Dying Light 2 Main Story Finished

A view of the city from high atop some building

I bought Dying Light 2: Stay Human at full price when it launched, and I played for over 50 hours before drifting off. That said I never completed the story. When developer TechLand announced a new update that introduced guns to the game I decided it was time to go back and finally complete the game.

Of course the usual happened. I booted it up, realized I did NOT remember how to play, so started a new game. The plan was to just play through the tutorial then move back to my old save but of course I never moved back. 99 hours later the credits finally rolled. Not that there isn’t a TON more content to do if I want to. It’s a huge game. But with all the other titles that are calling to me I’m thinking 99 hours is enough zombie bashing for now.

Overall I (obviously given the number of hours I put into it) liked the game. The combo of over-the-top violence to zombies and lots of first person parkour traversal worked together nicely and kept the gameplay fairly varied. Some times I’d be in the mood to get down on the streets and battle the hordes, other times I preferred to flit across the rooftops using my parkour skills. As you move through the main story you get new tools like a paraglider and a grapple that makes traversal even more fun.

A first person shot of the player paragliding over the city
Look ma, I’m paragliding!

The actual story was less interesting to me. You play as Aidan, a wanderer who is looking for his little sister Mia. Aidan and Mia were experimented on as children, and then were separated. These experiments are what make you such a super zombie slayer. It sounds like a decent setup but honestly I never really warmed to Aidan and didn’t really care about his sister. Maybe I’m the monster! The supporting cast was a little more interesting and I’m not really faulting the voice talent or even the writing. I can’t put my finger on exactly why, but the story just never grabbed me.

The story also has some branches. Do you support Faction A or Faction B? Do you save Person A or Person B. I generally like these kinds of choices but for some reason Dying Light 2 doesn’t make it easy to explore the various branches. There is no manual save system so you can’t make a choice, then go back to an earlier save and make a different choice. You’re expected, I guess, to replay the entire story over and over again to see the different branches? On PC I expect you could just manually back up your save files but that’s not quite as easy on console. But if the devs think I’m going to put in another 100 hours to see if my decisions change things, they’re fooling themselves!

Zombies flailing about as they burn
Officer, I did not set these zombies on fire. Another zombie set them on fire.

Another aspect of the game that bugs me personally, but this is 100% a personal thing, is that there are lots of Challenges. I am pretty much turned off by anything that is timed and awards bronze/silver/gold medals based on how fast you get something done. I DO NOT like being rushed; I’m by nature methodical. There’re a LOT of these Challenges in DL2 but happily you can just not do most of them.

Changes Since Launch

In the years since the game launched TechLand has made some changes to it. Some are good, some (to me) bad. They’ve added some toggles to make the parkour stuff a lot easier on your stomach, if you’re a person prone to getting motion sick in first person games. I remember when Dying Light 2 first came out I had to play in short sessions until I built up a tolerance. (It doesn’t help that it is one of those games that from time to time takes control away from you and swings the view of the world back and forth as your character looks around…this never works well since we don’t keep our eyes fixed straight ahead when we move, but that’s what happens in games.) Anyway whatever magic they did (I turned on ‘motion sickness mode’ and turned down head bob) I was much more comfortable playing now. They also added some parkour toggles so you can make it a little more automated, or give yourself more control. Whichever works. Both of these are great additions.

First person shot of the player doing a drop kick
It took me a lot of tries to grab a screenshot that takes place mid-drop kick.

On the other hand, at some point they made the nights much more deadly. I guess long-time players were complaining the game was too easy. At night super-zombies called Volatiles come out and if they spot you they Chase you. Chases are a discrete aspect of the game and you get bonus xp based on how long you survive a chase. With the new update there are volatiles everywhere and as soon as you step out of safety they start chasing you and at low levels they WILL kill you if they catch you. So yes, night is much harder now, but that is a problem because there are areas, some tied to quests, that you are intended to go to at night. The fiction is these places are like nests where the zombies stay during the day. There are HUGE numbers of zombies in these locations while the sun is up, so you have to go at night when all the zombies are out on the streets roaming around. With the new update getting to these spots at night is really difficult since there are so many Volatiles waiting to chase you. In the end I just skipped most of these locations, which I remember being quite fun back at launch. Now when I had to do one I’d get near the location then hide in some bushes and wait for night to come. By which I mean I’d set the controller down and flip through social media on my phone or something while time passed in game. Not a great experience.

I’m hoping at some point TechLand adds a toggle for the “More Volatiles” mode so you can opt for the original experience or this new “challenging for long-time players” mode.

There’s a DLC pack called Bloody Ties that is now free, but it is all about doing more Challenges so I noped out of that pretty early on. The entire point of the DLC is that it is a fighting contest where you have to score well to advance.

What About The Guns?

Lastly, about this gun update, which is the entire reason I came back to the game. After 99 hours I have a pistol and that’s it. Guns aren’t found with the rest of the loot you come across. Instead they are purchased from a vendor for a special currency you earn by grinding stand-alone side missions. The game encourages you to do these in co-op though they can be done solo. I didn’t do many of them because I was focused on finishing the main story, and maybe this is by design. Maybe the devs don’t want you to have guns until the post-story game because even the pistol you get is pretty OP. I personally found this system disappointing; I was hoping to find guns out in the world.

Dying Light 2 is kind of a quasi-live service game, I guess. You have the story and the world that was delivered at launch, but there are a few of these reputation systems that you can grind to get better stuff so that you can kill stronger zombies and get better gear to kill even stronger zombies. In the base game the character level cap is I believe 9. I was 6 when I finished the story. Post level 9 there is some kind of Legendary level system which I don’t expect I’ll ever see.

The player about to hit a zombie with a scythe
Me beating up low level zombies post game

So those are my thoughts on Dying Light 2. As is typical of me, I think I’ve focused too much on the negative. I have put 100 hours into this game in the past 3 weeks or so. It is pretty much all I’ve played, and I was hooked to the point where I was getting up early to play a bit before work. So yeah, I really enjoyed my time with it and if the idea of over-the-top violence (and I should note you decapitate a fair number of humans in addition to zombies) and a robust parkour system sounds fun then I would absolutely recommend the game. I’m very glad I played it.

Shot of the player grappling with a zombie
When a zombie wants to eat your face

2 thoughts on “Dying Light 2 Main Story Finished

  1. Congratulations on completion!

    DL2 was one I was super excited for when ahead of it’s launch, and then it just… fizzled for me. From memory, I don’t think it was even anything to do with the game itself. Oh, go me, this was something I did write about! Dying Light 2’s launch was delayed, and pushed into the same launch window as Lost Ark and Elden Ring, which essentially doomed it for me. xD

    It is one I still think I might jump back into though, and even have on occasion, just hasn’t quite stuck yet!

    1. I went back and read one of my posts from when the game first came out and I see I wasn’t really loving it then either. Not sure what changed, me or the game. Maybe it was the comfort settings, or maybe I just pushed through the early game because I do think things get more interesting the further in you go. You get new toys to play with and a bigger playground to play with them in.

      Maybe someday it’ll finally get its hooks into you, too!

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