Dying Light 2 Stay Human review #DYINGLIGHT2 #PeopleOfTechland

Reviewed by Joe Rino

What does it mean to be human? Techlands’ Dying Light 2 asks this question several times within it’s main narrative, and players get to choose how to answer it. But the main choice players are currently dying to make in an over saturated February of 2022 is, should I play Dying Light 2 to begin with? Is it worth the hype surrounding it? 

How’s the parkouring? Can I slay Zombies in satisfying succession? Read on to find out more about Dying Light 2, and if it is worth investing into the reported 500 playing hours.

Dying Light 2 Details:

Platform(s): PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5

Reviewed on: PS5 

Developer: Techland

Publisher: Techland

Genre(s): Action role-playing, survival horror

Mode(s): Single-player, Multiplayer (2-4 players co-op)

ESRB Rating: M (Mature 17+)

Parkouring Through The Plot

A virus is spreading, and humanity could have controlled it, but instead used it to weaponize and experiment on people for national gain. We’ve heard this story before, it’s a standard Zombie Apocalypse tale. However, what Dying Light 2 does with this ordinary infection tale is nothing short of unique. The Harran Virus Experiments got loose, the few who survived this attack made enclaves and some became Pilgrims. The City is the last bastion of humanity and it’s up to players to learn from history and make the right choices. 

The intro ends with the most terrifying note of all, that the game is a work of fiction, but some of the plot points hit a little too close to home. Hordes of zombies await players in Dying Light 2. 2056 is 15 years after the fall… that isn’t too far off! Aiden is a likeable character off the top. Without any spoilers, the story is satisfactory and told through a series of flashbacks at resting points. 

Gameplay features floaty jumping and overall to be blunt, feels unnatural the entire time. If players can get past that, traversal is a joy midway through the story! A popular complaint from the past title is presentation and wishing the game could be played in third person. I also wish this was an option and while a 3rd person view would ruin immersion, it would make platforming much more accurate. The amount of times I would miss a jump due to not judging where my feet were correctly was very frustrating. For a game built on parkour and climbing though, there were also a ton of windows and ledges I couldn’t grab onto. 

This was frustrating and oftentimes resulted in a death. I wish the entire game was climbable and I’d instantly trade a smaller, more traversable and detailed world for the absolutely massive world players are given in Dying Light 2. The world is huge and sometimes far too much to take in. While the game does a decent job orienting new players like me, it quickly let’s them loose and I had higher expectations for the enjoyment of jumping around the decaying city than the experience I got early on in the game. Particularly, in Old Vilador; running around the area felt like a chore compared to other areas that await players later in the game. Again, this is clearly an effort to scale back the huge world for players to take in. Getting to the bigger city areas takes a long time though, especially if you are going off of the games guidance.

For instance, there are some missions, like one in the very beginning that are very frustrating. I spent 45 minutes in the Bazaar in Old Vilador meeting people until there was no one left to meet. The story objective marker just lingered on the Bazaar so I stayed there thinking I missed talking to someone. I searched every nook and cranny, searching and searching because the story objective wasn’t moving, and I wasn’t interested in playing side quests for the purposes of this review. I found out that instead, I needed to leave the Bazaar and explore the city a bit more before the story would progress. But the objective marker never gave me an inkling to do that. It would have been nice to have the objective bump and say “explore the city.” Needless to say, there is rarely hand holding in Dying Light 2. Take this point how you wish to take it as a reader.

Some missions that involve a lot of talking, and finding clues and such occasionally feel forced. Without spoiling why, players are put on a timer to complete missions and things get crazy, fast. This narrative could arguably have a 1/3 cut from it to be more purposeful. A long game isn’t bad, and I am not critiquing the promised 500 hours of content just to criticize it. But a shorter, more concise and tighter script would be better than the drawn out conversations players get in the game. The dialogue is cheesy at times and some characters feel static. 

Also, there are points where attention to detail seems lost. In the beginning of the game  I’d have survivors attack me and I didn’t know why. An odd moment occurred where a Biter came behind a human NPC character, so I killed the Biter thinking I’d help my fellow man, but instead of being welcomed, they attacked me and then ran from me. So I pursued and killed them but once I got to the safe house, the people in there looked the same… 

So I assumed I killed some allies— and it wasn’t brought up again later. For a game that says choices matter, this one certainly didn’t. I murdered a bunch of people and no one cared. That being said, there are factions to choose to support. Namely, Peacekeepers and Survivors. Everyone’s common enemy are the Renegades. Players are introduced to both of them and can shape the city with these allies. This does help make the game feel unique throughout and is an effective mechanic. 

Crafting the Perfect Plan for Survival

Where do you get stuff? Several places. Scavenging and Safe Houses with Craftmasters who also offer blueprint upgrades to Airdrop military chests. Nightrunners are the legendary superheroes of this time. Naturally you do become a Nightrunner by upgrading and progressing through the main story. Again, a lot of this is done through standard conversations. While this game has RPG elements, the blend is jarring as the fast gameplay is interrupted by lengthy conversations. 

Blueprints are the bread and butter of Dying Light 2. Crafting consumables, weapons mods, and accessories are key during exploration. The world of Dying Light 2 is thankfully pretty abundant with resources. Roof Groves and areas around Safe Houses provide sufficient supplies. While this game does have survival horror elements to it, it also has horde fighting and creative zombie slaying superhero-like combat. It occasionally feels like a jarring mix, but overall is executed well enough. UV lights guarantee safety at night too and this is a great time to play around with load outs. You aren’t just waiting for morning though. 

The resting place in the safe zone allows players to change the day and night cycle and provides a Stash for Aiden to leave extras he won’t need on his journey. There’s also Windmills, Faction Structures, and Facilities to activate. There are two factions you can assign Facility’s to. Peacekeepers or Survivors. This then spawns different quests based on who is assigned to what. It’s a neat idea and gives players more to customize their adventures with. Dying Light 2 is a deep Game with a very clear tie into RPG structure. 

A final note is that Crafting is actually pretty streamlined and doesn’t feel tedious at all. Players can easily click what they want and the game will combine for them. This kept me going thankfully as if I needed to actually rummage through my items this game would have been far too slow. 

Aesthetics of the Dead

Shrills from the infected are constant while playing the game and it never lets you forget that this is a very horrific environment. On that note there are some soundtrack moments that seem hopeful in melody. Especially in the early game in the forest areas. I almost couldn’t play with my headset. It got too scary and I had to take an ear off. Immersion was so incredible. Load times are also impressively fast for a game this scale on next-gen consoles. 

Choices matter, dialogue matters, and what you do in the city matters. Customization is great, change any weapon with the charm socket to make it look cool, elemental effects to weapons can be made with the tip and shaft sockets. Players are given a taste of all of this pretty quick into the game. It’s tough to get bored with Dying Light 2 and whatever gripes I had were admittedly small. This game presents itself very well to players. Enemies are also all very unique and never just feel like another random ‘zombie.’ There are three classes.

Virals which are the first stage of infection. These are quick and dangerous animalistic humanoids that are filled with primal rage. They are the fastest, most defeatable infected enemies. Biters which are slow in the day time and the second stage of infections. Some even come with power attacks. Dodging and judging their vantage points are key. There’s no way you’re ever going to kill every enemy. But it’s definitely fun when you mass murder a horde. Degenerates which are the last stage, and are essentially decaying body bags. They aren’t a threat at all and are fun to mash around. 

Some sub classes though include the scariest ones, called Volatile. These are best run from, that being said do come with weak points. Once bitten, the presentation of the game shifts to a ‘Super Mario’ timer and if you don’t find a UV light in time then ‘oh ma no’ you die from turning into an infected monster. This to me is a neat mechanic that isn’t fully realized and rather than add immersion to the game, just makes it a bit more frustratingly difficult even on easy mode. The reason this game is called Stay Human is due to this turning mechanic.

Everyone is bitten already but they are delaying it with Biomarkers. Inhibitors are a drug that helps slow the infection, but most people get killed by them. For Aiden, these increase max stamina and Health which also unlock new skills. Finding enough of these requires exploration off the beaten path. There’s a lot of lore to take in and it’s clear on why people could spend 500 hours with this title. 

There were a few graphical annoyances I dealt with in my gameplay. I went through a door in a building and couldn’t go back to my original location sadly, so I missed a bunch of gear sadly. Also, there were some glitches with climbing and not quite getting to the sweet spot. When scrolling through the menus, some skill points have sounds, some don’t. Odd inconsistent details that clearly just needed to be relooked at.

The other thing to go back to is while the load times were fine… other games have found creative ways around this, having a load screen between areas was a tad annoying. The Forest/Outlands, Villador, The City, and more serve as locations for the campaign. It’s understandable to load through these major transitions, but otherwise, some other creative hiding of the loading mechanism would have been nice. 

Preliminary Day 1 Console Patch Notes

When Dying Light 2 Stay Human launches on Friday February 4, 2022 there will be a day 1 patch for gamers to download and install. You'll find the details below (please note these updates were not available during the review period).

  • Fixed the Broadcast infinite respawn story block
  • Fix for dialogues that block story progression
  • Re-signing to the co-op session doesn't fail in case the user is logged in
  • Fixed crash when handing electrical parts to Carlos in Bazaar
  • Fixed problems with temporarily lowering the difficulty level - improved adaptive difficulty for AIs
  • Fixed crash caused by background renderer during the transition between menu and loading screens
  • Increased Wwise overall memory limit - fix for missing sounds and voice-over
  • Resolved problems with objects and AI sinking into the ground on a flat surface.
  • Fix for AI sometimes freezing/becoming immortal when the owner changes during death
  • Added protection against potential crashes.
  • Updates for ES, CH; DE intro.
  • Added missing game actions fixing occasional unresponsiveness.
  • Fixed Streamer Mode option which was not working properly.
  • Fixed crash on opening the secondary screen.
  • Fixed disconnecting co-op sessions after a certain amount of time.

Stay Human or Get Infected?

Dying Light 2 overall offers a quantity over quality approach to gaming. There is definitely a ton to do, hordes of enemies to attack, factions, choices that shape the world around you, and loot to craft and dress up in. If you are looking for a game to sink over 500 hours into, explore the city, and the Zombie motif is incredibly your thing, then Dying Light 2 is perfect for you. 

If you are looking for your next adventure, a story to sink your teeth into, and purposeful objectives; then the oversaturated slate of line up for February may have you skipping Dying Light 2 for the other epics just over the horizon. 


• Massive world. Impossible to get bored with the amount of things to do.

• Unlocking more areas and and finding new weapons, modding, crafting, is satisfying


• Story is subpar, and dialogue is cheesy for the most part.

• Floaty jumping and off putting controls.


  1. Thanks for the detailed, honest review, Joe! I can see how the lack of guidance in the bazaar area can be frustrating and I’m definitely a fan of good dialogue, which this seems to be lacking. But it also sounds like a lot of fun to be able to explore such a massive world and let’s face it: zombies are awesome. I guess it’s a matter of comparing it to what else is upcoming to see if it’s worth the time investment. Thanks again!

  2. EXACTLY what I hoped would come across with this review. I’m glad you found it useful! :)


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