As someone who finds Techland’s zombie games a guilty pleasure, the delays and drama surrounding Dying Light 2’s development were concerning. Few games survive such a long and tortuous development cycle so, for the longest time, I assumed the next announcement would be its cancellation.
Now, with a new E3 PC Gaming Show trailer, pre-E3 gameplay trailer, and solid release date – December 7, 2021 – I’m both thrilled and concerned. On the upside, it looks like more Dying Light, which I consider a good thing despite a few janky elements in that game. First-person parkour, coupled with a zombie-infested city, was an inspired idea that still holds up.
Another positive element is that the recent trailers show off their acrobatic and satisfying melee combat (hopefully they go easy on guns this time), the promise of a dynamic world that changes based on your narrative decisions, a new reason to explore after dark instead of simply fleeing to a safe house, and – perhaps most importantly given the prior delays – in-game footage that looked plausible for both modern hardware and last-gen consoles.
While some might argue the first trailer looked better, it was probably the usual bait-and-switch bollocks the industry is so fond of. Unfortunately, like so many games in development during the COVID19 pandemic, it’s likely Dying Light 2: Stay Human was intended to release a cross-generation game closer to the launch of the next-gen hardware. This will work against it as so many gamers seem ignorant of the disruption many developers had to endure over the last 18+ months.
As we approach Holiday 2021 – and possibly a normal-ish life in 2022 for many developers – there are dozens of delayed games fighting for exposure, an audience, and cash. I just hope Dying Light 2: Stay Human is ready, polished, and able to compete in the hectic release window it has chosen.
Dying Light 2: Stay Human will launch on PC, Xbox One and Series S|X consoles, and PlayStation 4 and 5.