Two Years Later, Dying Light 2 Still Does Not Beat The Original

Kyle Crane's survival in Harran remains a peerless experience.

Story Highlights

  • Dying Light is a zombie survivor game franchise consisting of two iterations, both developed by Techland. 
  • The sequel to the first Dying Light came out in 2022, featuring multiple improved mechanics & systems. 
  • Dying Light 2 still does not beat the original in terms of sheer atmospheric quality, however. 

Before I start having my way with this piece, please don’t get me wrong. The Dying Light duo of modern-day zombie survival horrors are fantastic games that are worth getting picked up in their own right, but as a fan of the franchise and a passionate player who’s sunk hundreds of hours into both ambitious titles, I’m confident in saying that the first Dying Light does a lot of things better than its sequel.

Some facets of Dying Light 2, such as the parkour and the combat — especially with human enemies — is a major improvements, but at the end of the day, I know what game I prefer when it’s time to sit back and relax, and it’s not the sequel. 

Let’s get into the crux of the discussion ahead. 

Note: The content ahead will discuss story spoilers for both games to a certain extent. Proceed with caution.

Kyle Crane’s Story Did A Better Job Than Aiden’s

Kyle Crane in Dying Light
Kyle Crane in Dying Light Going up the Tower | Source: Steam

While the Dying Light fandom concurs that both iterations sport hum-drum storylines in the grand scheme of things, the scenario is quite worse in Dying Light 2. Aiden is seen as this fairly disconnected figure who couldn’t give two cares about the people he’s surrounded with, but on the other side of the coin, Crane is quite on the opposite end. 

First and foremost, I do not see the point of having these short cutscenes in Dying Light 2. It doesn’t resonate with the player on an emotional level, especially not like the first Dying Light where most sidequests connect Crane to the people of Harran — the in-game world — and develop his character as the mainline quest lingers on. 

Crane Supremacy
byu/x_e_n_0 indyinglight

So Kyle Crane at the start of Dying Light is this straightforward, orders-following GRE agent who’s expecting a relatively simple in-and-out infiltration mission. Little does he know what he’s really about to get himself into. Now by the end of the story when you’re approaching the final mission, Crane isn’t having any of it, not from the GRE, not from Rais.

He’s a man of his own rules by then, so the character development is observed on point here bar none. 

Despite being kind of generic and participating in a terrible story, I absolutely agree that Crane showed a ton of growth. He acted human and was presented with some difficult choices, loved seeing how he evolved through the main story unlike Aiden who was coupled with a bunch of condescending idiots,” remarks one u/basicrifleman.

The Supporting Cast In Both Dying Lights

Another one of my major knocks with the sequel is the type of people Aiden surrounds himself with in Dying Light 2. They’re incompetent for the most part—couldn’t act smart if their life depended on it, which it literally did—and constantly act as dead weight for the protagonist instead of helping around. 

In Dying Light, Crane is supported by people he can rely on, i.e. Harris Brecken and Jade Aldemir, both of whom show him the ropes when he crash-lands in Harran and nurture his survival skills. That’s another precision point as to why the first iteration’s story feels relatively more coherent than the sequel. 

A Lackluster Open World 

Aiden in Dying Light 2 Gliding Through the City
Aiden in Dying Light 2 Gliding Through the City | Source: Steam 

I keep iterating that you should absolutely try Dying Light 2, especially now that Techland has gone ahead and enhanced the zombie survival thriller significantly as opposed to the state it launched in, so it’s much more of a phenomenal experience now.

With that said, some details still stick out like a sore thumb, such as the lack of a natural elevation to the in-game world, and this stagnant emotion of Villedor not feeling like a real world at all. Now despite coming out in 2015, which is almost 9 years ago, Dying Light does not keep things that way at all. The environment is utterly brilliant and has just that right type of life-like vibe to it that makes every experience seem so realistic.

YouTube video

Those, therefore, who prefer a more true-to-life touch should pick up Dying Light without a second thought in mind. That’s because Dying Light 2’s parkour is a little too fast and slick, but that’s probably understandable because Aiden isn’t totally a human. He was experimented with in his childhood which led him to have increased stamina, jumping, speed, and just about every other physical trait. 

Dying light 1 is still a better and more enjoyable game for me, to this day. i believe in OG DL supremacy.
byu/-_-_-KING_-_-_ indyinglight

The Saddening Lack Of A “Be The Zombie” Mode

Oh, and this doesn’t get talked about enough, but it really should. The first Dying Light sports a separate mode (free-to-play by the way) called Be the Zombie. It basically lets you be in control of this ultra-menacing, supremely capable mutated monster called the Night Hunter. It’s a PvP way to play Dying Light and is extremely fun, especially when you go up against multiple other players. 

YouTube video

Much to my disappointment, the sequel features no way to compete against each other, let alone a dedicated zombie mode where you play as a big, bad, vicious monstrosity. What’s more is, Techland has nothing in mind for anything of the sort as well, as per an interview with Wccftech

Funny thing is, I was expecting something even more revamped and refined when news of Dying Light 2 incoming spread across the globe. Turns out, the folks up high had no intentions of making any feature like it in the first place. Poor me.  

Is A New Dying Light Coming? 

So, can one hope for a sequel that’s better than both of the two games combined? It’s hard to say at the moment, but as far as the question of Dying Light 3 coming in the first place is concerned, I can’t imagine a world where Techland would give up on the opportunity. 

The Polish developer did let out a slight tease of the prospect at the same time as the time of writing last year, but it’s nothing concrete. It appears Techland’s current focus is on Dying Light 2 right now—it will continue to receive updates and more content at least until 2025

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Huzaifa, an Online News Editor at, is a video game industry aficionado with a talent for unearthing the juiciest stories for his beloved readers. Currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Data Science, he dives deep into the abyss of news, meticulously dissecting every tiny detail to serve his audience. When he's not unravelling breaking news, he becomes a master storyteller, conjuring up captivating tales from the depths of his imagination. With a wealth of experience as a Video Game Journalist, he's penned his mighty words for numerous other video game outlets, leaving no video game unturned and no pixel unexplored! Experience: 4+ Years || Education: Bachelor of Science in Data Science || Previously Worked at VeryAli Gaming & TheNerdMag || Covered 100+ News Articles

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