Dying Light 2 release date, trailers, gameplay and news

Dying Light 2: Stay Human has been on our radar for a few years now, but we'll finally get to try out the game this year, when it releases in December. And so far, the open-world parkour/zombie fest is looking pretty promising.

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.

Eventually slated for an early 2020 release, Dying Light 2 was pushed back almost two years for extra polish (not to mention the Covid-19 pandemic disrupting everything), and judging by the details have now, the extra wait was worth it.

Yes, Dying Light 2 looks very much on track to meet its new release date of December 7, 2021. The game looks to be considerably bigger and more ambitious than its predecessor, with a huge emphasis on story this time around. We've also been receiving a steady flow of information recently, culminating in a bit of a deep dive during the Gamescom 2021 Xbox Stream.

Want to know more? Here's everything we know so far about Dying Light 2: Stay Human. 

[Update: Dying Light 2 will feature Easter Eggs and it'll support VRR on Xbox Series X and PC. 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

The protagonist wields a crossbow in Dying Light 2

(Image credit: Techland)

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

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.

Monsters trailer
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 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 trailer still

(Image credit: Techland)

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.

Dying Light 2 news and rumors

Dying Light 2

(Image credit: Techland)

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. 

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