Dying Mild 2 overview – distinctive and exhilarating, messy and uneven

Shortly after you arrive within the metropolis of Outdated Villedor, a scatty, determined man approaches you. He must show his value as a craftsman’s apprentice and has settled on a foolproof plan: utilizing electrical fencing to stimulate the neighborhood’s goats into producing extra milk. A couple of misadventures and one fatally overstimulated goat later, you maintain in your hand the ensuing creation: one thing messy, however nonetheless near good.

Dying Mild 2 is far the identical. Techland improved on the unique Dying Mild in nearly each manner, with a extra considerate situation that distinguishes it as greater than only a parkour twist on the zombie style. It additionally fries a few of its goats alongside the way in which, with unclear imaginative and prescient and a reluctance to let its distinctive traits shine.

Kyle Crane saved the town of Harran in Dying Mild, and also you shortly study that quantities to nothing. The International Aid Effort (GRE) – Dying Mild’s callous group of researchers ostensibly looking for a treatment for the zombie an infection – succumbed to the temptation of energy and plunged the world into one other outbreak. The lucky cities, resembling Villedor, suffered chemical bombings and a descent into anarchy, as first one governing physique then one other disbanded and left everybody else scrambling to outlive.

The GRE’s downfall is a well-worn zombie trope, but it surely offers Dying Mild 2 a larger sense of substance, at the least. Whereas the unique recreation suffered from a paper skinny story, it’s evident Techland put extra thought into creating an fascinating world with its personal wealthy backstory for the sequel. The first focus is Villedor itself, although; a big metropolis that’s each jail and residential to tribes of contaminated people trapped behind its partitions, vying for management over land and assets.

Into all this leaps Aiden, Dying Mild 2’s hero and Techland’s reply to complaints in opposition to Kyle Crane’s static persona. Aiden has his personal mission linked to horrendous experiments he and different youngsters have been subjected to by the GRE, however will get pulled into Villedor’s struggles throughout his journey. The balancing act is a bit messy, as Aiden’s broader objective usually will get misplaced within the moment-to-moment drama within the metropolis. Nevertheless, his characterisation and Jonah Scott’s glorious vocal efficiency make that simple to miss.


Regardless of some sturdy work on the character to start with, considered one of Dying Mild 2’s largest sins is Aiden himself. We see by way of Aiden’s eyes, but we by no means have an opportunity to know who he’s. To the story’s – and Scott’s – credit score, you as a participant nonetheless really feel a reference to Aiden regardless of by no means actually attending to know him correctly. I’d prefer to have seen Techland go deeper with its new protagonist, and maybe develop him as a lot because it developed Villedor itself.

The identical goes for the broader story and characters – particularly in your first few hours confined to the district of Outdated Villedor. The concept is seemingly to introduce you to a condensed model of the town’s struggles and provides Aiden a big parkour playground to study in. The precise results of this on-boarding is a sluggish narrative that sends you backwards and forwards throughout the area’s 5 same-y sectors to the never-ending refrain of pings alerting you to a close-by encounter or loot stash. With its shallow quests, phantasm of alternative, and limitless distractions, it appears – initially – just like the worst sort of open-world filler.

After which instantly it isn’t. The occasions propelling Aiden into each Dying Mild 2’s second half and Villedor correct are surprisingly gripping after these languid opening hours. If you lastly enter the town, the primary view of downtown Villedor is gorgeous – you glimpse it from a skyscraper’s rooftop backyard, proper earlier than hurling your self off the sting and hoping your paraglider works as supposed. You’ll be able to see the sport open up for you on this second, it’s only a disgrace it took so rattling lengthy.

The larger metropolis is infinitely extra fascinating in its format, and exploring it’s an absolute deal with in the course of the day (and a tense thrill at evening). The pacing picks up considerably when you acquire extra freedom to discover, as does Techland’s worldbuilding: faction conflicts develop extra determined and damaging, the disturbing details behind Aiden’s trauma turn into inextricably tied to the town’s destiny, and the narrative finally ends up getting into a path that – whereas not totally sudden – continues to be satisfying and effectively executed.


As spectacular because the later recreation’s setpieces are, it’s the quiet moments that caught with me most and made me want Techland had opted for a extra refined method to Dying Mild 2 total.

One aspect quest, for instance, entails a timid painter asking for assist acquiring the proper shade of pink. He admits he’s been feeding an enormous contaminated within the hopes of utilizing its blood for the coloring and asks you to kill it for him. It’s a wierd juxtaposition that speaks volumes about life in Villedor and the struggles its individuals face, arguably extra so than the drawn-out water tower combat within the recreation’s first half.

Close by, I discovered a rooftop camp the place a small crowd had gathered round a storyteller excitedly recounting the legend of a well-known Nightrunner who fought for survivors and gave them secure locations to reside within the metropolis. It’s not even tied to a quest. It’s only a temporary glimpse into the world Aiden’s risking his life for. These moments are few, although, and even the extra significant quests don’t have any lasting impact exterior of supplying you with new gear – no change in the way you work together with the town or its individuals.

Techland has the items of an enchanting world and probably the most distinctive takes on zombie survival, however by no means fairly makes use of them to their full impact. I can’t assist however want that, rather than the extra normal quests and efforts to make the world really feel massive, the workforce had centered on what makes it particular as an alternative.


Mechanically, Dying Mild 2 can also be surprisingly conservative – particularly in distinction to the primary recreation – but it surely does innovate in a couple of key methods. The day/evening system stays largely the identical as that within the authentic. Contaminated turn into considerably extra harmful after sundown, and the brand new Howler contaminated variant summons a horde of zombies that chase you throughout the town till you attain a secure zone. However what’s extra fascinating is the implication of being at midnight too lengthy.

Since you’re contaminated, you possibly can solely survive as a human for a couple of minutes without having UV gentle or particular gadgets to revive immunity. It’s a wise design alternative that adjustments not simply how you propose your quests and exploration, however the way you work together with the town as effectively. Areas you would possibly usually ignore – deserted properties the place the UV lights nonetheless shine or out-of-the-way secure areas – turn into important stops in your route, usually on the danger of exposing your self to Howlers.

Fight stays the identical as the unique Dying Mild, broadly talking, however some minor tweaks and iterations make it extra pleasant. Weapon mods serve a larger function and allow you to connect flamethrowers and freeze beams (amongst different issues) to realize a strategic benefit in robust battles. The town’s format means most battles are by no means easy; verticality, alternatives for stealth, and that now-classic parkour focus weave collectively to present an additional layer of technique to even probably the most bog-standard bandit encounters.

Much less pleasant have been the bugs and glitches I encountered all through Aiden’s odyssey, together with some slightly problematic ones. The audio randomly reduce out at sure factors, normally throughout a combat, and it was a big gamble whether or not the paraglider would work or not – in all probability not the sort of survival stress Techland had in thoughts. There was additionally some display tearing on Xbox Sequence S, and a bent for quick journey places to vanish. The builders already launched a patch in the course of the overview interval, and I’m hopeful these points might be ironed out at or quickly after launch.


Dying Mild 2 is messy and uneven. It’s additionally distinctive, exhilarating, and simply plain enjoyable to play, with among the best settings in latest reminiscence – regardless of the nagging feeling that the sport may, and may, be greater than what it’s. Techland has made nice strides ahead with the sequel, but it surely’s clear the way forward for Dying Mild can’t be nearly making an even bigger metropolis to climb round in. The sequel has given the collection some good breadth – now it simply wants some correct depth. Dying Mild 2 overview – distinctive and exhilarating, messy and uneven

Fry Electronics Team

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