Dying Light 2: Stay Human has been on our radar for a few years now and, after a couple of delays, we know we'll finally get to try out the game in February 2022.
There was a time when Dying Light 2's eventual release was completely up in the air. Developer Techland first announced the title back during E3 2018, and details were thin on the ground for a while after that.
Following a period of radio silence from Techland, Dying Light 2 was slated for a 2020 release, pushed back almost two years for extra polish (not to mention the Covid-19 pandemic disrupting everything), before being delayed yet again to December 2021. And now we know the Dying Light sequel has been delayed again, with Stay Human now set to release in early 2022.
But, judging by the details we have now, the extra wait looks like it'll be worth it. Dying Light 2 is set to be considerably bigger and more ambitious than its predecessor, with a much bigger emphasis on story this time around. Want to know more? Here's everything we know so far about Dying Light 2: Stay Human.
[Update: Dying 2 Know More has given us a look at Dying Light 2's abandoned buildings and how they can be used. Read on to find out more.]
Dying Light 2: cut to the chase
- What is it? The sequel to survival horror Dying Light
- When can I play it? February 4, 2022
- What can I play it on? PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PC and a cloud version via Nintendo Switch
Dying Light 2 release date
Dying Light 2 will release on February 4, 2022 for PS4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S and PS5, following yet another delay. It will also be available on Nintendo Switch through cloud streaming.
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: December 7, 2021.
However, in September 2021, Techland announced that Dying Light 2 had been delayed once again, this time to February 2022. Pawel Marchewka, Techland CEO, says that "the team is steadily progressing with the production and the game is nearing the finish line. The game is complete and we are currently playtesting it."
"It is by far the biggest and the most ambitious project we've ever done. Unfortunately, we've realized for us to bring the game to the level we envision, we need more time to polish and optimize it."
Update regarding release date. pic.twitter.com/xAx1RMbw0XSeptember 14, 2021
Dying Light 2 trailers
Techland has confirmed that actress Rosario Dawson is part of the cast of Dying Light 2, playing the character of Lawan. Dawson introduces her character in the trailer below, giving a little insight into what we can expect.
Gamescom 2021 Xbox Stream trailer
The Gamescom 2021 Xbox Stream kicked off with a brand new trailer for Dying Light 2, and it was a substantial one at that. Focusing on the setting of Villedor, the trailer gave us a more better glimpse at the world of Dying Light 2, and it's a good sight more colorful than the original game.
Dying Light 2 looks to maintain the original game's unbroken first-person narrative, but we can already tell characters are much more emotive here, which should hopefully lead to an all-round more believable story.
The sense of scale is greatly expanded here, too. One shot features the player character using a zipline hundreds of feet above ground level, with several buildings littering the near and far distance.
Human enemies look to be a much greater threat in the sequel, too, many of which have formed their own gangs. For some reason, we imagine the zombies will be the least of our worries this time around.
We also see traversal items such as a parachute and grappling hook weave into combat moves, which should mean that your options in how to approach fights will be greatly expanded in Dying Light 2.
The trailer closes with lead game designer Tymon Smektala and animation director Dawid Lubryka detailing some final points, such as the need for thousands of new animations to help the gameplay run much smoother than before.
This 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:
PC Gaming Show E3 2021 trailer
A trailer for Dying Light 2 was shown 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 hosted a Dying Light 2 live stream to update players on the game's development. The 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
Back in August 2019 a 26-minute 4K gameplay demo gave us another look 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. In an interview with MP1st, Lead Level Designer Piotr Pawlaczyk said that for Dying Lying 2, "Parkour has many improvements. New moves, new skills and new tools like paraglider or reworked grappling hook, which is more satisfying but also takes more time to master." He adds "running across the roofs of buildings should always be a journey itself" and that "you can creatively use parkour in your combat".
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. In a post on the official PlayStation Blog, Techland detailed some of the games weapons, parkour and combat which players will have to combine to take down enemies. According to Techland, "the way you approach enemies will depend on the faction you side with, the weapons you prefer, the threat you face, and your current location". That's a lot of variables and the developer says "the variety of possibilities at any given time lets you truly find your own style of playing".
Dying Light 2 news and rumors
Dying 2 Know More details abandoned buildings
A new episode of Dying 2 Know More, Techland's information series on Dying Light 2, has shone a little light on the game's abandoned structures and how they will function. More than empty settings in which you can just run and fight, they’re places that can be restored and further contribute to the ways you can build and influence the game world.
According to Lead Game Designer, Tymon Smektala, “when you restore an abandoned structure, it becomes a functional building. Then it starts offering you a lot of new opportunities [...] There might be vendors that offer you unique items or maybe some quests or new collectibles, or maybe NPCs that you can talk to which usually leads to new adventures.”
Abandoned structures can have a few different purposes. For example, there are training grounds where you can test unique weapons and face challenges. Players will find a few dozen challenges and they're split into two groups: combat and parkour. Combat challenges, Smektala explains, will test and bend the mechanics, asking players to use their skills in "crazy and extreme situations". Parkour challenges, on the other hand, will include delivery missions and checkpoint races.
Smektala lists off a brief but wide-ranging list of other things buildings can be restored into, such as an art workshop, a bakery, a smokehouse, a pumpkin farm and more, which players will discover as they play the game. Restoring the buildings is a part of the city's alignment and rebuilding the world, with protagonist Aidan helping citizens to build a new future and "try to stay human with all they have".
Rosario Dawson joins the cast
Actress Rosario Dawson has been confirmed as joining the cast for Dying Light 2. A brief trailer introducing Dawson’s character, called Lawan, was released. Dawson describes her character as “a warrior of sorts” and a “tough woman” who is looking to get revenge “on the people who wronged her”. Dawson points out that overall, Lawan’s behaviour is dependent on the player—she could be a “rage-filled killer” or a nightrunner who risks her life to save others.
A post on the official PlayStation Blog also reveals a little bit about Lawan, saying "She’ll show you both the joys and sorrows of The City, and as you get to know her better, you’ll realize she’s a very complex character with quite a backstory. Make sure you don’t get under her skin because… well. You don’t want to find out. Oh, and she can be brutally honest too, so don’t say we didn’t warn you. It’s worth it though."
Coming to Nintendo Switch
It turns out Dying Light 2 will be playable on Nintendo Switch thanks to the cloud. According to an official listing on the Nintendo UK store, when Dying Light 2 releases in February Nintendo Switch players will be able to stream it, clarifying that the game requires a Nintendo account and “a stable and permanent internet connection” to play it. “If your internet connection becomes unstable,” Nintendo says, “the service will disconnect after a few minutes.” To make sure that your region and internet connection are suitable for the game, Nintendo recommends downloading “a free launcher application to test the game for a limited amount of time“.
Bringing Villedor back to life
In a recent PlayStation Blog post, Techland dug into The City of Dying Light 2, explaining how the city’s unique infrastructure works and how the player will be able to bring it back to life. According to the post, players will be able to see Villedor’s past as they explore through meeting characters or inspecting smaller things like “old newspapers, records of The City’s Mayor’s speeches, posters, books, audio cassettes” and more. By taking the time to look around, Techland says, players will be able to see “what life used to look like before the apocalypse, all sorts of stories, and human emotions.”
Techland also explains the extent to which players will be able to have an impact on the city and restore life to it. “The decisions you’ll make will play a crucial role in reviving the world of Dying Light 2 Stay Human,” the post reads, “For example, you can look for the old electrical substations which have been offline for years now and fix them if you want to. This choice alone will have an impact on how the entire city’s going to look. Shops will turn the lights on, and the air vents and electric traps will work again, helping you in combat and navigation. And as you revive the civilization, you’ll also get to choose the faction you wish to help—the Peacekeepers or the Survivors. This will determine what people will build on the roofs and, in consequence, The City’s skyline.”
Though they’re audio stories, they’ve been uploaded to YouTube and fans have started seeing a pattern in the videos. In Rosemary, there’s a brief moment where the lettering on screen changes to read “Everyone” for a few seconds. The same thing happens in Antigone, changing to read “Has”, and in Dedrick where it reads "A Story". Taken together, the stories' hidden messages read "Everyone Has a Story".
Dying 2 Know episode 3
The third episode of Dying 2 Know premiered as part of Gamescom 2021, going over the game’s parkour and combat as well as showing some brand new gameplay footage. Techland explains through the episode that the city in Dying Light 2 has been built from the ground up to accommodate parkour and that even the highest building will no longer be an obstacle for players. There are many new animations to improve players’ experience of parkour movement in the game and to make it appear more natural and flowing. Parkour can also be combined with combat, an aspect of the game that the episode also touches on.
According to Techland, the team has worked hard to make the combat feel “visceral” and has created a system called “Progressive Hit Reactions.” With this, consecutive hits on enemies will enhance their reactions and they will react differently depending on the weapons you’re using and the body parts that you’re targeting with those weapons amongst other factors. The emphasis is on “creative combat”, empowering players to be playful in the ways that they approach enemies.
RTX at launch
The PC version of Dying Light 2 will feature RTX support at launch. Reported by IGN, Nvidia announced that Dying Light 2 will feature support for DLSS and ray tracing technologies at launch on PC.
If the PC port is up to scratch, then, it will likely be the most graphically impressive version of the game you can buy, which would be no surprise.
Using DualSense to a point
In an interview with MP1st, Lead Level Designer Piotr Pawlaczyk touched on how Dying Light 2 will take advantage of the PS5's DualSense controller. According to Pawlaczyk adaptive triggers offered "a lot of room for experimentation" and said the controller's audio capabilities are "also of interest". However Pawlaczyk was keen to point out that the team wanted "balance the use of new controller capabilities so that they are an addition, not the main feature that players using previous generations of controllers connected to PC would miss."
Full of Easter Eggs
Techland has confirmed that Dying Light 2 will be filled with Easter Eggs, just like its predecessor. Speaking with MP1st, Techland’s Lead Level Designer Piotr Pawlaczyk said, “ Dying Light 2 will be full of Easter eggs – how could it be different? We will reach some fresh and classic movie hits. We will blink an eye on many games, but the biggest amount of references will be found deeply in our hearts – with Dying Light.”
Options for current-gen consoles
Those playing Dying Light 2 on PS5 and Xbox Series X will have the option to choose between Performance and Quality Modes and Techland’s Lead Level Designer Piotr Pawlaczyk has revealed more details on how they will work in an interview with MP1st.
According to Pawlaczyk, “For players who prefer visual experiences, we have prepared the Quality mode which, thanks to the use of ray-tracing, has significantly improved the quality of the scene, with an emphasis on environment lighting. In quality mode players will observe greater accuracy of e.g. volumetric effects and many other frame post-processing elements. The ray-tracing itself is then the basis for generating, for example, physically correct shadows.”
When it comes to Performance Mode, players will find it “focuses on a high frame-rate (60FPS + optionally with VRR), making the experience of fast gameplay elements such as a course or combat even more smooth.” Of course, a platform will need to support Variable Refresh Rate to use it. At the moment, PC and Xbox Series X/S does while PS5 users will need to wait for Sony to provide an update.
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.