Techland’s parkour open world zombie game returns for a true sequel later this fall in the form of Dying Light 2. Promising more player agency than before and featuring some potentially great writing, this sequel feels more like a true RPG experience than its predecessor.
Since it’s been more than 5 years since the first release of Dying Light, it’s high time for a recap of the story and its major characters. Here’s what has happened so far in the world of Dying Light.
Dying Light Setting
Dying Light and Dying Light: The Following take place in the fictional Middle-Eastern city of Harran following the outbreak of a deadly virus that has turned people into feral zombies.
It’s never fully revealed how or where the Harran Virus outbreak started, but the virus’ origins can be traced to a Colonel in the Harrani military that had close ties to viral research. Originally a form of the rabies virus, the Harran Virus is a disease that can spread quickly through the exchange of bodily fluids, usually a bite or cut, and victims of the virus experience symptoms within hours of being exposed.
The city and surrounding countryside have been quarantined by the Global Relief Effort, a humanitarian military branch tasked with supplying the survivors in Harran with supplies and evacuation transport. Since the beginning of the quarantine, people have viewed the actions of the GRE as very selfish and lacking in real effort to clear out the virus. The organization only flies aircraft over the city to drop supplies from large crates including the medicine Antizin, a temporary cure for the Harran Virus that halts infection for an extended period of time. Doctors Imran Zere and Allen Camden, while not directly associated with the GRE, have contributed information to the GRE in their search for a cure for the virus outside of just regular dosage of Antizin.
After a member of the GRE’s armed response to quarantine the city and Harrani military colonel Kadir Suleiman went rogue following a failed extraction of his crippled brother, Hassan, they send in an agent named Kyle Crane to find the rogue colonel and valuable information regarding the Harran Virus.
Dying Light 2 will be taking place 20 years after the events of Dying Light: The Following in a nameless place simply called The City following a worldwide outbreak of the Harran Virus caused by a breach of the Harran quarantine. In The City, power and clean water are scarce after major infrastructure broke down. Now people live in a new “Dark Age,” but still cling onto hope with resourcefulness and factions vying for valuable resources still lying in The City’s ruins.
Dying Light Characters
Kyle Crane is the main playable character of Dying Light and Dying Light: The Following. Sent as an undercover operative for the Global Relief Effort to hunt down a stolen file containing military secrets and to stop the rogue Harrani military colonel Kadir “Rais” Suleiman, Kyle is a skilled combatant in both hand to hand and ranged fights.
Harris Brecken is the leader of the Tower, a large residential building and fortress inside Harran housing civilians and his group of Runners that help out the townspeople any way they can. Harris has since been sidelined following an attack on him (as seen in the “Run Boy Run” trailer) by a swarm of zombies and one of Rais’ bandits while on a supply run. Now Harris is stuck in the Tower providing radio backup to the Runners and Kyle Crane.
The younger brother of Jade Aldemir and right hand man to Harris Brecken, Rahim helps manage the Runners of the Tower as the communications expert to the field and assists with training new and upcoming runners using the obstacle course on the Tower grounds. Rahim wishes to become as skilled as his teacher, Harris, and brave the dangers of Harran on foot as a legendary runner.
Before the outbreak and quarantine on Harran, Jade Aldemir was an ace kickboxer known for her level-headedness in the ring. Now a Tower resident working directly alongside Harris Brecken as a runner with her brother Rahim, Jade helps Kyle Crane on his mission to put a stop to Rais for good.
Dr. Imran Zere
Dr. Imran Zere is an infectious disease expert and practicing doctor working at The Tower with his colleague Dr. Allen Camden on a possible cure for the Harran Virus. A bright scientist that is known to push the envelope, Dr. Zere’s experiments also gave birth to a new mutation of the Harran Virus and the beginnings of a cure in the form of Bolters. Dr. Zere believes the flesh from Bolters holds the key towards a unique mutation of the Harran Virus via his work using genealogy.
Dr. Allen Camden
Dr. Camden is another infectious disease expert working alongside Dr. Zere to find a cure for the Harran Virus. After the outbreak, he and Dr. Zere stayed in Harran to find a cure with Kadir Suleiman charged with protecting them. Things took a turn for the worse after Kadir’s brother, Hassan Suleiman, died. Dr. Camden and Dr. Zere were escorted to safety by a GRE operative called Amir Ghoreyshi. They were all supposed to evacuate together but were somehow separated and unable to escape, becoming trapped in Harran. Camden found sanctuary in The Clinic on the opposite end of Harran from the Tower, presented with no other option, and continued to search for a cure.
Dying Light Villains
Kadir “Rais” Suleiman
Kadir “Rais” Suleiman is the main villain of Dying Light and the ruthless leader of the bandits roaming the city of Harran. Originally a colonel in the Harrani military.
Kadir became enraged after the GRE and Ministry and proceeded to go rogue, reimagining himself as the cold-hearted bandit leader “Rais.” After Raise steals valuable files containing secrets about the Harran Virus, the GRE and Ministry of Defense have had enough, and they send in operatives to take care of the problem.
Rais’ right-hand man and chief enforcer. Prior to the outbreak, Tahir served time in a local prison and was notorious for starting brawls. Now Tahir serves as the main force out in the city for Rais’ bandits and collects debts from lesser gangsters and those “protected” by the gang. Known for being a hothead and brash, Tahir will pick a fight if you so much as look at him the wrong way.
A general term for anyone infected by the Harran Virus, a human-engineered version of the virus that causes Rabies.
The largest part of the infected population people refer to as Biters are the most typical version of a zombie. They slowly shuffle around, but are attracted to and irritated by loud noises such as sirens and gunshots. Biters close in and bite, claw, and chew on their victims, infecting them with the Harran Virus or devouring them alive.
When the sun goes down or if startled by a loud noise, Biters radically change along with a unique property of the Harran Virus; Motor function becomes advanced like that of the best Olympic athletes, senses are hyper-charged including hearing and smell. At night, Biters and most other Infected individuals are harmed by intense ultraviolet light, which causes the Virus itself to break down and burn their skin and exposed flesh. With a strong enough source of UV light, Infected at night can be stopped cold or even killed.
Early victims of the Harran Virus are referred to as Virals. A Viral will maintain most of a person’s higher motor functions such as the ability to run, climb, or fight hand-to-hand. But beyond that, they are very much a rabid beast, snarling, gnashing at anything that moves.
The Harran Virus running rampant has also caused advanced mutations among the Infected, giving rise to rare and even more dangerous variants.
Demolishers are monstrous, muscular, and deformed 7 or 8 foot tall brutes capable of picking up cars and boulders like they were toys and hurling them like weapons.
Toads are hideous hunchbacked zombies with blistering wounds on their skin that have developed the ability to projectile vomit acidic fluid at their victims, dissolving their skin in seconds.
Many other freakish mutations exist, but there is one that Runners and Bandits alike fear the most – the Volatile.
Volatiles are only seen at night or inside pitch-dark buildings during the day, but are the most dangerous mutated Infected seen so far. Bristling with muscles and silvery rock-like skin, their most prominent feature are their insect-like double-jointed jaws with shark-like teeth that spread outwards when they use their especially loud screeches that disorients even the strongest constitution of any person caught within one’s grasp. Facing one in direct combat is risky, facing more than two is usually a death sentence.
Volatiles actively hunt on the streets of Harran during the night and are usually followed by a small group of Virals as protectors and fellow hunters. If you hear the roar of a Volatile nearby at night, you best start running. Good luck.
The Mother is the main antagonist of Dying Light: The Following and the leader of the cult known as The Following. The Mother and her cult wish to fulfill a prophecy known as “The God of the Sun,” burning all of Harran in a mystical fire that will cleanse the Virus from the Earth. Rumored to be immune to the Virus, Kyle Crane heads out to the Harrani countryside to investigate what this woman really is claiming to be.
Dying Light 1 Recap
Global Relief Operative and military mercenary Kyle Crane is hired to take down the bandit leader and rogue military colonel Kadir “Rais” Suleiman, who is in possession of stolen military intelligence. Crane parachutes into the city from an air-drop and he experiences a rough landing getting the attention of the local bandits. Kyle fights off several men, including Rais’ right hand man Tahir. During the brawl Crane fires his handgun, killing a bandit but unknowingly attracts a horde of Virals to his location. He is bitten, but is rescued by Jade Aldemir and Amir Ghoreyshi, a kickboxer and Tower runner respectively. Amir is killed holding off a horde while Jade and Kyle escape for the Tower, a large apartment building converted into a protective fortress housing survivors of the Harran Virus outbreak.
After being treated for his injuries, Kyle is given a dose of Antizin, a specialized drug developed by the Global Relief Effort’s scientists to stave off infection and symptoms of the Harran Virus, but only temporarily. He then meets Rahim Aldemir, thinking he was originally the leader of the Tower, but finds out he’s the second in command underneath Harris Brecken, a parkour instructor and runner. Learning that the leader of the Tower, Harris Brecken, was injured after a bandit attack,Crane privately contacts the GRE and is forced to burn supplies from GRE in order to mandate a meeting with Rais.
Crane convinces the Tower’s leadership that he’s the best to meet with Rais and he makes his way to the Garrison, located in Harran’s slums. Rais misdirects Kyle during their meeting, not agreeing to share a cache of supplies for the Tower’s residents currently dealing with an outbreak of the Harran Virus inside their walls. Rais demands Kyle to complete several tasks for him and his quartermaster, Karim. Even after providing payment and favors, Rais refuses to hand over 2 full crates of Antizin for the Tower as a deal, instead only handing over 5 vials of Antizin.
After Crane attempts to deal with the outbreak, he then goes to meet with Brecken on the 19th floor headquarters, who informs him that the GRE have suddenly stopped broadcasting about Antizin drops inside city limits. Crane is enraged over children having died on the 18th floor, due to the lack of Antizi. Jade comes up with a plan to steal a shipment of Antizin from Rais’ men being stashed in a nearby school. They find the supplies under guard by Rais’ men is actually dynamite, which they steal to take care of a Volatile nest underneath the Tower.
Crane later asks Rahim about Dr. Zere’s location who directs him to the sickbay. Crane meets up with the doctor and talks to him about research on finding a cure to the Harran Virus using tissue from a special type of Infected called a Bolter. The next day, Zere tells Crane that the result he got from analysing the tissue was positive, and that a cure would be possible, though not with the equipment they have in the Slums. The ones Dr. Camden, Dr. Zere’s colleague, has in his laboratory in Old Town would be more suited to finishing the work. Crane proposes that he should be the one to bring the research to Dr. Camden. Agreeing in kind Dr. Zere says that he will start refining his research so it can easily be transported across town.
As Crane leaves the trailer he receives a call from Rahim, who tells him that he and Omar, a Tower runner, have gone to blow up the nest against Crane’s orders and need immediate help. Crane soon finds Rahim hiding in a boxcar inside a warehouse, bleeding from a wound on his side. Rahim hands over the explosives to Crane, who proceeds to use them to blow up the Demolition Zone containing the Volatile Nest. When Crane comes back to the boxcar, he is shocked to find out that the bleeding that Rahim had earlier was a bite wound, and thus has turned him into a Viral. Crane is forced to kill him by snapping his neck, and leaves the warehouse in rage after Rahim foolishly disobeys his orders. Crane arrives at the Tower and explains what happened to Brecken. They are overheard by Jade, who runs off in shock upon hearing of her brother’s death, but before Crane can explain anything Rais’s men attack Dr. Zere’s trailer, forcing Crane to leave the Tower to stop them. He is too late, as Rais’s thugs have already kidnapped Dr. Zere and killed all the guards, prompting Crane to follow them back to their garrison.
Crane finds an entry on the roof of the Garrison, and after entering the building, he contacts the GRE via satellite radio, but is instead answered by the Ministry of Defense which tells him that Harran has become a Code-One target zone or a target that they will initiate an airstrike on. Crane is shocked and insists that they can’t do it, as Dr. Zere is close to finding a cure. The Ministry of Defense gives him 48 hours to find a cure until they blow up the city. Crane finds Dr. Zere and he’s informed his research has been given to Jade, but before they could leave, Rais ambushes them and stabs Dr. Zere in the leg and knocks Crane out.
Crane fights his way out of Rais’ arena filled with zombies and finds Rais again. Rais proceeds to order his associates to publicize the file, angering Crane, telling him that he just doomed thousands of innocent people. Rais proceeds to explain to him that the contents of the stolen file is not what he thought, and that the GRE was trying to weaponize the virus, not trying to cure it. As he now deems Crane is useless to him, he orders his men to execute him. Crane fends off two henchmen and one holding Dr. Zere hostage, but is too late to save the doctor from a fatal knife wound.
On the way out of Rais’s Headquarters, Crane’s lingering infection from his original bite strikes again, making him pass out mid-way through the way back to the Tower. He wakes up in the Ferry Harbor and is greeted by Brecken, who informs him that all Antizin drops have stopped since 36 hours ago. Crane wants to rejoin with Jade, who has Zere’s research, so Brecken informs him that Jade has gone to Sector 0 with the help of the Saviors, a faction of mercenaries that can smuggle people in and out of Harran for a price. He meets up with the Saviors’ contact, Cenk, who agrees to smuggle Crane to Sector.
Making his way through Sector 0, revealed to be Harran’s Old Town. Crane makes a phonecall to Dr. Camden, telling him to prepare for the arrival of Dr. Zere’s research. Crane radios Jade to try and explain everything. revealing that he was hired by the GRE to retrieve the file stolen by Rais, and how the Ministry tried to bomb the city, but was delayed by Crane, though Jade isn’t taking any of it and hangs up on him after calling him a bastard.
Crane is shown intercepted footage of a news broadcast saying that the Ministry of Defense has made the decision to bomb the city of Harran. To prevent this from happening, Crane and a group of Runners plan to prove to the world that there are still survivors in the quarantine zone by triggering explosives in an apartment block to the north of Old Town, which is something that zombies couldn’t do. Crane and his allies place the explosives inside the apartment block, but after triggering them once outside, the jets from the Ministry fire missiles at the apartments, making it look like they were the ones who created the explosions and not the survivors.
Escaping the area, Crane receives a call from Jade, but discovers that Jade has been kidnapped and taken to the local museum by Rais. Revealing that he found a way to listen to their communications in secret, Rais deems both Jade and Crane useless and releases a swarm of Infected into the museum to kill them. As they escape, Crane finds out Jade was bitten by a zombie several minutes ago and only has minutes before she begins to turn into a Viral. They only have a single shot of Antizin left and both of them suffer from an infection. Jade refuses the shot during a scuffle and knows that it’s too late to be saved from the quickly-advancing Virus. Crane is forced to mercifully dispatch her before she finishes turning. Rais orders Tahir to kill Crane, who manages to incapacitate him after a few minutes of merciless fighting. Crane searches Jade’s bag for Zere’s research, but is disappointed to find only the tissue samples and asks Tahir where the rest of Zere’s research is. Tahir tells him to go to Hell. Crane then proceeds to kill Tahir in revenge for Jade and Dr. Zere and leaves the museum.
Crane helps a group of survivors in the city to restore communications to the outside world using a large radio antenna, Crane barely manages to save Harran from being firebombed by the Ministry of Defense.Crane is then contacted by the GRE, asking him to bring back Zere’s research in exchange for extracting him from Harran. Crane refuses, seeing in this an attempt to cover up the fact that they weren’t working on a cure, but weaponizing the virus.
After saving the city, Crane decides it’s finally time to meet up with Dr. Camden, who is stuck in the Clinic, surrounded by zombies. Crane helps out the doctor clear the area and deliver Dr. Zere’s research. Not long after, reaching out to the GRE via radio to find the rest of the research needed to find a cure, Crane is surprised by Rais intercepting his transmission. Rais challenges Crane to come find him and put an end to things once and for all.
Crane is able to reach up to the very top of the tower and confront Rais, who threatens to destroy Dr. Zere’s research. The two men duel on top of the tower and Crane is finally victorious, plunging a machete into Rais’ chest in a close struggle. The GRE arrives via helicopter and once again asks him to bring back Dr. Zere’s research, with Crane refusing to do so for the same reasons as earlier. The GRE reluctantly falls back outside of the city. Crane is then contacted by Dr. Camden, who says that if Crane is to bring back Dr. Zere’s research, then a cure would probably be possible.
Dying Light: The Following Recap
At the start of Dying Light: The Following, Crane meets Lena, a Tower operative, about an important issue and talks to a man with one eye about an escape from the city and cure for the virus. After finding a map on him that shows a way out of Harran, Crane resolves to find it, and to find out who the one-eyed man meant when talking about people immune to the virus. After a brief journey through a previously-unknown section of the sewers, he emerges in the mountains of The Countryside — the rural area that surrounds Harran, swarming with the infected.
Upon arriving at Jasir’s farm, the people there blank him and only Kaan, another outsider to the Children of the Sun, and Ezgi, Jasir’s daughter, will answer his questions. After performing a range of duties ranging from finding missing people, creating safehouses, to killing Freaks of Nature, The Mother and her Faceless agree to help him.
At the Eye of the Sun, Crane is blessed by the Mother and rendered immune to the virus by a blue gas used in their rituals, which appears to camouflage him from the infected present. Afterward, he investigates this same gas out in the middle of a field which has spilled from a military Jeep and again renders him ‘invisible’ to the many infected present. He locates the base of operations used by the bandit guild inside a disused granary, killing the men inside in his search for the kidnapped Brother Oman, who is eventually found tortured to the point of death. Provided a location by Oman’s last words, Crane heads to the seaside town’s lighthouse to find out who’s responsible for transporting the gas and the presence of Rais’s gang.
Kyle arrives at the lighthouse and encounters Kaan at the top. After a brief interrogation where he learns that the bandits are headed to the dam to kill the Mother, they bring down the lighthouse with missiles while both are inside. Kaan is killed by the fall, but Crane survives and heads to the dam in order to stop Rais’s men before they get there. When he eventually enters, he finds the remaining Faceless murdered and all of the bandits brutally slaughtered.
The Mother speaks to him, relaying her history with the outbreak, from being the colonel’s wife and spiritual leader of the Children of the Sun, to their last hope as they searched for what her husband asked her to see before he died. When Crane stands at the Mother’s side, she reveals herself to be a sentient Volatile, tranquil in daytime and feral at night. She tells him that the blue gas is a serum that very slowly changes someone into what she is, which explains why the infected do not harm someone breathing it, and the mutation is far faster when drinking a liquid form of the gas.
Crane is offered a choice. He can either help the Mother bring about “the coming of the God of the Sun” and end the Harran Virus by detonating a nuclear warhead inside the dam at the cost of thousands of lives, or he can refuse the Mother and try to take the remaining liquid serum, stubbornly believing it to be a cure. Crane reluctantly accepts taking a vial of the serum, finally ridding him of the infection. The Mother suddenly flies into a rage after sensing something going on and attacks Crane. In the ensuing fight, Crane defeats the Mother and makes his way out of the compound. Crane feels unusually ill from the serum, thinking it’s a side effect. When a group of children notice Crane, they run away in terror and he suddenly notices the vial he drank was not a cure. He is mutating into another Volatile and as night quickly closes in on the outskirts, Crane loses what little sanity he has left and lets out a deafening roar into the night sky.
What’s New In Dying Light 2
While little has been covered on new mechanics in regards to hand-to-hand and ranged combat in the second game, Techland have said that they will be doubling the amount of parkour maneuvers compared to Dying Light.
Another major change is an increase in player agency throughout the story. Featuring a deeper system based on choices throughout missions both in the main quest and side stories, Dying Light 2’s world will change based on the player’s actions. For example, forging alliances with different factions will result in a positive or negative reaction from the public depending on how everything plays out.
Encounters throughout the game have also made a major shift, leaning more towards intimate encounters with fewer enemies but with a higher degree of dynamic combat. Infected will be less prevalent during the day with the survivors keeping the streets cleaned, with nighttime being when the worst infected come out of their nests at night. Buildings full of zombies will also be less risky to explore, with some areas containing valuable resources and rare items. Picking your time to go out into the open world will have a major effect on your experience.
Customization will still be a major mainstay of Dying Light 2. Weapon modifications make a return from Dying Light, but not much is known about how much deeper that will be compared to before. Customization also gets a boost from a parkour and combat “Tech Tree”, allowing for diverse builds and upgrades for players to find solutions to navigating on foot, fighting off enemies, and traversing complex obstacles.
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