and have wanted to see something bigger and better all these years, then most likely the second part will not disappoint.