Dying Light 2, meanwhile, has only one playable protagonist who goes through the game however players wish. While he has stats, these are mostly determined by his equippable gear. With the right loadouts, players can easily change their builds if they so please. Unlike Dead Island 2, Dying Light 2’s protagonist isn’t immune to the zombie virus; he’s as infected as everyone else, and the only thing keeping him human is UV light. This factor plays a large part in the game’s exploration and narrative.
Dead Island 2 vs. Dying Light 2 Differences: The Combat
The combat systems of Dead Island 2 and Dying Light 2 share a lot of similarities thanks to their similar ancestry. Most notably, both games focus on dismembering zombies with weapons. Players need to chain together kicks, light attacks, and heavy attacks, but also stay on the defense with blocks and dodges. But despite these similarities, Dead Island 2 and Dying Light 2 offer fundamentally different approaches to combat.
Overall, Dead Island 2 is the more “arcadey” of the two titles. Combat is faster, and you can dodge infinitely in every direction. While Dead Island 2 doesn’t have a system that slows down time whenever a player properly times a dodge or block, they do get to execute zombies if they perfectly parry or dodge a zombie (or knock a zombie down). Later in the game, players can unlock a super rage mode. To add to the arcadey feel, Dead Island 2 has a large focus on environmental combat, as players can chain together oil, water, acid, electricity, and fire to take out large portions of zombies. But, many zombies have elemental affinities of their own that make them resistant to these elements, or worse, turn the environment against the player.
Dying Light 2 is actually the slower of the two titles, despite its emphasis on parkour-based exploration. Dodging is still extremely useful, but dodging too often without a break will make the main character trip and fall, which is never good during a zombie onslaught. Players can still head-stomp prone enemies, but the game doesn’t give them an execution prompt if they properly dodge or block an enemy, mostly because there is no such thing as a perfect block or dodge (you either avoid damage or you don’t). Moreover, throwable items are limited. If you run out of them, you can’t use any until you craft some more. These systems make Dying Light 2 combat feel more grounded and realistic.
Dead Island 2 vs. Dying Light 2 Differences: The World
Many pieces of zombie media share several similarities, Dead Island 2 and Dying Light 2 included. In both games, society is in shambles, and, depending on how long the zombies have been around, the world is in various states of disrepair. However, key, yet subtle, differences between the worlds help set them apart.
Dead Island 2 takes place in the middle of a zombie outbreak in California. If it wasn’t for all the corpses, busted cars, and abandoned luggage, the game world would look quite beautiful. Since human infrastructure is still sort of functional in Dead Island 2, many buildings still have electricity, and exploration puzzles usually revolve around finding keys or inserting one-use breakers. Also, while most of Dead Island 2 revolves around melee weapons, guns are an available and viable option since they recently existed in the world. While that world can be explored, it is divided into cordoned-off areas.