This post started as a section in my monthly recap for November but it got long enough I figured I’d better split it out on its own, in an attempt to keep the monthly recap a bit shorter.
I was pretty excited for Dying Light 2 when it came out last winter. I even pre-ordered it. Then it came out and it was pretty buggy and overall, I wasn’t that thrilled with it. Let me quote myself:
Anyway I could go on and on but I think you get the point. I expect Dying Light 2 to get polished and tweaked over the next few months, and I’ve decided that rather than play the worst version of the game now, it makes more sense to wait and play it maybe in summer or next fall. So I’m putting it back on the shelf for now.
So as predicted, here it is fall and I’m back. I’ve played a lot more of it than I did last winter, but I’m not even sure why because overall I don’t enjoy it all that much. Technically it has gotten better; much of the jank is gone and it runs nicely on the PS5, so that certainly helps. But I still have a litany of complaints, most of them fairly personal.
First, the gore factor. This is 100% on me. I knew going in that the game was going to be super-gory; it’s one of the title’s calling cards. I completely support and respect their decision to make a game like this but, that vibe is just no longer for me; it is just too much. I kind of feel the same way about DL2 as I did when I stopped watching The Walking Dead. Enough is enough, y’know? After a while the gore just starts to wear me down. Also it’s bad enough that @partpurple started commenting on it, and so I stopped playing when she was in the room.
Second, there’s a lot of facets that have to do with time pressure. You’re infected and any time you are out of the sunlight (UV light keeps you healthy) a timer starts ticking down and if it hits zero, it’s game over. Again, this is 100% me and what I do and do not like: I hate time pressures in my games. I am a slow and deliberate player (side note: there are endless zombies so being slow and deliberate wouldn’t really work even without the time pressure). There are a lot of side quests that are “complete this challenge in under x minutes” that I just refuse to do. Also, minor thing but there’s no way to abandon a quest so my journal is full of timer-based side-quests that I will never do.
Lastly, the first person stuff makes me queasy. Again, this is a Me thing; you might not have any issues at all. It’s a fairly minor issue when I am in control. The big problem happens during in-game cut scenes when you lose control of the camera and your view of the world starts flailing around. Our vision does not work like that for one thing, so it feels dumb to me. More importantly, it makes me feel really sick really fast. At times I had to look away from the screen. One night after a long session of this nonsense, the game made me so sick that the next day I still had a headache from it.
So that’s a lot of bitching. I keep deciding I’m done with it…but then I keep going back. I’m not sure if I’m hate-playing it or what. Maybe I just want to finish to say I finished, given how much time I’ve sunk into it. I can’t tell you. But I keep booting it up. It’s like scratching poison ivy. I know I shouldn’t but I keep finding myself doing it. Mind you, there are certainly satisfying moments. As gory as it is, the combat can be fun and some of the parkour stuff is delightful once you get the hang of it. The world is pretty interesting and the game looks really good.
Still though…the other day I started something new even though I hadn’t completed Dying Light 2 and I found myself slightly surprised that I didn’t get a headache while playing. My brain had started to associate “video games” with headaches and nausea thanks to DL2.
Maybe I should just put it on Easy difficulty and blast through what remains.