The original Dying Light struck a chord with fans by blending the tension of survival horror with fast-paced, first-person parkour. The sequel, Dying Light 2: Stay Human, takes everything players liked about the first game and cranks it up to an eleven, with a bigger map, more moves, and a deeper story with real consequences. There are big factions, such as the militant Peacekeepers with their ironclad belief in structure and order and, on the opposite end of the spectrum, there's the chaotic Mad Max-esque Renegades who take what they want from who they want with little regard for pesky things like "law and order." And in between these two factions lie the various Survivor groups, with varying amounts of influence or power. They tend to just want to live their lives the best way they can, hoping that they live to see another sunrise. Players' actions and choices shape the world around them and customize the experience, making the game feel much more personal as a result. This is even more evident during multiplayer games. One player hosts the session in the world they've fashioned. Visiting players, on the other hand, find themselves in a sort of multiversal splinter world, where things might seem familiar, but key events have played out differently. This might allow visitors access to items and areas closed off in their own worlds, or alternatively shut them out of certain things they might be accustomed to in their own playthrough. Once returning to their own world, visitors will bring with them any character progression they may have made, but no changes to the base world they started from. It's an incentive to see how certain choices might have played out for others before making similar decision in your own experience.
As far as the rest of the game goes, it's hard to find much fault with it. The game ties to the events of the first Dying Light, rewarding returning players with an expansion of the overall lore. But it's also set far enough down the road that newcomers can dive right in without needing a primer on everything they might have missed. Combat is visceral and brutal. While there are some weapons that allow you to fight from a distance, most require you to get up close and personal, which is fine when facing a small group of enemies. But when the lights go down and swarms come out, you'll literally need to run for your life. The default controls are awkward at the start, but begin to feel natural and responsive with practice. Before long, you're jumping, climbing, ducking, and dodging with unmatched fluidity. The map, supposedly four times bigger than the original game, feels almost too huge. There's a lot to explore and a lot of space to cover between points of interest. Finding safe rooms, and unlocking their respective spawn points helps considerably. And finally, there's not enough that can be said about the story this time around. While it's far from being the Citizen Kane of zombie stories, it's got a lot of depth and development, making you feel like you truly exist in this world that's gone to hell in a hand basket.