Is Dying Light 2’s 500 hours of gameplay a good or bad thing?

A screenshot of Dying Light 2 which will have 500 hours of gameplayTechland

Techland’s Dying Light 2 is one of 2022’s most highly anticipated titles, however the announcement that the game contains 500 hours of gameplay has shocked the gaming universe. Here, Dexerto writers Andrew Highton and Lauren Bergin debate whether or not this is just a little too much content.

2022 is full to the brim with new games that are hoping to etch themselves into history as some of the best, and Techland’s Dying Light 2 is among them.

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Set in the chaotic streets of The City, an Eastern metropolis that has fallen from glory into the hands of the recently deceased, the game’s campaign centers around a survival of the fittest, and a whole lot of spiked baseball bats.

Turns out there’s a whole lot of content, too – while the main story can be completed in 20 hours, Techland confirmed in a tweet that it will take a whopping 500 hours to if you want to get 100% completion, which has split the fanbase in two.

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Below, Dexerto staff writers Lauren Bergin and Andrew Highton argue their case following this divisive announcement in an attempt to showcase both sides of the ongoing debate and answer the question: Can a game ever be too long?

dying light 2 survivor stands on burning cars with a pole arm surrounded by riddenTechland
Can Dying Light 2 survive the onslaught of angry gamers?

It’s been seven years…

Yes, that was a Titanic reference, and many have likened the future of Dying Light 2 to the tragic 1910s disaster due to its 500 hours of Ridden-infested content. I, on the other hand, am all for spending hundreds of hours hacking and slashing away. Why?

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It’s been seven long years since Dying Light 1.

Take that in. I’d rather know for a fact that Techland are giving me an entirely new body of content to sink my teeth into, than having waited seven years for a ten-hour game that’ll be over in an instant. I want to know the story of these characters, I want to understand how the world has changed and, most of all, I just want to immerse myself in Dying Light all over again.

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Ask yourself the question: 500 hours of content you can complete at your leisure, encouraging you to dive back in, or 10 hours that are done in an instant with absolutely zero reasons to replay the game for the next five years? I know my answer, and it’s the unpopular one.

dying light 2 ridden zombie attacks cameraTechland
Who doesn’t want to spend 500 hours with these guys?

But you should also consider why 500 hours seems so mammoth. If you play any online (Valorant, League of Legends, and Overwatch in my case,) you have probably sunk well over 500 hours into those already. Have you got every single skin? Every last cosmetic? No. And that’s why you keep going back.

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Dying Light 2 is a game you can dive into with friends, slay some Ridden, and have a good old time. There’s even multiplayer in the campaign – which means you don’t have to traverse The City’s bloodstained streets alone if you don’t want to. And once you’ve completed the campaign, you can call it a day.

Nothing is forcing you to play all 500 hours.

Even if you’re not an online gamer: think of your favorite game. You’ve probably racked up hours and hours playing it over, and over, and over again in an effort to complete it (in my case, that was Dragon Age: Origins trying to get past the Dwarven thread of the campaign.)

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500 hours isn’t that long in reality, especially when you can dive in and out whenever you want.

Words: Lauren Bergin

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500 hours of copy and paste?

player being confronted by enemy in dying light 2Techland
Can the story and extra content raise its game for a lot longer?

On paper, paying $80 for an open-world game crammed with 500 hours of content sounds like a bargain, right? That’s six-and-a-quarter hours of gameplay per dollar! But you have to question how many of those 500 hours will actually be enjoyable.

It may seem outrageous to want less gameplay, but a few recent examples have highlighted why too much of one thing can often be a bad thing.

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Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla was seen as the straw that broke the camel’s back for many. Ubisoft’s enormous Viking universe spanned an ungodly distance and crammed a ton of sidequests and collectibles into the game, not forgetting its lengthy story too.

But as with many Assassin’s Creed games in recent years, once you’ve played a few hours and the novelty has worn off, the repetition sets in harder than a pool of concrete. To fully complete the game, you were looking at anywhere between 100-150 hours.

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player jumping around in dying light 2 cityTechland
The parkour elements have been expanded upon in Dying Light 2.

‘Go there, do this, kill individual, fetch that item’ only has so much longevity before it begins to melt the mind. The Witcher 3 was able to do this because it’s heralded as an all-time great, whereas Valhalla is not.

The last few years have seen a large number of generic, open-worlds that are largely devoid of life and exist to look pretty. There’s no substance, and what substance it does have is the aforementioned rinse and repeat nature of side quests and collectibles.

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Dying Light was a reasonable success due to its entertaining mix of parkour, zombies, and dynamic day/night combat system. I personally sank about 40 hours into the game and it was just about enough to quench my thirst.

That’s because I lapped up the game’s movement and uniqueness of its day cycle changes. They were the game’s two unique selling points, but right now, it doesn’t look like Dying Light 2 has drastically altered things so much that it needs to be played for longer than that – especially not another 400+ hours.

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new zombies variants in dying light 2Techland
Dying Light had some fun Zombie AI, and the sequel has added more terrifying variants.

Conversely, titles like The Last of Us and Half-Life 2 have received countless awards for their satisfying gameplay. TLOU can be finished in 12 hours and Half-Life 2 about 15. But does anyone complain about their shorter run-time? No, because they’re brilliant games – and much easier to digest.

Insomniac’s first Spider-Man effort needed around 25-30 hours to fully complete the game and it was much celebrated on release.

Besides, many adults (myself included) love to play a variety of games throughout the year, meaning time is precious. When you consider that many people are working 40 hour weeks, have social and family commitments, and enjoy other hobbies, Dying Light 2 could eat up a lot of free time.

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Less is usually more, and quality always supersedes quantity. So it will be interesting to see how players and critics respond to Dying Light 2’s well-publicized breadth of content. Can Techland’s ambitious project be truly sustainable for 500 hours of gameplay?

Words: Andrew Highton

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