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Dying Light 2 release date, trailer, platforms and gameplay

Hot on the heels of its first-person adventure Dead Island, the developers at Techland decided to try something new with Dying Light. This open-world adventure introduced a new way to battle zombies, with visceral first-person combat and adaptation to get around the troubled city of Harran. The game turned out to be a success for the developer, selling 16 million copies since its release. It continued to provide it ample support with a number of free updates, as well as the paid expansion The Following, which continued the adventure of undercover agent Kyle Crane.

But the team was itching to tread into new territory, so it introduced Dying Light 2 during Microsoft's E3 2018 press conference. Promising a much bigger city, more player choices and, of course, even more ways to kill off zombies, it's become one of 2020's most highly anticipated horror titles.

So in what ways will Dying Light 2 evolve past the original game? Let's take a look and see what's in store!

Dying Light 2's release date

At the present time, Dying Light 2 only has a release window, not a specific date. Techland is currently vying for a spring 2020 release window. This does give the developer some leeway when it comes to getting the game done. Announcing a specific date doesn't mean it's going to stay that way.

There's a slight possibility that Techland might have a more specific date for fans closer to the end of the year, especially with the Video Game Awards approaching in December. But, then again, the team usually does things at their own pace, so it may just announce it when it's good and ready. And that's not a bad way to go when you're creating something as ambitious as this follow-up.

The trailers for Dying Light 2

Techland has been rather vocal about Dying Light 2's progress since its initial announcement, with a number of videos posted on the game's official YouTube channel.

Perhaps the most exciting clip, however, is a 26-minute gameplay demo, previously shown behind closed doors at E3 2019. Featuring narration from one of the game's developers, it walks players through a number of the game's many improvements.

For those seeking more detail about the game, Techland posted a look behind the game's recent presentation at the E3 event, with Dying Light "megafan" Colossal Kiwi and community manager Kuba "Nirth" Szrejter.

But fans enjoyed the E3 trailers the most. The initial reveal trailer from E3 2018 provides a glimpse of the vision Techland is going for with its sequel; and the gameplay footage that followed showed even more than that. And, as linked above, the E3 2019 trailer is even better.

The story of Dying Light 2

Rather than following the characters from the original game, Dying Light 2 takes a different path. The sequel is set 15 years after the events of Dying Light, in which a viral outbreak drives residents into a feral state. For the sequel, players control Aiden Caldwell, a man with a shady past. The only thing that's known for sure is that he's become "infected" with the same disease that plagues other inhabitants. But unlike them, he still remains alive. He works his way through the game, exploring the ruins of the City, the newest location.

Whether the story revolves around Caldwell trying to find out more about his past — or possibly how he became infected — isn't known just yet. Techland hasn't divulged too many details about it, possibly to avoid potential spoilers. But there's a possibility he could learn more from the people he chooses to help. It's up to the player to decide whether to lend them a hand, or leave them to a miserable fate.

Could Dying Light 2 come to PS5 and Xbox Scarlett?

And now for the big question that's on everyone's minds: what platforms will Dying Light 2 release on? It will definitely be on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC. But what about the next generation? Well, Sony and Microsoft haven't announced any official games for their PlayStation 5 and Xbox Scarlett, respectively, just yet. But a souped-up version of Dying Light 2 wouldn't be a bad idea, especially if Techland did it in the same way it did Dying Light: The Following Enhanced Edition, with downloadable content and upgrades included in the game already.

The developer will likely confirm platforms once it reveals the final release date. But bringing it out for current, popular platforms, along with highly anticipated next-gen systems, is a smart idea.

As for the Nintendo Switch ... it's not likely, due to the game's high-speed performance. However, we have seen games like Doom and Wolfenstein 2 perform admirably on it, so who knows?

The decisions in Dying Light 2 are yours

How Caldwell decides to tackle each task he comes across actually has an effect on the City. Techland notes that the player must make tough choices, and even a few sacrifices, to decide the fate of a society pushed to the edge. These choices are crucial and can actually change the course of this locale, "uncovering new land masses and areas to explore."

In the gameplay trailer from earlier this year, we get a rough idea of how these choices will play out. Aiden confronts a treacherous colonel who knows how to turn on a vital water pump. However, a survivor, Matt, tells him something different over the radio, forcing the player to either trust one person or the other.

In the trailer, Aiden chooses to turn his back on the colonel, resulting in a bloody fight with his guards. But he is able to provide water for the city, creating a new space for him to explore. We're not sure how things would've gone the other way, but circumstances possibly would've changed dramatically. The power of choice truly makes a difference with this game.

Bring your friends along for the ride

Like the original, Dying Light 2 will have four-player cooperative support. You and three friends will be able to take part in the game's campaign, working together to keep the team in one piece as you encounter enemies.

There's no word yet on competitive multiplayer or play as the undead. The original game had a mode called "Be the Zombie," where, surprise, you could hunt after living prey. It provided a neat twist on the action. At the moment, Techland's focus appears to be on the co-op portion, though that's open to change with future updates.

One neat feature is that you can either host or join in others' games. According to Techland's description, players can do this to "see how their choices have played out differently to your own." There's no word on how this will go just yet: either the host will be able to make the key decisions, or the group will be able to vote and make the choice.

However it ends up working, Dying Light 2 should be a good time with friends.

Dying Light 2's enemies will keep you busy

The difference between night and day continues in Dying Light 2. As Techland explained, "During the day, bandits, factions and starving survivors roam the streets scavenging for scraps," meaning you've got your work cut out for you. These include gun-toting soldiers, thugs, and slow-moving infected that you'll have to take down, if you haven't already run from them. 

But then, at night, the infected become faster and fiercer. They leave whatever hidey-hole they're in "to prey on the living." That's bad news for you if you happen to be outside of a safe zone.

Luckily, along with your weapons, you have a UV light. You can shine it to blind them while you make a getaway. It may not be as powerful as the sun itself, but it's handy if you need to get out of a dark area fast.

So no matter what time of day it is in Dying Light 2, be on your guard. Someone — or something — is out to get you.

Dying Light 2 showcases some sick parkour

One thing that made Dying Light stand out was the ability to get around the world with your parkour skills. Fortunately, they've made a return in Dying Light 2.

There's better maneuverability with Aiden this time around, running across surfaces, grabbing onto items in the environment, and leaping with ease. He does so with fierce momentum, enabling him to climb to upper levels or jump down on the ground. What's more, he can actually use a zombie to cushion his fall from greater heights, so that he doesn't take any damage. There is a neat effect to this, as you get to watch it smush on the ground before you continue on your way. Adaptation plays a huge part here.

So go ahead, put those parkour skills to work. They just might save your hide.

Meet the survivors (and some worse folk)

As previously mentioned, Aiden has the option to help others over the course of the game. Granted, he isn't going to be liked by everyone. Making friends and enemies can come down to a key decision. Over the course of the game, you'll meet some interesting people, including potential (yet temporary) partners that can help you over the course of a mission and figures with key information. They not only move the story along, but have their own perspective on staying alive in the City.

The enemies are equally unique, driven by their own ambitions and goals. But they keep the story moving as well.

No matter which way you turn, you'll come across all sorts of people, good and bad alike. Don't be afraid to get to know them a little better. Or beat them senseless, should the situation call for it. Just remember to keep some friends around, yeah?

Traveling is much faster in Dying Light 2

Along with parkour, Dying Light 2 introduces a few new ways to get around. First off, you can grab onto pipes and ropes to keep your speed going, without needing to grasp onto ledges. Have the right level of speed, and you'll land properly enough that your acceleration doesn't drop.

Not only that, but you've got a grappling hook. This can be used to traverse to higher areas (when you don't have a rope nearby). You can also latch onto objects and pull them down onto opponents. Again, adaptation goes a long way.

Gameplay can be dizzying at times, depending how fast you can get to objectives, but speed is everything — especially if you're trying to outrun your opposition, which happens more times than you may expect. Get those running shoes on — you're going to need them.

Combat in Dying Light 2 is still a lot of fun

In the original Dying Light, combat is a great deal of fun, though it's held back slightly by a stamina system. Dying Light 2, however, opens up your options a little bit. While it's great to perform devastating moves, such as smashing someone's head in from above, defense plays a part too. You'll use your weapon to block incoming attacks before counterattacking or wait for a key opportunity to land a fatal blow. Dodging and taking someone's head off is a matter of timing. Stamina still plays an important part, but it looks to be slightly pared back this time around. Still, don't wear yourself down. Time your attacks and keep it steady.

You don't necessarily have to go for the head, either. Your combat is adaptable, as you can attack arms and legs to try and weaken your opponent — or just lop off the limbs entirely if you have the proper weapon.

Modded weapons are better than ever

As before, the world is your oyster in Dying Light 2 when it comes to building awesome weaponry. Aiden could wield an electrified machete, capable of cutting into foes like they were butter. With its electrical components, however, it can be charged up to greater effect.

Another new weapon is the Scorpio. It's a powerful ranged weapon with bolts that can easily kill most opponents with one shot. This is just one of many weapons you can build within the game, but you'll want to make sure you've got ammo to spare as well. Who knows, you just might be able to build a better gun that can let you "stick it" to enemies as well as the Scorpio.

These new weapons you can build are probably not capable of taking too much wear and tear, but they're sure to be fun while they last — and there's always the option to build some more.

So if you find a crafting opportunity in Dying Light 2, it's definitely worth checking out. And relax, newbies — you'll adapt to it with ease.

A new level of visual performance

Techland looks to be going all out with Dying Light 2's visuals. The original game ran very well, running around 30 frames per second on consoles (and a little faster on high-end PCs). With the sequel, the developer is aiming for around 60 frames per second, even when things get very frantic during fights.

Considering that the gameplay trailer is in 4K, it's likely that this will be a performance standard for PCs, as well as Xbox One X and PlayStation 4 Pro. Techland hasn't nailed down all the specs just yet, as the game is still in development. But it should be a nice jump from what the original could do. And running at this pace, it'll keep the character's speed and actions looking more realistic than ever. (Don't let those zombies get too close, their faces are hideous. Yeesh.)