Dying Light, one of my favorite games of the last few years, has delightfully returned to the spotlight in recent weeks. Now when I tell people I’m going to hop on Dying Light, their reaction is no longer “You’re still playing that?” Because of some recent consumer-friendly announcements, Dying Light is now a top contender for gamers’ time.
In case you missed it, it’s been public knowledge since E3 that Dying Light would continue to support the game with 10 free pieces of DLC throughout the next year. A few days ago, developer Techland gave more details on what that could be, including new enemies, new community events and more. But, honestly, as great as these announcements are both for Dying Light players and gamers as a whole, I just want Dying Light 2.
And this isn’t to denounce or shrug off anything Techland is doing with Dying Light. For any developer to continue working on and provided free content updates for a game that released two-and-a-half years ago is a God-ordained miracle in 2017, where developers nickel-and-dime consumers at every possible turn, only releasing quick, cash-grab updates before moving on to the next big thing.
Dying Light already has a rich history with being decent developers in an indecent time. While they did have a season pass, it was probably the best and most content-rich season pass in the modern day, not only providing numerous smaller updates to season pass owners, such as new weapons, but also an entire, double-digit-hour-long expansion (Dying Light: The Following) as part of that season pass purchase.
And even the two years it already has releasing smaller updates and community-oriented events deserve praise. Techland constantly engages with its playerbase, releasing community challenges to do things such as “run over 500,000 Volatiles,” and these challenges offer top-tier weapons as a reward even just for participating in the event.
Dying Light was a success despite so many factors working against it. Techland broke from Deep Silver because they wouldn’t let them make Dying Light. Then, its middling reviews proclaimed that it was too generic and underwhelming to succeed in the long term. And yet, here we are with new content fueling 500,000 weekly players. Then Dead Island 2 was supposed to come out and compete with it (and we all know how that worked out).
But it’s been three years. Isn’t it time for a sequel? I don’t want them to stop making the content they’ve planned and focus all efforts on Dying Light 2, but doesn’t it just bum you out that we’re likely a year away from even an announcement of Dying Light 2? Given that I’m not sure developers still work on content for a previous game after a sequel has been announced (except in the cases of MMOs such as Final Fantasy XIV), we probably won’t see a Dying Light 2 announcement until after this DLC run has completed.
It’s worse too because rumblings of Dying Light 2 have been going on since the end of Dying Light. Techland announced that they would be working on two games, one of which sounded a whole heck of a lot like a Dying Light sequel. Then there were some suspect screenshots and coy responses by the developers that more hopeful players interpreted as an imminent Dying Light 2 announcement.
Admittedly, I’m not sure where they would go with Dying Light 2. The first game didn’t wrap up in any satisfying fashion, and The Following expansion, amazing though it may have been, certainly didn’t help things in that regard, with an ending that polarized even the most hardcore Dying Light fans.
That said, it doesn’t mean they shouldn’t try. Outlast: Whistleblower and Outlast 2 were able to move on and have success following the so-so ending of the original game in that series that suffered from a classic case of over-explaining.
The main point is that people clearly want more Dying Light, myself included. For me, though, I’m not sure the 10 pieces of free DLC will whet my appetite enough. I know it could be the plan (and our more skeptical readers will conclude that it is) to stoke excitement for an eventual sequel announcement. The only problem with that theory/plan is that you don’t really need to do that nowadays. Just announcing a sequel is enough to jumpstart a news cycle in your favor. Heck, even Knack 2’s announcement was met with positive reception. Bottom line: Dying Light DLC is great, but it’s time for Dying Light 2.