Dying Light took place in the fictional Middle-Eastern city of Harran. The sun-soaked streets and dilapidated buildings made up a sprawling playground that was split into two distinct zones. Since using parkour to get around by climbing, jumping–and generally doing anything to avoid the zombie hordes–was the only form of traversal, the city felt a lot bigger than it actually was.
In Dying Light 2, the sequel’s fictional European metropolis is four times larger than all of the maps in its predecessor combined–including The Following DLC’s expansive farmland. “We are witnessing a lot of changes in the technology side,” said Pawel Rohleder, chief technology officer at developer Techland, in an interview on the Nvidia GeForce YouTube channel. “The game world will be four times bigger than the whole game before,” he continued. “Streaming technology allows us to make really huge worlds.”
On top of the sheer breadth of the map, Dying Light 2 will also be implementing ray tracing tech, too. “This is like the holy grail in computer graphics and photorealism,” Rohleder explained. Beyond this, Dying Light 2 places a large emphasis on story and the choices you make. Writer and designer Chris Avellon–who’s known for his work on the likes of Fallout 2, Pillars of Eternity, and Prey–is collaborating with Techland as a narrative designer. “This is one of the biggest challenges for us; every choice that you make may impact the world. For example, we have to have different versions of the map, and the map is huge so the challenge is even bigger,” Rohleder said. “The world combinations are a really huge number of possibilities.”
Techland recently released a 26-minute gameplay video showcasing how Dying Light 2’s map can change depending on the choices you make. After the player opts to turn on some water pumps, an underground city emerges from beneath the waves, giving you a new area to explore that also changes the direction of the narrative.
Dying Light 2 is due out Spring 2020 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.