Oct 07 2023

Dying Light 2

Published by at 4:39 pm under Games,Software,Uncategorized

Dying Light 2 (the UK version, not the censored German version) is another game that I uninstalled this week.

I replayed the original Dying Light on Xbox Series X over the last few weeks and still liked it. The story of the original DL and the character that you play are nothing to write home about, sure, but exploring the game world is fun, the atmosphere during daytime is good enough and extremely tense during the night. For fans of the Zombie genre, it won’t get any better than DL1 or its predecessors Dead Island and Dead Island: Riptide.

DL2 makes a great entrance when you start playing it. It builds a solid end-of-the-world atmosphere, and especially the scene in the villa, where you share a stale beer with a buddy sitting between the skeletons of the people who obviously had held a mass-suicide party there when the world went to shit, is a great setup for the world you, the player, has just entered. (And yeah, finding the Sam B single with Who Do You Voodoo on the record player is also a nice touch – for those who don’t know, that is the opening song of the original Dead Island.)

But the game rapidly descends into shit once you’re in the city. The zombies, which should be the stars of a zombie game, are just a poorly made backdrop in DL2. I couldn’t care less for the annoyingly boring and mundane human drama that the developers want you to focus on. I neither care for the character that you’re playing nor do I care for his search for his sister or whoever that girl from his childhood memories is actually supposed to be – that trope has gotten way too old and uninteresting. (I also wasn’t interested in finding the main character’s father in Fallout 3 for that matter – I never got hooked into that story either.) There also is nothing, and I mean -nothing- interesting to be found in that ruin of a city either.

But what really breaks the game are the immersion breaking issues that DL2 somehow shares with Cyberpunk 2077: Zombies only begin moving when the player is in their vicinity. Human NPCs actually hold gatherings or even burial ceremonies right next to zombies, but the zombies don’t care for those humans, neither are the human NPCs in the slightest worried that zombies are dangerously close to them. The only way to get a zombie interested in human NPCs is when you, the player, wake the zombie out of its trance and make sure that it follows you to the human NPCs. Only then the human NPCs and the zombies might (!) engage each other.

Seriously: Who came up with the idea of creating a zombie game where the zombies so obviously are programmed to only attack the player but not other human NPCs?

What’s making this so unbearable is that this game is from the same studio that gave us the original Dying Light and Dead Island – and in those games the zombies don’t discriminate and immediately wreak havoc on anything that moves, may that be an NPC or the player, just as it should be in a game set in a zombie apocalypse.

To top it all of in a very bad way, DL2 also fails the psycho test: The world doesn’t give a shit when you start hunting human NPCs instead of zombies. Some might run away from you, but basically the game does not let you face any consequences for your psychotic behavior. There is no penalty for playing an insane mass murderer in this game and that makes the game world even more unbelievable and soulless.

I don’t even want to say much about the fact that the developers introduced a store with an own currency system in one of their latest updates. The way their currency scheme works, that store clearly is designed to make you spend more money on DLCs than you would be spending by just buying the DLC from the Xbox marketplace or from whatever store you would normally use. It’s a pathetic and unbelievably stupid move from Techland to do this, especially since they are sacrificing their great reputation among gamers with this money-grabbing scheme. But, well, it’s their call – and their funeral. The game can be played and completed without ever having to visit the store, so it’s not really an issue. But it shows where the new owners of Techland are intending to go with the company – and that means that I probably won’t be buying any future Techland games anymore.

In conclusion: Dying Light 2 is another huge disappointment. But unlike Cyberpunk 2077, Dying Light 2 does not chase you away with an astronomical amount of bugs, instead it chases you away with its sheer boredom.

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