February may seem far away, but fans are already looking ahead to what’s next for the Dying Light franchise after the successful launch of Dying Light 2 earlier this year. While Techland has yet to announce a third installment officially, speculation is heating up about what a potential Dying Light 3 might look like.
Let’s recap the series so far and examine what we know and want to see in the third chapter of this fan-favorite zombie action series.
Dying Light 2 Recap
Before looking ahead, let’s briefly look back at Dying Light 2 Stay Human, which arrived in February 2022 after numerous delays. The sequel was set 15 years after the original game in the fictional European city of Villedor.
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Story and Setting
Dying Light 2 puts players in the infected shoes of a new protagonist named Aiden Caldwell, who gets caught up in the conflict between the survivors and factions fighting for control of the city. The narrative had multiple endings based on player choices throughout the campaign.
The decaying open world of Villedor was four times larger than the original game’s setting, with verticality and day/night cycles playing key roles in gameplay. The zombie-infested streets were just as much an enemy as the warring factions.
Melee combat and parkour remained central to traversing this dangerous world while scavenging supplies, completing missions, and unlocking safe zones. New gameplay additions included paragliding and a broader choice-driven story.
Reviews praised the parkour and visceral, first-person melee combat but criticized the lack of innovation from the first game and the shallow player choices. Still, Techland supported the game well after launch, selling over 5 million copies in its first month.
While Dying Light 2’s post-launch roadmap extending into 2023 focused on new story content, Techland teased during a May 2022 earnings call that multiple unannounced AAA games were in development, including a new Dying Light project.
In August 2022, Techland officially announced that a third Dying Light game was in the works, but no details, title, or release date have been revealed yet. More concrete news likely won’t come until 2023 at the earliest.
Dying Light 3 Potential Release Date
Given the announcement’s timing and typical 3-4-year development cycles for AAA games, late 2024 or early 2025 seems like the earliest we could see Dying Light 3 actually released.
However, Techland is known for delays, even pushing Dying Light 2 back several times from its original 2020 target to 2022. Whenever it does arrive, fans will surely be hungry for more open-world zombie action.
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Possible Setting and Story
While this series setting hasn’t been revealed yet, Techland has plenty of options for taking the franchise forward. Here are some possibilities:
Villedor was an impressive open world, but a brand new city could be introduced, considering how large Dying Light 2 was relative to the first game. A fresh new setting with its own distinct character would help Dying Light 3 feel more unique.
Continuing Aiden’s Story
Dying Light 2’s protagonist, Aiden Caldwell, still has more of his infected journey to explore in future games. This could pick up where one of DL2’s endings left off and send Aiden to an entirely new region.
Techland could also opt for a new character in the lead role within the same city or a different one. Aiden’s arc feels largely complete so a new hero might allow for more freedom in creative storytelling.
There are plenty of narrative directions the studio could take. Still, ideally, the story feels more reactive to player decisions compared to the criticisms of Dying Light 2’s choices not matter significantly.
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Expected Gameplay Improvements
Given Techland’s track record of iterating on each new Dying Light game, players should expect some gameplay innovations mixed with refinements of existing systems for the third installment:
Larger Open World
The sprawling city of Villedor was already far larger than the original setting of Harran. It stands to reason Dying Light 3 will build on that with an even bigger and more vertically inclined open world.
More Weapon Variety
Hundreds of melee weapons and firearms added replay value to Dying Light 2’s combat, but even more unique and creative tools to kill zombies could be in store for the next game.
The warring factions brought more life to Villedor. However, interacting with the groups didn’t feel as in-depth as hoped. Expect the human enemy dynamics to be expanded and improved in the upcoming series.
Choices and Consequences
While Dying Light 2 touted a choices matter system, many felt the narrative changes were surface level. Having more branching paths and endings based on player decisions would help this series feel more reactive.
Check the Trailer
Check out this Dying Light 3 trailer we found on YouTube.
Co-op and competitive multiplayer were highlights of the first two Dying Light games, and that’s expected to continue with the upcoming title.
The main story supported the four-player co-op, so look for that to return with possibly an even higher player count for co-op free roam and side content.
The asymmetrical ‘Be the Zombie’ PvP mode should return with new twists. Perhaps we could see some conventional PvP-like team deathmatch get added alongside the infected antagonistic multiplayer.
What We Want to See?
Beyond the expected gameplay improvements, here are some key features we hope to get into this game:
Deep customization for weapons and character appearance added more personalization to the sequel. Expanding those cosmetic upgrades even further will give players more ways to stand out.
Better Stealth Mechanics
Stealth was an option but felt undercooked compared to outright combat. Making sneaking and silent takedowns more viable and rewarding would add more diversity to playstyles.
Expanded Faction Wars
The faction conflict dynamic was cool, but imagine if you could ally with and switch factions, changing story beats and unlocking unique rewards based on who you aligned with.
Meaningful Story Choices
Surely, Techland heard the calls for more meaningful choices, altering the narrative. Having your decisions radically alter story arcs, locations, endings, and more would offer vastly improved replay value.
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Dying Light 2 was a gory success, but the foundations are now laid for the franchise to go bigger and bolder with its inevitable third installment. An even larger infected open world with more customizable combat, refined traversal, expanded human enemies, and impactful choices could make it the pinnacle of zombie action games.
Hopefully, Techland takes its time to get it right, but whenever Dying Light 3 does arrive, we’ll be ready to parkour and slash our way through whatever nightmarish-infected city awaits us. The future looks beautifully bleak and bloody for Dying Light fans.
Q: Is Dying Light 3 confirmed?
A: Techland has announced it is in development, but no release date or details have yet been revealed.
Q: Will Aiden be the protagonist again in this series?
A: It’s unconfirmed, but Aiden could possibly return as the lead character. Techland could also opt for an entirely new protagonist.
Q: When will Dying Light 3 be released?
A: There’s no announced release date yet, but late 2024 or 2025 seems likely based on typical AAA development timeframes. But delays are common for the series.
Q: Will it have multiplayer?
A: All signs point to 4-player co-op returning along with competitive multiplayer modes like the fan favorite “Be the Zombie.”
Q: What new features will be added?
A: Potential additions include a larger open world, expanded faction wars, deeper stealth, weapon customization, and more meaningful narrative choices altering the story.