CO-OP REVIEW: ‘Dying Light 2’ Is A Good Time With A Friend (PC)

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Dying Light 2 Co-Op

Dying Light 2 is the highly anticipated sequel to 2015’s survival horror game Dying Light. Developed by Techland, Dying Light 2 puts you in control of a pilgrim looking for his lost sister in the ambiguous European city of Haran. While the game focuses on single-player, Dying Light 2 brings co-op back. Co-op allows up to four players to explore Haran and play through the entirety of Dying Light 2 after players complete the tutorial mission. Arron Kluz and I dove headfirst into the Dying Light 2 coop to let you know what made the experience stand out from the single-player mode.

What standout features do you like about Dying Light 2 coop?

Arron: The main feature that co-op changes in Dying Light 2 are the equipment builds. When playing single-player they aren’t important until the latest stages of the game, but in co-op, they can be a really fun way to differentiate your playstyle from your friends and have each of you excel at different things.

Mick: What I enjoyed most about Dying Light 2 coop is how you play as your character. There is no mimicking the person you’re playing with, you are the character you’ve built weapons and all. I’m not sure why non-online-focused games have moved away from this, but it’s nice to see Dying Light 2 just let you be who you’ve been playing as and with your friends.

What do you hope gets updated for Co-op?

Arron: I would really like to see some more coop-centric content in the future updates for the game. Techland announced plans to support the game for five years after launch, and getting harder raid or operation content that pushes players to work together and optimize builds would be a great way to really challenge players and reward them for engaging with all of its mechanics and systems.

Mick: I hope that Techland adds co-op-specific missions or challenges. While it’s fun to play through the campaign and knock out side quests with friends, they don’t carry over to your own game. Having locations made for co-op akin to expeditions in Far Cry New Dawn could really push people to play with their friends, try new builds, and let the developers come up with some really cool and unique scenarios for the players to parkour through.

Were there any noticeable differences in difficulty playing Co-op?

Arron: The difficulty was definitely different, but it balanced out pretty well. Combat encounters are larger, forcing you to stay with your friends, otherwise you’ll easily get overwhelmed. This difficulty is offset, however, by being able to revive and use healing items on other players.

Mick: I found co-op to be much easier than playing solo. Certain missions when playing solo felt challenging because of overwhelming enemies or being time-sensitive. With two players, they were much more manageable. Being able to divide and conquer or gang up on tougher enemies is really fun.

What changed in your single-player game when you finished playing co-op?

Arron: Whenever I’ve played co-op I’ve been further in the story than the other player, so I’ve only been replaying content. However, playing online still carried over any equipment I looted as well as gaining parkour and combat experience to continue leveling up. One-time lootables like Inhibitors can also be looted, but only if you haven’t found them before in your own save file.

Mick: I have had friends join my game so I couldn’t really notice. But when talking to them about what’s changed for them when they return, it keeps all progress made except with which missions you’ve completed. And my friends didn’t mind not progressing in their own story since they returned to their Haran with overpowered equipment that let them quickly conquer the same missions.

Do you recommend people play the whole game in co-op if given the opportunity?

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Arron: You cannot start playing in co-op until you finish the prologue, but after that, it is a free game and I would definitely recommend doing so. It may take some of the tension and drama out of the story, but that is more than made up for by simply having a good time with friends and watching them drop kick bandits off rooftops. 

Mick: If you’re able to, absolutely. Playing  Dying Light 2 coop is like playing a different game. Not with the story, but through gameplay. It’s more enjoyable when you’re hanging out with friends and parkouring up and down tall buildings while slaying zombies. And it lets the world feel a little more full.

Dying Light 2 coop mode kicks the doors wide open to make the playground of Haran enjoyable for you and your friends. The pacing of missions may change because there are more people running around but the changes make the game fun in its own unique way. It lets each player enjoy Haran together instead of feeling like guests in the host’s world. Let’s hope that co-op-driven content is included in Techland’s 5-year plan.

Dying Light 2 is available on Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Nintendo Switch, and PC.