Choice and consequence.
I love a good zombie game, and I particularly love a good zombie game that plays with the format. We last saw Dying Light 2 at last year’s E3 – where it was announced – and the demo promised some fun new twists to the formula in an open world designed to inspire some frantic clambering as you’re pursued by hordes of the undead.
Firstly, its sandbox – 4x bigger than the sandbox in the original – can be changed depending on your choices. There are a bunch of factions scattered throughout its “modern dark age” world, and your loyalties to them will change what resources are available to you as Dying Light 2 progresses. For example, if you choose to cut a deal with some bandits who have killed a man instead of avenging the man, you’ll align yourself with their faction.
This means you now have access to the bandit’s black market water scheme, which is important, as water is a coveted commodity in the world of Dying Light 2. The more power you give the bandits, the more your world will shift to their sensibilities: it’ll look grimier, for example.
Alternatively, if you chose to avenge the man, you align yourself with his faction. Said faction might be particularly efficient, providing you with a steady stream of running water, but also hyper-vigilant and lawful. This means if you break the law, you’re in trouble – and you’re not always going to want to abide by the law in Dying Light 2.
Outside of this world-shaping, there are twice the amount of moves in Dying Light 2. There’s also a new type of puzzle, the ‘parkour puzzle,’ which tasks you to complete a set of moves without your stamina bar running out. The idea that you might have to meticulously complete these while sprinting from ravenous hordes of zombies is thrilling.
In terms of what I want to see from Dying Light at E3, this is definitely the time for some hands-on with it. I’m intrigued to see just how my choices change the look of the gameworld, and whether there are shades of gray within that. Will certain options be locked off if you align yourself with one faction over the other? Can you align yourself with multiple factions? What does your world look like if you do? And how does that all affect the story?
I’m also intrigued as to a possible multiplayer component, which was teased in an interview with Gamespot last year. Co-op was also a massive part of the original Dying Light, and I’m excited to see how developer Techland has evolved it this time around.
What do you want to see from Dying Light 2 at E3? Let us know in the comments below!
Lucy O’Brien is Executive Editor of Features at IGN. Follow her on Twitter.