Dying Light 2: Bloody Ties – DLC you can’t miss review

You know that moment when you return to a game after a while, either because you had other things to work/play in the meantime or because of a new DLC, and you have to laboriously remember not only the rules of the game world, but also the controls and story nuances? So it was in this spirit that my first moments in the Bloody Ties expansion for Dying Light 2 Stay Human, the follow-up to the fun zombie parkour action game I reviewed this February, took place.

No buggy this time

At the time, I enjoyed my trip to the zombie (and many other problems) stricken city of Villedor, but I’ll admit right away that I also completely forgot about it during the following months in the flood of other games played. However, the developers from the Techland studio already promised long-term support before the release, which, moreover, considering the experience with the previous game, we can trust them without any problems.

But while the first Dying Light got a great boost with The Following expansion, which took us to the countryside and gifted us with a great zombo harvester in the form of a fast buggy, Bloody Ties is a thoroughly mediocre addition that makes the aforementioned memory battles not worth going through.

You can jump into Bloody Ties almost as soon as the game starts. They do not represent any more demanding endgame content that only a carefully leveled and equipped adventurer could dare to attempt. Basically, you just have to go through the prologue and then look around on the map for the new First Blood mission.

The DLC revolves around a special arena where the tougher and more fearless survivors of the zombie apocalypse try to gain the fame and reputation of the really good fighters. Protagonist Aiden Caldwell meets a young man named Ciro, who is the son of the current Carnage Hall arena champion and as such naturally wants to make a name for himself. He is mainly prevented from doing so by a tough young man with an even tougher nickname Skullface, so you soon find yourself in a very standard and predictable carousel of family bonds, revenge and other festivities.

Easy decision making

Bloody Ties is story-wise completely outside the main line and works as a closed separate part of the game, but the problem is that it is too short and everything happens at breakneck speed. In combination with the not-so-good script and dialogues, it is very difficult to develop a deeper relationship with any of the characters. Of course, I’m talking from the player’s point of view, because the good guy Aiden knows Ciro for a few minutes and is immediately very deeply invested in his life’s destinies.

Even in this story extension, you won’t be deprived of crucial plot choices that will affect the final outcome, but the criticism from the previous paragraph applies to them. It’s hard for the authors to ask me to think more deeply about the fate of a character who is completely stolen from me, and I’m still puzzled over why Aiden should have any deeper feelings for her. The whole DLC just smacks of a “we figured we’re going to put an arena in the game, so we’re going to throw some sauce on it so it doesn’t tell” approach from afar. This could work maybe a month after release. Almost a year later, I’m having a hard time finding the motivation to turn off Ragnarök, Pentiment, or multiplayer in Call of Duty.

Veterans are sharp

If Dying Light 2 definitely didn’t skimp on something, it was the number of different challenges you could complete around the city. So I can’t help but be a little disappointed that challenges are the main thing you’ll be doing in Bloody Ties. Considering the theme of the expansion, it probably won’t surprise you that you’ll have to deal with a lot of the pitfalls of the arena, but don’t expect any special or imaginative surprises.

If you’re expecting the game to really test your skills and see if you’ve learned anything, dream on. DLC is accessible right from the start, remember? And so all content must be sufficiently accessible even for complete beginners who are just getting to know Dying Light 2’s combat system.

In addition to living opponents, the expansion is of course assisted by a huge number of undead, fortunately, at least in this respect, some new types have been introduced. Otherwise, your blades and clubs will bite into enemies you know well without any major variations.

In addition, the concept of the arena unfortunately fails to use one of the main pillars of Dying Light 2’s gameplay, namely parkour, so the action is actually much less juicy than in the open world, which offers many possibilities for enjoyment. Although the authors threw in a few racing challenges in the expansion, but if you played the original Dying Light 2, you probably already have a lot of them.

Basically, this is perhaps the biggest difficulty that Bloody Ties fails to deal with. When you jump into the DLC with Aiden, who has already completed the main story, you won’t even get any interesting reward that would compare to your already found arsenal. I consider the fact that you don’t get any really killer souvenirs from the arena an extremely untapped potential. If I’ve forgotten the original game in ten months, how long will this DLC stick in my mind?

The light will die for years

Bloody Ties is a completely mediocre content push that can only please the most die-hard Dying Light 2 fans excitedly anticipating the additional content the game is set to receive for many years to come. In this regard, the expansion works because its conclusion seems to set the stage for the next plot at some point in the future. But I’m afraid that if the next package comes in another 10 months, even Aleš’s pleading look won’t convince me to download.

I don’t think Bloody Ties is worth downloading and re-installing Dying Light 2 for. If you still like to spend time in Villedor, for example with your friends, and absolutely absolutely need to know about everything that is going on in the city, you can probably visit the abandoned opera hall that has been converted into a bloody rink. Just keep your expectations pretty damn low.

Source: Games by games.tiscali.cz.

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