Dying Light 2 (officially called Dying Light 2: Stay Human) is coming in 2021 and it looks like it’s going to be pretty frightening.
For a long time, we weren’t sure if Dying Light 2 would ever come to fruition. Following its announcement at E3 2018, Techland initially set a release window of early 2020 for the long-awaited sequel. Then, in January 2020, the developer announced the game was delayed – giving no new release window.
But thanks to a Dying Light 2 live stream on May 27, we now know Dying Light 2 is back on track and due to release December 7, 2021. The highly anticipated survival horror looks to be considerably bigger than its predecessor with player choice at the center of the narrative. As the release date draws closer, we’re only seeing more and more from the game.
Want to know more? Here’s everything we know so far about Dying Light 2: Stay Human.
[Update: Techland has revealed some more information about the lifecycle of the virus in Dying Light 2. Read on to find out more.]
Dying Light 2: what you need to know
- What is it? The sequel to survival horror Dying Light
- When can I play it? December 7, 2021
- What can I play it on? PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S and PC
Dying Light 2 release date
Dying Light 2 will release on December 7, 2021 for PS4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S and PS5.
Dying Light 2 was announced at E3 2018, with an initial release date set for sometime in early 2020. However, in January 2020, developer Techland announced that the game was delayed – with no new release window given.
While Techland remained tight-lipped about Dying Light 2 details for over a year after the delay, we finally got confirmation of the sequel’s new release date during the Dying 2 Know live stream on May 27.
Dying Light 2 trailers
The latest Dying Light 2 gameplay trailer made its debut in the middle of TechLand’s Dying 2 Know YouTube livestream, giving us a look at a new hospital environment filled with turned civilians and a few of the new zombie sub-types you’ll encounter along the way – including the Revenant, a brand-new infected species that’s smarter than the regular infected.
According to the game’s director, these nests are nearly impossible to fight through, but they can be navigated carefully if you’re stealthy enough. Watch for yourself below:
We got a brand new trailer for Dying Light 2 during the PC Gaming Show at E3 2021. Over the course of four minutes, the trailer gives some insight into the game’s protagonist Aiden and his quest to find his sister after their separation in a terrifying hostile world. You can watch the trailer for yourself below:
Dying Light 2 official gameplay trailer
After over a year of radio silence, Techland finally hosted a Dying Light 2 live stream to update players on the game’s development – and when it would release. The latest gameplay trailer gave us some background on Dying Light 2’s setting, including the factions that fight for control of The City. We also got a look at some of the grotesque and mutated monsters we’ll be encountering. Check it out below:
Dying Light 2 4K gameplay demo
The last – and longest – official Dying Light 2 trailer we saw was back in August 2019. The 26-minute 4K gameplay demo gave us our best look yet at what we can expect from Dying Light 2, giving us a glimpse of the world, traversal, combat and the consequences of your choices in action. Check it out below:
Dying Light 2 E3 2019 trailer
The E3 2019 cinematic trailer revealed Dying Light 2’s initial release window of “Spring 2020” (which was later delayed). Check it out below:
Dying Light 2 gameplay world premiere trailer
The second trailer revealed at E3 2018 gave us our first look at Dying Light 2’s gameplay. Much like its predecessor, Dying Light 2 looks to be parkour heavy, with new protagonist Aiden traversing the world in style.
The trailer also explains how Dying Light 2’s “functioning ecosystem” reacts to the player’s choices and showcases a mission that sees Aiden undertaking a quest for a faction called the Peacekeepers. The city will change depending on whether you choose to carry out their orders, with each choice impacting the wider ecosystem. Each choice has its benefits and drawbacks, with Techland stating there are hundreds of choices to be made. Check it out below:
Dying Light 2 announcement trailer
Dying Light 2 was announced back at E3 2018 with this official announcement trailer, giving us our first look at Dying Light 2’s decaying open world which will change depending on the choices players make. Check It out below:
Dying Light 2 gameplay and setting
Dying Light 2, like its predecessor, is set in a post-apocalyptic open world, plagued zombie-like infected and ruthless survivors. Stay Human is set in Villedor (AKA The City), a huge urban area in Europe that is the last bastion of humanity. The City has has been divided into regions and is set to be four times larger than in the original game, with three factions (Peacemakers, Renegades and Nightrunners) all vying for control.
Taking place 20 years after the events of the first game, and 15 years after the apocalypse, Dying Light 2 introduces a new protagonist, Aiden Caldwell, who is an infected survivor (best of both worlds, eh?) seeking to uncover the truth about his past and find his sister – a search that leads him to The City. It’s up to the player whether Aiden focuses on his own goal or decides to help rebuild The City.
Thanks to Aiden’s brutal combat abilities and athleticism, he’s a commodity in this world and so factions are itching to get him on their side as the city teeters on the brink of collapse due to a water shortage. Techland has said that players will be able to hone Aiden’s skills to their playstyle, with a focus on either combat, parkour or crafting – though you will be able to mix things up a bit.
Choices play a huge role in Dying Light 2. Each choice you make will impact the ecosystem of the world, resulting in visible changes to the world itself and to the game’s narrative. No pressure. According to Techland there are over one hundred choices to make and even if you complete the game, you’ll have only seen 50% of what’s on offer.
Dying Light 2 will also continue to have a focus on parkour for traversal, but offers new ways of getting around including paragliding, grappling and using zombies to break your fall. According to Techland, there are over 3000 parkour animations in Dying Light 2 – double that of Dying Light. Also, like in Dying Light, Stay Human has a day/night cycle that sees the streets becoming even more hostile during the nighttime – though those who venture out may be rewarded for their risk-taking with extra loot.
While some aspects are the same, Dying Light 2 does introduce a bunch of new elements including new zombies, melee weapons and characters.
Dying Light 2 news and rumors
Detailing the virus lifecycle
In Dying Light 2, the monsters you encountered are just people who contracted the virus and weren’t able to find any means of prolonged exposure to UV light to keep it from getting worse. In a recent interview with GamesRadar, Anna Kubica, brand manager for Dying Light 2, explained that the virus is transmitted by bodily fluids and that “Although the infection continues developing once contracted, the most dangerous stages of infection occur after crossing a point of no return. Managing infection can be controlled by UV light exposure – if you stay in the sun, you’re safe… at least until nightfall.”
That’s why, in the game, you’ll find that protagonist Aiden Caldwell and everyone else carries a Biomarker, which allows them to monitor their rate of infection and see how close they are to this “point of no return”. The biomarker will play a significant role in Dying Light 2 and players will have to keep an eye on it as they explore the world, particularly when they’re in the darkness.
According to Kubica, “Extended exposure to darkness causes the symptoms to progress rapidly with increased severity until the infected human becomes a Viral – a monster that’s as agile as it is bloodthirsty.” This is the “turning point” at which humans begin to mutate and UV light damages them rather than heals them.
The enemies you’ll face – from Biters to Special Infected
Viral enemies are those you’ll encounter all over the world in Dying Light 2 and Anna Kubica says they are “extremely quick, agile, and dangerous.” If you encounter this enemy type indoors, running outside into the light is a good method as it degrades them into a Biter enemy type. Biters are slower than Virals and the UV sunlight damages them.
Other enemies are less easily dealt with. Kubica explains that the longer a Viral spends in the darkness, the worse their infection gets, stripping humanity from the body until they go from Viral to Volatile.
“Volatiles are infected organisms developed entirely in darkness. They are never seen on the streets during the day, and instead stay hidden in dark places,” says Kubica. “UV light affects Volatiles in a similar manner to other infected; UV flashlights are an effective means of protection against them, but it is significantly more difficult to damage a Volatile with UV light because of their increased mobility.”
Special Infected are another step up from this, “created when the chemicals that created the infection progress at an alarming rate, causing mutations.“ Examples of these include The Revenant, Banshee and Demolisher, and they all have distinct physical features and patterns of behaviour. The Revenant, for example, is “imposing, scary, and extremely intelligent.”
Kubica says that this Infected ”appears at night in specific areas and fighting him plays out completely different from the other infected. To make matters worse, the mutations on his back emit a substance that summons and buffs nearby infected—if you’re going to fight the Revenant, be prepared to face more than one monster.”
The Banshee, on the other hand, has long arms and sharp claws making it a dangerous melee opponent even at a longer range. According to GamesRadar, this variant is “fast and aggressive, and somewhat unpredictable since – tragically – they sometimes experience flashes of lucidity that remind them of the person they once were.”
Dying 2 Know Episode 2
The second episode of Techland’s Dying 2 Know series gave us a better look at some of the monsters we’ll encounter when we play Dying Light as well as some brand new gameplay. Among the new enemies revealed during the episode are Sleeping Beauties, Revenants, and Banshees.
The next Dying 2 Know episode will release later this year and it’s expected to detail the game’s combat styles, weapons crafting and parkour.
Day/Night system making a difference
In a recent interview with PC Gamer, Dying Light 2 creative director Adrian Ciszewski has given some details on the game’s day/night system and how it impacts the game. According to Ciszewski, “The night is the common enemy for everyone in Dying Light 2. During the day, everyone has their own agenda. You might hate one of the factions. But when night falls, everyone has one enemy: the Infected.”
Ciszewski explains that night changes the game because at that time the streets, ruled by humans in the day, become overrun by Infected. “The floor is lava, basically,” he says. “You should stay on the rooftops. If you jump to ground level, it’s gonna be painful. You’ll be pursued and encounter Screamers.“
Aside from changing what enemies players will encounter, night in the game also “brings interesting gameplay opportunities. If you travel the world during the day, you’re gonna see a lot of Infected in buildings—almost like I Am Legend—who are asleep. They’re waiting for night to go hunting. So when they go out at night, they leave those interiors almost empty. And that’s an opportunity for you to visit these places.“
Ciszewski gives the metro system as an example of a place that’s more explorable at night, adding “the day/night system isn’t just a gimmick, it’s a part of the world. If a quest involves you going through an underground tunnel, waiting for night will make your life much easier.“
Keeping an eye on your infection level, however, is important and makes moving around at night even more complicated. “Everyone in this world is infected,” Ciszewski explains. “The more time you spend in darkness, the more the infection bar rises up. So you’re not only managing time, but your infection level. But you can give yourself more time with food items or injections.”
Four-player multiplayer co-op
Like Dying Light, Dying Light 2 will offer four player co-op. Details on how this will work haven’t been shared yet, but we imagine it’ll take the same form as in its predecessor, offering players the ability to set up a session with friends through matchmaking. It’s also not been revealed if this co-op mode will be cross-platform but in a recent interview with GamesRadar animation director Dawid Lubryka recommended co-op as an “opportunity to see how the world changes when your friend makes different decisions to you”.
“In co-op, you can walk in their shoes to experience all those differences, but there really is no one way of playing Dying Light 2. It’s up to you!”
What’s happened between Dying Light and Dying Light 2?
According to Techland, Dying Light 2 takes place 20 years after the events of Dying Light but 15 years after the apocalypse. The developer has said that following the events of Dying Light, Harran became an exclusion zone as world leaders aimed to battle against the pandemic.
While this worked for a while, scientists secretly worked on mutating the infection for military applications. Christmas 2021 seen the mutated strain escaping and wreaking havoc and, by the end of 2023, 98% of the population had died. Villedor, The City Dying Light 2 is set in, is the last city standing.