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Why co-op is going to be one of the coolest parts of Dying Light 2

This should come as no great surprise, but Dying Light 2 will support four-player co-op. That was true of the original 2015 release and it was true Dead Island – Techland has invested heavily in the necessary technology over the years so that you can continue playing its games with your buddies by your side. Here's the thing though, when it comes to Dying Light 2, implementing co-op was one hell of a technical hurdle to overcome. 

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The reason for that is that each of your actions can have consequences that can affect The City. Not just the visual design of it, mind. No, in Dying Light 2 these consequences can feed back out into the actual play itself; Helping one faction over another may make certain areas of the city flourish while others fall into a state of decay, new parkour routes may open up, and the types of enemies you encounter can change too. This means that your world – as well as the gear, weapons, and items available to you – can be vastly different from the ones your friends are playing through. 

To circumvent this issue, Techland got creative – not that it ever considered leaving co-op on the cutting room floor. “Of course, Dying Light 2 will support co-operative gameplay," Dying Light 2's producer Kornel Jaskula told me as part of our huge deep dive into the upcoming open-world action game. "It's in our DNA." 

It means that, when it comes to Dying Light 2, one player will act as host with friends then joining your game and experiencing your world. “Whoever plays the game, it is their game. You can join my game – with your experience, your skills, your equipment – but it’s going to be my world, built by my decisions and I’m going to make the decisions that continue to shape it," Jaskula continues, eager to point out that the team is still fine-tuning how exactly this will play out. 

This is so exciting because it will really showcase just how many divergent paths Dying Light 2 will contain. It's as Jaskula says, "I can then join your game and it’ll be completely different, with completely different outcomes shaped by your decisions”. 

It's one of the reasons we here at GR are so excited by the prospect of Dying Light 2's co-op play. The opportunity to drop into a friend's game only to find that certain areas of The City are completely transformed or in disarray is exciting, not to mention the possibility of coming across different weapons, crafting opportunities and groupings of human and undead enemies. It pumps energy into the co-op experience, meaning that there's a very real possibility that you will be surprised by what you find around just about every corner of The City.

Given how broad and complex the structure of Dying Light 2 is going to be, the co-op is an opportunity to actually see the different consequences – be they positive or negative – of the choices that you have made throughout your time with the game. It's an expressive way of showcasing Techland's starring feature, and I can't wait to see that in action for myself. 

Stay tuned to GamesRadar+ for more news and coverage of Dying Light 2 later this week, or check out our guide to the best new games of 2019 and beyond.