Dying Light 2 for many has not been able to reach the expectations that the community had set itself, starting from a more solid base such as its predecessor, a title that has made millions and millions of players fall in love. This sentiment was not fully reflected in the second chapter, with a large slice of users were very disappointed with the final product. Over time, however, Techland is committed to making the game what it should have been since day one, and this happens not only with a few fixes here and there, but also with the addition of new content.
Nine months after the launch of Dying Light 2, the game’s already immense story expands further with the arrival of the first DLC of the title, Bloody Ties. The trailer for this new content already offers interesting premises, showing new characters that we will have to deal with, enemies to take down, maps to complete and even weapons. The start is therefore excellent, so all that remains is to return to the haunted land of Old Villedor and find out what awaits us.
The story begins with a call to our walkie-talkie from a stranger, who will seek our help to fight a looming threat. The threat in question is the Theater of Massacres, a place where bloody tournaments take place between humans, where people are willing to risk their own lives in order to gain glory. Our aim is therefore to reach this “hell” and put an end to it, but for a very particular reason. It seems, in fact, that the people behind all this have far more evil plans of making some people fight, and that is why we have been contacted.
The Theater of the Massacres is located on one new map introduced in the game with the DLC, and all the new missions, both primary and secondary, will take place within it. Yes, because with Bloody Ties we will have a huge amount of additional content to explore after reaching the end game, and certainly not limited to just a few new missions, but I will talk about this in the next paragraphs.
New levels, challenges and enemies: guaranteed fun
Once we enter the Theater of Massacres, we will have access to more than a dozen “shows”, the main attraction of this DLC which are nothing more than the timed challenges necessary to continue with the story. Each of them is different from the other, both in terms of the map and the objective: there will be from complete paths by running and hopping from point to point, take down mini bosses, survive endless hordes or carry certain items from point to point. Each of these shows presented itself as a real challenge, making me have fun (and not a little) with each of them.
To continue with the story, in fact, it is necessary to complete these shows, but it is sufficient to participate in only about half of those available to get to the end of the story. Despite this, personally the challenges were so entertaining that I didn’t need any specific motivation (which could be, indeed, the story) to complete them all on my own. What makes them difficult (but not too much), in addition to the design of each level, is also the fact that in each of them we will not have our inventory and therefore the weapons we are most used to, but the equipment will come to us. provided for each challenge, and it is often necessary to explore the map of the level to find other items useful for our survival.
Once the main story and therefore the DLC is finished, the biggest prize will be the new weapon introduced with this fresh content, that is the Slaughterhouse, which is presented to us during missions as a very powerful defensive object. It is a weapon to be applied to the accessory slot, and its primary purpose is to block opponent attacks. Combined with the numerous modifications available exclusively for this new item, which can be purchased and upgraded through the DLC map shop, this weapon goes from being defensive to offensive in a few moments. The Slaughter Sleeve also offers an extra purpose to perfect saves, which are now indispensable if we are to make the most of this important new piece of equipment.
Through the new currency that we will be able to obtain by completing the shows, it is also possible to buy new clothes or masks, along with quite powerful weapons. It must be said, however, that once you reach the end game, the latter do not turn out to be who knows what a great godsend in terms of statistics, so this type of shop can also be useful, but up to a certain point .
The new map itself, in addition to the main structure of the Theater, doesn’t add many locations to explore, but that’s not necessarily a flaw. In fact, everything happens almost exclusively inside the main structure, which is very detailed and just right, so you simply don’t even feel the need to explore what’s outside the main attraction. For the more curious, however, however, it is possible to find some parkour or combat challenges scattered here and there.
A story that leaves a bad taste in the mouth
We come to the main point of this DLC, as well as, unfortunately, also the weakest: the story. The premises are actually more than good: we are called to the rescue to defeat an alleged association that intends to create chemical elements created to strengthen the characteristics of human beings, but these turn out to be extremely harmful for most of the population. Despite this, this group of people still wants to force these substances on the whole community, and therefore our aim is to stop these “bad guys”.
It’s definitely not something groundbreaking, but it’s not bad as a concept either … if it weren’t for the fact that it was introduced at the beginning of the DLC, only to be completely abandoned a few minutes after our adventure begins, literally. We assume that this is the element with which everything begins, so, as a rule, it should be an important factor in the story. The latter, on the other hand, takes this information and uses it on very few occasions as a mere background for a narrative that is practically completely detached from the original one; a maneuver that I did not particularly like and that has left me with many doubts that will never be answered.
But then we come to the story that was actually told: in the first minutes of the game we will meet Ciro, a crazy boy who intends to beat Skullface, the executioner who placed first in the rankings of the Theater of the Massacre, position obtained by killing dozens and dozens of other contenders, without any mercy. Among these is Ciro’s brother, and this is the reason why the latter fights: revenge. We will also meet Ogar, who seems to be connected to the death of his son, and who wants his other child not to face the same fate as his brother.
We will then follow a narrative focused on these two characters, which does not appear very original, but not too bad either. The first problem, however, I encountered when at some point a piece of history is clearly recycled from the main gameand when I found myself in front of a “certain situation” with Ciro I could not help but think about the fact that I had already seen that exact same scene, but with a different character.
It is also true that we are still talking about two different narratives, so maybe you can make the effort to overlook this flaw. On the other hand, what really leaves a bad taste in the mouth is the ending, which purpose is to conclude the whole story that we have just lived, but it ends with perhaps too forced narrative turns and leaving the player with questions that cannot be answered. It gave me the impression that it was written too hastily, and I am convinced that this story, with all its flaws, would still have deserved a more complete and explanatory ending.
Let me explain: once you get to the final bossfight (point of merit for this part, which I found very fun and challenging) everything should be over. Let’s find out who is behind the Skullface mask, and depending on the choices we made during our adventure, we will see a different ending. Because yes, more narrative implications are also available, but it must be said that the final result is not all that different. The point, however, is that once the story is complete, practically nothing changes: without making too many spoilers, the activities inside the Theater of Massacres will continue quietly, and it is not even possible to understand if one of the most important characters within this structure actually manages to survive or not (and with so few answers, information of this kind could be very useful to clarify the question a bit). In short, after completing the whole story we find ourselves with a very confused ending (regardless of what happens to us) and that has little or nothing of a “final”.
Despite all these criticisms, I don’t feel like labeling the narrative side as a completely negative note. He has defects, and they are also important, so far it does not rain; overall, however, it is a story that managed to intrigue me until the end, and that allowed me to get to know the characters I had to deal with quite well, also giving me the opportunity to empathize with their choices.
Let’s sum it up
Among the merits and defects that I have listed in my review it is necessary to add, unfortunately, another small note of demerit due to the numerous bugs and glitches I encountered. I played the DLC on PC, and aside from the bugs of the original game, which don’t make sense in this DLC review, I also ran into some glitches related to the new map and levels. Nothing of game breakingmind you, but certainly not pleasant.
That said, do I recommend buying this DLC? Yes, if you are looking for fun only. In this Bloody Ties got it right, because the gameplay side succeeds in its intent to refresh the gaming experience and entertain, as well as improve the base experience by adding a brand new weapon. All the new challenges, then, are unique and offer different difficulty levels, so that anyone can find bread for their teeth.
If, on the other hand, you are hoping to find a story that leaves you something, then this DLC, in my opinion, is not for you, for all the reasons I have listed. Despite this, I think we all agree that Dying Light, both the first and the second chapter, is a game where the story often comes to the background and works as a side dish to what is the main attraction of these two. bloody titles, namely the gameplay. From this point of view, therefore, and above all considering the more than accessible price (€ 9.99), it is a good product after all, and that I would recommend hands down (or almost).