Dying Light 2 is best known for close-range melee combat and acrobatic parkour from a first-person perspective. While the former tasks players with standing their ground and the latter involves moving about Dying Light 2's world, these two gameplay elements draw from a single resource: the stamina meter. This system isn't all that different from its predecessor, but the sequel finds more ways to incorporate combat and parkour moves that chain into each other, feeling more fluid.
This stamina meter dictates the number and frequency of moves that a player can perform. Players start Dying Light 2 with a relatively small stamina meter, but can increase their maximum stamina by acquiring valuable upgrade materials called Inhibitors. Through stamina is an integral part of combat, it is with the game's parkour traversal system that the stamina meter truly shines.
Building Momentum To Gain Speed
Unlike most conventional games, Dying Light 2 doesn't start players with a sprint button. In order to gain speed, players must run, jump, climb, and perform different parkour moves. Once they have a rhythm going, they can run faster, jump farther, and keep their momentum going for longer. The beauty of the parkour system is that standard running doesn't consume stamina at all, which leaves the player at liberty to pull off Dying Light 2's fancier, more complex moves.
Parkour abilities like climbing up walls, wall running, and dashing all consume stamina. The stamina cost is negligible when performing these moves one at a time, but Dying Light 2 has a way of getting players into a groove that makes them want to chain multiple moves in a row. Players have to spend stamina to gain speed, and the faster they go, the more death-defying feats they can perform. Even in the confines of its more linear settings, Dying Light 2 supports puzzles and level designs that draw upon players' stamina.
Dying Light 2's Stamina Asks Players to Think Fast
To master Dying Light 2's parkour system, players need to plan their routes and carefully manage stamina. Since the amount of stamina players start with is rather small, they have to build up their parkour experience by performing more basic moves in small bursts. Climbing a simple drainage pipe takes up a lot of stamina, especially if the player doesn't have the right abilities. The small stamina meter can get annoying at times, but it forces players to understand and get a feel for the basics before moving to harder things.
As players upgrade their stamina and acquire more moves in the parkour skill tree, the experience they've gathered while traversing Dying Light 2 isn't lost. By this point, climbing and building up momentum should be second nature. This allows players to appreciate their new moves and think of different situations in which they can use them. Map knowledge also becomes embedded in a Dying Light fan's subconscious because of how often they need to get around to different activities.
Dying Light 2 combines its level design and stamina system to give players a move immersive parkour experience. They can't climb things forever with a few button presses like in Assassin's Creed, so upgrading stamina, learning the layout of the world, and performing the right moves is all crucial to success. These factors are also relevant in real-life parkour. If players manage to get a hold of the parkour and stamina system, they will find the simple act of traversal can be just as enjoyable, if not more, than other things they can throughout Dying Light 2.
Dying Light 2 is available now for PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S. A Switch version is in development.
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