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Uncovering Dying Light 2 – An Interview With Lead Game Designer Tymon Smektała

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Despite being delayed indefinitely earlier this year, Dying Light 2 still remains at the top of many anticipated video game lists. Described by Techland as an open-world first-person zombie apocalypse-themed action role-playing game, the long-awaited sequel takes place 15 years later, has a new protagonist, and places a greater emphasis on choices and narrative.

Having seen firsthand how ambitious the game was during Techland’s E3 2019 presentation, I walked away impressed but still had some lingering questions. Could other Dying Light characters potentially appear in the sequel? Can we expect more evolved zombie types to contend with? Is the team interested in bringing the series to the Nintendo Switch? Luckily, Lead Game Designer Tymon Smektala recently responded to these questions and more. Feel free to check out our detailed discussion below.

Dying Light 2

Dying Light 2 takes place 15 years after the first game and introduces players to a new lead protagonist named Aiden Caldwell. Is Aiden or his backstory in any way tied to the previous game? Can we also expect callbacks to other characters or key events from the first game?

Tymon Smektala: Huh, you want me to spill the beans… Unfortunately, I cannot say more than what we revealed so far. Yes, the game takes place 15 years after the original, as we wanted to present a different type of world – one where the infection is not a new, unexpected apocalypse that just happened, but an extreme condition that lasted for a long time and transformed humankind. We found answering questions like “How would society organize itself in such circumstances?”, “How would our norms, laws, and rules change?”, “Would we learn something from such breakdown?” etc. extremely interesting to us. But of course, we love our characters from DL1 as much as our community, so there will be quite a lot of references to the first game – some obvious and some quite hidden.

Dying Light 2

As was previously stated, Aiden is infected and players will be able to monitor his status regularly. If his condition worsens, will this have any impact on the overall gameplay experience? Are you able to give any examples of this?

Tymon Smektala: The infection is both a curse and a gift for Aiden. Because of it, he has to stay close to the sources of UV light and the time he can spend in darkness is limited. But we have also revealed that there are advantages to that stage – his senses heighten, his speed increases. It’s like when you have a fever – it’s a bad thing but sometimes you can achieve crazy things in that state.

Dying Light 2

In Dying Light, zombies became more dangerous at night. Can you give an example of how this concept will evolve with the upcoming sequel?

Tymon Smektala: We’ve built half of the game around it. There’s one rule to Dying Light 2 that all citizens of the City live by – the day is for humans, but the night is for the infected. During the day the infected hide inside buildings and dark places, staying away from the sun rays. When the night falls they come out – stronger, faster, smarter than ever. We introduce new types of infected enemies, guys that are more mobile and more dangerous than anything you know from the first game – so to balance things out we also improve player abilities. You’ll get access to a new set of UV tools – UV grenades, UV flashlight that you’ll be able to upgrade over time.

Dying Light 2

An emphasis on evolved zombies is something that was heavily teased during the E3 2019 gameplay demo. Are you able to provide any other details on how many different types of zombies may appear in the game?

Tymon Smektala: I don’t want to talk numbers, but of course expect the whole gang from the original Dying Light plus quite a few new enemies. The cool thing is we’ve changed the visuals and some of the behaviors of the classic Dying Light infected so our community is in for a surprise. My favorite is the new Goon, this scary infected with a huge hammer that’s seemingly growing out of his arms.

Dying Light is still heavily supported and played by many people today. Will this game still be heavily supported once Dying Light 2 releases or will all of the attention be shifted towards the new game?

Tymon Smektala: That’s exactly the plan. We have an internal timeline of 2 years of various updates, DLCs, events, additions, generally a very generous post-launch support, and I have no doubt with everything that we have there we’ll extend the period of high-quality support for longer.

Dying Light 2

Dying Light 2 is also coming to PS5 and Xbox Series X after both consoles release late next year. With this in mind, do you think that the Dying Light series may ever come to the Nintendo Switch?

Tymon Smektala: This is a tricky technical question! The Nintendo Switch is an absolutely amazing console and I’d love to see Dying Light on it. It’s not easy as our game is quite demanding, but to quote the great Sean Connery – “Never say never”.

Dying Light 2 is currently in development for PS4, Xbox One, PC, PS5 and Xbox Series X. Are any of you looking forward to the game and do you have any additional questions about the franchise that you want to be answered? Please feel free to let us know in the comments section below.

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