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Don't worry, you can finish Dying Light 2's main story in 20 hours

Devs clarify after saying it takes 500 hours to complete

Over the weekend, Dying Light 2 developers Techland boasted that it would take "500 hours to complete the game". This turned out not to be the exciting selling point they expected for the open-world zombie-mashing parkour-o-shooter. Many found this claim exhausting because oh my god 500 hours is over 20 days, what do you think we do with our lives, and how much of that is busywork? After initially backtracking to clarify that 500 hours is how long it'd take to do absolutely everything, Techland have now explained that you can finish the game's main story in 20 hours, or 80 if you hit every side quest too.

Obviously their initial figure wouldn't be the length of a standard playthrough, but their follow-up saying that "a regular player should finish the story + side quests and do quite a lot of exploring in less than 100 hours" still sounded wearying and left open questions about filler and busywork. Following that clarification on Saturday, Techland tweeted another clarification on Monday night:

So: 20 hours to complete the main story; 80 hours to finish the main story and every side quest; 500 hours to do all the quests, choices, and endings, check everywhere on the map, see all dialogue, and find every collectible. The 500-hour option is for players who are absolutely, truly, desperately aching to fill time until they're allowed to clamber into their grave.

Multiplayer games can hold my attention for 500 hours. Games with complex simulation or deep strategy can hold my attention that long. Roguelikes, roguelikelikes, and other games built on procedural generation can hold my attention that long (I'm over 1300 hours into The Binding Of Isaac). But when someone tells me a singleplayer open-world game with a definite quantity of authored content is that long, I just don't want to play it.

To make me play 500 hours, either the moment-to-moment action would need to be phenomenal or the game would need to have an impractical quantity of great side quests and activities. Even considering that Dying Light 2's development has taken two years longer than planned, the latter seems unlikely. To hear that 500 hours is how long it takes to do loads of boring stuff, yeah, that makes sense. But 80 hours? I can believe that, and I might play that if the side quests are good (tbh few side quests in sprawling open-world games are).

Despite the marketing department's missteps, I'm interested. Having played a bit last year, Dom Peppiatt enjoyed its parkour and stealth in our two-part preview/interview.

Dying Light 2: Stay Human is due to launch on the 4th of February via Steam and the Epic Games Store. At £54.99, that's less than 11p per hour! Wow! It'll also be on Xboxes, PlayStations, and, thanks to clouds, Switch.

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Alice O'Connor

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Alice is likely in the sea.

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