I am nonetheless unsure if I am into Dying Light 2, however I do know that I like the parkour. Bounding throughout this post-apocalyptic metropolis scratches an itch that is been largely left to fester since Mirror’s Edge. However in attempting to persuade our options producer, Nat—one other Mirror’s Edge fan—that that is the case, I’ve realised that it is a exhausting promote, primarily as a result of Techland desires everybody to work for a really very long time to get to the good things.
Regardless of Dying Mild 2’s supremely fundamental protagonist, Aiden, being an skilled survivalist who’s travelled in all places because the zombie apocalypse started, he begins out as a bit ineffective. As a result of Dying Mild 2 is an RPG. God, I want it wasn’t.
Once you look out throughout town, it is brimming with potential. Get your binoculars out and you’ll see all the realm’s factors of curiosity, permitting you to chart a course by means of the derelict, zombie-infested setting, leaping throughout gaps, climbing up drain pipes, experiencing true freedom. However not likely, as a result of it’s going to be dozens of hours earlier than you get your arms on the talents that make traversal a pleasure.
It is extremely disappointing. And we’re not speaking about flashy, superior stuff like grappling hooks. Would I’ve appreciated to grapple my approach across the metropolis immediately? After all. Wouldn’t it be a greater recreation? Completely. However I perceive the need to carry some issues again, to provide gamers stuff to get excited for even after 20 hours or extra. What’s wild is that even extremely fundamental strikes are locked behind an XP grind.
Sliding, backstabbing, parrying, even leaping only a bit greater than a traditional individual—all of this should be earned by performing duties that you just simply know can be a lot extra enjoyable for those who weren’t degree 1.
Dying Mild 2 already has a bunch of development techniques, so Techland is effectively conscious that there are different methods to maintain gamers on the hook with out resorting to the dreary activity of watching an expertise meter slowly improve. Your complete RPG facet of issues is basically simply bloat. There are even lessons, type of, with gear being designed for particular roles, like healer and tank, which feels ridiculous in a recreation about leaping throughout buildings and smacking zombies. It is all simply so pointless.
That is what occurs when large video games are placed on a pedestal. Every little thing needs to be tons of of hours lengthy, apparently, or else it is dangerous worth for cash. And seemingly the one method to make a recreation that large is by padding it out. The cynic in me desires to imagine that that is the one cause it is an RPG, however Dying Mild has at all times tried to be one, similar to Useless Island earlier than it. That is simply Techland being fixated on one thing that is grow to be a weight round its video games’ necks.
An honest Dying Mild RPG is not outdoors the realm of risk, however this one’s simply taken all of the flawed classes from the style, lifting ideas like XP and ranges and quests with out actually contemplating what function they play. Dying Mild 2 is a recreation that simply loves techniques, throwing them in with wild abandon, no matter how they match right into a cauldron overflowing with bullshit. And few of those techniques actually stand as much as scrutiny. Techland positive has crammed quite a lot of stuff into this recreation—as is the open world approach—however individually few of these items are inside spitting distance of compelling.
The advertising and marketing makes an enormous deal out of the inventive potential of the sandbox and the fascinating decisions it’s a must to make, however none of that’s evident—at the very least not till you’ve got put within the time. And the moment-to-moment decisions, like what skill to choose subsequent, simply aren’t very gripping whenever you’re sifting by means of actually easy stuff. Certain, I actually like with the ability to bounce a wee bit additional, and I breathe a sigh of reduction every time I unlock one other essential fight skill, however solely as a result of Dying Mild 2 simply is not almost as a lot enjoyable with out them.
You are continuously being reminded that there is a number of enjoyable available, too. The town is a superb parkour sandbox, nevertheless it’s designed for a personality who can clamber round like Spider-Man, slide by means of wee gaps and make not possible landings with out breaking a sweat—none of which you’ll do for a bewilderingly very long time. It makes the complete levelling system really feel like a gargantuan tutorial, getting ready you to play the true recreation, the enjoyable recreation, 20 or 30 hours down the road.
It is so dispiriting to method a bunch of zombies with a plan after which realise you’ll be able to’t do it since you’ve not bought the suitable skills. Each the parkour and violent encounters are basically puzzles so that you can clear up, however you are not given the instruments to take action. It is like having to grind to get entry to the letter A in a crossword.
The parkour nonetheless feels good from the get-go, thoughts, nevertheless it’s not possible to not discover you’ve got been hobbled. For all of the occasions that you just’re speeding throughout rooftops with seemingly unbreakable momentum, there are numerous extra the place it’s a must to cease as a result of you’ll be able to’t slide underneath a damaged wall but otherwise you’ve encountered a bounce that you just’re not but able to making. And these aren’t Metroidvania-style obstacles the place the sport is attempting to nudge you in a special route till you are in a position to overcome them—you’ll be able to nonetheless get underneath that wall by crawling and get throughout that hole by climbing all the way down to floor degree, however there isn’t any pleasure in it. You are simply taking part in a shittier model of Dying Mild 2.
It is an excellent greater downside with regards to fights as a result of the fight foundations are horrible. You simply flail round till your stamina runs out or a zombie stops getting up. It is completely joyless. Fairly early on you’ll be able to leap off a shocked enemy and knock one other one down with a flying kick, which is fun, if a bit awkward, however aside from that you just simply have a fundamental dodge, block and a single assault. I will need to have performed for 10 hours earlier than I bought even a easy energy assault.
By the point issues began coming collectively—and to be clear, I am nonetheless lacking loads of essential skills and positively discover their absence—I might been contemplating packing all of it in. I am glad I caught round, as a result of there’s quite a lot of great things buried underneath the bullshit, however I doubt I might have bothered if it wasn’t for the promise of candy, candy Content material. I now not have the endurance for video games to finally get good. I minimize out that a part of my mind after Ultimate Fantasy 13.
So please, Techland, if we do get a Dying Mild 3, do not make it one other RPG.