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Dying Light 2 starts easier than Dying Light, but there’s a hardcore mode for zombie game pros

Those looking for a real challenge can dial up the difficulty

Kicking an enemy in the chest as part of a parkour combo in Dying Light 2

The start of the first Dying Light game can be notoriously unforgiving, as you find yourself facing hordes of Infected without all the tools or skills needed to fend them off. But that’s not the case in the sequel, as Dying Light 2’s lead designer, Tymon Smektała, tells us in an interview ahead of the game’s launch next year.

“We got a lot of feedback from the first game, people saying, ‘Hey, it’s difficult to get into Dying Light’. Actually, that was on purpose,” Smektała explains, emphasising that players feeling “weak and defenceless” at the start of the game leads to a “feeling of empowerment” later on. “At some point they realise, ‘Hey, now I’m stronger, I can overcome those obstacles.’”

The progression in Dying Light 2 works differently, however. “It starts a little easier on regular difficulty, but we also have a difficulty dedicated to the hardcore fans of the first game – we call them ‘Harran survivors’… so if they want the same level of challenge, they will definitely get it.”

The sequel takes place in completely different circumstances to the first game, and is set in a ‘modern Dark Age’ where guns are almost nowhere to be found. “You won’t be able to shoot guns like in Call of Duty,” Smektała clarifies, “but there are some firearms – boomsticks, for example, that you make yourself through crafting. And of course, there are also ranged weapons; crossbows and bows.”

Despite the relative absence of firearms this time around, there are still plenty of creative, unorthodox weapons to take their place, including a semi-automatic crossbow and a cannon that shoots saw blades. Yikes. “If you make some choices for the Peacekeepers, you can get this huge cannon that shoots saw blades, the circular ones, kind of like in Half Life. I’ve always loved it in Half-Life, so now it’s kind of cool to have it in the game I’m making.”

The Dying Light 2 release date is set for February 4, 2022.