The tone and look of Dying Light 2 came through loud and clear in the game's E3 2019 trailer, but the behind closed doors demo gave a better sense of the moment-to-moment action and how the game's weighty open-world-affecting decisions are weaved in with the story. Today, developer Techland streamed a video version of that E3 demo for viewers everywhere.
If you read USgamer's impressions of the E3 demo and committed them to memory like a post-apocalyptic city dweller locks down the safe paths through an infected neighborhood, then all the story beats of the demo will be familiar to you. The choices made don't differ from those the press saw at E3: Aiden Caldwell, our parkour-adept and unfortunately infected player character, has to find a way to get clean water flowing to the residents of the city. Aiden's pal Frank knows that a man called The Colonel, the head of a posse called the Renegades, controls the city's water pumps. Frank and Aiden set up a meeting with some Renegades; while the cityfolk jam out to Metric's "Help I'm Alive," blissfully unaware of the impending water crisis, someone shoots Frank and shit spirals out of control.
The two turning points in the 26-minute demo show how a simple either-or decision in Dying Light 2 can be the difference between life or death for an NPC or even open up large parts of the city for exploration at the cost of closing off others. Along the way, Techland makes sure to show off the game's improved parkour, new weapon customization options, and the horrors of the city's darkened zombie dens.
Dying Light 2 is the sequel to Techland's horror action RPG of the same name. Set 15 years after the original, Techland says the action RPG sequel will have a open-world four times larger than the first game's. If that sprawl seems intimidating, Techland intends to have the decisions a player makes in a given run limit the amount of content they see by as much as 50 percent.
For more on the demo, including narrative designer Chris Avellone's thoughts on the game's branching paths and 15-year time leap, check out our coverage from E3. Dying Light 2 is set to debut on the Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC in Spring 2020.