Dying Light 2 Review

The backpack was breaking from the weapons. Not from rifles, not from shotguns, and not even from pistols, of course. Axes, bats, and knives in the real post-apocalypse are not only the choice of masters, but also of everyone, as there are simply no firearms.

So, the backpack was breaking, and the temptation to pick up the alluring, abandoned hammer from the floor was simply irresistible.

It would be unfair to blame my hero Aiden for not being able to carry more than seven skeleton keys, five clubs wrapped in barbed wire, and ten different-sized machetes. I’m sure the protagonist tried his best. He jumped across rooftops like a madman, despite carrying around 100 kilograms of piercing-cutting happiness, another 50 kilos of consumables, and half a ton of miscellaneous junk on his shoulders, but everything has its limits.

It was time to put the arsenal to use and clear out the nearest two-story liquor store from all its inhabitants. Weapons have their dimensions and load limits, but trinkets have no such limits.

Stay Human

You see, at the beginning of the Dying Light 2 journey, it really, really scares you. A regular rusty level one hatchet crumbles to pieces in just twenty swings in the air, and the starting hints confirm: “Weapons break! They break quickly! Be careful not to be left with bare parkour against a horde of zombies – it will be bad.” Even though I’ve been playing games for a long time and I’m not very inclined to trust computer hints, I was impressed. Partly because DL2 is a very atmospheric thing right from the start. Partly because the starting machete (or whatever was already in hand) surprisingly quickly fell apart into scrap metal with zero attack stats, without any intimidation.

After the first adventure of landing in one of the last human strongholds on a zombie-filled Earth, I decided that Aiden should not be a post-apocalyptic Viking, but rather focus on our beloved parkour. We will save rare (or so it seemed) clubs for big tasks, bandits, and monsters – throwing them off rooftops. We will be fast, careful, and precise in our jumps across the terrain.

Well, somewhere around the third hour of the game, it turned out that I had filled all two dozen weapon slots. The local shortage wasn’t that scary after all.

Create a zombie

Dying Light 1 did not end with anything good. The evil corporation VGN has finally transformed into a branch of “Umbrella” and, after waiting for the credits, successfully destroyed itself, its surroundings, and almost the entire world.

Civilization has fallen, cities have been destroyed, zombies are everywhere, and it is not recommended to live anywhere except in rare settlements where the residents have managed to organize defense. Our main hero – the same Aiden – initially disregarded the new order, wandered around the world, but eventually fate brought him to the city of Villedor, where the protagonist hopes to find his lost sister and at the same time get back at an old enemy.

The initial plan, let’s say, works very poorly, and now Aiden, along with us, finds himself deeply involved in local affairs.

Our gaming happiness lies in the fact that Aiden is not just a pilgrim who knows parkour, but also a product of VGN’s experiments, and therefore possesses a steroid-enhanced body and is capable of developing abilities that are inaccessible to ordinary mortals.


He is, in general, a great guy, but he gets slightly sick after being bitten by someone well-known. The illness manifests itself in the fact that Aiden performs poorly in physical training and tends to mutate into a brainless game-over dummy as soon as he is out of the range of ultraviolet lamps.

No, you can’t carry ultraviolet flashlights with you. But you can eat ultraviolet mushrooms. Don’t ask.

That’s how things turn out. The original plan failed, there are crazy zombies everywhere, the locals are not too happy to see you, you don’t have a sturdy club on your shoulders, your strength has left you, and you can’t stay in the dark for more than five minutes.

Well, of course, I will start saving and stockpiling supplies in every way possible! I thought this game was about fear and parkour!

Outrun the zombies

So yes, Dying Light 2 is very much about parkour.

You can’t just walk around the city. Well, you can, but it’s preferable to do it during the day and not for too long. It’s impossible at night because the zombies start pouring out of every crevice, and they even send out special night screamers to make the survivors’ lives even more miserable. During daylight, you can theoretically kill anyone you come across, but it’s slow and tedious, while jumping across rooftops is fast and fun.

It becomes especially fun when Aiden slightly recovers from being an infected invalid. Can you imagine, on the first level of local training, you can’t even do rolls!


Every first time, when in a modern FPS I fail to do a slide, I feel how the shooters from a decade ago rise from the dead and pull me straight through the monitor into a gloomy past. DL2 decided to surround a whole set of lively and devilishly useful parkour mechanics with character progression, so you can’t immediately try out the whole attraction of rooftop travels.

But it’s worth enduring until you earn a few bonus skill points, and everything falls into place. The game returns to the present, and parkour starts to cause serious addiction.

There are really no such leaps in any other game right now. I could nitpick about some maneuvers that work a bit wonky and occasionally ruin your beautiful rooftop journey, but… who can Dying Light 2 be compared to now, who can be used as an example? Not Apex Legends, sorry.

owl and did not hit

Parkour works, and it works well overall. But no, you won’t be able to pass parkour in one go. You will still have to do a lot and often…

Chop the zombies

Traveling across the rooftops of Willidor revealed an interesting phenomenon. It turns out that on observation decks and attics, not only healing chamomiles with honey and ultraviolet mushrooms grow endlessly, but also two-handed maces, battle guitar necks, and infamous axes.

I thought about how it would be. Aiden would haul garbage, barely make it to the settlement, exchange something there for something else, work at the workshop, and as a result, be able to acquire a couple of new-old golf clubs. Weapons would be expensive, they would need to be preserved, and all that.

The game, in general, encouraged me in this illusion. DL2 showed me rooms filled with vampires and said – they may be at your level, but there are too many of them, you don’t have enough strength or durability of equipment to deal with all of them, so let’s crouch down and pretend to be stealthy. Believe me, player, you don’t need to fight here.

It turned out to be all nonsense.


It is unreal to escape only from a night chase when zombies are rushing at you naturally from all sides – including from under the ground, if you are lucky enough to catch the corresponding bug. In any other case, my dear survivors, do not hesitate. Give free rein to your bloodthirstiness, tear vampires and bandits apart until the bitter end. Do you want to break into a zombie-filled house? Go ahead, you will succeed.

You will also find weapons, first aid kits, and everything else. Useful items on the map, firstly, are scattered all over the place, and secondly, essential items have the ability to regenerate at certain points, so don’t worry, in reality, you will never be left without a stick in your hand.

Moreover, the pleasure of watching how the just severed head of a vampire along with his own hand fly in different directions in slow motion almost outweighs all this parkour of yours.

The combat system as such is not particularly deep or sophisticated, but the local scenes with (well, sorry again, the game is not for children) brutal dismemberment of the undead – they deserve separate praise, admiration, and one and a half points in the final score. Thanks to the animation geniuses from Techland! Thanks to you, it is possible to slice local zombies indefinitely.

Shink the zombies

Patch the zombie

Fortunately, there will be a lot of parkouring and fighting in the game. Like any other respectable sandbox game, Dying Light 2 is packed with story missions, checkpoints, hidden corners, side quests, and optional trophies.

As for the infamous 500 hours of gameplay from the advertising campaign… I can’t say for sure about 500 hours. Also, for the locations that cannot all be visited in one playthrough. Come back, as they say, in six months, and then we’ll talk.

Villidore map

As far as my knowledge and reconnaissance go, by the 500th hour of gameplay, I will most likely turn into a zombie myself. 100 hours? No problem, just give me a few refreshing patches, please. 500? To devote that much time to DL2, you have to fall deeply, deeply in love with this game.

I haven’t been able to do that yet. Yes, there’s parkour, nighttime zombie raids, satisfying combat, and plenty of missions. But there’s also a ton of bugs.

In the vast majority of cases, DL2 glitches are harmless animation quirks, models getting stuck in walls, and other non-critical nonsense. But there are some serious flaws that spoil the experience.

A couple of times, I encountered a story softlock. Meaning, something went wrong during the execution of a story mission, the trigger didn’t work, the model didn’t load, and I got stuck. Right now, I’m sitting with blocked story progress, unsure if it’s because I lack the necessary upgrades, if it’s built into the early review copy, or if I’m really stuck in the story until the next patch. The only thing saving me is the aforementioned sea of side adventures.

I also came across a side mission where the progress resets upon loading the game. Not the best situation, heh-heh.

Endless mission

In general, there are many glitches, some of them are quite critical. I must admit, here I am compromising my own principles a little. In the review of something bought for a lot of money, post-release Sable I destroyed the game precisely because of its constant softlocks, declared its client defective, but in the case of Dying Light 2, I can’t bring myself to do it.

Not yet.

It is obvious that no, DL2 will not get rid of all fatal glitches by release. It is also obvious that when Techland faces the wrath of thousands of stuck gamers, the game will be flooded with patches. It should be flooded. After all, the studio promises a whopping 5 years of project support.

I have no doubt that bugs related to story progression will be fixed, and fixed quickly. Yes, yes, it doesn’t change anything, you should still give Dying Light 2 a slap on the wrist for releasing a raw client. But… well, for now, I don’t want to. Today we received a truly original big project, with balanced and engaging gameplay plus unique features. Such releases, for some reason, happen less and less often.

I give it 85 points in advance. DL2 was definitely worth the wait. Alas, the developers didn’t make it to the deadline, but we’re not talking about cut features or an empty sandbox right now. The game, uh, is full of games – there is plenty to do, explore, and face challenges. DL2 is captivating, original, and atmospheric, glitches can’t take that away.

Just be prepared to encounter some pitfalls if you bought the game early. And yes, you are now once again participating in the lottery called “Will they finish it or not.” Let’s hope it’s the former.

Dying Light 2: Stay Human
PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X
Action, Sandbox
Techland Publishing
Release Date:
Editor's rating:
Is it worth playing? (If the score is more than 70%)



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