Players’ Choices Shape Dying Light 2’s World
Techland is defying its audiences’ expectations of Dying Light 2. Following the E3 2018 reveal, the developer has continuously teased how the sequel differs from its predecessor. Challenging what players expect from RPG mechanics is one way Techland aims to flip the script. Another is the implementation of player choice and a branching narrative. The initial announcement of such additions seemed standard, with people expecting good choices, bad options, and ambiguous decisions. Interestingly, it won’t be so simple.
In an interview with GamesIndustry.biz, Techland’s Chief Creative Officer, Adrian Ciszewski, addressed the choices and consequences people might see in Dying Light 2. He first described player choice as “systemic,” explaining that, “for example, the Peacekeepers faction—they’re clearing the streets of baddies, but they’re also clearing the dark zones and the streets from infected. That’s a system.”
If you tell the Peacekeepers about a building [full of zombies], the zombies will move from that location into another one, but that will create other problems because there will be more zombies in that other part of the city. If the Peacekeepers clear part of the dark zone, it will push the zombies to find another place to hide. It’s much more like a gameplay systemic thing.
This affects more than the physicality of Dying Light 2’s game world. It’s narrative is based on these decisions, as well.
Every time, every NPC will have a different impact and a different rule… It’s up to you. Just know the rules and [you can] trigger things in the world to make it look different, and that will trigger different activities, different rewards.
Choices that change the story make a big different on the world, changing strategies you will need to use. Ciszewski noted there no right or wrong decisions, nor are there strictly good or bad choices. Nuance reigns supreme. What might seem a poorly made move for one player could be considered the optimal option for another. Ciszewski elaborated on this notion:
It’s always grey, but it’s always clear. The rules are always clear. From my point of view, one might be the best choice but it might not from your point of view.
Every time you [make a choice], there’s a clear understanding of what could happen. Eventually you could be surprised because it’s sandbox gameplay, and you might not realise, like, ‘oh shit, I didn’t know this was working like that’–but later, you just understand this new rule and you use it later on, because you won’t be surprised any more. You’ll know every time you do this, you trigger that, and that’s a lesson you learned from your previous choice.
You can learn more by exploring the world, talking with people, reading stuff–there are a lot of different options when it comes to learning those systems.
Dying Light 2 doesn’t have a release date, but Techland plans to launch the sequel sometime in 2019.