Dying Light 2 has already made a buzz in the gaming community, for it had an exhilarating reveal at the Microsoft press conference. It boasts a massive world with choices that will permanently affect gameplay. I was invited to a private showing and discussion of the demo, and there, I got to see this amazing game in action.
Before the demo started, a short presentation was done. Dying Light 2 is set 15 years in the future after the first game. The world is in a medieval-like dark age, where the remaining survivors of Earth have tried to create their own communities and factions, as well as try to instill their own laws across the land. It was stated that the parkour has been reworked in order to more smoothy traverse through the world.
The demo that was shown off was a pre-Alpha build, and it is also the same demo where the gameplay from the Dying Light 2 trailers came from. In it, we see many of the same story elements, for the player is tasked with talking to the two hooligans atop the water tower. As we made our way through the world, the developer playing the title showed how smooth and responsive the parkour was. Going through the city looked fun, and even though it is a pre-alpha build, the environments looked gorgeous.
As we went through the city, we saw our first look at the combat. It seems to be relatively the same with the brutal feel of the first game. Moving on, we had to sneak through a small store where the dead were hiding during the day. Once we traversed through the store, some loud noises were made, and the dead started to give chase. After hopping through a window and getting to safety, we got to see random survivors comment on the incident. It is unknown if random encounters like this will be prominent in the final build, but it was cool to see random observers going about their day as normal.
Once we got to the next section of the city, there was a small gang of bandits guarding something. The developer attempted to take out the guards in order to loot whatever was being guarded, but he just barely failed, and reinforcements were called. A frantic chase ensued, with bandits shooting arrows at the developer and giving chase. Once he had escaped, we began our journey back to the water tower.
Once inside, a new gameplay mechanic was revealed. There will be all new parkour puzzles for players to navigate. With this addition, the stamina bar from the previous game will now determine how often you can parkour. Whenever you execute a move, it will drain your stamina bar, and if you hold onto objects, the bar will slowly drain until you either let go or find solid ground to regain energy. One of these parkour puzzles has players carefully select a path that they wish to traverse, and once that path is chosen, they must analyze their surroundings to decide which way to go next. Players must not take too long, however, for you cannot regain stamina until you finish the section, so there is a ticking clock until you fall down.
The other type of parkour puzzle has players quickly string together a few parkour moves in order to overcome an obstacle. The example shown had the developer wall run, quickly grab ahold of a railing, and swing off to grab onto a ledge.
The next part was basically the same as the choice shown in the Dying Light 2 reveal. Players can either choose to kill the two hooligans in the water tower, and this will allow water to be accessible by everyone. A faction will also take over the area, get rid of bandits and undead, but they will also enforce brutal and barbaric punishments to those that go against them. We are shown how the area actually changes if you decide to give water to the people. The city landscape changes, and new methods of travel are unlocked. The city section looks cleaner, and you can heal yourself with the available water. However, new factions have moved into the surrounding areas, and while there were no specifics, it could hint at faction warfare.
On the flip side, allowing the two hooligans to take control of the water tower also brings its pros and cons. The people in the surrounding area go without water as the water is only obtained by purchasing it. In addition, the city is run down, and the once available fast travel options are no longer around. However, the player will also gain a cut of the profits made from selling the water, and additional jobs will open up for the player to partake in. Also, because the previous faction did not end up taking the area, other factions have decided to move into the surrounding area.
After the gameplay, there was a short Q&A. It was stated the the game will take place in the large metropolis area online, and that the urban landscape will be the main focus. Also, while there was no mention of multiplayer, co-op will be returning to the game. For now, however, Techland is focused on building upon their new approach to the narrative sandbox game. In multiplayer, though, each player will see the type of world that the host has created, so the experience in someone else’s city will be different from each individual. It was also revealed that the parkour system will not be required to traverse the city, but some mastery of it will be needed to make clean getaways from encounters and pass parkour puzzles.
When questioned about the length of the game, there was no definite answer. The developer stated:
In a game like this, it is almost impossible to say. I can give you a number, but that will just be one of the possible playthroughs. You can play this game for, let’s say, 15 hours or 50 hours, and you will reach the same point, but the road to that point will be different.
Dying Light 2 is expected to be released sometime in 2019.